Not good. You can only tempt fate so many times (I’m looking at you, bin Laden). The Flyers have now outplayed their opponent – by a somewhat wide margin – in three of their five playoff losses. The common denominator? Goaltending. Let’s delve.
Neither the loss in Game 1 nor Game 2 can be blamed on the Flyers’ goaltending, but once again a superior opponent netminder was able to beat the Flyers.
via the Flyers:
The Flyers had 54 shots on goal tonight, which is a season high. The regular season high was 46 (11/15/10 vs. OTT) and they also surpassed the 49 SOG in Game 6 vs. Buffalo. It is the most shots for the Flyers in a playoff game since their franchise-record 75-shot game vs. Toronto in Game 4 of the 2003 ECQF (4/16/03).
The 22 shots in the third period set a Flyers franchise record for shots at home in a single period of a playoff game. The previous record was 20, done twice before, most recently in the 2nd period of Game 2 of 1980 Semifinals vs. Minnesota. . The overall franchise record is 28 at PIT in the first period of Game 3 of the 1997 ECQF.
The Flyers put 89 pucks towards the net tonight (54 on goal, 23 that were blocked and 12 that missed), which is a playoff high.
It seems like every playoff game we are marveling at how many shots the Flyers got off. The problem is that none of them go in.
Both Bob and Bouche played well last night and, as per the usual, we can find defensive lapses which led to the Bruins’ goals. Once in a while, however, it would be nice to see a Flyers goaltender bail them out. The Bruins (and Sabres) both had significantly more defensive issues than the Flyers, but they were often erased by Thomas (and Ryan Miller). 20 years later, and the Flyers still don’t have a goaltender that can win them a game. How many more times can they outplay their opponent and lose, before the squandered chances catch up with them? No more in this series.
God Bless America: Lauren Hart’s ridiculous God Bless America should have put a couple of tears in your eyes. If it didn’t, you either A) hate America or B) are a bit less sensitive than I am. Probably B- I cried during The Rookie when Dennis Quaid told his wife he made the Majors.
JVR: God Bless America kicked off one of the most intense five minutes spans of the season. Just 30 seconds into the game, JVR, the Flyers' only American-born forward, let us all know that he was playing the game in Beast Mode. And he supported the troops post-game with a Navy SEALS hat.
via the Flyers:
James van Riemsdyk posted eight shots on goal, making this his fifth game this postseason with eight or more shots on goal. He had never posted more than seven shots in a game in his two-year career before this year’s playoffs started.
Video montage of JVR’s night put together by CSN, after the jump.
Boucher: According to Lavs, Bouche left the ice in the second period with a "malfunction." That's new.
Q: Can you talk about the play of your goalies, especially Bob coming off cold off the bench?
"Yea it was great. Boosh had a malfunction and Bob went in and did his job. He played terrific and once the malfunction was fixed, Boosh went back in."
Q: Speaking of the malfunction was that not kind of of a gutsy thing, when he takes that shot of the hand there, it was clearly bothering him. That's not an easy thing for a guy to come in.
"I thought he came in and did a great job, really good."
Per observers, Johan Backlund was in the press box as the third-string goalie. He left to go to the locker room once Bouche left the ice, but, obviously, he wasn't needed.
Pronger: Oh look, Howard Eskin (and our speculation about Pronger leaving the bench on Saturday) was right. Pronger missed Game 2 with either a back or leg injury. Oh, hockey playoffs. You can officially believe nothing you hear about injuries.
The Captain: Mike Richards played his best game of the playoffs – by far – last night, leading the team with 10 shots on goal. For some reason, he just can’t seem to finish. He doesn’t quite have the hands around the goal that Briere has…
Briere: Well, maybe not. He had a malfunction:
Adam McQuaid: He flew home with the team, so we'll go ahead and post this:
which was followed by this:
It was that kind of night.
Here are the JVR highlights.
H/T to Robert Horner, Matt Fehrle, and kmaccrap.tumblr.com