Uh-Oh, 2 and 1

The season has not gotten off to a very good start for the Flyers as they are 0-2-1 in their first three games.  The main concern seems to be that they have not put together a full sixty minutes of solid effort.  In the opener against the Rangers (who, incidentally, are 5-0; how did that happen?), the Flyers were nowhere to be found in the first period and surrendered four goals.  They played well in the second and third, but came up one short of the tying goal.  Against the Canadiens, they played well in the first and second and carried a 2-1 lead into the third period, then allowed four goals in a 5-3 loss.  Playing the Penguins last night, the Flyers had difficulty converting chances, but played pretty well defensively and took the game to overtime, where they lost with ten seconds remaining. 

Defense looks like it could present some trouble.  With regulars Ryan Parent and Randy Jones on the injured list for several months, new acquisitions Ossi Vaananen, Steve Eminger, and 18 year-old Luca Sbisa will need to play very well.  Sbisa is a surprise and the Flyers may need to keep him on the roster for the season with the injury situation.  After nine games, he can go back to juniors; if he plays ten games, he must stay with the Flyers for the season.  I think he has played very well in all three games, showing poise under pressure, playing the power play, and moving the puck well.  Lasse Kukkonen, beaten more than a couple times in the opening games, may have lost his regular spot as the Flyers acquired Andrew Alberts from Boston.  Alberts (6’5; 220) replaced Kukkonen in the lineup against Pittsburgh.  I’m not sure he’s going to be much better as he took a couple of hooking penalties, perhaps a sign that he’s getting beaten on plays.

With so many new faces on defense (and some up front, too) they may just need some time to gel, so I am not pushing the panic button yet.  However, they will need to get in the win column soon, as the Rangers are already nine points ahead (although they have played two more games) and we know how fragile this team’s confidence can be.  We don’t need a long losing streak to start the season.

One Response to “Uh-Oh, 2 and 1”

  1. Excellent article. Looking forward to seeing you write more about this topic.

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