Flyers Embarrass Blue Jackets, 9-2
Coming off of a disappointing shootout loss to the Devils on Thursday night, the Flyers hoped to take advantage of the cellar dweller Columbus Blue Jackets on Saturday.
And take advantage they did, beating Columbus, 9-2.
After 20 minutes of play, the Flyers took a 5-0 lead into the first intermission.
James van Riemsdyk opened the scoring 1:38 into the game. Two minutes later Jaromir Jagr threw a pass towards the net that deflected off a Blue Jackets player into the net to make it 2-0.
From there the team erupted into their most dominant performance of the season.
After Max Talbot put the Flyers up 3-0, Columbus goalie Steve Mason was pulled. He allowed three goals on 12 shots.
Back-up Allen York would not fair much better allowing two goals on five shots, one of which came at the hands of former Blue Jacket, Jake Voracek and another to Claude Giroux.
Mason reentered the game at the start of the second but the result was the same.
Six minutes into the period, Columbus had an opportunity to chip away at the Flyers lead when Andreas Lilja was called for tripping.
Philadelphia would be the one to capitalize.
Even though the Flyers only had four men on the ice, they managed to break a 3-on-1 led by Sean Couturier. Couturier and trail-man Braydon Coburn traded passes prior to Couturier netting his fourth goal of the season.
Just before the end of the second, Wayne Simmonds and Matt Carle added two more goals to the Flyers growing total. During the period, the team scored three goals on ten shots to take an 8-0 lead into the third.
While the Flyers offense dominated the first two periods, it was their defense that had to step up in the third.
Columbus registered 21 of their 35 shots in the third. Despite a strong performance by Ilya Bryzgalov, the Blue Jackets scored two goals in the third.
But the damage had already been done.
In total, eight different players scored goals for the Flyers, which set a new franchise record for most players to score in a single game. Couturier was the only member of the team to score more than one goal.
Afterwards he reflected on his growth.
“As the year goes on [you] get more and more comfortable,” Couturier said. “Just hope it keeps going well.”
After allowing New Jersey to climb back into Thursday’s affair, the dominating performance against Columbus was a treat.
For Voracek, a player who spent three years in Columbus, the win was all the more sweet.
“I'm really happy. It's been tough to play against my friends,” he said humbly. “I was very excited for this game to come up. I'm really happy with my team."
While it was encouraging to see the team take care of business in such a dominating fashion, one would be hard pressed not to wonder if the game would leave some kind of hang over.
Beating the worst team in the league should be an easy task for the Flyers. Could a game like this leave the team comfortable with their development?
Coach Laviolette hopes that’s not the case.
“We need to continue to push towards the top of the conference,” he said. “I think the minute you relax at any point, whether it's on the ice or in practice or with your thoughts… I think you probably get your ears pinned back pretty good. We need to stay focused [and] stay sharp."