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Flyers vs. Blue Jackets 12/27/2008

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Pregame.
This Philadelphia Flyers hockey club has the chance to redeem itself before heading out to the west coast for the final two-thirds of its annual New Year’s road trip. But to do that, there are a few components they have to remember.

1. What happens in Chicago, stays in Chicago.
Last night the Flyers let loose a stinker that would rival anything on the team’s all-time stinker list. The good news is that it’s a new day. All the slow feet, hail-mary passes, and painfully sloppy defense can be forgotten. Start over with the real Flyers team on deck.

2. Head towards the light – the red light in Columbus’s net.
The Blackhawks found success by ravenously shooting the puck. They didn’t wait for the perfect setup. They didn’t try to force plays through the neutral zone. They skated, won puck battles, and sent the puck flying. That’s what the Flyers do at their best, and that’s what they should aim for this evening.

3. Backcheck, Forecheck, Backcheck, Forecheck . . .
It sounds like a broken record, but it’s the rhythm of a thriving offensive force. Chicago “stretched the ice” to create several plays; that only happens when the forwards hang their defensemen out to dry. Then, the Flyers couldn’t regain possession of the puck because they never pursued Chicago into the corners or stopped them at the bluelines. The deepest talent on the Flyers resides among the forwards, and they need to play well for the team to be successful.

Back for intermission. – FF

First intermission. Flyers 0 – Blue Jackets 2
Hockey is all about momentum, and the Flyers do not have it at present. They started the game the right way – aggressively with plenty of puck control. But then they spent too much time coughing up pucks and watching Columbus skate around them. It’s downright frustrating to watch them standing around. I don’t care who’s injured, you still have to skate!

Final thoughts.

I rarely give up on a hockey game. I love watching hockey, and I usually stick through even the most disheartening contests because I really want to observe what’s happening.

But frankly, I can’t watch this evening’s Flyers train wreck. So with about 10 minutes remaining, I’ve decided to shut it down for the night. When the announcers spend more time discussing whether Cote and Boll will have a second fight when they get out of the penalty box, it’s time to be done.

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9 Comments leave one →
  1. John permalink
    Saturday, December 27, 2008 11:47 pm

    Both Budaj /and/ Raycroft have now beaten Detroit! Admittedly, blowing a 3-0 lead wasn’t the best way to do it, but I’ll still take it.

  2. Tuesday, December 30, 2008 6:59 am

    So now that both have beaten Detroit, who’s the number 1? 🙂

  3. John permalink
    Tuesday, December 30, 2008 10:48 am

    Well, I’ll admit that Budaj has been pretty good the past couple of games. But I’d still like to see Raycroft get more starts. After all, Peter is still sitting at a sub-.500 win percentage:

    Budaj 13-15-1
    Raycroft 6-1-0

  4. Tuesday, December 30, 2008 1:37 pm

    Do you know which goaltender has faced the better quality competition? I haven’t taken time to look into it, but it’s possible that Raycroft is facing easier opponents than Budaj.

    Or else Granato is just thick-headed and stubborn about using Budaj regardless of the numbers . . .

  5. John permalink
    Tuesday, December 30, 2008 4:42 pm

    This should once again test whether there is a word limit on here…

    Budaj: Raycroft:
    21-11-4 {L} 19-10-7 {W}
    17-14-3 {L} 16-16-4 {L}
    27-5-4 {L} 15-15-5 {W}
    15-16-6 {W} 10-16-9 {W}
    17-14-3 {W} 23-7-5 {W}
    17-14-5 {W} 10-16-9 {W}
    21-11-4 {L} 17-15-5 {W}
    28-4-4 {L}
    20-6-7 {L}
    17-16-2 {L}
    17-16-3 {W}
    20-14-3 {W}
    17-14-3 {W}
    21-11-4 {L}
    21-11-4 {L}
    15-16-6 {L}
    19-14-4 {W}
    14-19-3 {L}
    17-15-5 {W}
    17-16-2 {L}
    17-16-3 {W}
    15-15-5 {SO}
    20-14-3 {W}
    15-16-6 {W}
    20-6-7 {L}
    19-10-7 {L}
    16-15-5 {L}
    23-7-5 {W}
    17-16-3 {W}

    Total Games: 1,035 249
    Total Wins: 540 110
    Total Points: 1,203 264
    Win Percentage: 52.2% 44.2%
    Quality Wins: 6 {20.7%} 2 {28.6%}
    Bad Losses: 6 {20.7%} 1 {14.3%}

    Now for the disclaimer. 🙂 *All stats and records are as of the 12/29/08 games.*

    The first four ‘stats’ should be easy enough to figure out. Total games played by the collective opponents, total wins tally by those same opponents, total points, and the overall winning percentage by each goalie’s opponents.
    By quality wins, I’m referring to victories over teams that have won at least half of their total contests. A bad loss is a defeat at the hands of a team with a sub-.500 record. Simple as that. The accompanying percentages are based on those quality wins/bad losses versus total games /started/.

    Essentially, Budaj has faced tougher opposition, yes. But percentage-wise, he’s also had more hiccups against lesser squads and less wins over the good teams. So I’m sticking with my calls for Raycroft to play more. Even if Budaj still gets a good number, that’s fine with me. But at least give Andrew a better shot than he has now!

  6. John permalink
    Tuesday, December 30, 2008 4:44 pm

    What the heck?! It doesn’t accept more than one space between words or characters? That sucks… Now my painstakingly assembled stat sheet is a cluttered mess. 🙂

  7. John permalink
    Tuesday, December 30, 2008 10:33 pm

    Let’s go Flyers, beat the Canucks!

  8. Tuesday, December 30, 2008 11:29 pm

    Amen!

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