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Flyers Fall Short Against Leafs 4-2

2013_game21_bryz_JVRThe Philadelphia Flyers had another chance of breaking even in the standings if they could grind out a win against the Toronto Maple Leafs this evening, but a handful of mistakes in a tightly contested 4-2 loss cost them another valuable two points as the 2013 NHL season draws closer to the halfway mark.

The Flyers opened the game with the third line of Max Talbot, Sean Couturier and Zac Rinaldo. Rinaldo’s promotion to the checking line has garnered a lot of positive attention for the agitator, as he has been able to better translate his relentless forechecking into being more than a liability.

Rinaldo stayed glued to former Flyer James van Riemsdyk throughout the game, holding him to just one shot on goal in spite of his 20:49 of ice time. Rinaldo also drew a powerplay opportunity against Leafs fourth liner Mike Brown in the first period.

The Flyers controlled much of the puck possession early on, out-shooting the Leafs 8-4, but a failure to set up the powerplay on the Brown penalty eventually led to the gameplay evening out.

Phil Kessel opened the scoring late in the first period, racing past Kimmo Timonen before beating Ilya Bryzgalov cleanly from the side of the net. Bryzgalov could have made the stop if he hadn’t played too deep in net and cut down the angle, but I don’t think he expected the play to develop as quickly as it did.

While the hockey sense and experience that Timonen brings to the team are invaluable, this was probably the worst his age been exposed all season. He was also called for a blatant tripping penalty midway through the second period after hustling back to negate a 2-on-1.

The powerplay continued to stumble through the second period, as the Flyers were only able to muster one shot on goal through four attempts.

“They were really aggressive, and I think we got frustrated a little bit through the middle period,” said head coach Peter Laviolette. “There’s no time to set up and make the nice plays that everybody wants to see. I don’t think that it’s not the powerplay wasn’t working, or that they didn’t want to make things happen… When the checking is tighter, there’s less… ‘WOW’ out there, and that’s the way of the middle of the game looked.”

Nikolai Kulemin padded the lead at the 15:02 mark, taking advantage of a bad line change and beating Bryzgalov on the 1-on-1 rush.

The Flyers’ top line responded two minutes later, as Jake Voracek fed a beautiful cross-ice pass to Scott Hartnell while he crashed the net. Hartnell raised the puck over Leafs netminder Ben Scrivens, scoring his first goal of the season.

Voracek was named the NHL’s first star of the week after scoring 11 points in his last four games, and he is already making the case to be considered this week as well. He scored a critical powerplay goal early in a 4:00 minor aginst JVR to help cut the Flyers’ deficit to one goal.

In spite of stronger play in the final ten minutes as the sense of urgency kicked in, the Flyers were unable to crawl out of the hole that the early mistakes put them in.

As Laviolette remarked in his post-game presser, the team wasn’t that bad defensively. Both teams played strong checking games and limited the amount of shots on net. It was simply a handful of mental errors that led to scoring chances for the Leafs that they were able to capitalize on.

The Flyers just couldn’t bury their opportunities.

“There’s been a lot of talk about the ‘0.500.’ It’s not like we’re shooting for 0.500 in the room,” said Laviolette, when asked about the importance of hitting that mark in the standings.

“We’ve just got to get back, and it’s got to happen through this stretch of games, where the home games favor us and [there are] not as many road games. It’s got to get to a point where we put together 3 out of 4, 5 out of 6, 6 out of 7 and start to get the win column going in the right direction so we can set ourselves up for the last third of the year and a playoff push. We’ve got to get back to it Wednesday night and start climbing back out.”

“It’s like one step forward, two steps back.”

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Posted by on Feb 26 2013. Filed under BREAKING NEWS, Flyers, News, NHL. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

12 Comments for “Flyers Fall Short Against Leafs 4-2”

  1. Unless they make a major deal, this team is shot! The DF is horrid, & the don’t have consistent enough snipers, & Bryz, gives up TOO MANY savable goals!

  2. You have to Win these type of games at home of you want to be a Playoff Team.. This Flyer Team is just too inconsistent in their play to feel of an extended Winning streak and will be up and down with their play all Season long, maybe a .500 record is good enough to make Playoffs but this Team is not built for and deep Playoff run against the better Defensive Teams in the NHL

  3. eagles0superbowls

    can’t reach .500
    Toronto is a strong team —
    Brown destroyed McGinn in that fight – he was all busted up, cut, jersey torn – What a butt kicking
    Flyers took a lot of low percentage shots from all most behind the net on bad side angles—
    the 2nd PP is frustratingly useless, Matt Reid is missed ( Hartnell and Meszaros time to step up on the 2nd PP, the team needs a lift)

  4. The defense is terrible even with your boy Luke Schenn DCAR? How did that happen?

    • eagles0superbowls

      Luke Schenn had a couple nice scoring chances last night ( need to net them)
      Timonen had a bad game – Kessel beat him to that puck on first goal and he had quite a few bad turnovers

    • Because other than him & Grossman, they have nobody worth $#!T, on the back end! Timonen is ancient, & should have never been extended, Coburn is a waste of space, Foster, Gervais, & Lilja aren’t NHL defensemen, & Meszaros, can’t stay healthy. We have ZERO defensemen, that can get points let alone score. We have too many slow-a-foot defensemen. Homer had a horrific off-season whiffing on Weber, Suter, & Parise. Couturier, Briere, Fedetenko & Talbot are giving nothing to this team, & we’ve been decimated by the injury bug, & Laviolettes idiotic musical lines! Also, who said Schenn’s my boy? I like him, & he’s been arguably our most defensive, defensemen! So bring something to the table, other than your stupid, meaningless, snide remarks!

      • Snide remarks. Hello pot, this is kettle. Let’s give this a shot then.

        I am calling him your boy and will continue to because you loved this trade before it even happened, when it happened and even now.

        So your excuse for this miserable trade was desperation and you think that this is ok. That is not good enough. They knew going into the season that they would be light on defense and they thought that Schenn was going to be the savior and you were ok with that? You are still ok with that? Luke Schenn has been exactly what he was in Toronto, average. And we have no dman that can handle the puck? Well Luke Effin Schenn didn’t solve that problem either. He has never lived up to what being the 5th overall pick in the draft. If there weren’t better options available, you don’t trade JVR for that guy. Hell I wouldn’t have traded any of their young forwards for that guy. JVR who is now blossoming in Toronto because he is getting consistent time with good players.

        Do you still honestly think that this was a good trade?

        And BTW, lay off Timmonen. He is the only dman on the team that can handle the puck and actually presents a scoring threat from the blue line.

        If you want to complain about them defensively fine. There is a lot there to complain about, but this trade didn’t make them considerably better defensively.

        Enough on the table to fill you up?

        • That’s much better! Way to go! We’ll see what the awesome JVR does. Nobody ever said Schenn was the savior. I said exactly what he is, a physical, hard hitting, shot blocking defensive, defense-men. Nobody ever said he was a puck carrying D-MAN. What exactly did JVR show to warrant keeping him? Nothing! Schenn filled a need & JVR was, at the time, expendable, due to all of the young guys we had, & Homer made a mistake putting all of his eggs, in the Suter & Parise basket. To answer your ???? Yes it is still a good trade! It’s inevitable, of the JVR injury, & Houdini act! He’s a big tub of jello! BTW, I love Timonen, but he should have NEVER been extended, especially when he was considering retirement! OK!

  5. Was a mistake Trading JVR who will go on with Scoring 30 Goals a Season for the next 10 Years in the NHL, play the Power Play, Play on Short-Handed Teams.. Meanwhile the Flyers got a Decent Defensman in Schenn in Return, but clearly not the Playmaker that JVR is and will remain to be for a long time. Flyers got fleeced.. I am not sure what’s going on with the Philly Sports Teams recently, but collectively, these GM’s are making some bad deals in my opinion,..

  6. It’s not that it was a “mistake” trading JVR. In order for him to be a 30-goal scorer, he needs 19-21 minutes a night on a top line. He wasn’t likely going to get that in Philadelphia with the likes of Wayne Simmonds and Scott Hartnell playing similar roles.

    I do agree (and stated it at the time) that a one-for-one for Luke Schenn was not an even trade. Carl Gunnarsson or Jake Gardiner would have been better assets.

  7. Josh, I agree with that. They had an excess amount of young talented forwards that they could move for defense. It is just that they got the wrong guy.

  8. eagles0superbowls

    JVR had durability issues here in Philly that have not surfaced in Toronto (yet), so I’m not ready to declare the trade a loss for the Flyers —
    no doubt the Flyers miss the offense of Jagr, JVR, and Carle; their record indicates that— Fedetenko, Knuble, McGinn and L. Schenn just haven’t replaced that scoring

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