In the most anticipated game of the young season for the Flyers, they started off with a really nice effort against the 5-0-0 (now 6-0-0) Washington Capitals. The exception to that was that they took some stupid penalties in the first. It didn’t bite them right away though as winger Wayne Simmonds poke checked the puck out of the zone to Claude Giroux at center who scored on a breakaway.
At the end of the first, the Caps caught the Flyers with a lucky deflection and then a bad defensive breakdown in front taking a 2-1 lead to end the first. It was all downhill from there. The trend of dumb penalties, lackluster defensive efforts and breakdowns continued. The Flyers ended up being blown out 5-2, despite outshooting the Capitals 42-28
Tomas Vokoun looked much better for the Caps than he had earlier in the young season, making 26 saves on 28 shots. He had some real good ones to prevent the Flyers from taking an early lead. I got the feeling the team was really deflated after the 2nd Capitals goal and started playing a more irresponsible game causing defensive breakdowns. The Flyers never recovered.
The biggest side story of the night was the debut of Flyers forward Brayden Schenn. Schenn spoke to the media afterwards and evaluated his first game with the Flyers.
“Yeah. I know I started out better,” stated Schenn. “You have to earn your ice time and that’s what I am going to try to do. There are a lot of good, skilled forwards here and they are going to play the guys that are going that night. I thought I had more to offer.”
Head coach Peter Laviolette told the media that he felt Schenn was “strong” and felt it was unfortunate that he was on the ice for the deflections.
Schenn played on a line with Scott Hartnell tonight as Peter Laviolette decided against going with an all rookie line. The addition caused Sean Couturier’s minutes to decrease to just 10:09 tonight. Laviolette indicated nothing has changed, it was just the type of minutes Sean was playing.
“When you use Sean as much as you do on the penalty kill, and you’ve got different players sitting on the bench waiting to get out there, it takes the roll out of the bench again,” Laviolette stated.
One of the things that lack of discipline did was create more opportunity for Alex Ovechkin, who had two goals tonight including one on the power play.
The Flyers will get back at it Saturday night at home against the St. Louis Blues, and Peter Laviolette vowed to be responsible for team discipline. That should be a big focus at practice starting tomorrow at 11 AM in Voorhees.
* Kimmo Timonen looked as though he took a shot off his chest but later stated it was his hand. He provided little details on the injury only saying “it’s an upper body injury” and wouldn’t reveal any plans for an x-ray or game status.
* Special Teams Numbers: Flyers 0-5 on the power play. Capitals 1-4.
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.