Flyers flipped the switch

This article can be found published on Chicks Who Give a Puck.


James van Riemsdyk was arguably the best player on the ice for the Flyers as he elevated his game to a new level Thursday night. (Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

James van Riemsdyk was arguably the best player on the ice for the Flyers as he elevated his game to a new level Thursday night. (Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

Since the All-Star Break, the Philadelphia Flyers were almost a complete opposite of the team that started the season. They were a blazing 33-12-5 team who dominated opponents, but after the All-Star Game, they fumbled along to a 14-11-7 and that domination all but disappeared. They struggled to find consistency and left their goalies out to dry on numerous occasions. Suddenly, the team that looked poised to plow their way back to the Stanley Cup Finals turned into one that looked like they’d be one-and-done in the first round.

Flyers fans kept hearing that old phrase “flipping the switch.” But is it so easy to go from a downward tailspin before the end of the season to return to the once dominating force they were in the playoffs?

Fans anxiously awaited the first game against the Buffalo Sabres Thursday night to see which team would show up – and they were pleasantly surprised.

Yes, the Flyers may have fell 1-0 to the Sabres, but to see it was a loss like the ones they suffered the previous two months would be a great injustice to the team. They came out and dominated the play for almost the entire game, minus a few shifts here and there and when Buffalo played shutdown hockey after they got the lead. It was a team that showed they have the ability to win a Stanley Cup.

They were shutout, but not without having very close chances. Ryan Miller, former Vezina winner and Olympic MVP, kept the Sabres in the game in the first two periods after it easily could have been a 3-0 lead for the Flyers.

The defense, sans Chris Pronger, looked like it never skipped a beat. They were mistakes and turnovers, but the team quickly recovered and would skate back to break up the play or regain the puck.

Sergei Bobrovsky, the biggest question mark entering the postseason, silenced the critics with his strong play. Granted, he didn’t have to make as difficult of saves as Miller did, but when he was needed, Bobrovsky came up big.

Sure, fans can be mopy that the team lost, but look at the big picture: they dominated the Sabres. The only sore spot would be the power play that is still lacking. But out-shooting the opposition in two of the three periods (tied the first) – and the second was a 16-9 margin – and having quality scoring chances to boot? Miller isn’t perfect and the Flyers will find a way to beat the All-Star. It indeed does look as though the Flyers “flipped the switch.”


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Categories: Ice Hockey, NHL, Sports, Stanley Cup Playoffs

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