• December 7, 2022

Unlucky Bounces, Officiating Down Flyers in 5-2 Loss to Sabres

Fatigue is going to be a regular issue with the amount of back-to-back games that the Philadelphia Flyers must contend with in a shortened season. They have the good fortune to have the fourth lowest mileage to travel for road games, but that doesn’t mean much when the schedule pits them to have a 12:30 p.m. start following a 3:00 p.m. start the day before.

The Flyers had difficult finding their legs in both the first and third periods this afternoon against the Sabres, but unlucky bounces in the crease and some dicey goal/non-goal calls from the officials prevented them from earning the win.

Steve Ott opened the official scoring with a powerplay goal in the slot that eluded the Flyers’ penalty killers. The PK was suspect all game, as three of the Sabres’ goals came with the man advantage.

At the 15:41 mark of the first period, Luke Schenn fired a shot from the point that bounced in front of Sabres’ goaltender Ryan Miller and found its way into the net. Ruslan Fedotenko, unfortunately, was called for incidental contact in spite of being outside the crease at the time and with minimal contact at best.

Couturier, who has not played his best hockey in the last six periods, tied the game early in the second period after re-directing a cannon shot from the point by Kurtis Foster.

The Flyers grabbed the lead again thanks to a powerplay goal from Claude Giroux, but two poorly timed penalties from Luke Schenn and Kurtis Foster gave the Sabres a 5-0n-3 advantage

Thomas Vanek, left with ample room at the blue line by Sean Couturier, skated in on Ilya Bryzgalov 1-on-1 and deked him handily.

A third poorly timed penalty from Luke Schenn gave the Sabres another powerplay in the third period.  The Sabres were able to bounce the puck off of Kimmo Timonen’s skate, which re-directed past Bryzgalov.

To add insult to injury, a defensive breakdown at the blue-line less than two minutes later was stopped by Bryzgalov, but the puck bounced up in the air and landed right back in the crease. Bryzgalov realized it just a little too late and rookie Cody Hodgson knocked it in with his skate. The goal should have been disallowed, but the officials argued that he touched the puck with his stick prior to it crossing the goal line.

The Flyers pulled Bryzgalov in the waning minutes and managed to score another quick goal. Once again, though, in spite of Miller never covering the loose puck and the puck crossing the goal line before the officials blew the whistle, the “intent to blow” rule was called.

An empty net goal from Vanek sealed the deal.

As with the opening day loss, there are some positives to be taken from the game, but clearly there is much more work to be done.  The penalty kill has been asleep at the wheel and the second powerplay unit can’t seem to develop any offensive pressure.

Bryzgalov once again was not the reason the team lost, giving up 4 goals on 40 shots.  One or two more saves may have elevated him to “elite,” but he remains an average starting goaltender.

Zac Rinaldo left the game in the first period after receiving a skate cut that had to be attended to.

The Flyers do not play again until Tuesday, when they help the New Jersey Devils open their season at the Prudential Center.

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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January 20, 2013 8:43 pm

Didn’t watch the game, but to blame a blow out on the refs and bad luck, that’s some lame ass shit, I am expecting much more from the flyers once they get their legs

January 21, 2013 2:47 am

How about the fact that this 2913 Flyers Team is just not a good Team
Why Blake the tight scheduling, poor shape of some players, missed passes,
Heavy legs.. Don’t you think every other team is going thru the same thing..

January 21, 2013 4:54 am

Unlucky bounces & officiating? Really? REALLY?!? 2 goals where disallowed, for us, & the one goal for them, should have been, but is this what we’re resorting to, these days?!? Did the bounces & officiating, give up 3 goals in the last 5 minutes? Did the bounces & officiating, cause the special teams anemia? Did the bounces & officiating, put together this defensive corps? Did the bounces & officiating, sign this overpaid, loop-job, swiss-cheese goalie? We had 15 guys playing overseas, & 4 guys in the AHL, during the lock-out, so STOP, with the freaking excuses, blame & the legs BS!!!! Their DF & Goalie SUCK, & right now, their ST’s aren’t clicking! SHEEESH!!!!

January 21, 2013 6:55 am

***Breaking News
Per Sources, Coach Laviolette to get Fired and replaced by Holmgrem
Himself by next weekend.

January 21, 2013 12:24 pm

shame — the ref had a bad game( NBC and NHL looked foolish taking off 2 goals for a national audience pre NFL playoffs)
the devils dominated the small Flyers forwards in the playoffs and still they failed to add size in the off season

January 21, 2013 5:23 pm

Tired legs are no excuse for this team as they are among the youngest teams in the league. The y will turn it around and if they don’t look for a new coach by mid February. Anyway it’s two games, and they sucked in afternoon games last year, trend continues. After 5 games it is time to worry.