Hurricanes Bury Flyers, 4-2
Sometimes, too much of a good thing can turn out to be just too much.
Or to put it more eloquently, familiarity breeds contempt.
This is certainly the case when discussing the Philadelphia Flyers and Carolina Hurricanes.
The two teams have played a total of three times in the last month and following Monday night’s 4-2 loss, the Flyers will be happy to have seen the last of them for a while.
In their first meeting on October 29th, the Flyers bounced back from a disappointing loss to the Winnipeg Jets with an explosive display of offense.
On Monday night, the team once again met the Hurricanes following a loss to the Jets.
This time, however, it would be the Hurricanes who supplied the offense.
Following a timid start to the game, Carolina opened the scoring with a power play goal by Alexei Ponikarovsky. The play was a result of beautiful passing amongst Ponikarovsky and line mates Chad LaRose and Jussi Jokinen.
The trio continued their impressive work in the second.
Following an early goal by James van Riemsdyk, LaRose immediately put the Hurricanes back up by two.
The Flyers continued to fight and managed to pull within one later in the stanza, only to have Ponikarovsky crush their hopes with his second goal of the game.
LaRose and Jokinen once again supplied the helpers.
The line finished the night with a combined total of eight points, including three of Carolina’s four goals.
The group was able to weave together intricate passing plays with ease and consistently kept the Flyers defense off balance as well as out of position.
While one must give credit where credit is due, it’s also important to recognize that the Flyers defense could have played a better game.
Flyers head coach Peter Laviolette certainly believes so.
"I think they buried us,” he said in reference to his defense. “We were a second [late] everywhere and… we weren't strong enough in the battles."
Kimmo Timonen agreed that the team played down to their opponents.
“We were flat today,” he said. “I don’t think they even played that good, but we were flat today, no energy, no jump. It’s one of those games nobody felt really good before the game, and it showed.”
While the Flyers continued to build upon their weak performance from Sunday, not everything about the game was disappointing.
Both Flyers goals originated from power moves by van Riemsdyk.
On the first goal he battled behind the Carolina net, fought to the front and attempted a shot. He then fielded his own rebound and slammed the puck to the back of the net.
On the team’s second goal, van Riemsdyk powered around the net and was able to throw a pass into the slot despite his weight going in the opposite direction.
The pass ultimately found the red-hot stick of Matt Read who put the puck into the net for the sixth time in five games.
He has now scored goals in five consecutive games.
It was encouraging to see van Riemsdyk establish himself in the game. To this point, he has had a hard time making his presence known despite recording 16 points in 19 games.
His performance on Monday was what many had expected after last season’s impressive postseason run.
Following the game, he was more focused on the team than himself.
“We’ve lost two in a row now and it’s definitely not acceptable,” van Riemsdyk said. “So we’ve got to go back to the drawing board and get ready for Wednesday.”
Many thanks to Samson Photos for allowing us to use their photos.