The Flyers tonight did something they haven’t done recently. Have a good game against the Ottawa Senators while playing in Kanata, Ontario. The Flyers not only won but won big tonight nearby Canada’s capital city by defeating the Senators in convincing fashion 7-2.
Sergei Bobrovsky got the start between the pipes, and it was his first of the season picking up the victory. Bobrovsky made 21 saves.
Many thought that Matt Read was going to be pretty good. Some journalists even picked him to win the Calder Trophy. However, I don’t think anyone expected he would produce this much this fast. He’s looked real good out there in the first 5 games and has created a lot of scoring chances. It paid off again tonight with 1 goal and 3 assists in the victory.
The biggest positive about this team so far is that there are really good playmakers on the top 3 lines for the Flyers. Everyone is playing with a highly skilled forward. The Flyers depth is something that GM Paul Holmgren should be applauded for. When Mike Richards and Jeff Carter were dealt over the summer a lot of people questioned whether Holmgren meant it when he said they were “hockey related moves.” Many speculated it was due to internal issues with at least one of the players. With each passing game, it looks like Holmgren was telling the truth.
Claude Giroux continued his tear tonight adding another goal and an assist. He now leads the club with 7 points (4 goals, 3 assists).
The Flyers had two feel good moments tonight. Rookie Sean Couturier who’s played so well for Peter Laviolette’s club so far finally netted his first National Hockey League goal. Rookie Harry Zolnierczyk who just earned a call up to the Flyers from the Adirondack Phantoms today scored the 7th goal of the evening to follow Couturier’s first. As far as Couturier (who netted an assist as well) goes, talk about maturity for an 18-year-old kid. Couturier didn’t really even celebrate for his first career goal due to it being the 6th goal of the game in a Flyers rout. “It was pretty special,” said Couturier to the media after the game regarding the goal. “Yes I was happy, but it was the sixth goal and I didn’t want to disrespect the opposition either.”
Forward Jaromir Jagr, who told the press earlier he’s still adjusting to North American ice, is still a bit snakebitten. He added another assist tonight for 4 pts on the season but is still searching for his first goal. Per Tim Panaccio’s article at CSNPhilly.com earlier, Jagr told the media he wasn’t concerned and he’s still working out some timing issues with his line mates. “Everybody wants to score goals,” Jagr said. “You have to work with what is on your line. I like to play on the boards. I think JV should be the guy who waits in the slot. So is G. The line has to work together. If everybody is going to wait in the slot, then who is going to pass it?”
Last but not least it wouldn’t be a Flyers summary without mentioning the soap opera of “As the Power Play Turns” due to the ups and downs of the Flyers power play. The power play continued its upward trend tonight. The Flyers were 3-for-6 on the power play with goals by Wayne Simmonds, Claude Giroux and James van Riemsdyk. They are now 8-for-30 (26.7%) for the year on the power play.
The Flyers will now head home to play the 5-0 Washington Capitals in Philadelphia on Thursday in what should be a thrilling game of two teams who have looked really good so far. If the Flyers can stay disciplined they give themselves a chance to beat any team in hockey with their depth. Stay tuned for full coverage of that one on Thursday at 7 PM.
Other Flyers Notes/Tidbits:
• The Flyers 4 first period goals tonight were the most in a first period since November 18, 2010 against the Tampa Bay Lightning, a game which the Flyers ended up losing 8-7. (cr: Flyers PR)
• As I mentioned earlier the Flyers had not won a game in Ottawa since November 24, 2007, a 4-3 victory.
• Face-offs, an area which Peter Laviolette has emphasized recently has to get better, took a step forward tonight with Danny Briere, who went 10-for-13 on face-offs tonight.
Justin Johnson is a Senior Correspondent and has been covering the Philadelphia Flyers for The Hockey Writers since the 2008-09 season. Justin has covered all levels of hockey across the United States and Canada. Justin is a graduate of Rider University in Lawrenceville, NJ and currently resides in Southern New Jersey.