Orange & Black Breakdown
by Vindisi on 10/21/11 at 02:23 PM ET
I may have jinxed us last night by going overboard in my praising of the Capitals two main stars. So from here on out, I will hold the praise for the opposition until after the game.
People like to point and say the turning point was Hartnell’s atrocious turnover that gift-wrapped the first goal for the Capitals. If you are a great team, you should be able to overcome mini-meltdowns and grind out a win. Last night proved we are still raw in the clutch department. But that comes with experience.
For those that choose to take the easy street and pin it on one player, the real turning point was hands down the entire second period. The Flyers took it to the Capitals in that second stanza and didn’t capitalize once. Defensively the Flyers were solid but the offense failed to scratch out the game-tying goal. If the Flyers score even once in that second period, than we see less squeezing of the sticks and a different outcome.
Two issues that can be corrected from tonight’s game:
-Flyers defenders couldn’t hit the broad side of a barn tonight. Every shot from the point went wide which only makes it tougher to push through for the game tying goal. Mind you, I’m not talking about the shots that are purposefully directed wide to avoid a blocked shot. Back to square one at practice for the D-men because if you get it on net, good things will happen. Finesse over power is a beautiful thing (Exhibit A: all of the Capitals’ goals tonight)
-In addition, the lack of finish was mind-numbing. I don’t know how many times where the Flyers had the goalie down and out, but couldn’t muster the puck across the line. The only time we saw someone finish was the rook in the closing seconds. One or two guys crashing the crease is fine, but if the whole line is doing that, it crowds the crease and makes it tougher to capitalize on those loose chances. There was one instance where we had four Flyers in the blue paint courtesy of an overhead shot. I love the enthusiasm, but in those instances you have to play smarter not harder.
Google imaged “Finnish barn”
(Almost) Player of the game: Couturier. And I’m not saying this because he scored a garbage time goal. He was a huge reason the Flyers went on that huge run in the 2nd period stringing together consecutive strong shifts. When there was a mad scramble in front of the net, he almost scored from his back to tie the game up. It would have helped the Flyers change their mindset from chasing the game to playing within themselves.
One thing I can almost guarantee, new line combinations for Saturday’s game. If Lavvy doesn’t like it, he will fix it. One thing I’m hoping remains constant is keeping Read and Briere together for a few more games (positive sign, they led all forwards in ice time)
Final thoughts of the night:
1) Not enough of the Giroux line out there tonight (only 16:12 of ice time for your best player…hmm)
2) Lavvy loves him some Matt Read (led all forwards with 21:32 of ice time)
3) Hartnell - sharpen your skates my dude (twitter has a #HartnellDown count currently at 21)
4) Need to see more Cooter on the ice
5) Timonen is a warrior
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).
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