Yeah I know I should have probably posted this yesterday but I needed a day to mourn and I had some other shit going on (no I wasn’t sitting in the bar). Anyway, I’m back and feel the need to address the Flyers.
With all due respect to the Devils I never expected them to own the Flyers and send them packing in five games (I called Philly in five); especially after the way the Flyers dismantled the Penguins. Unfortunately for me and ever other Flyers fan, the facts are the facts and the Devils outplayed the Flyers in every aspect of the game.
The biggest difference I saw between the first and second round of the playoffs was against the Penguins the Flyers played smart. Although Ilya Bryzgalov was a sieve between the pipes, the Flyers played a physical game, were aggressive forecheckers, and baited the Penguins into taking stupid penalties. Once they had a power play the Flyers dominated (it also helped that Marc-Andre Fleury was worse than Bryz). This type of play frustrated the Penguins and they started getting chippy. At that point I knew the series was over.
Against the Devils I saw a different Flyers team. While Claude Giroux was still Claude Giroux and Danny Briere continued to be the Andy Pettitte of the Stanley Cup Playoffs, the rest of the team looked lost. Jaromir Jagr played like he was 40, Matt Carle passed the puck to the Devils more than the Flyers, Wayne Simmonds was never a factor, and James van Riemsdyk continued to be a bust as a second overall draft pick (he did have a couple of chances in Game 1 that were for not). Bigger than that is the Devils completely took the Flyers out of their game.
The Devils played an aggressive forecheck that killed a ton of offensive chances. Instead of the Flyers making adjustments, playing a more physical game, and relying on timed passes they opted to play dump-and-chase. If you play dump-and-chase hockey against the Devils you’re not going to beat them. After watching the Flyers lose Game 2 I really got the feeling that the Flyers were still on a high from crushing the Penguins and they were looking past the Devils. It ended up biting them in the ass.
So now I know how it feels to be a fan of Pittsburgh, Vancouver, and St. Louis. Another Stanley Cup favorite collapsing like a fat man in a folding chair.
All is not terrible in Flyerland though. Looking to the future the Flyers have a young core that fans haven’t seen in some time. Aside from Giroux only being 24 and continuing to develop into one of the elite players in the league, the Flyers boasted some rookies that are only going to make this team stronger. Brayden Schenn, Sean Couturier, Eric Wellwood, and Matt Read showed a lot of promise this season, and even though he still makes some bonehead moves I like Zac Rinaldo. Now if they can only do something about the goaltending and make sure Carle and van Riemsdyk aren’t wearing Flyers sweaters next season they’ll be in good shape.
After reading this back I probably should have made time to write this yesterday because I was a lot angrier and anger is definitely more entertaining. Oh well, it is what it is.
What are your thoughts? I know if you’re a Flyers fan you know what I’m talking about and if you’re a Devils fan you’re still laughing at Philadelphia. If you a Penguins fan relishing in the Flyers loss, remember we still kicked your ass. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and let me know. Also follow us on Twitter @TheSportsRiot, and finally we got our shit together and have a Facebook page. Go to www.facebook.com/TheSportsRiot, and give us a like.
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