The Flyers head into the Olympic break after two impressive home-and-home sweeps of the Devils and Habs.
The Flyers destroyed the Montreal Canadiens at the Bell Centre 6-2, and it wasn't even that close. The Flyers ended whatever hopes the Habs had of winning the game after the 1st period, carrying a 3-0 lead into the break.
Without getting into a recap of the game, I'll just report on things that caught my eye.
1. The Habs aren't big enough
The Canadiens lost battle after battle in the corners and along the boards. A first period KO by Ian Lapierre seemed to make the Habs turtle into their shells. They simply can't play a banging type game, if they make the playoffs they'll be disposed of early. The physical nature of the Flyers made the Habs motionless, no one moving their feet, little to no fore-checking going on. And you can bet if they do make the playoffs, which ever team they draw will take a look at these last two games against the Flyers.
2. Flyers Defense is Getting Better
If the Habs do have an upside, it's their offense. And I realize they are without some important parts of their team, although, every team in the NHL must deal with injuries. The Flyers defense did a fantastic job of keeping things to the outside, and not giving guys room to skate. They did an especially good job of standing guys up at the blue-line. Also, recognizing what the Canadiens options offensively on the ice were and simply taking them away. To use a Football analogy, they made them one dimensional. Credit can't be taken away from Peter Laviolette for his line combo's, and doing a fantastic job of matching up lines, especially on the road.
3. Leighton is a Good Option, For Now
Mike Leighton has done a fantastic job in net for the injured Ray Emery. He's done everything they've asked him to do and then some. His confidence is clearly rising, and that can only be a good thing. For now Leighton is a good option, though the Flyers would be wise to keep looking around for a goaltender. Come playoff time, a battle tested goaltender can be the difference between a deep run, or a first round exit.
4. Montreal Journalists are the Worst
Montreal writer Mike Boone's disgusting article about the Flyers yesterday comparing watching them to “watching Hitler's Germany marching into Berlin Stadium in the 1936 Olympics,” is simply irresponsible and uncalled for. More evidence that there has to be some sort of accountability in blogging. How this guy still has a job in beyond me. If you want to see a good recap on this check out my colleague from PhinallyPhilly.com, Dave Foley's piece here.
Emery's Injury Career Threatening?
The Philadelphia Daily News is reporting that Ray Emery's injury may indeed be career threatening. Dr. Arthur Bartolozzi called the injury “career threatening.” The Flyers have decided to rest Emery for the 3 week break, to see if his injury improves. Word is, if it dose not, surgery is the next option.
About the Author
Written by Mike Santa Barbara
Sports writer covering mostly Philadelphia sports for over 10 years. Work has been featured on RealGM.com, GCobb.com and Comcast Sportsnet Philadelphia (CSNPhilly.com.)