Obviously in any season, you are going to have your up's and down's, and the Flyers went through that a little bit so far this season. The Flyers failed to win a game in their first six games, as they lost 6 games(Sharks twice) to some elite teams. On opening night, the Flyers lost their home opener against the Rangers 4-3, then two nights later, they lost to Montreal 5-3. After that, the Flyers went on a three game road trip that started in Pittsburgh. They lost that game in OT 3-2, then they head to Colorado and just played a rope-a-dope, terrible game, losing 5-2. After that game, John Stevens had a big talk to his team and he was not happy. You could tell that the Flyers listened, because two nights later in San Jose against the high powered Sharks, the Flyers gave the Sharks all the hedoublehockeysticks that they could handle. However, the Flyers lost that game 5-4 in OT. Then on the second game of the back to back against the Sharks, they lost in the shootout 7-6.
The night that everyone will remember, October 24th, 2008. On that night, the Flyers won their first game of the season, as they defeated Marty Brodeur and the Devils 6-3 at the Prudential Center. That was the start of a four game winning streak, as they ended up beating the Devils the next day in OT, 3-2, then they headed to Atlanta, and Thrashed the Thrashers 7-0. Two nights later, the Flyers held on to beat the Isles 3-2 in OT. It looked like the Flyers were getting back on track, but that would change.
On November 2nd against the Edmonton Oilers, the Flyers lost 5-4 on a Sunday afternoon game. That started a three game losing streak, as they lost in Ottawa on the 6th of November. That game marked the end for Steve Eminger and Steve Downie. Those two were traded the next evening for Matt Carle. When I saw this deal, I was very estatic, because the Flyers had just stole a d-man that had unlimited potential. It was time for a change, because Eminger was not playing well and Downie need a change of scenery. It was ironic that the Bolts and Flyers ended up playing the next night after the trade, eh? The Flyers lost that game 2-1, but after that, the Flyers started rolling.
November 11th was an eventful day. The Flyers defeated the Isles in an afternoon tilt by the score of 3-1. This was the game that began the Flyers strong run. However, Danny Briere was injured in that game, and Scott Hartnell was benched during the game, when John Stevens thought that he wasn't playing hard enough. For Danny, he would end up missing about three weeks. Two nights later in Pittsburgh, the Flyers played adamantly, but ended up losing in the shootout, 5-4. The Flyers got back on track and won a big game in Montreal, 2-1 on the 15th of November, then the night afterwards, the Flyers beat Atlanta 4-3 in Philadelphia.
After four long days off, the Flyers were back in action. On November 21st, Marty Biron shutout his former team, the Sabres, 3-0. The next night, Jeff Carter and Mike Richards were on a mission as they led the Flyers to a 4-3 overtime victory over the Coyotes. Then the Dallas Stars came into town, and the Flyers defeated them 4-3. You could tell that the Flyers were really playing well. After the Dallas win, the Flyers started a home at home with Carolina. On the night before Thanksgiving, the Flyers defeated the Canes 3-1. However, the Flyers five game winning streak ended on Black Friday, as the Flyers lost in OT 3-2. The Flyers ended November with a loss to the Leafs 4-2.
Going into December, the Flyers were creeping up on the division leading Rangers. On the 2nd of December, Danny Briere came back after his abdominal injury, but his comeback did not last that long. In the same game, Danny got hurt again, and left the game. As of right now, that is the last game Danny has played right now. In that game, the Flyers defeated the Bolts in OT 4-3. After a 3-2 OT loss to New Jersey two nights later, the Flyers started another five game winning streak. On the 6th of December, in the guts of the game at Carolina, Jeff Carter won the game in OT off a faceoff in the Canes zone. Afterwards, the Flyers would go on to beat the Isles, Canes(again), Pens, and the Avs. That Canes game on the 11th was amazing. Down 5-1 going into the third period, they made one heck of a comeback, as they scored four goals in the third period to tie the game at 5. The Flyers would end up winning the game in the shootout.
Right before the Christmas break, the Flyers thumped Ovie and the Caps 7-1. On that day, Scotty Hartnell scored a hat trick and Antero Niittymaki made 47 saves, including 25 in the first period. In the last game before the Christmas break, they defeated the Sens 6-4. However, things got rocky right after the break.
The night after Christmas, the Flyers got trampled over by the Blackhawks, 5-1. In that game, the Flyers played just flat out terrible, no energy, no nothing. The Flyers had serious airplane problems earlier today, but that is no excuse. The Flyers were terrible in that game. One night after that, they got shut out by the Blue Jackets 3-0. Same thing, no energy in that game for the Flyers, not as bad as the night before, but still not good. You could definitely tell that the Flyers needed a break, and they ended up getting two days off.
On December 30th, the last game of 2008, the Flyers defeated the Nucks 3-2 in Vancouver. Jon Kalinski scored his first career goal in that game, and the Flyers got back on track. In the first game of 2009, the Flyers defeated the Ducks 5-4 in a shootout in Anaheim. The night afterwards, they played well against the Kings, but they lost in the shootout 2-1. To end the road trip, they went to DC to take on the Caps. The effort in that game was great, but they lost in the shootout, 2-1 again.
Home sweet home. That was how the Flyers felt as they headed back home. First game back, the Flyers defeated the Wild 3-1. Two nights later, Jeff Carter scored twice to lead the Flyers to a 4-1 win over the Leafs. However, the Flyers would stumble just a bit. They lost to the Pens in Philly, and the Bolts in Tampa Bay, but they came back to defeat the Panthers in Florida, 3-2 in the shootout. On Wednesday, the Flyers defeated Atlanta 5-3, so that rounds up the first half.
GOALS: #17 Jeff Carter 30
ASSISTS: #18 Mike Richards 30
POINTS: #17 Jeff Carter 51
PLUS/MINUS: #12 Simon Gagne 18
PENALTY MINUTES: #45 Arron Asham 114
SHOTS ON GOAL: #17 Jeff Carter 200
POWER PLAY GOALS: #17 Jeff Carter 9
# PLAYER GP W-L-OT GAA SHO SV%
43 Marty Biron 29 15-9-5 2.88 1 .906
30 Antero Niittymaki 19 10-3-4 2.59 1 .915
NEXT THREE FLYERS GAMES:
Tuesday night @ Florida Panthers 7:30pm CSN-HD
Friday night @ Tampa Bay Lightning 7:30pm CW57
1/31 @ St. Louis Blues 8:30pm CW57