This game never really seemed to get out of first gear, not entirely surprising given that the Flyers probably burned out their clutch in that second period of the Ducks game. Decent but unspectacular goaltending foiled far below spectacular offense from both sides. And a point is a point. And three out of four points in California is not bad. It's not perfect by any means, but we feel better about it when we come up with excuses.
Some quick thoughts...
- FIFTH straight road sell-out. In another market with mediocre attendance. Flyers = America's Team?
- A point is better than no point. Especially when that one point puts you in sole possession of first in the Atlantic for the first time all season, with a Rangers loss to the Caps last night.
- The Flyers are absurdly injured at this point. When Luca Sbisa is forced to play forward, you're having injury problems. When Luca Sbisa is a STARTING forward, it's gotten completely out of hand. Gone is "Broad Street Bullies" for the time being, we've got "Team Red Cross" now.
- He's been ultra solid in regulation, but Antero Niittymaki has been exposed as an awful shootout goalie. Pull to the right, let him go down, put it over his glove. The Devils did it twice to win, now the Kings did it twice to win. I think some thought has to be given (at least come March or so when things get tighter) to putting Biron in net for shootouts. Hey, it worked for Gordon Bombay and Julie Gaffney...
- As bad as Niittymaki is at 1-on-0's, , Scott Hartnell is infinitely worse. He has gotten an amazing number of breakaways in the past few games, and always manages to make an ass of himself. I laughed when he got awarded a penalty shot, and had absolutely zero confidence in him doing anything but embarrassing himself. Especially in a situation like a penalty shot where there's no backcheckers, he should just wind up between the dots and rip a slapshot, which is by far his best weapon. Save himself the humiliation. Hartnell's on pace for thirty goals, but he might as well just dump and chase if he finds himself alone inside the blueline.
- As it's abundantly clear from the locker room interviews... ...it's good to see the Flyers staying calm and grounded. Let's hope they get their pulses up a little bit though before they play the Caps, though.
Flyers flew home to Philly for a day or so back home before hopping on the train south to DC. I would say that returning to Philadelphia makes this a seperate road trip if anyone asked me (no one asked me).
There will be a lot of good memories returning to Verizon Center to face the Caps. A lot. Even that beer bottle to Carter's head.