The last time the Philadelphia Flyers and Boston Bruins met, it was in the midst of a seven-game winning streak for the Flyers.
But unfortunately for the orange and black-clad team, that streak came to an abrupt end when they hosted the Stanley Cup champion Bruins.
In a pathetic showing which was featured on HBO’s 24/7, the Flyers were abused 6-0 at the hands of Boston. Just over a month later, the Bullies will seek pay back against the Bruins, who they have split the season series, 1-1, so far.
While the Philadelphia Flyers have a successful record halfway through the season, there are still things that need to be improved upon down the stretch -- namely, defense.
The Flyers are 26-13-4 heading into their 43rd game of the season. They have the offensive depth it takes to make them Stanley Cup contenders, but a team needs to be balanced throughout the entire roster to go all the way.
The struggles of Ilya Bryzgalov in net for the Flyers has been highly publicized.
He is not playing at the level expected of him.
However, the 128 goals allowed by the Flyers so far this season have not all been Bryzgalov’s responsibility. The defense has struggled, and struggled mightily in some cases.
Despite playing the first two periods of Thursday night’s 3-2 victory against the New York Islanders like a virtuoso, Bobrovsky lost his shutout only 22 seconds into the final period.
After stopping 22 consecutive shots that had him sprawling across the crease for two periods, it merely took a tap from Kyle Okoposo to end his perfect night. Then to pile it on, the Islanders snuck a second goal by him with only 15 seconds remaining in regulation.
Not that it mattered at that point, but it distorts what otherwise was a phenomenal night from the 23-year old goaltender.
That’s the most important point to take away from Thursday night. It doesn’t matter that Bobrovsky wasn’t flawless, what matters is that he looked exceptionally good.
It’s a standard that Philadelphia Flyers head coach Peter Laviolette holds all of his players to; the security of your play, not your contract, will determine how much playing time you will receive.
While Ilya Bryzgalov has more than enough security in his lucrative nine-year contract, he will (in all likelihood) be viewing tonight’s game against the New York Islanders from the bench rather than the goal crease.