The morning after: Flyers vs. Sabres 10.01.10

“The morning after” is a review of the previous night’s Flyers’ game which, in theory, provides a more objective perspective on the game.

Well, that was the most entertaining game of the preseason.

  • Brian Boucher looked good in net tonight, outdeuling Ryan Miller to a 3-1 Flyers victory. He’s played the toughest games of the preseason, which should be an indication that, no matter how high the organization is on Sergei Bobrovsky, Boucher will begin the season as the starting goaltender.
  • This team makes plays that are so much prettier now. The additions of Nikolay Zherdev and Ville Leino, as well as the emergence of Claude Giroux help. Peter Laviolette has something to do with that as well. The entire team looks better and more aware of where the other players on the ice are. Even Scott Hartnell made some dazzling moves tonight and has had smoother — relatively speaking — breakaways this preseason.
  • I simply cannot say enough good things about Erik Gustafsson. He looked great again tonight and logged over 20 minutes of ice time once again. He’s playing in every situation, including a 5-on-3 penalty kill, which really shows that he’s earned the trust of Laviolette. I’m going to be heartbroken when they send him back to the Phantoms in favor of Oskars Bartulis and/or Matt Walker.
  • Matt Carle has been quietly having a very good preseason.
  • Someone should tell Dan Carcillo he needs to earn a spot on the team. Even if he may not be 100% healthy just yet, he’s emerging as the clear front runner for Riley Cote’s old seat in the pressbox.
  • Most surprising stat of the night: Blair Betts won only 8% of his 11 faceoffs.
  • Least surprising stat of the night: Zherdev, Giroux, Jeff Carter, and James van Riemsdyk all tallied points and looked strong in yet another preseason game.