Playoff Preview Game 2: Flyers / Sabres
It seemed that they did, and had stepped up their game by taking care of some problem areas that had plagued them down the stretch run to end the season. They took care of their defensive zone for the most part surrendering just the one goal.
They also got what they needed from Bobrovsky who took care of the shots he was supposed to. All this while also cutting down on turnovers, just 3, and committing just two penalties along the way. There is also a stat out there crediting the Flyers with 40 hits, not sure many of them were meaningful.
That being said the one trouble spot that still carried over from the end of the season was the power play where the Flyers went 0-5. It seems they try to be too cute and look for the pretty tic-tac-toe goal and pass up on many opportunities to get a shot on net.
That is just one part of the problem on their power play , another would be their positioning. They like to set players behind the net on either side for cycling the puck down low. There are two issues with this for the Flyers right now and they are both connected. The Flyers were one step away from rebounds in game one mainly because they were just out of position.
They need to take one cycle guy and throw him in front of the net to screen Miller. This has been an issue all season for this team with the man advantage or at even strength. In game one Miller was able to see mostly every shot and that is something the Flyers have to change tonight to beat Miller.
Take a look tonight see if this changes, also take a look in front of Bob and see how much traffic the Sabres cause in front of him. Not only the Sabres but the Flyers defensemen get caught standing in front of the goal screening their own goalie only to leave the man at the side of the net wide open for a tap in or rebound goal.
Flyers have lost Game 1 34 times in their history and have won 14 of those series
Flyers 3 turnovers in Game 1 - Sabres 13 turnovers in Game 1
Flyers won 54% of the face-offs
Sabres 16 blocked shots
Flyers missed the net 23 times
Now that Buffalo is up in the series 1-0 and has taken home ice advantage from the Flyers, tonight's game becomes a must win and the Flyers will try to do that once more without the services of Chris Pronger. Some say missing Pronger was not a problem last game as they surrendered just one goal. An 0-5 power play says they missed his leadership and booming shot from the point in game one.
While the Flyers are playing with more purpose, we have seen this Flyers team that showed up in game one plenty of times this season. The Flyers have struggled at times this season to score, a problem they may not have foreseen coming into game one.
This team has struggled against the most average of goalies as they did against Ottawa and Atlanta and will take everything they have to crack this Olympic Silver Medalist. They need to just get back to hockey 101, back to the basics which they did some of in game one by cutting the middle of the ice off and forcing the Sabres down the wings.
Now they just need to dump and chase with a hard consistent forecheck, establish a screen and get a quality shot on net. Sounds like a plan to me. Enjoy your Philly sports filled Saturday with the Sixers game 1 playoff in Miami at 3pm, the Flyers game 2 at 5pm and the Phillies with the night game at 7pm. Let's Go Philly!! and Let's go Flyers !!!!
Game 1 Highlights
Step Up Players