Flyers vs. Blue Jackets 12/27/2008
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!
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.