The Flyers are using the same lineup tonight as game 1 with the same lines and combinations. As a Flyers fan, it is really hard to listen to Mike Emerick and Chico Resch. They are such homer announcers and both have a deep dislike for the Flyers – even though they both were former Flyers.
I didn’t see the foul on Carter that made it a 5 on 3 for 2 full minutes, but a great penalty kill by Betts, Pronger, Timonen and then Richards, Coburn, Parent. Emery was square and solid again. It is nice to have a 4th line that can all actually play. I am not a fan of Cote and the group of Betts, Lapierre, Carcillo and Asham are a great group to make up that 4th energy line. Carter scores after a good shift by the 4th line, 1-0 Flyers. Matt Carle looks like a different guy with Pronger than he did last season with Coburn. I think Pronger just makes his confidence higher and his speed and hands can just be natural. Nice play by Martin on the Giroux break at the end of the period. Emery is huge in the net and moves very quickly. I have been impressed with his focus and the way he fights through the traffic in front of the net. The score is 1-0 Flyers at the end of one period.
Tough play with Emery getting caught with a bouncing puck, he had to touch the puck outside the trapezoid to prevent a Devil taking control. Great pad save on the 5-3 to start the period and Pronger with a bulldozer play out of the box to clear the crease – god I love that play by Pronger. Ryan Parent is a really steadh and positional defender. I don’t expect to see much offense from him, but he is a true shutdown guy on the back. Funny exchange with Brodeur and Briere, as Marty tried to slow Danny down, Danny let the stick get stuck on him and skated away with the stick. Marty was smart and froze the puck immediately. Nice shift by the young guns (Giroux, Powe, JVR, Syvret, Parent). Parise and Pronger are in a war – I will put my money on Pronger to win the physical battle there. Betts and Lapierre forecheck very hard on every shift – they look great. Briere looks a little lost on Carter’s wing at even strength. Lapierre on a shift in place of Powe (who was on with Richards and Pyorala missing a few shifts) scores on the rush to make it 2-0 Flyers. Pyorala is back – must have been an equipment problem. Richards jams one in on Marty to make it 3-0 Flyers. WOW what a glove save by Emery – he got caught up with traffic in front and dropped his stick to dive across for a great glove save.
I am noticing that even with the lead tonight, the Flyers are attacking the puck even deep in the offensive zone. This new system will be exciting if they keep attacking like this. There is a lot of talent on this team and this type of speed and attack system will produce many offensive chances. I think the speed required is why Asham and Cote are the scratches over Carcillo. Even though Carcillo takes dumb penalties, he can skate and forecheck. I have never seen the modern Flyers hold the puck in the offensive zone against the Devils. The forwards are creating great back pressure as the Devils move forward and the defense is pressing the rush at the blue line.
End of the 2nd Period and the score is 3-0 Flyers.
3rd period underway and the Flyers are still pressing forward. Pronger can really fire the slap shot! Briere just couldn’t handle a bouncing rebound after Pronger let a bomb go. Powe lets a fluttering shot go and Marty never saw it until the last second and then it hit his glove and in the net, 4-0 Flyers. They have a four goal lead and they are pressing for a fifth goal. I like the attitude. Emery plays the puck pretty well, he doesn’t look like Hextall or Brodeur, but he is capable. Rolston has a wide open slap shot on the powerplay and scores to make it 4-1 – Emery got a piece, but the puck got through him from the top of the circle. Carle slips one through Marty to make it 5-1. Marty is having a bad night. Syvret has a canon shot. As he gets more comfortable he might see some PP time with Timonen on the 2nd unit as the point shooter. Emery overplays the angle a bit and Langenbruner scores a shorthanded goal to make it 5-2 Flyers.
After watching Pronger for 2 games as closely as you can on TV, he reminds me of Paulie from the movie Goodfellas – “he doesn’t move fast because he doesn’t have to”. That is why he can play so many minutes.
Overall a solid game was played by the Flyers and a great way to start the season.