The morning after: Flyers vs. Avalanche 10.11.10

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

Let’s get right into this, shall we?

Claude Giroux has arrived. I think the Flyers can leave four men back on the blue line to set him up with home run passes. Once this kid gets in on a breakaway, it’s all over. He’s taken three shots so far this season and two of them found the back of the net.

Giroux played 2:30 on the penalty kill tonight and has been averaging about 3:18 a game with the man down, which is a significant jump from the 53 seconds he averaged per game on the kill last season. Along with Jeff Carter and Mike Richards, he makes the team’s penalty killing unit incredibly aggressive, which can be very disruptive to the opposing team’s powerplay.

Carter looked strong and confident, registering two goals and leading all forwards in ice time. He got a lucky bounce on his second goal but that could very well be a sign that things are back to going his way this season.

Carter can be a streaky scorer. So, don’t be surprised if he posts a few more goals in the next couple games.

Sean O’Donnell looked great tonight. It seemed like every time he was on the ice, he was doing something to keep the puck in the zone, blocking a shot, et cetera. Admittedly, his game wasn’t flawless but it was the best he’s played so far in this young season.

After bashing Andrej Meszaros in the preseason, I owe him some praise for his solid play so far in the regular season. He needed some time to adjust to a new team and a new system. He’s starting to look more comfortable on the ice now. His salary may always stick out like a sore thumb but, even if he is on the third pairing, he’s still averaging about 18 minutes per game for now.

It’s clear that Chris Pronger will need some time to get into regular season form but he shouldn’t feel any added pressure to rush himself beyond how he contributed tonight. The other defenders are capable of sharing his minutes.

The powerplay might take a hit while Pronger works to regain his form but that’s OK. Who needs a strong powerplay when the team keeps scoring on the penalty kill?

You’ll never se a man hungrier for an empty net goal than Darroll Powe was tonight. He was a man possessed as he skated down the ice towards the puck faster than an Aroldis Chapman fastball.

Scott Hartnell’s preseason balance miracles have not carried over into the preseason and, as Seth Hastings put it:

HARTNELL FALL COUNTER ends at 10 tonight. It was a +6 night for Scotty.

Three games in and not a single point for Nikolay Zherdev yet. He did, however, get crushed by Ryan Wilson tonight:

Meaningless Numbers:

  • Claude Giroux is on pace for 55 shorthanded goals
  • Similarly, Sergei Bobrovsky is set to go undefeated with 55 wins this season and a 2.00 GAA
  • sonny lusch

    I agree with all of the above.

    Still, I can’t shake the feeling that the defense as a whole is lost without Pronger as the leader. Even with him, there will be lulls but the ship is usually righted quicker when he’s there…Ultimately, a win is a win, but it had to be one where they blew a 2-0 lead with lax play in the middle 30 minutes before snapping to attention.

    It’s clear that Prongs is the Flyers’ 21st century answer to Mark Howe. Hope he’s able to get 100% soon.

    • http://flyersfaithful.com Marcello D

      I like the Howe comparison and I agree with you.

      Prediction: I think we’ll see Matt Carle emerge as more of a leader this season.

  • sonny lusch

    I agree with all of the above.

    Still, I can’t shake the feeling that the defense as a whole is lost without Pronger as the leader. Even with him, there will be lulls but the ship is usually righted quicker when he’s there…Ultimately, a win is a win, but it had to be one where they blew a 2-0 lead with lax play in the middle 30 minutes before snapping to attention.

    It’s clear that Prongs is the Flyers’ 21st century answer to Mark Howe. Hope he’s able to get 100% soon.

    • http://flyersfaithful.com Marcello D

      I like the Howe comparison and I agree with you.

      Prediction: I think we’ll see Matt Carle emerge as more of a leader this season.

  • http://xx89.us XX89

    Didn’t Zherdev have 5 goals during the preseason? Where’s he been now that it counts?!

    • http://flyersfaithful.com Marcello D

      He did. It’ll come. I think the Flyers have been on the penalty kill too much. Once they’re at even strength or on have a man advantage, he’ll get more opportunities. I’m not worried about him yet but I’d like to see him get on the board soon.

  • http://xx89.us XX89

    Didn’t Zherdev have 5 goals during the preseason? Where’s he been now that it counts?!

    • http://flyersfaithful.com Marcello D

      He did. It’ll come. I think the Flyers have been on the penalty kill too much. Once they’re at even strength or on have a man advantage, he’ll get more opportunities. I’m not worried about him yet but I’d like to see him get on the board soon.