Game 5 Breakdown

Michael_leighton_goal
I tried to find a picture that adequately depicted what it would be like to take your childhood sweetheart to the prom, only to have her ditch you mid-dance, before you rekindled the flame with a recent ex, who had trouble keeping her legs closed last summer, and danced the night away with her until she ditched you just prior to sealing the deal so she could go participate in a painful to watch three-way with the aforementioned high school sweetheart and her new beau.

So I just used a picture of Michael Leighton.

I can’t even point the finger at Leighton. He came in cold – it doesn’t get much colder – having played in only one NHL game this year. For two and a half periods he did what he had to do to give the Flyers a chance. A failed clearing attempt that resulted in a little too much scrambling and boom: open rebound to the other team’s best player. Sucks.

A few thoughts:

Goalies– I don’t even know anymore. Clearly Lavs has no desire to establish a consistent net presence. It’s as though he views all three goalies as having the same ability and just uses whichever one is next in the rotation. It’s worked for 15 months and it’s not going to change.

Here’s are the responses I got last night when I posted the Game 6 ‘tender question on Twitter (in order): Bob, Leighton, Backlund, Bob, Kendrick, Halladay, Neil Little, Dwyane Wade, Grant Fuhr, 4 goalies 1 cup, Leighton, Bob, Bouche, a “B” goalie, Big bear, Bouche, Bouche, Hextall, Parent, Vanbiesbrouck, Backlund, Frose, Parent, Drunk Parent, Hextall, Mak LaForrest, Pronger, Gran Fuhr, Parent, Parent, Lavs, Garth Snow, Garth Snow, Hextall, Greg Goldberg.

That’s it, someone call Bernie.

Outplayed– For four of the five games in this series the Flyers have outplayed the Sabres, yet they’re down, 3-2.

Think I’m joking? Look at these stats via the Flyers:

The Flyers put 87 pucks towards the Buffalo net (39 on net, 29 that were blocked, 19 missed) compared to 50 for the Sabres (32 on net, eight blocked and 10 missed).  That is a series high.  The Flyers have put at least 60 pucks towards the net in four of the five games of the series.

 

It all comes back to goaltending… once again. While it’s not fair to point the finger at the goalies – except for last night – it would be nice – no, helpful –  if a goalie would steal a game once in a while. We shouldn’t be surprised, however, the Flyers went the entire season without a shutout. But it goes beyond just the goalies:

Every skater on Buffalo’s roster blocked at least one shot tonight except Patrick Kaleta. 

 

Every player (I don’t count Kaleta as human). That’s incredible. 

Powerplay– It’s terrible. 2-for-26 in the playoffs. Raise your hand if you thought they were going to put an end to that in the final two minutes of last night’s game. – raising!!! –

Pronger and Carter– According to CSN Philly, they are both done for the series. That seems to verify both reports by Howard Eskin about Pronger re-breaking his hand at the end of March and Carts having a knee sprain. Meanwhile, according to (@flyersfanatic12) on the Tweets, Carts was in the Captain’s Corner box with a bunch of hot girls. He probably had a better chance of scoring there than he would have playing the wing on the powerplay.

Briere goal– One of the best hockey plays you’ll ever see. Dump and chase. Lifted pass around the net, snatched out of air by Briere, stuffed in. Briere is a big-game player.

Watch the highlights and Lavs' presser, after the jump.


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8 Responses

  1. What a disappointing game. A bunch of really lame goals.
    Why does it seem like the Flyers have such low quality scoring chances? And are the Flyers trying to set an all-time record for passes in a game.
    Come on guys, don’t go out like this. Let’s at least win this series.

  2. Tell Leighton to talk to Marty Biron. I think they both dated that girl. In fact the other two goalies on the team were waiting in line for their turn this year. Poor Philly’s.

  3. Yes, it looks like Pronger is gone for the series and now so is Carter. And with Richards getting maintenance days every other day, you know he’s got to be hurt somehow and it’s affecting his performance (respect for him to still be playing and give it his all, unlike some other arseholes around here calling him out). They almost won last night but they’ll have to make do with what they have.
    One thing Lavs has to be upset with is guys like Carle. He’s still slacking off out there like it’s regular season, making stupid blunders getting the puck out and up the ice. Look at his plus-minus over the playoffs and tell me those don’t show how much of a detriment he is right now (and a detriment for their backslide the last 1/3 of the regular season). Lavs needs to decrease his ice time, demote him to the 4th line, and have the rest of the D-corps compinsate. I don’t know, can they bring up Gustafsson for Game 6? Elmination busting = desparation time. That’s right, I’m calling Carle out.
    And yes, Leino, and Hartnell, both need to step it up a notch and help out Briere too.
    And now I’m as stupified about their netminding situation as I was before the opening of this season.
    And about the power play. It seems that they’re just passing the puck one too many times when set in the O-zone. It seems to work better when they just shoot and make Miller fight for the rebounds. They’re not going to have the time to set-up the screen PP after PP like they were used to earlier this season when they had Pronger to QB. I think this is what the TV guys were saying last night after the game too.

  4. While I agree that goal-tending is our major concern, we can’t put it on Lavs making weak decisions. The Flyers haven’t had a consistent, strong and intimidating net presence since Hextal. Leighton isn’t completely NHL ready yet, Bobsky doesn’t have the experience and Boucher, while experienced doesn’t know where the puck is half the time (as proved by two of the weakest goals I have seen in playoffs). I think that Boucher is our best bet in the playoffs, but he needs to be pulled after soft goals and I think Lavs made the right decision.
    Our power play is ineffective for the same reasons we’ve been ineffective 5 on 5: we make too many passes and too many of those passes get intercepted. When we get the puck in the offensive zone and there’s a lane to the net, we need to shoot. The Sabres have remarkable blocking stats and the way to combat this is to shoot often and hard so that they don’t want to block more than one.
    The Flyers can win the cup but they need to start playing with urgency. I’m not seeing the fire and passion that needs to be present in playoff hockey. This isn’t regular season and Lavs and Richards need to find a way to light a fire under this team, or we’re not going to make it.

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