Flyers Vs. Devils ECSF Game 2 Preview: Jakubs Ladder
It was no surprise the Philadelphia Flyers struggled to find their game in the first period of Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Semifinals against the New Jersey Devils. What was not known, was how long it would take the Flyers to get back to the swing of things and which players were going to lead the way.
Claude Giroux,and James van Riemsdyk accounted for all four Flyer goals. Briere has a history of performing well in the playoffs and looks as if it is rubbing off on JvR and Giroux who have flourished during this time of the year, as well.
One player who could fit that mold in time is Jakub Voracek. Voracek's play at times has a dash ofin it. It is not surprising as the two are from the same neighborhood in Kladno,Czech Republic.
Coming from the same town made it easy for Voracek to idolize Jagr, whose poster was hanging on his bedroom wall while growing up. Voracek has puck possession skills and boxes out his defender with the "Jaromir butt smear" keeping the opposing player out of stick reach.
Voracek also has great vision, which makes him a great passer as he displayed on Briere's first goal. On Briere's over time game-winning goal, Voracek showed off both of these Jagr-esque type moves as he fended off one Devil defender, which bought him time to see Briere open at the point.
As Voracek fought off the defender draped on his back with one hand , he managed to get a one handed pass off to the point in time for Briere to Slap it home passed the visually impaired Martin Brodeur.
Since he has been with the Flyers he has climbed up the depth chart earning more responsibility and getting ice time on special teams, which helped him put together a career year this season (18goals and 31assists).
While Voracek has some skill he is still young and has room for improvement in some areas. He needs to generate more shots and in doing so will cut down on his puck possession time, as he tends to hold on to the puck a bit too long causing him to cough up the puck.
He will be a restricted free agent at the end of the season as he was only signed to a one year, $2.25 million contract by the Flyers after being traded from Columbus. He will almost certainly be a player the Flyers will try to re-sign this off-season.
Another player who had a big hand in the win Sunday but did not necessarily fly under the radar is Ilya Bryzgalov. He had to be alert at all times during the first period of Sunday's game especially in the first half of the period in which the ice seemed tilted towards the Flyers end.
Bryzgalov ended the period stopping 14 out of 15 shots. Two of the three goals that beat Bryzgalov through the five-hole came off of Flyer turnovers. Book-ends by Matt Read (first goal) and the aforementioned Jakub Voracek who's turnover in the Devils zone sent Petr Sykora on a break away with 8:42 left in the game.
That is just one example of Voracek's youth and part of his maturing process. As mentioned above, through grit and determination he made up for it on the overtime goal.
Sykora beat Bryzgalov easily, a goal that was a "softie", one he needs to stop as the Flyers had the game under their control. These are the types of goals that make Flyers fans distrustful of his play.
Step Up Players
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