Penalties, Penguins Take Down Flyers
by Tyler J. Altemose
Ron Burgundy: “Boy, that escalated quickly... I mean, that really got out of hand fast.”
Champ Kind: “It jumped up a notch.”
Ron Burgundy: “It did, didn't it?”
The Philadelphia Flyers were looking to recover from a sloppy performance against the Tampa Bay Lightning and extend their winning streak this season over their cross-state arch rival Pittsburgh Penguins.
Things were going alright for the Flyers until the end of the second period.
It was all downhill from there.
A plethora of undisciplined, unnecessary, and costly penalties turned the game from a close contest to yet another Penguins domination of the Flyers. Down 1-2 toward the end of the second period, the Flyers would eventually lose to the Penguins 1-5. It’s their second regulation loss in a row and their second lackluster performance in successive contests.
* * *
Head coach Peter Laviolette tweeked the offense somewhat, opting to sit Dan Carcillo in favor of Andreas Nodl. The lineup was as follows:
Nodl / Richards / Carter
Hartnell / Briere / Leino
JVR / Giroux / Zherdev
Shelley / Betts / Powe
Pronger / Carle
Coburn / Timonen
O’Donnell / Meszaros
Scratches: Carcillo, Bartulis, Walker, Laperriere (IR), Leighton (LTIR)
* * *
The Flyers pushed offensively from the get-go. About three minutes into the game “Jody Shelley Fightwatch 2010” ended as he and Mike Rupp locked horns. Rupp ended up losing his helmet and took a pretty good beating from Shelley.
Danny Briere later netted his fourth goal in five games on a PP goal which put the Flyers up 1-0. He is on pace for 74 goals this season. I say this because it’s probably the only good offensive news I can deliver from last night’s game.
Chris Kunitz tied the game later in the period off of a nice pass from Sidney Crosby. As usual the Flyers paid too much attention to Crosby and not enough attention to the guys around him. Crosby set Kunitz up to break past the defense. He fired a shot right through Bobrovsky’s five hole. After the Kunitz goal the pace of the game quickly turned in favor of the Penguins, but the Flyers held out and kept the game knotted at one after one.
* * *
The second period saw more undisciplined play from the Flyers. The Orange and Black was able to stave off a 5-on-3 thanks mostly to Braydon Coburn and Blair Betts. The latter has been a puck blocking machine. That combined with his faceoff prowess makes him a fine (albeit underrated) asset to this organization.
Coburn continued his impressive season start by managing a shorthanded offensive rush. When the rush failed he hustled all the way back to the neutral zone to steal the puck and set the Flyers up for an offensive flurry.
The Flyers put on a nice offensive effort at the end of the period with about three minutes to go, but struggles in the defensive zone and their inability to find the back of the net prevented them from capitalizing. More penalties would follow. With less than a minute to go in the second period Mark Letestu would score during a scrum in front of the net, putting the Pens up 1-2.
* * *
Not only had the Pittsburgh Penguins as a whole been struggling this season, but notable players such as Sidney Crosby had been as well.
This is what you call “foreshadowing.”
Penalties caught up with the Flyers yet again in the third period. Sidney Crosby scored not one but two PP goals in approximately 1:30. It put the Pens up 1-4. Matt Cooke would later score on a shorthanded empty net goal late in the period to cement the win for the Pens 1-5.
* * *
“You go back and look at them, they're avoidable. The penalties are avoidable. It taxes the penalty killers, it taxes the defensemen enough to kill the penalties, it takes the role out of the bench. ... 5 on 5 [has] got to be better ... the penalties that were taken have to come out of the game. We have to be more disciplined,” Lavvy told the media after the game. “We have to be accountable to what we do on the ice. We can't kill that many penalties. We can't go to the box. If you do you're going to find that you're putting still players on the ice too many times. It'll burn you, and it burned us.”
The Flyers have a five day break until next Thursday when the Anaheim Ducks come into town.
* * *
It was difficult but I managed to find three Stars of the Game.
1. Braydon Coburn
2. Daniel Briere
3. Jody Shelley
With Matt Carle struggling lately, Chris Pronger still not playing like he's 100%, and Kimmo Timonen taking a couple of penalties tonight, I honestly have to say that Coburn was the best defenseman on the ice last night. He’s been great so far this season.
Daniel Briere is on pace to break a Flyers scoring record. Offensively, he is the only constant.
Jody Shelley has been bringing a solid forecheck which continued tonight, he nearly scored on a redirect, and he beat up Mike Rupp. In a 1-5 loss that’s good enough for me.
Until next time…GO FLYERS! One hive y’all.