Better With Popcorn

Flyers Spoil Boston B Party, Win 2-1

9:42.

That’s how long into the Philadelphia Flyers first contest it took for a collective groan to rise from their fan base. The groan actually grew over that time but when Boston Bruins forward Brad Marchand scored the game’s first goal it got louder.

A team full of new additions looked terribly shaky on the ice. The goalie who made dump trucks full of money was beaten on just the fourth shot on net. The aging defense had given up too many odd man rushes. It looked like the banner-raising in bean town would be a Bruins bamboozling.

Eventually, the Flyers found their legs and looked like a unit. With the team on a power play after a slashing call on Nathan Horton, they finally cashed in.

Jaromir Jagr found Claude Giroux on a zone entry and Giroux broke through the Bruins defense on his way to a beautiful deke and goal. The score was eerily reminiscent of his goal against the Pittsburgh Penguins a year prior. Falling down and fading to the goalie’s left side, he deposited the puck in the net while taking it of its moorings. Jagr’s assist made him one of nine players to hit the 1600th career point plateau.

The goal came with just 50 seconds remaining in the first period and it looked like the two teams would come out with a clean slate in the second. With time running down on the first period, Wayne Simmonds took the puck behind Boston’s net. After a shot from Andrej Meszaros, the puck found Jakub Voracek’s stick and he spun a shot past Tim Thomas with just three seconds left in the first period.

.

What seemed like a lopsided start turned into a lead and the Flyers celebrated like they were playing peewee hockey.

Philadelphia maintained their aggressive play and dominated the second period. Although neither team could tally on the scoreboard, the Flyers led 25-12 in shots on goal through two periods. Once they got going in the first period, the cohesiveness was evident. Despite needing to find chemistry with all the new faces, the team found a way to sustain pressure.

They cycled the puck well.

They were persistent on the forecheck.

They played like they should with a younger lineup intent on making an impact.In the third, Boston threw their best effort at the Flyers, but some timely Bryzgalov saves and solid defense turned them away. In one instance, Kimmo Timonen robbed Horton with a save of his own. For as good as Bryzgalov was in stopping 22 of 23 shots, a little luck was welcome too.

Thursday’s effort was nowhere near perfect for the new-look Flyers, but there were far more positives to take from the game than negatives. Rookies Sean Couturier and Matt Read played very well despite being put in incredibly important situations in their debuts. Bryzgalov made some fantastic saves and made the routine ones as well. The new additions of Jagr, Simmonds and Voracek made their presence felt.

All in all, it was about as good as the Flyers fan base could’ve wanted.

Despite that first 9:42.

 

Feel free to follow me on Twitter or Google +. You can also email me at mtrible@thecheckingline.com or click here to listen to me talk Flyers hockey.

11 Comments

Bense's picture

So that's what its like to have a #1 goalie Smile

First off, that was the most ridiculous banner celebration ever...

Now that I have that out of the way... Yes we looked shaky in the beginning and I was a bit worried we would collapse worse than we did. They cut through our D way too easily and Bryzgalov was always there to shut the door (aside from the goal obviously). Everyone complained when we let Betts go, but the best line through the first 10 minutes for the Flyers was #4... Talbot/Rinaldo/Nodl looked great!

Sean Couturier... the more I see the more I like. The kid was a stud defensively out there... was out for the most time on the power play and even had a few short handed chances with his "slow" skating. Lavy put him out there for the final few minutes of the game and he passed all the tests in my mind. As soon as he steps on the ice I feel like we have 3 defensemen.. oh and he can put up points too.

The D looked awful to start but then came together. Pronger seemed to get better as the game went on, and I was happy to see Mesz jump up on the play a few times. Voracek is going to have a monster year, and I promised him via Twitter that I would get his jersey if he scored in game 1... well... I might have to buy two... Voracek and Couturier.

Solid solid victory... I am extremely impressed with everyones play. Literally every player had a good game and the chemistry for Jagr/Giroux is already there... thats without JVR playing at 100% (I think he needs to get ramped up to play 100%).

Excellent start... bring it on!

Caleb Pass's picture

"First off, that was the most ridiculous banner celebration ever..."- Holy crap, that got on my nerves

Been said before, but I'll say it again; Jagr/Giroux is insane and so much fun to watch. Smile

I felt as if there were a ton of question marks coming into the season for the Flyers, but, I'm impressed. Wahoo!

Larry DAngelo's picture

"First off, that was the most ridiculous banner celebration ever..."- They dragged a lot of people out to talk tonight , was waiting for Paul Revere to show up. Yeah refreshing to not be on the edge of your seat when the puck is in the Flyers D Zone

Matt Cefalu's picture

And that, my friends, is why they pay Timonen & Bryz the big bucks.

Both had monster games last night.

As much as Flyers brass downplays the idea of the locker room having a different feel, you can tell how cohesive the roster is getting just by the goal celebrations, especially on the 2nd one last night. The newer and younger guys are completely jacked up to be on this team and that's what makes the team fun to watch and will ideally give them a chance to win each night, provided they are consistent and can handle the adversity that comes with the regular season.

Great game and an even greater win.

George Prax's picture

Does anyone have a video of the ceremony? I want to see what all the fuss is about.

Bense's picture

Probably going to have to get it on DVD or torrent it... much too long for youtube Smile

If you go to bruins.nhl.com they have some video in their main news feed. The ceremony started at 7 oclock and went on until about 7:40... (I actually don't remember).

It started with every single player lifting the cup again... and kissing it... (Recchi was there too). Then they had like 8 people speak, gave Recchi a stupid jacket, talked and talked.. Chara came to talk.. then they introduced the "legends" who walked their slow asses onto the ice, they stood there and shook hands with all the players. Then they slowly bring the flag down and move it through everyone to the other side of the arena to finally raise it..

Oh and I forgot.. there was about 10 video montages in between...

George Prax's picture

Oh dear.

John Russo's picture

Two points! What a great way to open. Things I liked:

-Jagr still has some of the best hands in hockey. He and Giroux are going to be beautiful together.
-Speaking of G, holy tits what a goal he scored!
-Nice seeing other new guys like Simmonds (assist) and Voracek (goal) contribute early).
-Bryz looked very sharp. He's made saves I'm used to seeing on the other end from Thomas, Quick, Miller and Lundqvist last year vs the Flyers.

It's early but I enjoyed the game thoroughly.

Phil T's picture

Giroux's goal was sick.

Mark Trible's picture

Jagr told him not even Lemieux could have scored it. Lol he keeps fueling that Pittsburgh fire

Phil T's picture

Haha did he really?