Orange & Black Breakdown
by Marc Siciliano on 03/13/12 at 09:07 PM ET
Fresh off a well deserved 4-1 loss on the Rock, the Flyers get a chance to quickly make amends when they host the New Jersey Devils for the final time this regular season tonight at the Wells Fargo Center.
I find it funny that I’m still having a hard time grasping the reality of the Devil’s strong play this season – especially considering their track record for success – but they were quite impressive on Sunday. Just when you think you can start to write off Brodeur in your head, he goes 4 straight games with only one goal against and 3 wins. More importantly, Volchenkov and the Devils team defense were able to hold the Flyers potent, yet suddenly sporadic offense to a measly 19 shots – the fourth fewest they’ve allowed all season.
If the Flyers want to be serious about the playoffs, they’ll have to learn to overcome these droughts tough defensive matchups. More on our neighbors to the immediate north (and slight east) after the jump.
After putting up 5 goals on a suspect Panthers squad, the offense has disappeared. In the last two contests the Flyers have only managed 46 shots, with only one goal to show for it. They’ve had problems scoring first all season, but it’s an even bigger hinderance to not score at all as opposed to simply scoring late. If they want to best take advantage of Bryz’s stellar play as of late, they’ll need to give him more offense to work with.
The good news is that the Flyers will be getting some helpful offensive players back into the lineup tonight, as both Timonen and Voracek are slated to return to the ice. In particular, Voracek will do wonders to help increase the Flyers size and skill along the boards, an area they dominate when playing their best offense. An increase in the cycle game and forecheck pressure helps wear down opponents, build confidence in the Flyers forwards and generate scoring chances by moving the puck, and Voracek is one of the best along the boards for the Orange and Black.
My key to tonights game, in sexy picture form.
Look for Danny Briere to be moving his legs tonight as well. Lavi mentioned to the press today that he thinks this is the night Danny breaks the slump, and it wouldn’t surprise me if that turned out to be the extra little incentive he needs to get out of this rut. The Flyers need Danny to start capitalizing on his opportunities and get some momentum going before the playoffs if they want to intimidate their future foe, because right now this team is capable of being bottled up quickly without many legitimate scoring threats clicking.
I’ve said it many times, but the Flyers need to start dictating games if they want to make a serious playoff run. They can’t let other teams enforce their style of play consistently, because that will never hold over an arduous seven-game series. Getting that secondary scoring going again should be the Flyers primary concern right now, because everything else is falling into place. If they can rejuvenate the dynamic offensive play that got them to this point with suspect defense, then they will prove to be a formidable opponent to anyone in the East. It all has to start tonight, with the Flyers taking back their home ice advantage against a bitter division rival.
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About Orange & Black Breakdown
The Orange & Black Breakdown looks to be the ultimate, around the clock source for news and information on the Philadelphia Flyers organization and it’s ever-present quest for the Stanley Cup. Focusing on what the team can do to achieve success is the ultimate goal.
The OBB is written and maintained by myself - Marc Siciliano. I’m a college graduate and media production professional in the sports industry with credits on projects like Hard Knocks: Bengals and 24/7 Penguins vs. Capitals: Road to the Winter Classic. A man of many hobbies, I always seem to find a way to spend a disproportionate amount of my daily routine with two things: Flyers hockey and social media (much to the dismay of my hockey impartial friends on twitter).
So what does this mean for you? The plan is to combine these
time-wasting habits passions with my love for writing to provide you with complete coverage of the Flyers from both my head and around the web, 24/7.
This is my second writing stint focusing on the Flyers, but for a much larger audience - so do be gentle. Different perspectives and opinions on the organization are welcome and encouraged. Just because I see it one way doesn’t mean I’m beyond seeing it your way as well, so speak up!
I’m always interested in interacting with readers, so find me on twitter (@marcs797) or email me (firstname.lastname@example.org) and let’s talk hockey.
Thanks for reading; Lets go Flyers!