Flyers 2, Islanders 1: Notes from the Nadir

This is really late for a recap (my travels were lovely, by the way), but for the archives and ease-of-records I need to post something for this game anyway, should we ever need to look back on it.

But the in-game comments were plenty (thanks to everyone who shows up in the threads and by proxy keeps the absentees updated). So I'll re-bump WebBard's prospect update to the top and just add notes, links and highlights to this post after the jump.

The biggest reason we might later look back at this one was for the first time P.A. Parenteau was healthy scratched, making way for Rob Schremp to add his spin to the powerplay. Schremp certainly showed life there.

Game Sum | Event Sum | Corsi - H2H | Recaps: NHL - Isles


Game Highlights

Gordon on the Loss

On the effort overall:

It was an excellent effort.  We got out of control in the third period, not because of lack of effort, but because they had a willingness to fire the puck out and get deflections and start a forecheck. And two of the defensive zone coverages, we lost a stick so it was like we were playing short-handed.  That was the one thing they did better than us in the third period, their willingness to get pucks deep.  They weren’t looking to make any plays in the neutral zone, it was just a question of establishing their forecheck.  We needed to take a page from that in the third period to eliminate their opportunity to transition and go the other way.

On what to learn from that third-period failure:

The biggest thing is the third period, understanding when you’re up against a wall at the blueline in the neutral zone, don’t try to fight it as individuals and get yourself in one-on-one situations. They were having a hard time getting into the offensive zone. Try to simplify it, taking slapshots and going in and getting a forecheck.  Not that we can’t defend against that, but when it’s our turn to have the puck and start to attack, time to get the puck in the zone, we can’t have our forwards standing still at the blueline.

Notes & Links

  • According to the official stat sheet which is suggestive but hardly authoritative, the Islanders had 26 of their shots blocked by the Flyers, compared to 9 on the other end. So in the world of Corsi, 26+9+17 [52] total shot attempts for the Flyers, versus 32+26+17 [75] shot attempts for the Isles. Take that as you will.
  • Chris Pronger still has never done anything wrong in his entire life. ("What for?!" the common refrain.)
  • I'm surprised Frans Nielsen didn't tear someone's head off, given how "threatening" he was to Danny Briere in the previous meeting.
  • Much from Fornabaio on the Sound Sim Tigers weekend.
  • 7th Woman with a pair: Game reaction, plus reacting to Larry "sources say" Brooks and his "there is talk" suggestion Gordon's job is in jeopardy (Brooks defends Gordon by proxy, blaming Wang and the payroll), which was buried in his weekly Ways to Defend Sean Avery column.
  • Rob McGowan at THW on that and other topics.
  • BSH called it a "steal" for the Flyers, which may be too kind.

The number of missed chances -- from Matt Carle's insane stick save on Matt Moulson's backhander to all the loose pucks in the crease around Bob the Goalie -- was stunning.

Honestly, this is more how I expected the team to play this season: Well enough to win but still taking its share of 2-1 losses to good teams. The Flyers controlled play for most of the third, but that will happen (control seldom stays even throughout a game); what it underlines is that if you aren't finishing your chances during the stretch of a game that you control -- whether at 5-on-5 or through powerplays -- you usually get burned. Hence the refrain of "thin margin of error."

The Isles played a very solid game and normally in the context of this season, this roster, I wouldn't be disappointed with that. It's when you've preceded a game like this one with six other losses, three of them awful, that's when "moral victories" ring hollow.

*  *  *

Next up, the Islanders Wednesday begin their West Coast swing -- the arduous end to this ridiculous road-heavy opening schedule -- with the Ducks, one of if not the worst team in the West right now. Something's got to give.

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