Philadelphia Flyers vs. New York Islanders 11/11/2008
First order of business: Allow me to apologize for my absence in the past few days. My computer succumbed to a virus on Saturday night during the first period of the Flyers game. It was returned to me with a clean bill of health this morning, so all should be back to business as usual.
Little did I know the team would fall victim to its own version of a virus—lack of focus. And the way this team talks about it to the press (too many examples to choose from for a link), you would think Jimmy McCrossin would have procured some Ritalin by now.
Second order of business: The Philadelphia Flyers play the New York Islanders at 2PM today. As an employee in the private sector, I do not have a holiday this fine Veteran’s Day. I plan to watch the game this evening (if my DVR has not also acquired a virus) and post thoughts at that time.
If you’re watching the game before me, a few things you should watch for:
1. How will Joffrey Lupul respond to being placed on the fourth line? Big hitting? Or hanging out along the perimeter?
2. Will Jeff Carter make it onto the score sheet, or will he show signs of slumping?
3. Will Matt Carle prove that Saturday’s brilliance wasn’t just an attempt to prove Tampa GM Brian Lawton wrong in Friday’s trade?
UPDATED 10:19PM on 11/11/2008
I have a few quick thoughts on today’s game, now that I’ve had a chance to watch the footage. Let’s look at the pregame questions.
1. How will Joffrey Lupul respond to being placed on the fourth line? Big hitting? Or hanging out along the perimeter? Lupul did exactly what he needed to do. He played hard, delivered some hits, and found himself returned to Richards’s wing. Lupul’s four hits were not highlight reel moments, but they were solid, smart physical plays that resulted in good things for his team.
2. Will Jeff Carter make it onto the score sheet, or will he show signs of slumping? This is a tought question. Carter took plenty of shots, leading the team with 5. The good news is that all were on net. The bad news is that none made it past MacDonald. If he keeps shooting, he’ll be fine. What worries me is the possibility that he’ll lose confidence and start slacking off.
3. Will Matt Carle prove that Saturday’s brilliance wasn’t just an attempt to prove Tampa GM Brian Lawton wrong in Friday’s trade? I thought the Sbisa-Carle pairing looked fantastic this afternoon. Carle came out a plus-one with a team-leading nine blocked shots. It’s quite possible all he needed was a new start. Meanwhile, Carle is exactly the style of puck-moving defenseman Philadelphia has craved since the lockout. Should be an exciting year with our young defenseman.
Also, did anyone else notice that Carle is wearing Primeau’s number? Just a thought.