Well, here we are. Two games into the shortened 2012-2013 ravaged by the back and forth of the NHL Lockout, and the Flyers end opening weekend at 0-2-0. What’s going on? Where are the holes? Let’s take a look at today’s game.
Slow Starts - For the second game in a row, the Flyers came out of the gate looking slow, rusty, and out of whack. The boys need to start the game when the other team does in order to avoid starting the second period in a hole. So far, the second and third periods have been great. I expect they’ll get this under control shortly.
Penalty Kills – Today, the Sabres had six opportunities to capitalize on the man advantage, succeeding on three of them (3 for 6). Yesterday, the Penguins went 2 for 3. That’s five failed penalty kills out of nine so far this season. This has to be better. Also, stay out of the box!
Power Play Opportunities – The Powerplay went 1 for 4 today. Yesterday, 0 for 5. Stop trying to be pretty, set it up, and shoot the puck.
Defense? Hello, Defense? - My frustrations take over and get the best of me when I watch our defense leave the slot open and seemingly roll out the red carpet for any incoming opponents. Kimmo Timonen has continued to show his veteran presence and skill, while Andres Meszaros’s return from a ACL injury has been solid. Other than that? I’m looking for Luke Schenn to step up his game. I’ll go on record here with saying that this is the biggest need in the short-term for the Flyers. Holmgren needs to bring in another solid defenseman and get rid of the holes. Last year, we were saying that Bryz needed to step up. This year, we need the D to support Bryz.
Lack of Veteran Leadership – We need the veteran leadership of Danny Briere back in the line-up. We are missing Jaromir Jagr. With such a young team, they need the guidance and leadership.
Overall, I would expect that the first couple games of the season are going to be rough. Let’s hope that they pull it together soon.
I’m assuming no practice tomorrow, given the loaded weekend and being back in action vs. the Devils on Tuesday.
2 Goals from Giroux in the past two games, and a nice contribution from Couturier
Cheers to Bryzgalov, Giroux, Timonen, Simmonds, and Laughton for their solid play.
Jeers to Fedotenko, L. Schenn, and Voracek. Step up your game, fellas.
Next game is Tuesday vs. New Jersey. Keep it here for updates.