The Flyers played one of their best all-around games in several weeks last night. They were hungry for the puck, won a majority of the battles along the boards and played very solid defense in their own end. The forecheck was aggressive and they avoided costly penalties. Bob played the kind of game that the Flyers need him to play in order to be successful in the post season.
We still lost...
Despite what appears to be a calculation for success in winning a hockey game, Buffalo still walked out of the Wells Fargo Center with a win in game one.
Not only did Ryan Miller essentially steal a win for Buffalo, despite his team getting significantly outplayed by a hungry Flyers club, it was Philly's inability to score on the powerplay that ultimately sealed their own fate in the loss. Going 0-5 on the powerplay is simply unacceptable in the playoffs if you think you're going to move on to the next round.
I wasn't entirely convinced that Chris Pronger's absence would detract so much from the Flyers' special teams, but I'm starting to believe he will definitely become the X factor in any hopes the Flyers have to run a successful, or even competitive, powerplay.
If the Flyers build on the type of game they played last night and figure out how to fix their powerplay, with or without Chris Pronger, and if they work on getting more shots at the net, they should win this series 4-2, factoring in another potential stolen game for Miller.