Even though the Flyers haven’t been scoring goals lately, they were still finding ways to win. Unfortunately for them, that never lasts too long when you aren’t scoring and their luck came to an end today. You could tell that head coach Peter Laviolette was a bit concerned with his team’s offensive effort as of late as he shook the lines up pretty big. The Briere line remained together as they have all year. However, this game saw Peter Laviolette put Mike Richards, Claude Giroux, and Jeff Carter together on the same line. Andreas Nodl was at center on the 3rd line, we believe the first time he’s played center since 2006.
Carcillo and Kyle Clifford got things off to a rough start as they fought early in the first period. Clifford won the fight handily but the crowd was into it early. While the game ended 1-0, this didn’t have the feel of a typical 1-0 game. The Flyers outshot the Kings 40-25 and had several chances to score. Throughout the game, the Flyers were getting pucks to the net and Jonathan Quick was by far the number one star in this game. Once again, an area of concern was the power play. The Flyers power play looked downright awful again tonight. They went 0-for-4 on the power play and it really looked to be mental. The Flyers would be completely dominating play, and then once LA took a penalty and put the Flyers on the power play, they would cave and start making sloppy passes and turning the puck over. Still, after the game, Peter Laviolette didn’t seem overly concerned. The Flyers had 40 shots on Jonathan Quick, who was just spectacular tonight. “I think we got close to 20 scoring chances and couldn’t solve the goaltender,” Laviolette said. “I thought we were pretty consistent throughout the game. It was tight out there. Their goaltender deserves some credit.”
One of the most controversial plays of the game was Kings forward Jarret Stoll’s hit on Chris Pronger, which many believe to have been from behind. Pronger retaliated in what look like a much less severe play, and was whistled for a roughing penalty. Pronger was irate on the ice and when he got out of the box he was still fuming. When asked if he was surprised there was no call, Pronger gave a somber quiet answer. Knowing Pronger, he was obviously upset, as this is how he typically reacts when upset. “No I don’t think anything surprises me anymore,” Pronger said. “I knew [Stoll] was coming already. It doesn’t mean he has to hit me from behind though.” When asked in his post game press conference, head coach Peter Laviolette thought that the play should have been called a penalty. “It looked like a penalty to me, but I guess not to them,” Laviolette said. “I’m not the one making the call.”
The Flyers will now try to do something that they haven’t done all season: defeat the Tampa Bay Lightning. The Flyers are 0-3 vs. the Bolts this season and the time is now if the Flyers want to send a message before any possible postseason matchups. When Danny Briere was asked if this loss makes Tuesday’s game even bigger, Briere implied it does. “I guess so,” Briere said. “That’s definitely a game that we have been looking at for the last 2 weeks as redemption a little bit. These guys have pushed us around quite a bit this year. We better be ready for that game in Tampa.”
Mike Richards Questionable Comments in Locker Room Following Frustrating Loss
Mike Richards seemed to be very upset with the loss, so much so that he had a few sarcastic things to say to reporters after the game. Knowing Mike, I do think he may have been trying to make people laugh but a lot of people felt he was being immature and disrespectful to a very established journalist. First, Helene Elliott from the LA Times asked the question of Mike, “What were the Kings doing to be so effective on their PK tonight?” and Richards replied, “I don’t know. Icing the puck. It was really effective.” He also had another comment regarding the line changes saying that he wasn’t surprised that he was on a different line and they had been practicing together, but that maybe the reporter didn’t know because they “weren’t there.” All in all, it was a very frustrating game for the team. Here’s the video below courtesy of Travis Hughes with Broad Street Hockey (www.broadstreethockey.com).
Other Game Notes/Observations:
* Andreas Nodl got the nod at 3rd line center today, the first time he’s really played center since 2006.
* With Jonathan Quick’s shutout against the Flyers today, it was the fifth time this season the Flyers have been shut out by an opponent. They still have yet to shut out an opponent themselves.
* The Los Angeles Kings won in Philadelphia tonight for the first time since April 1, 1993.
* The Flyers were 60 percent on faceoffs in the game.
For Flyers and Hockey News/Discussion, Feel Free to Interact With and Follow me on Twitter: http://twitter.com/justinflyer