Well, the Flyers have played, and dropped, two games to start the season: the first against Pittsburgh and the second against the Buffalo Sabres. All in all, even though they lost both games, they didn’t look as bad as the record shows. They got some pretty rough calls by the refs especially in the Sabres game. Two Flyers goals were called back simply because the refs were lazy and didn’t take the time to find the puck. Bryz has taken a lot of heat last season and coming into this season but I thought he played ok over the weekend. He seems to be calmer and following the puck compared to last season when he looked like he was jumping at pucks and flailing all over the place. He obviously has some things to work on but his focus seems a lot sharper. I thought the last goal that put the Sabres ahead 4-2 was a disgrace. Bryz made the initial breakaway save on Vanek which was key but then took too much time to locate the puck and jump on it. However, Bryz could have used a little help from his defense at that point to clear the puck but then the refs ultimately gave the goal to Hodgeson that should have been called back. The biggest issue that emerged for me this weekend was the Flyers penalty kill. The Flyers could not seem to effectively kill a penalty. They gave up five (five!) power play goals. What I saw was a lot of missed clears. I watched almost every defenseman try to get cute with the puck instead of going for the straight-up clear. I also saw our guys get caught up ice when they played the puck rather than clearing it which ultimately resulted in odd-man rushes and scoring opportunities for the other teams. All in all the Flyers have to tighten up defensively and get their penalty kill under control.
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