flyers continue to roll…

I’ve fallen so far behind on my posting that I’ve missed discussing not one but TWO Flyers games.  I will rectify that now:

  • FLYERS 4, LIGHTNING 1 – Lost in what turned out to be a disastrous Saturday night for Eagles fans was that while the Birds were getting abused by the Cowboys, the Flyers were in the process of ripping off their 3rd straight win and 7th victory in their last 9 games.  The Flyers jumped on the Lightning early and really took control of the first period thanks to some physical play and a fight by Scott Hartnell.  I’ve been ragging on him for the last couple weeks because he’s been playing so poorly but he came out determined in this one.  The Flyers scored first again thanks to a Claude Giroux Power Play goal off a great feed from Mike Richards.  No scoring in the second period but the Flyers controlled the pace of the game and continued to play very well.  They were rewarded for their play 4 minutes into the 3rd period when Hartnell took a great pass from Danny Briere on a 2-on-1 break and fired the puck past Tampa goalie (and former Flyer) Antero Niittymaki to make the score 2-0.  It was Hartnell’s first goal in 17 games and a long time in coming.  Though the Lightining made it 2-1 with about 7 minutes to go, the Flyers hung tough and added 2 more goals courtesy of 3rd line center Blair Betts.  His first was off a rebound and his second was an empty netter.  All in all it was a great night for the Flyers.  They really seem to be adapting well to coach Peter Laviolette’s attacking system and continue to get excellent play from goalie Michael Leighton.  Leighton actually became the first Flyer goalie to go unbeaten in his first 8 starts with the team (he’s 7-0-1) since Dominic Roussel (remember him? I DO!!) 16 years ago.  Nice to see the Flyers give Philly fans a little something to cheer about on what was otherwise a miserable evening. 
  • FLYERS 6, STARS 3 – And the Flyers just keep on rolling.  Last night, with the city of Philadelphia still in mourning over the Eagles’ loss, the Flyers crushed the visiting Dallas Stars for their 8th win in 10 games.  They’ve scored first in all 10 and are really beginning to show why so many people picked them as early season favorites to hoist the Stanley Cup.  Their 4th straight win was much like the previous 3 in that they were all over the Stars early.  My favorite target Scott Hartnell actually got them on the board first with his 2nd goal in as many games chipping home a rebound on a Flyers power play.  Though Dallas tied it up in the first minute of the 2nd period, the Flyers then scored 5 straight goals in the next 28 minutes worth of hockey to go up 6-1 with about 9 minutes to play in the 3rd period.  The Flyers offense is absolutely on FIRE right now!!  They got 6 goals from 6 different players last night and those included 2 power play goals and a shorthanded goal.  Though 14 out of the 18 guys in the lineup got a point, Ian Laperriere, Simon Gagne, and Darroll Powe stood out with a goal and an assist each.  One of the most remarkable stretches of Flyers hockey in recent memory has been made possible by 3 things: the players are getting healthy, the goalie has been playing beautifully, and the Flyers’ special teams have been firing on all cylinders.  The health of the team is as good as it’s been all season and that’s exactly why all 4 lines seem to be functioning so well.  Being able to run out the same lineups night after night is definitely a key to playing consistent hockey.  Goalie Michael Leighton is as hot as any goalie in the NHL right now (he’s 8-0-1 in his last 9 games) and he’s relegated starting goalie Ray Emery (who’s now healthy enough to return) to backup duty.  Finally, I can’t say enough about the Flyers’ special teams.  The power play has climbed all the way back to 3rd in the league and the penalty kill has killed off 30 out of its last 32 shorthanded situations.  As the NHL gears up for the Winter Olympics, it’s imperative that the Flyers continue to rip off wins.  They play 6 of their next 8 games at home and will see the Rangers, Capitals, and Penguins again before the month is over.  Hopefully by the end of the month, the Flyers will have climbed all the way back into the middle of the Eastern Conference playoff picture.  They’re currently 7th but only 2 points back of 5th place Boston.  It’s great to see the team doing its best to make the city of Philadelphia forget all about the Eagles. 
  • NEXT UP: THE TORONTO MAPLE LEAFS – The Flyers have scored 23 goals in their last 4 games and look to continue their hot streak tomorrow night in Toronto.  Last week the Flyers blew the Leafs out 6-2 at home in a game that was marked by 4 fights and 2 misconduct penalties.  The Leafs aren’t going anywhere fast so look for them to try and be very physical with the Flyers and take them off their game.  Here’s hoping they fail just as miserably as they did last week!!

1 Response to “flyers continue to roll…”

  1. 1 Reid Sucks
    January 14, 2010 at 9:43 AM

    Still waiting for the “Eagles Shitting the Bed” post…

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