Orange & Black Breakdown
by Marc Siciliano on 03/01/12 at 10:08 PM ET
For the Flyers, this season has been highlighted by various inconsistencies and streaks. Once one aspect of their game seems to pull together, another facet seems to come unglued. The streaks haven’t usually been pretty either. Lately, goal-less droughts and come from behind efforts have been the primary focus of such runs. The particularly scary stats that is surfacing around the internet this week, as highlighted by Bill Meltzer? The Flyers have yielded the first goal in 8 straight games, and haven’t won back-to-back efforts since January 12th. Yeesh.
It has left them on the plateau of mediocrity that embodies the bottom-middle section of the Eastern Conference, shuffling lines rather than solidifying roles and frustrating both the team and the fans in the process. Is there any hope to right the ship tonight against an Islander team that has had the Flyers number?? Abso-freaking-lutely! Let’s talk about it after the jump.
HOPEFULLY the Flyers find comfort in home ice
The key to victory will be to get the puck behind Evgeni Nabokov, who has stopped 104 out of 108 shots vs Philly this season. This offense - through all its streaky play from key vets and rookie fatigue - is still one of the more potent offenses in the league. Think about it; guys with the skill level of a Danny Briere or Claude Giroux most always turn the corner at some point in the season and start to find the net again. While JVR has less proof of such a turn around due to his lack of a proven track record, you’ve got to believe his skill level will begin to show at some point.
Simply put, given the depth and production the guys like Simmonds, Schenn, Hartnell, and Talbot have shown, even if those guys begin to regress (which is likely) there are guys in prime position to pick up the slack. The offense should be the least of the clubs concerns, regardless of their play as of late. Nabokov and the Isles have had their number this season, but as a whole this team – 1-2-2 in their last 5 and well out of the playoff hunt – shouldn’t be too difficult for the Flyers to handle.
In order to start correcting the mental mistakes that have plagued this team, it’s all about getting the legs moving and crashing the net. When you aren’t scoring getting super picky about your shots isn’t going to help; get it on net and make room for yourself to get a rebound opportunity. Still, I think as a whole they are all just grabbing their sticks a bit too tight and not going with their hockey instincts. These types of things turn around when players keep their legs churning and simplify their game. The Flyers have yet to do so, and the mistakes have been prevalent.
Which Bryz will show up tonight?
The last time these two teams played, Ilya Bryzgalov had one of his best games as a Flyer before ultimately succumbing in 1-0 shootout loss. Coming off a supreme performance versus the Sharks, a strong home effort from Bryz could be just what the doctor ordered to get The WFC rockin’ again in the Flyers favor. The action kicks off at 7PM on MSG +2 and CSN Philly – be sure to tune in and help welcome the Flyers back home! (…assuming they show up to play).
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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!