Sign in with your NHL account:
  • Submit
  • Or
  • Sign in with Google
Welcome to the Official Site of the Philadelphia Flyers Official Facebook of the Philadelphia Flyers Official Twitter of the Philadelphia Flyers Official Instagram of the Philadelphia Flyers Official LinkedIn of the Philadelphia Flyers
 

GREENBERG: How to bounce back

Flyers columnist looks at how the Flyers can break the Rangers wall of shot blocking

Thursday, 04.24.2014 / 5:00 PM / News
By Jay Greenberg  - philadelphiaflyers.com
X
Share with your Friends


GREENBERG: How to bounce back
Flyers columnist takes a look at how the Flyers can break the Rangers wall of shot blocking
The puck is not getting through. Nevertheless, the Flyers can still clear some room by clearing their brains, more than by whatever high tech adjustments they make on a struggling power play.

Of course some Flyers power play goals would help but the Rangers didn’t need any to win Game Three and they are not a requirement to win Game 4. 

That’s a tight Ranger box, but the Flyers don’t have overcomplicate things for themselves to break it.  What they have to do, to win this game at even strength or on special teams, is:




The forward without the puck takes one potential shot blocker to the net, opening up precious room for the late guy. And the late guys – defensemen jumping up into the play – have been the Flyers’ best guys in the series.



We mean, not just to the man coming late, but with a shot or two launched at eye level, if only to loosen a little of the steely Ranger resolve to risk their limbs and faces. Nothing targeted and vicious, just a little something to complicate the thoughts of a few handsome and debonair New Yorkers.



Scoring first would help, but Game Three was the first one where the team that got the first goal won. The problem with mentality of first goal or die is what if you don’t get it? Getting down 2-0 for a third straight game, would be a very bad idea, however. In Games One and Two, the Flyers had more blocked shots than the Rangers by a wide margin, a reminder that rope-a-dope only works when you have a working lead.



It worked in ’97 when Ron Hextall came on for Garth Snow after a Game Two clunker. Hextall outplayed Mike Richter the rest of the way, and at that stage of Hexy’s career, nobody would have predicted that. In 2011, Peter Laviolette undid a bad decision to start Michael Leighton in Game 6 in Buffalo by making an in-game change to Brian Boucher. Flyers rallied to win in overtime and dominated in Game 7.

Steve Mason probably has picked up some rust, but also a reserve of adrenaline that can work for the Flyers Friday night.



That goes for fans and Flyers alike. Brayden Schenn, for one, is gripping his stick very tight and was on for the last two Ranger goals in Game Three. He is not in this alone, not a bad thing to remind yourself as you go about other duties besides scoring. Claude Giroux has largely been stifled but he is not playing uptight, exponentially increasing the odds of a breakout by a star with 57 points in 53 career playoff games. As long as the Captain believes the Flyers still will win this, they can.



As we said, it is hard to get a frustrated power play going in mid-series, when the penalty killing confidence of the opposition is growing with each kill and the people who pay good money to boo power plays are in full voice. No wonder the Flyers’ road power play is so much better than the road version. And, hey, the Flyers still have the road team advantage for two more games this series.

Currently that seam pass either to or from Giroux for one-timers is not there, and neither is the lane to Wayne Simmonds at the post for either the one-time pass or the turn stuff. So the pucks predictably go up top, and the Rangers line up like the Rockettes to kick them out.

So yeah, there has to be a new plan other than just more of the pump fakes publicly suggested by Craig Berube. He wouldn’t be telling us that if there wasn’t another strategy. Game Three turned on a crank by Dan Girardi that exploded over a screened Ray Emery’s shoulder. Damn however many Rangers aspire to block it, Mark Streit has the best slapshot on the Flyers. It should be used.



The story of Game Three was the Rangers’ shot blocking, and they didn’t score on the power play either. But three minor penalties in the first period did not help the Flyers to the start they needed.

Meanwhile Benoit Pouliot took a couple of dumb penalties to cancel Ranger power plays, and Dan Carcillo remains Dan Carcillo, reminder that the Rangers aren’t always under the best of control, either. They can hurt themselves, same as the Flyers.

SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 TBL 50 31 15 4 163 132 66
2 MTL 47 31 13 3 127 108 65
3 NYI 48 32 15 1 157 135 65
4 DET 49 28 12 9 145 128 65
5 PIT 49 28 13 8 145 125 64
6 WSH 48 25 14 9 144 124 59
7 BOS 49 26 16 7 131 123 59
8 NYR 46 27 15 4 135 111 58
9 FLA 46 21 15 10 114 129 52
10 PHI 50 21 22 7 139 151 49
11 TOR 50 22 24 4 144 155 48
12 OTT 47 19 19 9 129 134 47
13 CBJ 47 21 23 3 119 148 45
14 NJD 49 18 22 9 110 137 45
15 CAR 48 17 25 6 104 125 40
16 BUF 49 14 32 3 92 174 31

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
J. Voracek 50 17 41 11 58
C. Giroux 49 16 36 7 52
M. Streit 50 7 28 0 35
W. Simmonds 50 18 13 -4 31
B. Schenn 50 11 20 -2 31
S. Couturier 50 11 12 0 23
M. Read 50 3 15 -8 18
M. Del Zotto 38 4 12 -6 16
M. Raffl 40 12 3 6 15
V. Lecavalier 36 7 7 -9 14
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
S. Mason 10 12 6 .922 2.40
R. Emery 8 9 1 .887 3.38
Privacy Policy | AdChoices | California Privacy Rights | Contact Us | Advertise Employment | NHL.com Terms of Use

Philadelphiaflyers.com is the official Web site of the Philadelphia Flyers. Philadelphia Flyers and philadelphiaflyers.com are trademarks of Philadelphia Flyers, L.P. NHL, the NHL Shield, the word mark and image of the Stanley Cup and NHL Conference logos are registered trademarks of the National Hockey League. All NHL logos and marks and NHL team logos and marks as well as all other proprietary materials depicted herein are the property of the NHL and the respective NHL teams and may not be reproduced without the prior written consent of NHL Enterprises, L.P. Copyright © 1999-2015 Philadelphia Flyers, L.P. and the National Hockey League. All Rights Reserved.