So far against the New Jersey Devils, the Flyers have put together a solid 60 minutes of hockey. The problem is, they're two games into this second round playoff series.
The Flyers came out with some serious jam in the first period on Tuesday night, putting 9 shots on goal, crashing the net and generally making life miserable for Martin Brodeur, who looked for most of the period like he was about to have a nervous breakdown and/or stab James van Riemsdyk. After escaping with the win in game 1 despite a miserable first period, it appeared that the Flyers had finally figured out that a hockey game does, in fact, consist of 3 periods, and that it's usually good to show up for all of them
And then the second period happened.
From the moment the puck dropped in the second, it was obvious that whatever jam had previously existed in this game was gone. It was so gone that there was almost negative jam, a tangible, empty void where the jam once was. The Flyers spent most of the period in their own zone and seemed content to just settle into a defensive shell and let Ilya Bryzgalov win them a 1-0 game. Because how could banking on a shutout from a goaltender with an .879 playoff SV% possibly be a bad idea?
Oh, and the Flyers registered two shots on goal. Two. That's pretty bad, but not as bad as the fact that the first of those two shots didn't come until 18:32 of the period.
Still, the Flyers came out of the period with the 1-0 lead intact, thanks in large part (the largest part) to Bryzgalov. "Hmm," we all thought. "They survived the onslaught in that period, Lavs will rip some hearts out of some chests and fire them up for the third, and we'll be on our way to a 2-0 series lead."
If the second period was a trainwreck, the third period was all of the trains in the station just simultaneously exploding for no reason, with all the survivors cannibalizing one another in front of a backdrop of flames.
The Devils' Adam Larsson, only in the lineup because of Ilya Kovalchuk's lower back injury, finally got to Bryzgalov, tying the score at 1 on a drop pass play that seemingly transpired in slow motion, and things just unraveled from there. David Clarkson scored on a broken play (in which Zach Parise was somehow left alone in front of the net), slamming home the rebound and engaging in the rare "riding the net" goal celebration (up + left trigger in NHL12). Travis Zajac scored on a wraparound when Bryzgalov lost sight of the puck, two Flyers got caught pursuing one Devil behind the net, and Andreas Lilja and Danny Briere stood around wondering why Braydon Coburn wasn't on the ice for the first time all game. And Bryce Salvador scored the first goal of his entire NHL career (or something like that, according to the NBC broadcast crew), icing the already-pretty-well-iced game with a shorthanded, empty-net flip that somehow rolled right on into the net.
Boom. 4-1. The Devils even the series at one apiece, feeling pretty good about their ability to hang with the Flyers and hoping that Kovalchuk's back injury takes juuuust a few extra days to heal up.
Here's a few fun bullet points:
The Flyers power play, which went 12-for-23 (52%) against Pittsburgh, went 0-for-5 in game 2 against New Jersey and is now 1-for-11 (9%) in the series. The Devils had the league's best penalty kill during the regular season (89.6%), and they've carried that over into this series. I was unrealistic to think that the Flyers could maintain a 52% power play throughout the playoffs, but they'll have to do better than 9% if they want to advance any further
Bryzgalov looked very good in this game, and it was one of his better efforts to date in these playoffs, both statistically and otherwise. He looked poised for much of the game, turning aside 13 shots in the first period and 12 in the second before the Devils' nonstop attack and the Flyers' sloppy defensive coverage caught up to him in the third. He finished the game with 3 goals allowed on 34 shots, for a .912 SV%. Give me that from Bryzgalov every game, and I'll feel pretty good about this series.
A popular discussion topic before this series started (and after game 1, even) was whether or not the Devils and their no-name defense and geriatric goaltender could contain the Flyers' four-line attack. Another popular discussion topic was whether or not the Devils and their no-name offense could generate enough scoring to keep up with the Flyers' offense. Apparently, the answer is "yes," to both. I'd like to think this game is a speed bump for the Flyers, and that they'll still be able to make this a short series, but you have to wonder if the confidence boost New Jersey likely received from this type of win will carry over into the rest of the series.
The Flyers finished the game with 20 shots on goal, 7 of which came in the first 16:30 of play. That means over the final 43:30, they managed just 13 shots, or about one shot every three minutes.
Speaking of shots, Eric Wellwood led the team with 4 in 10:11 of ice time. We love us some Eric Wellwood, but when he's got as many shots as like 6 or 7 of your other forwards, combined, you're doing something wrong.
Claude Giroux has one point in this series. Yikes.
Here's the video recap, in case you missed it. Game 3 will be Thursday night at 7:30, in scenic Newark, New Jersey.
The look etched on the countenance of Bryce Salvador was not one of relief.
It was the look of a man who recognized his team had received an 11th-hour pardon. And now, instead of certain death, Salvador and the New Jersey Devils have life.
"We're doing everything we can to buy time so [Ilya Kovalchuk] can come back to the lineup," Salvador said, a cat-that-ate-the...
PHILADELPHIA - Philadelphia Flyers goalie Ilya Bryzgalov made one big save after another until a rookie playing his first playoff game put one in. That got the New Jersey Devils going. David Clarkson followed by scoring the tiebreaking goal with 8:43 left and the Devils rallied to beat the Flyers 4-1 in Game 2 Tuesday night, evening their Eastern Conference semifinals series...
The New Jersey Devils turned up the heat and scored four third period goals to tie the Philadelphia Flyers in the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals at one game apiece. The four unanswered goals led to a 4-1 victory after sloppy play in the first period.
The Devils now drive up the Jersey Turnpike to the friendly confines of the Prudential Center— taking away the Flyers home ice...
"Tonight I'm planking but on Thursday it's all about Tebowing!!"
You couldn’t escape the fact that Ilya Kovalchuk wasn’t in the lineup last night, mainly because Pierre Maguire and Kenny Albert weren’t going to let us forget. Guess what, it didn’t matter. The Devils worked hard all night and found a way to get the job done. They kept their frustration...
via Tom Gulitti of Fire & Ice, Devils forward Ilya Kovalchuk was not available to meet with the media following the team’s video meeting this afternoon.
A team spokesperson said Kovalchuk had gone to “therapy” and will be meeting up with the Devils later today in Philadelphia. He will apparently not be joining the team on its bus ride to Philadelphia this afternoon for...
Here we go…GAME 2!! It’s been a pretty busy morning around the New Jersey Devils as they prepare for Game 2 of the Eastern Conference Semi-Finals against the Philadelphia Flyers. News came out this morning that Ilya Kovalchuk will be out of tonight’s game with an undisclosed injury. This, only days after telling reporters that he was fine. I said it early into the Panthers...
For the NHL Playoffs I’m being a homer but I have to be. If I can get the Philadelphia Flyers as an underdog which they are now I’m going to take them all day. As an underdog the Flyers are 4-1 in their last 5 games and in playoff games where they’re the underdog. Related posts:
The Betting Edge for Tuesday June 09
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PHILADELPHIA -- David Clarkson scored the tiebreaking goal with 8:43 left and the New Jersey Devils rallied to beat the Philadelphia Flyers 4-1 in Game 2 Tuesday night, evening their Eastern Conference semifinals series at one game apiece. Game 3 is Thursday night in New Jersey. New Jersey rookie Adam Larsson scored the tying goal early the third period in his playoff debut ...
via Rich Chere of the Star-Ledger, Devils winger Ilya Kovalchuk will miss Game 2 of the team’s second-round playoff series with the Philadelphia Flyers because of a lower body injury, general manager Lou Lamoriello confirmed.
Kovalchuk suffered what is believed to be a leg muscle injury, or possibly a groin-related problem, and is not with the team. He was examined by a doctor...
Welcome to Center Ice Chat’s Stanley Cup Playoffs Preview and Predictions series. With Round 1 in the books as of Thursday night, we take a look at the crop of the few, the proud, the Conference semifinalists.
So the Philadelphia Flyers may be the hottest team going into Round 2, arguably.
James van Riemsdyk of the Philadelphia Flyers skates away after scoring a...
Well Philly fans, the puck is in your rink, what needs to be done for the Flyers to rebound from this game?
The Flyers looked great at the start of the game, then they could not generate any offense at all.
2 shots in the 2nd period and 9 in the 3rd for a total of 20 for the game just won’t cut it.
New Jersey fans, I am sure you are satisfied with the way the game played-out tonight.
*stats based on playoffs.
Match-up - Devils (48 wins, 102 points) @ Flyers (47 wins, 103 points)
Road/Home records - 24-15-2 -------------- 29-10-2
TV - NBC (HD), CBC (HD)
Puck drop - 7:30 PM ET
Series score - Flyers lead 1-0
Projected starting goalies - Martin Brodeur (NJ) vs. Ilya Bryzgalov (PHI)
Battle of the stats
Goals for/against per game *
Philadelphia - 4...
Adam Larsson and David Clarkson scored their first goals of the
postseason, and the New Jersey Devils posted a 4-1 win over the
Philadelphia Flyers on Tuesday night, evening this Eastern
Conference semifinals series at 1-1.
The Philadelphia Flyers were out hustled in their 4-1 loss to the New Jersey Devils on Tuesday. They were out shot, out shone and out hustled. Aside from the first 10-15 minutes of the game, the Flyers were a disaster.
Some fans have turned to Ilya Bryzgalov as the scapegoat for the loss. My first question is what game were these people watching?
If not for Ilya Bryzgalov, the...
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