Better With Popcorn

Flyers Slam Lowly Sens, 7-2

The Philadelphia Flyers headed to Ottawa looking to snap a seven-game losing streak at Scotiabank Place Tuesday night. A place that had haunted the franchise seemed like a good place for a 'trap game' with the Washington Capitals awaiting on Thursday.

Instead, the Flyers (4-0-1) did what they were favored to do and trounced the Senators (1-5-0), 7-2.

It was a rookie that made his mark early on in the game and put the contest out of reach. Forward Matt Read scored the game's first goal on a bad-angle shot against goalie Alex Auld. He would go onto assist on two more goals to become the first rookie since Alexandre Picard in 2007 to notch three points in one period.

The second goal was on a power play when Wayne Simmonds drilled a shot over a scrum of players in the crease and past Auld. Claude Giroux added another power play goal to the tallies.

Max Talbot then scored his first of the season at the end of the first period. With a 4-0 advantage, the Flyers looked to be in cruise control.

In the second period, things got sloppy for the Flyers and Jason Spezza broke Sergei Bobrovsky's shutout bid with 1:01 remaining. Philadelphia took four penalties in the stanza.

For the majority of the third period it seemed the final score would stand at 4-1. Then, James van Riemsdyk deflected a power play point shot past Auld's replacement, Craig Anderson. The goal came with 4:35 remaining in the game, and less than a minute later Sean Couturier scored his first NHL goal.

Finally, with just 45 seconds remaining, another Flyers rookie, Harry Zolnierczyk, scored his first NHL goal. Zolnierczyk was called up today to replace Andreas Nodl who was suffering from a lower-body injury.

Ottawa would score with just 20 seconds left in the game to bring the final score to 7-2.

Philadelphia clearly overpowered the Senators on the roster, but the case was the same last year. In a lethargic effort, the Flyers were beaten soundly in Ottawa last year, this team hit first and hit hardest. They lost focus in the second period and parts of the third but came back to put away the tired Senators.

With the Capitals coming to Philadelphia Thursday, it was important for the Flyers to handle their business. Thanks to some outstanding rookie contributions, they did just that.

So long, losing streak.



Read was the game's first star. Giroux and Couturier rounded out the honors. Bobrovsky stopped 21 of 23 shots. The Flyers outshot Ottawa, 10-3 in the first period. Despite the high scoring, Daniel Briere failed to register a point. Read and Scott Hartnell led all players with +3 ratings. Read and Simmonds led the team with 4 shots on goal apiece. Chris Pronger led the team in ice time, with 21:48.

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John Russo's picture

This team is practically scoring at will right now, which was everyone's biggest fear in letting go of Richards/Carter. They're proving they don't need a 40-goal scorer as long as everyone is scoring.

And for the love of God stop with the penalties!

Mark Trible's picture

too undisciplined right now, Russo.

Matt Bernot's picture

They really aren't scoring at will, Alex Auld's goals (ESPECIALLY the 1st one) were based on Auld being out of position, or maybe the fact that Auld was trying to do his best Vesa Toskala impression.

Through 5 games, the majority of Flyers (Looking at Giroux and Matt Read as most guilty) have completely unsustainable shooting percentages, or are shooting at a fair percentage, but are getting an unsustainable number of chances (Wayne Simmonds being most guilty here)

The players who are within normal limits given their role/past history/development curve:

Forwards: JvR, Sean Couturier, Jagr (though his goal/assist ratio should normalize),

Defenseman: Pronger (too many assists, not his fault, goal total normal), Carle (point total normal, but his SH% is double what it should be), Timonen, Meszaros (granted that's because Coburn is UNDER acheiving)

Also, the team cannot cannot cannot win a faceoff to save their lives right now. Sure Briere had a great game tonight, but he's notorious for being kind below average in the dot.

This run to start the season isn't going to last. The Flyers have played 5 games, 3 of which came against weakened opponents (BOS, NJ, OTT) and 2 against quality opponents (VAN, LA)

Boston was weakened by their own pregame ceremony which led to the Bruins checking out after the first period of that game. The Devils are still terrible, Ottawa is an ECHL team at best, and I'm no longer joking when I say that.

Vancouver: except the fact that Roberto Luongo turned into a sieve, that game had it's share of problems. At least 2 of the goals Bryzgalov should have had back and the D seemed lethargic which led to lazy penalties and MORE PP's against.

Los Angeles: quality game, marred by lack of discipline on both sides. Still got a point.

The Flyers are not as strong as their record looks. But the problems are (at least in terms of disipline and faceoffs) fixable.

To Fix discipline: get rid of Shelley and Rinaldo, use Harry Z and Schenn instead, move Couturier and Talbot to wing.

To Fix faceoffs: Trade Hartnell for Kyle Turris give Turris Hartnell's salary (not cap hit) for the 2 years that Hartnell is owed 3.7 this season and 3.2 next, which is about a 3.4 cap hit. Phoenix gets 4.2 cap, but doesn't actually pay the money, the Flyers get a guy who's on the trending up on faceoffs (was about 49%) last year, but trending towards a season of 52%.

Turris would also be good for roughly a 40-45 point season.

Larry DAngelo's picture

It was relaxing to watch but they still have some things to iron out. Trivia question answer from the pregamer

Which Philadelphia Flyer was the first U.S. born player in NHL history to score a hat trick in a Stanley Cup Final game?

Paul Holmgren May 15, 1980 vs. N.Y. Islanders