• December 2, 2022

Game Three Loss put Flyers in a Choking Situation

Sixty three seconds.

The Flyers broke a franchise record by allowing two goals in the first sixty seconds of tonight’s Game Three blowout. Aside from Sean O’Donnell showing Nathan Harton that you’re never too old to tussle with the young dogs, there was nothing positive from today’s game. The Flyers, tanking 5-1 against the Boston Bruins, head to Game Four looking worse than a men’s adult league.

To address the most glaring deficiency, the goaltending from Brian Boucher was not where it needed to be for this team to be Stanley Cup worthy. Faulting him alone for the loss wouldn’t be fair; it was another series of mental lapses from the defense that allowed the Bruins to take high percentage shots on goal. I doubt Boucher starts the next game, which means that tonight’s journey into the abyss may have been Boucher’s last time on ice as a Flyer.

Jeff Carter was back in the line-up after a two week stint on the IR. Many expected that he would play in a limited role similar to Chris Pronger’s return in the first round, but Carter actually had more ice time than the Scott Hartnell-Danny Briere-Ville Leino line. I don’t know if that’s a sign that Carter is feeling better than he looked or if our top line is completely ineffective against the Bruins.

I have tried countless times to give Kris Versteeg the benefit of the doubt, but he does not belong on this squad. He was on the ice for the first goal and was tossed around like a rag doll. The Flyers were credited with 31 hits compared to the Bruins’ 24, but anyone who watched the game would know that the Flyers were being viciously outhit. 

The Flyers (or perhaps more accurately, the officiating) also allowed the Bruins to score their first powerplay goal of the playoffs on a 5-on-3.

This is a choking situation on the magnitude of the Terry Murray era. While the loss of Pronger throughout the playoffs has certainly hurt the team, the rest of the defense should be much better. I’ve been a big fan of Matt Carle since his trade from the Tampa Bay Lighting, but he has been at fault in every single game of this series for goals.

It will never be said out loud, but the lack of faith in goaltending has likely been the factor that has made the team play so poor defensively. It’s a vicious cycle- the questionable goaltending leads to weaker defense which leads to worse goaltending and so on.

I am skeptical that the 2011 Flyers can repeat the recent past based on how badly their play has been, but at least they will have company in the Washington Capitals.

Josh Janet

Josh Janet was raised in Northern New Jersey, but by an odd set of circumstances, is a Philadelphia sports fan. While recently converted to the Phillies, Josh is a diehard Flyers fan and can be expected to stay on top of the latest NHL news.

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Boyer
Boyer
May 5, 2011 1:44 am

F***

Last year, I felt that we had a chance to win all three games we dropped to them. I did NOT feel like they were a better team and we proved it. This year they have totally dominated us for two games. Totally different look. We’re not coming back from this one.

paulman
paulman
May 5, 2011 9:14 am

To Josh,
I wouldn’t consider this a Choking sitauation at all, Most Hockey Obeservors probably picked the Bruins to win this series based on their strength and consistency of their Goaltending (which time and again has shown what makes a team really have a legitimate chance for a Stanley Cup)
The way Coach Lav has had to shuffule these goalies almost every game is an embarrasment at the NHL Playoff Level and this self-doubt/lack of confidence or whatever you want to call it has now permeated thru the entire team … In typical fashion (outside of last year where Leighton really came out of nowhere to save the day) The Flyers just don’t seem to value the most important position when it comes to winning playoffs & Stanley Cups..
Compound this with the loss of Pronger and Carter (up to last evenings game) and this Flyer team is just not as solid going into the playoff as many fans and local media would have thought.. The Fact that Sabres took the Flyers to 7 games and took a lot out of the Flyers is a testament that they just weren’t as good as a Hockey team this year..
Versteeg has been a major disappointment as has Hartnell & Giroux in my opinion and defensvely, Carle and even Tinomen have not played at the level they are capacble off… Maybe too many minutes being played due to Prongers injury but any way you slice,dice it, they Flyers have been thoroughly wooped by this focused Bruin Team who wants nothing more than to attone for last years blown 3 game lead over the Flyers (now that was a choke) and teh Bruins will not be satisfied unless they SWeep the Flyers is seems very likely at this point…

paulman
paulman
May 5, 2011 10:33 am

The 1st Round of the Playoffs had some great series with very close and exciting games throughout, but these 2nd Rounds Series have been whitewashes so far, the Caps,Red Wings and Flyers are all in 3-0 hole and only the Vancouver/Nashville Series looks like it will go 6-7 games
Who would have thought this..

jakedog
jakedog
May 5, 2011 10:46 am

laviolette caused this goalie circus which is killing the flyers. They are done. Laviolette should be getting killed for his handling of goaltenders, but hockey is a second rate sport in this town. Manuel gets more criticism for halladay’s pitch count while he’s jockeying the best team in baseball

paulman
paulman
May 5, 2011 11:11 am

I disagree Jakedog
NHL is a first rate sport in Philly and always has been,
It’s just that the “White Media and White Fan Base” in PHilly are very slow when it comes to calling out “White Canadiens” for some reason..
Owner Ed Snider is a very powerful man in Philly and local media walk on egg shells when it comes to criticizing the Flyers Organization
Now if the Flyers had some black boyz from the hood playing on their teams and were out clubbing & drinking the night before big games or gambling down in AC , then you would hear about it… But for some reason, these white Canadiens are revered and held up on to different standard by Philly Media & Fans and I don’t mean to bring racism into the conversation, but it has always been this way for as long as I can remember…
I have stated for the last couple of years that Owner Ed Snider has always gotten a free pass from the Philly Media and Fans and I have always questioned and wondered why…

jakedog
jakedog
May 5, 2011 11:31 am

could be pman but laviolette should be feeling some stilts heat for goaltending debacle and playoff, late season swoon

paulman
paulman
May 5, 2011 11:57 am

The Flyers have been the most Overrated Sports Franchise in Philly over the last 30 years and the least scrutinized when it comes to Roster Mananagement,Coaches Decisions, meeting and exceeding expecations,
Etc,etc.. How many Years has it been since the Flyers had a top notch Goalie…maybe go back to Ronnie Hextall which was what, 20 years ago
The Eagles,Phils,and even the lowly Sixers get raked over the goals for every bad Draft pick,or Trade or every disappointing season, every Coaches and players mistakes, etc,etc… It’s amazing to me and to be honest,
What have the FLyers won since the mid-70’s …

RonGlover
May 5, 2011 1:17 pm

It’s time for them to retire the whole Kate Smith thing too. This is the only franchise that is allowed to live in it’s past. And they haven’t won anything in over a generation.If any of these other teams did that the media would be sick to their stomachs.

anderson silva
anderson silva
May 5, 2011 8:34 pm

Careful Pman, I wrote the same thing last year and got ripped for being an Eagles apologist and Flyer hater. No truth shall be spoken, just go along with the masses or the peasants with torches and pitchforks will show up at your door when they are done at the NovaCare Complex. The Flyers were the Yankees in an uncapped sport for years, and brutal incompetence in the FO yielded failure every season. Everyone calls him “Mr. Snider” but the truth is he has been fleecing the people of Philadelphia for 3x as long as Jeff Lurie.

schiller
schiller
May 5, 2011 9:37 pm

anderson that’s an excellent point about Snyder v. Lurie. I think really the only explanation why Snyder doesn’t take more flak is just the popularity of the respective sports…

paulman
paulman
May 5, 2011 9:40 pm

I can’t stand the guy (Snider), never have and never will, He’s a snake, He kind of reminds of a Mob-guy wanna-be who thinks he can do and say what he wants and always has patsy’s do his dirty work for him…Thinks he’s a big shot… believe me I love Hockey (played until I was about 25 years old) and have followed the Flyers since the 70’s, but I cannot even stand the sight of that man… and he continues to get a free-pass ever damn off-season, no one in local media dares to challenge him… It is what it is…

anderson silva
anderson silva
May 5, 2011 9:58 pm

I still hold him responsible for allowing his attack dog Robert Earle Clark to run Eric Lindros out of town. The organ-AYE-zation questioned his heart and determination when he was playing with concussion after concussion. Then he went out and found a doctor who knew something about brain trauma, and they trashed him again for not trusting the Flyers’ doctors. The same physicians who sent him out on the ice time and time again until his skull was basically a layer of waffle-cone protecting his brain. They risked that young man’s life due to either ignorance, and I have never felt the same about them again. Robert Earle has never come out and said the organ-AYE-zation was wrong, and that Lindros’ brain injuries should have been handled differently. But see-also the compassion for Keith Primeau, another Flyer who had his career ended by concussions. I could never root for another team, but I never quite enjoy watching them do well like I do for the other 3 teams.