Better With Popcorn

The Philadelphia Flyers: Quick Strike Goals Study

The Philadelphia Flyers fell to the Buffalo Sabres on Saturday afternoon in disappointing fashion. The Flyers scored two goals in the first period that left the Philadelphia faithful fairly confident; They had beaten Buffalo two previous times this season and had done so by out scoring the Sabres 11-5. Buffalo superstar Ryan Miller had allowed at least 5 goals in each of the two previous match-ups and Saturday looked to be no different. In the second period, the Flyers would lose control of the game by allowing 3 unanswered Buffalo goals in a span of 3 minutes and 40 seconds. Philadelphia would tie the game before the end of the second, but would allow a goal in the third that ultimately ended the game. The loss was Philadelphia’s third in a row and left many Flyers fans with some serious questions.

I personally have been very bothered by what I refer to as “quick strike goals”. It has seemed to me like the Flyers score a goal that puts them into commanding position and then, within a matter of moments, they allow the other team back into the game by allowing a quick goal. It has seemed like this phenomenon has been occurring more and more frequently in the last few games. I decided to look back into previous games and analyze the numbers. Here is what I found:

I would like to first define what I looked for; I wanted to calculate the frequency of what I think are considered quick strike goals. I defined a quick strike goal as any goal that was scored within 2 minutes and 15 seconds of:

1.) The beginning of a period
2.) A goal scored by the Flyers
3.) A goal scored by the other team

I then took note of the period, the Flyer goaltender in net, and the end result of the game. The time period that I focused on was January 18th (a road game in Washington) all the way to Saturday’s game on March 5th against the Sabres. During that span, the Flyers played 19 games. Of those 19 games, the Flyers allowed a quick strike goal in 13 of them. Here is a breakdown of the 13 games that the Flyers allowed a quick strike goal in:

January 18th
Vs. Washington
The Flyers lead 2-0 going into the 3rd period. Mike Knuble scores at 7.58 and then Alex Ovechkin scores at 8.38 to tie the game at two. The Flyers go on to win the game in overtime.
Time Between Goals: .40 seconds
Flyers Goaltender: Bob
Result: 3-2 in OT; WIN

January 20th
Vs. Ottawa
Flyers lead 2-0 in the 2nd period. Mike Richards scores at 16.17 to give the Flyers a 3-0 lead. 1 minute 39 seconds later, Milan Michaelik scores (@ 17.56) and then 1 minute and 18 seconds after that, Nick Foligno scores (@ 19.14) to bring the Senators within one. The Flyers lost a 3-0 lead in 2 minutes and 57 seconds.
Time: 1.39 + 1.18
Goalie: Bob
Result: 6-2; WIN

January 23rd
@ Chicago
Flyers lead 2-0 going into the 3rd period. Jeff Carter scores at 5.21 to give the Flyers a 3-0 lead. Marian Hossa then scores at 6.49 to pull the Hawks within two of the orange and black.
Time: 1.28
Goalie: Bob
Result: 4-1; WIN

February 1st
@ Tampa Bay
Teddy Purcell scores .19 seconds into the game. Purcell then scores again at 1.21 to give the Lightning a 2-0 lead.
Time: 1.02
Goalie: Bob
Result: 4-0; LOSE

February 3rd
Vs. Nashville
Carter scores at 10.18 in the 1st period to give the Flyers a 1-0 lead. Marcel Goc then scores at 11.17 to tie the game at one a piece.
Time: .59 seconds
Goalie: Bob
Result: 3-2; WIN

February 10th
Vs. Carolina
Briere scores at 11.27 in the 3rd period to make it 2-0 Flyers. Tuomo Ruutu scores at 12.07 to cut the Flyers lead in half.
Time: .40
Goalie: Boucher *
Result: 2-1; WIN

February 13
Vs. Los Angeles
Drew Doughty scores .17 seconds into the 2nd period.
Time: .17 seconds
Goalie: Bob
Result: 1-0; LOSE

February 15th
@ Tampa Bay
Flyers up 1-0 going into the 2nd period. Dominic Moore scores .59 seconds into the period to tie the game. Hartnell scores at 7.33 and then Powe scores on a penalty shot at 8.48 (1.05 after Hartnell’s goal) to give the Flyers a 3-1 lead.
Vinny Lecavalier scores at 9.55 to cut the lead to one and then Teddy Purcell scores at 10.48 (.53 seconds later) to tie the game at three.
Time: .59 + .53
Goalie: Boucher *
Result: 4-3 in SO; WIN

February 16th
@ Florida
Flyers lead 3-0 in 3rd period. Rostislav Olesz scores 1.40 into the period.
Time: 1.40
Goalie: Bob
Result: 4-2; WIN

February 18th
@ Carolina
In the 3rd period, Braydon Coburn scores at the 14.49 mark to tie the game at two. Erik Cole then goes on to score at 16.57 to ice the game.
Time: 2.08
Goalie: Bob
Result: 3-2; LOSE

February 24th
Vs. New York Islanders
Carter scores at 5.05 in the 3rd period to give the Flyers a 3-1 lead. Matt Martin then scores at 6.31 to cut the lead to one.
Time: 1.26
Goalie: Bob
Result: 4-3 in OT; WIN

March 1st
Vs. Toronto
Versteeg scores at 5.49 in the first to give the Flyers a 1-0 lead. Nikolai Kulemin scores at 6.10 to tie the game at one.
Time: .21 seconds
Goalie: Bob
Result: 3-2; LOSE

March 5th
Vs. Buffalo
Flyers lead 2-0 in the second period.
Drew Stafford scores at 6.52
Tyler Ennis scores at 8.48
Andrej Sekera scores at 10.32 to give the Sabres a 3-2 lead.
Time: 1.56 (Stafford-Ennis), 1.44 (Ennis-Sekera), 3.40 (Stafford-Sekera)
Goalie: Bob
Result: 5-3; LOSE

Here is a breakdown of when the goals occurred:

FIRST PERIOD: 4
SECOND PERIOD: 4
THIRD PERIOD: 5

In the 13 games where the Flyers allowed a quick strike goal, they went 8-5. All 5 of the losses came in games when Sergei Bobrovsky started in net. Bob’s record in the 13 games with quick strike goals was 6-5, where as Brian Boucher’s was 2-0.

From January 18th to March 5th, Bob’s record is 7-5-1. Bob finished out January 4-0, then went 3-3-1 in February, and has started March at 0-2. In Bob’s last five games he has amassed a record of 1-3-1 and allowed at least 3 goals in each of the five games. Even though this is Bob’s first year in the NHL, he played professional hockey since 2006-2007 in the KHL (Russia’s pro-league). In Bob’s 4 pro seasons in Russia, he never played more than 35 games (8 games, 24, 32, 35). After Saturday’s game against Buffalo, Bob has now played 40 games this season.

I don’t mean to put all of the blame on Bob’s back, because I honestly feel as though the entire team is not playing their best hockey. The quick strike goals are not completely Bob’s fault (the flu has ravaged the locker room), but I do feel that they are a problem. Bob makes amazing saves, but at times I question whether Bob’s technique is falling to the way side of highlight reel mastery. I personally have been hoping to see Boucher get some solid playing time for a while. Since January 22nd, Boosh has started 6 six games and has gone 4-2. At the very least, I think Boosh should play just to give Bob a break.

The Flyers next game is Sunday afternoon when they take on the New York Rangers at Madison Square Garden for NBC’s Game of the Week.

The puck drops at 12.30 PM.

Follow me on Twitter:
http://twitter.com/#!/mattbrigidi

Comments

George Prax's picture

This is really great, good job Matt and welcome to the team.