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"Blip on the Nielsen radar"
Kirksville, MO • United States • 30 Years Old • Male
Boston's pregame ceremony recognizing their Stanley Cup championship lasted longer than it took the Flyers to trade Mike Richards and Jeff Carter.

A goaltender other teams actually fear between the pipes, wearing orange and black.

Jaromir Jagr sitting on the bench with his familiar "68" across his back - and unfamliar Flyers' crest across his front.

Yes, it's a brand new day, a brand new season, a brand new Philadelphia Flyer team. And if Game 1 of 82 is any indication, it's going to be a heck of a ride.

The Flyers defeated the Bruins, 2-1, dominating the hockey game outside of Boston's 10-minute energy bump from its ridiculously long banner raising deal (seriously, they couldn't have gotten any of those speeches out of the way in June?) and a third period that featured multiple undisciplined penalties.

And yes, there were obvious areas of concern. Chris Pronger looked far from sharp, the Flyers' defensive zone communication was lacking, and silly penalties in the third period allowed Boston to build momentum it couldn't hope to manufacture at even strength.

But there were also areas to be excited about. Ilya Bryzgalov was solid in net, and made several saves that made you say, "yup, worth the money." Kimmo Timonen played one of his best games as a Flyer. Claude Giroux and Jagr appear to have scary-good chemistry (not sure if JVR is going to work on that line, though), Jakub Voracek skated very well, and Sean Couturier was impressive in his NHL debut. The kid kills penalties and was out there in the final moments, meaning either A) Peter Laviolette wanted to waste no time seeing what he's got or B) the kid has already earned Lavy's trust. Either way, it worked.

On paper, this was a tremendously difficult challenge. A massive roster overhaul and your first game is on the road against the defending Cup champs? Recipe for disaster. But the Flyers' defense shut the Bruins down, and their forwards took the Bruins' will away by early in the second period. In short, the Flyers made it look quite easy.

One lingering thought on opening night: Two years ago, the Flyers watched the Chicago Blackhawks skate with the Stanley Cup on their own ice. A year ago, the Flyers were steamrolled by Boston, and then watched the Bruins skate with the Cup tonight.

You have to wonder if these close encounters add up. You have to wonder if the leadership change - going from party boys to Pronger's snarl - takes notice and makes certain everyone in the room sees Lord Stanley's Cup so close.

You have to wonder, after tonight's performance, if this is the start of something special.

Yes, there is a long way to go. But this was a heck of a start.

Hunsi's Orange and Black Stars
3) Claude Giroux
2) Ilya Bryzgalov
1) Kimmo Timomen
Filed Under:   Flyers   Pronger   Timomen   Bruins   Hunsi  
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