Better With Popcorn

Roloson Bolts Door on Visting Flyers

This Philadelphia Flyers team is notorious for poor starts after an extended break and tonight would be no different.

Going back to last years Olympic break and even in the playoffs when the Flyers took care of the Devils in five games, then had an extended wait to start the next round. Their next round opponent? The Boston Bruins.

The team who put the Flyers down three games to none in the series, forcing the Flyers to make history to move on. This year was no different after the holiday break when the Flyers lost 5-2 to the Vancouver Canucks after an eight days between games.

So when the Flyers faced the Tampa Bay Lightning tonight,the team breathing down their necks in the Eastern Conference, you would have thought they would have found the motivation they needed to put some distance between themselves and the Lightning.

That was not the case tonight as the the Flyers got off to a much worse start than you could have ever imagined when they found themselves down 2-0 just over a minute into the game. Both goals were scored by Freddy Purcell, the second coming from a bad bounce off the back boards through Borovsky's legs into the slot where Purcell put it in the open net.

Steve Downie would add insult to injury when he scored with just over five minutes left in the first period putting the Bolts up 3-0. Bobrovsky looked bad on all three goals but none of the three were his fault.

The first goal was a defensive break down as the Flyers looked like they were standing still. Then he got caught on a bad bounce with Purcell's second goal and was screened badly and did not see Downie's goal.

Despite being outshot by the Flyers 13-6 the Bolts carried a three goal lead into the first intermission. Looking to spark his team, Peter Laviolette would relieve Bobrovsky and start the second with Brian Boucher between the pipes.

The Flyers would tighten up a little not surrendering a goal in the second period and not getting enough quality chances to get one of their own. The Flyers again would lead the lightning in shots on goal in the second, 14-11.

The third period would come and go with only the Lightning finding the net in this period. Just about half way into the third period Steven Stamkos would wrist a shot by Boucher as Boosh dropped to one knee before the shot was taken.

He did not show confidence in himself as he should have challenged the shooter and made himself look big. The Flyers would take the only penalty in the period and would once again out shoot the lightning 11-4.

Roloson stopped 38 shots to pick up his fourth shutout since coming over to the Bolts in a trade with the NY Islanders.

Bottom Line

As it is unrealistic to think a hockey team can win every game,is a consistent effort too much to ask for ? While the Flyers are still in first place and are a lock for the playoffs these kind of losses are head scratchers.

The Flyers are an all or nothing team this season, either they are red hot or look like they are lost for most of the game. Fortunately for them they have been the red hot team more often than not.

They need to find a middle ground on nights they struggle, meaning when they struggle the whole team can't struggle. They need to work on getting their game play to a consistent level before they enter this seasons playoffs.

There is plenty of time left to figure these things out and by no means is there any reason to panic. If the goaltending continues to be inconsistent it will be interesting to see what Holmgren does at the deadline.

For me there is still a question in goal. I do like Bobrovsky and think if he gets hot at the right time could lead this team through the playoffs. It's just a big IF. As Hall Of Famer Gene Hart would say "Good Night,Good Hockey".


Sergei Bobrovsky had his six game win streak snapped tonight as he surrendered 3 goals on six shots and was pulled after the first period.

Claude Giroux had his career high seven game point streak snapped tonight as he and the Flyers could not solve Dwayne Roloson.



Kyle Andrew Busch's picture

Roloson has been very good for Tampa this year. He already has like 4 shutouts for them. That's unreal. It wasn't for a lack of trying on Philly's part though. 38 shots, usually you score a few

George Prax's picture

Honestly, if the Bolts can pick up a defenseman or two by the deadline (and I think there are plenty available), then I could definitely see them taking the Flyers in a 7 game series.

Larry DAngelo's picture

They definately have a shot after grabbing Roloson from the Isles. The Florida teams both seem to have the Flyers number. There is always one or two teams that come on at the end of the season and pull off an upset or two in the Play-offs. Just glad there are no byes in the play-offs or the Flyers would be out in the first round as it is obvious this team struggles when they have time off.