There are plenty of things that a box score or score sheet won’t tell you what actually happened in a particular game.
For instance, a box score won’t tell you that the Flyers weren’t exactly dominated in their 5-2 loss to the Washington Capitals last night. It won’t tell you the string of bad luck that hit them, and particularly Ilya Bryzgalov. A box score also won’t tell you exactly how Brayden Schenn fared in his debut with the Flyers last night, but I will.
Sure, you could check the stats from last night and see that Schenn saw 11:03 of ice time, most of it coming even strength (10:42). You could also look at the numbers and see that Schenn, along with Scott Hartnell, was a -3 for the game. You could even notice that the 20-year-old registered just one shot on goal, but what does it all mean?
The numbers tell just a small portion of the story of Schenn’s first game as a Flyer. Sure, he was a minus for the night, but he played much better than any stat suggests. It took the rookie a little time to get his feet under him and get used to the speed of play, and he seemed to make some adjustments after the first period.
In the second period, the Flyers, particularly Schenn, dominated play for the majority of the twenty minutes. However, there are two plays that stood out to me.
One came in the defensive end, with a Flyers’ defenseman closely trailing a Capitals player around the Flyers’ net. Schenn dashed in from the slot and threw his weight into the Caps’ player in a big hit that jarred the puck loose. Schenn’s defensive potential is an aspect of his game that is often over-shadowed by his sometimes dominant offensive abilities.
The other play the stood out was a simple one, but it was a flash of what Schenn might bring to the table night in and night out at some point this season.
The play started in the neutral zone, where Schenn grabbed the puck and was headed up ice. He was met by more than one Capitals’ defenseman, but somehow found his way through the D and still had possession on the puck on the other side of the neutral zone.
Schenn also had a few crisp passes that led to scoring chances throughout the game, and his vision on the ice wasn’t indicative of a 20-year-old in his first game with a new club.
Overall, rookie Brayden Schenn deserves a B grade for his performance in his debut with the Flyers. The entire team needed to perform better, but Schenn was solid all night and showed his potential to be a force on both ends of the ice.
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