Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Philadelphia Flyers win over LA Kings

The Philadelphia Flyers showed up and showed out last night against the defending Stanley Cup Champions, the LA Kings. A few keys to the game last night was Ray Emery’s outstanding performance in goal and the strategic/physical play the Flyers exhibited.

Although the Flyers took some time to get their feet underneath of them this season, they are making smarter plays and fewer of those frustrating/poorly timed penalties.   Compared to last season’s start the Flyers are doing extremely well and assuming that their awkward adjustment period has passed, they have taken to Head Coach Craig Berube’s guidance and the team seems to finally be clicking.  

The fact that Philadelphia finally has a great goaltending tandem deserves a moment of silence. Steve Mason has been great for the Flyers, no doubt will continue to be great and keep his starting goaltender position.  It’s a relief that their backup goaltender is outstanding in goal as well and the Flyers couldn’t ask for a better back-up, who knows his job description and supports the team. Emery only makes Mason stronger.

Last night the Flyers gave us a glimpse of how dangerous they can be when they play a smarter and harder full 60 minute game. Is this the start of something new? I sure hope so, as the Flyers have been progressively getting better. They wrap up this challenging month of October and look to build more momentum.  The Flyers have finally linked together 3 wins and are looking for more, as they take their show on the road against the Tampa Bay Lightning this Thursday.
Will the Flyers keep up their fast and stronger style of play, or were they just putting on a show for the LA Kings?

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Philadelphia Flyers beat the Pittsburgh Penguins, NO SURPRISE!!!

After a devastating loss to the Chicago Blackhawks yesterday, the Philadelphia Flyers went up against their cross-state rivals, Pittsburgh Penguins.  This is a team that the Flyers can beat. No matter what the record, the Flyers always seem to play off the emotions, capitalize on mistakes and come out with the W.

After a shaky first period the Flyers took advantage of the opportunities. The Pittsburgh Penguins lost their strong hold and underestimated the Flyers, whose record was 1-3-2. And, the Flyers made it anything but an easy game for the Penguins as they battled for the win.

Now 2-3-2, the Flyers desperately need to link together some wins. Throwback to last year October 7, 2013 when the Flyers had the worst start to their season in franchise history, head coach Peter Laviolette was relieved of his coaching duties just 3 games into the season when they were 0-3. I don't think a shake up like that would help the team but it's not completely impossible if they don't turn their season around.

Positive take away from this game was the players that were scoring. It wasn't so much the top line but the rest of the team stepping up to the plate and bringing home the win, which is what was missing during the first few games of the season.

All-in-all, I don't really believe that this game was that "all important game" that will drive them to build off and create a great season. I think that they need to play against every team as if they are the Pittsburgh Penguins because that seems to be the only motivator for them to play close to a 60 min game. On paper the Penguins should have been more than capable of handling the Flyers but the Flyers win game after game against the Pens when the odds are not in their favor.

Where do we go from here?  The Flyers have a lot to build from, they have a lot of great aspects to their game but they are still looking to get their first back-to-back win of the season. Their next two games will be challenging and this is where they will show what kind of team they will be this season. On Saturday they will face the Detroit Red Wings followed by the defending Stanley Cup champions on Tuesday. Beat one or both of those teams and that is what I will call "sending a message"

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Philadelphia Flyers: Optomistic but still not winning

Not the start to the season that the Flyers had in mind, but they have offered a few glimpses at the type of hockey they hope to play all season. It’s too soon to press the panic buttons just yet, with a long season ahead, but it is feeling slightly reminiscent of last season’s losing streak.

Time and time again one player often shoulders the burden for the Flyers, right now it is Wayne Simmonds with substantial contributions from Claude Giroux, Mark Streit and Jakub Vorack. The individual contributions are great and as soon as they link everyone together in a team effort they could add some confidence with a win.  The Flyers need to harness their energy and control the ice.

The Ducks have a knack for slowing down plays and controlling the pace of the game. The Ducks held that strong hold until the Flyers came back to play hockey during the 2nd period. There is no time like the present for the Flyers to elevate their game and notch the wins.

The Flyers have several opportunities to build off of in order to begin playing the season the way that they want to: Their top-line is contributing, they notched quality shots on goal and they have a good power play.

Meanwhile, the Flyers are 0-2-2 and are up against a tough line up for the remainder of October. As they continue to struggle with their shoot out skills, it appears that no amount of practice can help that area of their game. But, the team remains positive and chases after the full 60 minute effort.
If you could offer one coaching tip to the team what would it be?