In the second installment of my post-game notes from this weekend’s Flyers games, I’ve broken down what should have been a walk in the park for the orange and black that almost turned into a blown effort.
Flyers Vs. Islanders: 3-2 Win
- Sergei Bobrovsky was given the start again. Back-to-back games, especially against the Islanders, are good times to give goaltender Brian Boucher the start in net and to give Bob a rest. He looked fine, but the team has another rough stretch coming in a few weeks and I’d hope that they don’t run into the same problem they ran into mid-November with goalie fatigue.
- The Flyers played down to their competition today. It happens a lot with this club in Sunday afternoon games, but it almost cost them the win. Leading 1-0 heading into the third period, the team coughed up two goals to the Islanders in a 36-second span. They managed to get back on top before the end of regulation, but it was too close for comfort.
- Nikolay Zherdev started on the fourth line after getting on Laviolette’s bad side with a number of bad turnovers against the Devils. He was thrown back with Giroux and Carter on and off after the first period in an attempt to generate offense, but nothing seemed to click. The most frustrating play by Zherdev was when he fell down getting back into the defensive zone during an Islanders rush. Once he got back, he failed to pick up P.A. Parenteau, watching as the Islander tied the game. At this point, I don’t see where Zherdev is fitting anywhere on this team.
- When Frans Nielsen took the lead for the Islanders at 5:48 of the third period, firing a shot that found Bobrovsky’s five-hole, the linesman actually blew his whistle before the goal, which should have negated it. Instead, he somehow negated the whistle (a rarely seen reverse “intent to whistle,” apparently).
- Andreas Nodl had the game winner against the Islanders in their last contest and had the critical powerplay goal that tied the game and swung the momentum back to the Flyers. Nodl’s continued success is a great tribute to the organization’s decision to keep him over tryout Bill Guerin. Now, Guerin for Zherdev is another matter…
- The Flyers have now won 17 of their last 18 games against the Islanders. In yet another twist of the knife, the last time that the Islanders were in the playoffs in back-to-back years was when Laviolette coached them between 2001 and 2003.
The San Jose Sharks will be in town to face the Flyers on Wednesday in their only match-up in the regular season. It will be the first of three games in four days for the orange and black, including a rematch with the Boston Bruins.