What a nice start to the season for the Flyers. But let's temper the parade routes until they play some games in the playoffs.
What did I like tonight?
The powerplay was very good. 2 quick goals. It was nice to see Carter and Richards get off to a good quick start. The lines wee a nice balance and stable all night long. Carter centered Hartnell and Briere. They were dynamic and created many scoring chances. Richards centered Gagne and Pyorala and were also a creative trio. They did a nice job neutralizing Staal. Giroux centered JVR and Powe. They played solid and I was impressed that Giroux plays in the defensive zone so strongly. Betts centered Carcillo and Lapierre. The best compliment for defensive players is that you didn't notice them. Other then Carcilo's again stupid penalties (2 times) the line was good.
The pairs were steady and they seemed to play together like they were veteran pairs. Pronger and Carle looked solid. They provided defense and offense from the back end. Carle was setup in the first period coming down the slot and Ward made a nice save. Timonen and Coburn were also very good. Kimo played great and even the Canes broadcast crew didn’t like the penalty call in the 2nd period on him. Parent and Syvret were invisible, and for a third pair that is a great. They played solid, had no trouble when the Staal line was out against them. The penalty killing unit was great! The group was solid, got off the ice quick, and got pucks out very often.
Emery is BIG! I noticed a big difference between his play in a scrum in front when compared to Biron. Emery’s sheer size allows him to deal with the pushing in front much better. He was calm, square to the shooters, and controlled his rebounds nicely.
What didn't I like?
Too many penalties – seven powerplays (although one was a bad call on Timonen). Still too many fouls. Carcillo was bad again. I feel Asham should play that fourth line role and will provide the toughness and a lot more offensive punch with Betts and Lapierre. The Canes had some open chances and missed, so the overall team defense needs to be ratcheted up a little tighter. I was also looking for a little more offense after the first minute of the second period. They seemed to sit back on the two goal lead for a little longer than I prefer.
Overall a great effort by the Flyers and I would take that type of game all season.