Well a disappointing loss tonight to the San Jose Sharks as the Flyers played decently, but not well enough to win. San Jose did a great job blocking pucks and being positionally sound all game, especially in the second and third periods as they limited the Flyer chances. Philly never was able to establish its game and the attacks were quite often of the one-and-done variety. While I watch the game on television from the San Diego area, the Flyers did not appear to have much emotion in this one. Perhaps it was frustration from not being able to generate quality chances. Dont be mistaken by their shot total as this does not even come close to giving a true reflection of the quality of shots. Overall I was rather bored watching this one as the results were rather predictable as the third period quickly wound down.
Teams trade goals as Heatley scores on the power play and Powe ties up the game minutes later on a one-timer. On the Shark goal it looked like Boucher ever so slightly fell off the post and Heatley was able to tuck it in between the pads. Pyorala got his first career NHL point assisting on Powe's third of the season. Both teams had swings of control in this period, but the Flyers miss golden opportunities on the power play as they have trouble entering the zone and getting set up. On their two power plays Philadelphia hardly generated any attack time or quality chances.
After another very ineffective power play, San Jose makes the Flyers pay twice in quick succession courtesy of Manny Malhotra and his first two goals of the season. The first one was of the fluky variety as his centering pass deflected off of Braydon Coburn then off Bouchers goal stick into the net. Malhotra's second goal was much prettier as he let a wicked wrister go past Boucher a little over two minutes later. While the Flyers outshoot the Sharks 10-9, Philadelphia plays some uninspired hockey sans emotion.
More of the same as the Sharks keep the Flyers to the outside and limit their quality chances against. The 15 Philadelphia shots all come from the outside and sound positional play from San Jose allows the Sharks to escape any danger. Long stretch of non-stop hockey as the third period winds down very quickly. San Jose's Ortmeyer puts the nail in the coffin as he scores when he is given time to settle down the puck and shoot after Richards and Carter run into each other. Rather fitting as the Flyers resemble keystone cops instead of a hungry team trying to get back into the game.
Best Flyer of the Game
Darrell Powe. He had a nice one-time goal and he plays all out each shift he gets. Great energy guy and team player.
Worst Flyer of the Game
Braydon Coburn. Not really sure what is going on with him as his progression as a player has taken a backwards slide from a couple years ago. I know he and Timmonen were both -3 tonight and this could easily have gone the other way, but Coburn gets the "award" for the first Malhotra goal. Unfortunate, yes. But still -3 tonight and now -8 on the year. FUGLY
Best Opponent of the Game
Manny Malhotra. First goal was a gift, but his second was very nice as he unleashed a quick wrist shot that caught Boucher completely off guard. On a night where San Jose's best players were not too visible, its great when a role-player steps into the spotlight and takes advantage of the opportunity