Orange & Black Breakdown
by Marc Siciliano on 01/24/12 at 08:40 PM ET
Fresh off one of the most exciting games the Flyers have played this season, this rookie-loaded squad with a hint of vets will take to the ice to face a Florida Panthers team that somehow still stands amongst the top of the Southeast Division, regardless of their 3-4-3 record in their last 10 games played. Even with Briere, JVR and Jagr out of the picture the Flyers have been playing pretty well as of late, and continuing that effort should be the team’s primary focus tonight.
What else will it take for the Flyers to come away with a victory tonight? More after the jump
Before we get down to business with the game at hand, you need to get down in another way. I’m talking about getting #hartnelldown, because Scotty is on his way to the All Star game and couldn’t be more deserving of the honor this year. As a great ambassador of the game, having someone who will appreciate the notion on the ice for this exhibition game will be a great treat to the fans. I hope #19 is ok with being Mr. Irrelevant though; how could he not?!
There are a lot of ways to achieve victory in the NHL, but the most efficient ways to do so while ravaged with injuries is to win the special teams battle. Over the last two games, with 1 power play goal against in the last 11 attempts and 5 power play goals for in 13 chances, the special teams play by the Flyers has been sensational. It can’t be said enough how good a job rookies Couturier and Read are doing up front on the PK, allowing Talbovt and Giroux time to rest and focus their efforts elsewhere throughout the lineup. In addition, with the injuries to the big guns up front, Brayden Schenn hasn’t skipped a beat while filling in admirably on the PP.
The biggest reason for this PP success seems to stem from the amount of shots being directed at the net from the point, which serves to open up space for the forwards as the PK forwards feel more pressure to defend those guys up high. This opens up space down low for a guy like Hartnell to find his way between the forwards and defenseman of the opposition and set up for those beautiful one timers he is slowly becoming synonymous for, and also gives the forwards more room and a higher probability of success while crashing the net.
When you take advantage of your special teams opportunities, you allow this roster of grinding forwards play to their game and overcome the skill lost in JVR, Briere and Jagr. It will be necessary to continue to take advantage of these opportunities if the Flyers hope to sustain success without the big guns in the line-up.
The good news for the Flyers? This is a very attainable mission, and it begins tonight versus a woeful Panthers PK that ranks 24th in the league. Dig in boys; the opportunities will be waiting for you.
Lets Go Flyers!
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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!