Michael DeNicola

02/03/11

 

Yesterday I began writing this game review several times. I had to discard each attempt because I just came off as a little, complaining bitch.

Given a day and a half to cool down.....I'm just as pissed.

 

The Flyers went into Tuesday night against the Tampa Bay Lightning after spending seven days off the ice due to the All-Star break. Which, by the way, in my opinion was a total failure. The skills competition was a let down (except for Zdeno Chara's record breaking slapshot challenge) and the actual game itself turned into an AND 1 competition. It was all pure shit. And all that hype the NHL and Marvel Comics invested into The Guardian Project kept every hockey fan a bit curious. Instead it was 5-minutes of torture during the second intermission. One giant, lame display at how terrible the league's talking heads run an event.

Finally some real hockey to look forward to, right?

Hell no.

If you remember correctly, Tampa's net tender Dwayne Roloson began this season as an Islander. He was recently traded to the Bolts for an AHL defenceman, which means the Bolts got a steal.

Prior to Roloson throwing on the squad's sweater from the Sunshine state, the Philadelphia Flyers had no problems lighting him up like Studio 54. It came to many Orange & Black fans' surprise that the 41-year old goalie managed to blank Philadelphia on the scoreboard, and chalk up the Flyers' fourth scoreless performance of their 2010-11 season.

Roloson stopped each of Philadelphia's 38-shots on goal, while Sergei Bobrovsky stopped 3 of 6 Tampa shots in the 1st before he was pulled and Brian Boucher stepped in, stopping 15 of 16 fired pucks in the 2nd and 3rd periods.

The Lightning lit their first lamp only 19-seconds into the match as Teddy Purcell lifted a wrister over Bobrovsky's glove. The chance came off a turnover at center ice and the Flyers never recovered.

Teddy netted his second of the night later in the 1st, while ex-Flyer Steve Downie got his fifth goal of the season and then league super star Steven Stamkos sealed the 4 - 0 victory midway through the 3rd.

 

There is literally nothing positive to discuss about that game. Our boys simply got destroyed while looking like pure garbage at the same time. The blue lines skated slowly, our scoring lines played 'Dump & Chase' all friggin 60-minutes long when they weren't busy turning the puck over in our own zone or at center ice.

Bobrovsky looked like a child, and Boucher received his normal zero-offensive support while making a handful of decent saves.

Laviolette stood behind the bench naturally chewing his gum and hibernating his hands in his suit pockets.   

Our two All-Stars, Danny Briere and Claude Giroux, were about as existent on the ice as a vagina on RuPaul. But where one or two players don't show up, the depth on the Flyers roster can soon take over.

Not in this case.

Captain Mike Richards and James vanRiemsdyk combined for a negative-5 on ice rating. The player with the most shots? Andrej Meszaros, a defenseman, with six.

 

Our Power Play was dreadful. What else is new?

The Bolts went shorthanded four different times giving the Flyers' special team 8-joined minutes to capitalize on the man advantage. Instead we wound up with no goals and almost got scored on by Tampa's PK twice.

It was too much. Where did the #1 Conference leading Philadelphia Flyers go? Because what we witnessed Tuesday night was not them. Not even close.

"I don't think we were out of sorts in the first," Flyers captain Mike Richards said. "I just thought they were very opportunistic. Gave them, probably, too many scoring chances. It's just one of those games, I guess." ~ per Flyers.NHL.com

Just one of those games, Mike? And what kind of passive ass remark is that? I get no feeling whatsoever from that statement that Richards takes any responsibility. Nor does the team he represents, for that matter!

Those kinds of games should not be happening. Not this deep into the season at least. Not after seven days of rest. But I'm sure he knows that. Just as I'm sure Laviolette reminded them in the locker room after the tilt.

When you go down 2 - 0 on two shots and then show no signs of bouncing back....what am I supposed to think as a fan? What am I supposed to jot down as a writer? Tuesday's game and the shutout we faced against the Florida Panthers are by far the two worst games this season. Both times it was the same Flyers squad that showed up and dragged ass for 60-minutes of play.

You would think that after 50 competitions these sorts of games would never continue to happen for the rest the season. Especially...ESPECIALLY from this Flyers team.

 

But the only thing I can do now is do my best to put that silly shit behind me and hope the Flyers come out tonight at 7:00 versus the Nashville Predators with tenacity and the lust for redemption.

We can expect Boucher between the pipes given Bobrovsky's shown clear signs of how much he isn't ready for this NHL paced hockey. Reports have already gone out on Twitter and Facebook about how the Flyers are interested in Ray Emery. Apparently he's healed up and looking for a home.

What's this tell me? Panic has set in and this Boucher/Bobrovsky tandom isn't going to cut it the rest of the season. Now that there's room in the cap to stretch, the Flyers are capable of making a move in free agency and/or trades before the deadline.

But let's just get past the Predators before we start talking acquisitions.