Vokoun Plays Scrooge as Flyers Fall 5-0
The Flyers came into this evening leading the Pittsburgh Penguins by five points in the over all standings. With the Flyers 5-0 loss and the Pens 6-1 win the Pens now pull within three points of the league leading Flyers.
Pittsburgh will play two more games during the Flyers eight day hiatus, their first place occupancy may not last much longer. Tonight's loss was disappointing on a lot of levels and leaves some questions that may not have existed before this 5-0 loss.
The Flyers are second in the league in goals for and could not managed to squeeze one by the scroogey Thomas Vokoun. What is most disturbing is the Flyers came out flat when they should have been eager to play tonight's game and add two more points to the win column.
With the team not having any jump in their step or any desire to win puck battles the Panthers took advantage from the very beginning. The Flyers often looked lost in the defensive zone leaving men open and reacting late when covering their man.
The Flyers were not strong in front of their net and often had trouble clearing the crease. Bill Thomas would pick up a goal by shooting a wrister off Bartulis' shin passed Bobrovsky as he was attempting to clear the crease.
Their were five penalties in the game and the Flyers were responsible for four of them. Of the five goals the Panthers would score, none of them were on the power play.The Panthers would score three goals in the span of six minutes, scoring two at the end of the first and one more just under four minutes into the second period.
With the team playing so poorly and looking horrible doing so Laviolette would relieve his young Russian net minder. Boucher would come in and relieve Bob , it was reported that Leighton may get to dress as Bob's backup but it didn't happen. In hind sight this would have been a good game for Leighton to get some work in.
Boucher would surrender one goal in the third as the Panthers would pick up the 5-0 shutout.The shutout would be Vokoun's fourth of the season and this loss would be just the Flyers second regulation loss in the month of December. Both of the Flyers regulation losses this month were shutouts, this most recent one by the Panthers and the other on December first by the Boston Bruins.
The Flyers mentally took the night off and started their Holiday break one night too soon. Listening to Laviolette's presser after the game I almost feel better that the team lost going into the break. He sounded like he was not going to let a few days off ease the pain of the poor effort his team put forth.
He was not happy with the effort and neither were the fans as they let the team know through the course of the game with a smattering of boos. So many times the Flyers go into a break on a winning streak or playing at a high level only to come back with slow starts.
Look for the Flyers to come off the break playing with at a higher level as the coach should have them well prepared and ready to go.
The Flyers will be holding their own team skills competition on Tuesday night at the Wells Fargo Center. This is a ticketed event and has been sold out. The competition will be aired on Wednesday night at 7:00pm on TCN (The Comcast Network).
As I take some time during the Holiday and these eight days between games to spend with my family, I wish for a speedy recovery for Chris Pronger and a Stanley Cup championship for the city of Philadelphia, that is all.
Happy Holidays and thanks for reading,