This was a good test. After three straight losses, the Flyers were eager to redeem themselves in front of their fans (trap game!).
1 — The Leafs are 28-21-6 and the boys just got outplayed tonight.
2 — Philadelphia immediately realized they weren—t playing the Rangers so they came at us hard. Putting it mildly, the first period wasn—t the best period of hockey the boys played this year. The Flyers played that period with a lot of energy and controlled the play along the boards.
3 — Brown and Rinaldo went at it early, but Brown wouldn—t let the young gun take him out. Got some solid punches in and got the knock down. Some fast fists there.
4 — Hartnell and Phaneuf went after each other after Hartnell—s 26th goal of the season which was, let—s not be subjective, well deserved as far things went in that first period. Carrot Top was left alone in front, he waited for the puck to drop and shot it past Reimer.
5 — Soon after they dropped the puck for the second period, Bozak scored on a fluky goal as he—s centering a pass. It ricocheted off Coburn—s foot and went in. A little later, Max Talbot scores on a deflection after Meszaros took a shot from the point. Be that as it may I—m quite sure Reims should have had that, it—s the five hole that bothered me.
6 — Joffrey Lupul made us all happy campers after Bobrovsky failed to catch a shot on the Leafs— 3rd power play of the game. The puck trickled down to Lupul and he tied the game at 2. The Giroux goal is a textbook example of what can happen if you don—t get the puck out of the zone AND lose corner battles.
7 — Luke really needs to smack his little brother around a little bit. Another lost battle along the boards leads to baby bro—s goal. There should be a consensus by now, there is a certain type of team we struggle playing against. Big teams that are hard on the puck create problems for our transition game and in our own zone. We even created a good cycle in the offensive zone at times and won battles around their net, but it wasn—t enough. A prime example of that was Bozak—s second, his fourth in four games. The problem is consistency. You can—t expect smaller forwards, well, most small forwards, to consistently win corner or in-front-of-the-net battles against bigger players.
8 — The third line needs work. The Leafs‘ badly needed a checking line capable of going out there, disrupting the Flyers D with a hard forecheck, and getting some zone time with a good cycle. The Leafs‘ top 9 offers too much of the same throughout and it can be easy to handle for teams that are well equipped for it – i.e., Boston, Philadelphia.
9 — The PK was perfect again tonight (4/4). The last time our team had such a fantastic penalty killing run was 1940-1941. The Leafs now have 28 straight kills since the start of 2012. It—s nothing short of amazing.
10 — Winter Classic! Winter Classic! Winter Classic! Rejoice, it—s official now. What loss?