Saturday, October 13, 2012

(Fake) GAME 2 of 82: Flyers dominate Islanders in New York

Following the Flyers disastrous season opener against the Boston Bruins in which goalie Ilya Bryzgalov looked as bad as can be, Philadelphia looked to shake off the rust for a meeting with their long Island Rivals, the New York Islanders. They made it apparent that scoring would not be a problem this year as they dropped four goals on the Bruins net minder, Tuuka Rask, but could they keep their torrid pace going against the Isles Rick DiPietro?

Starting with the opening faceoff the Orange and Black commanded the first period. Leading in shots and scoring chances they quickly tallied just over five minutes in when Scott Hartnell scooped up a rebound and dumped it into the open net off of a Claude Giroux point shot. Philly looked to widen the gap again when Wayne Simmonds toe-dragged around the Islanders Travis Hamonic and stopped on a dime to lift the puck over the unsuspecting goaltender's shoulder for the team's second goal. But Philadelphia's suspect goaltending reared it's ugly head once again just as the clock was about to hit zero as Michael Grabner took a slap from the point and Bryzgalov was caught out of position, pulling New York within one.

After a scoreless second, newly acquired defensemen and brother of Brayden, Luke Schenn came up with an unlikely score when pressure closed in on Dipietro and from close in he collected his own rebound. From that point on the Flyers played a lot of stay-at-home defense, blocking shots, clearing pucks and sealing the deal with a Danny Briere open-netter on the way to their first win of the season, 4-1.

Sure, the game wasn't very exciting, but victories don't have to be as long as they get you two points. The biggest surprise from this bout however was the total absence of young superstar, John Tavares. Playing almost 30 minutes, Tavares failed to get on the board, only attempting one shot. This game was almost day and night compared to Thursday, when goaltending was a sieve and the defense was non-existent. Possibly it's a sign of things to come. But in my opinion that's far too early to tell.

Next game is Thursday, October 18th, when Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin and the hated Pittsburgh Penguins come to town.

No comments: