It was no surprise the Philadelphia Flyers struggled to find their game in the first period of Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Semifinals against the New Jersey Devils.
What was not known, was how long it would take the Flyers to get back to the swing of things and which players were going to lead the way.
Claude Giroux, Danny Briere and James van Riemsdyk accounted for all four Flyer goals. Briere has a history of performing well in the playoffs and looks as if it is rubbing off on JvR and Giroux who have flourished during this time of the year, as well.
One player who could fit that mold in time is Jakub Voracek.
Mother Nature had her way with just about everyone this past week, amping up the temperatures to trick everyone into thinking they were in mid-playoff form. Unfortunately, this was the week that the Canadiens discovered (for real) that there is no chance of that for them this year.
Shut Out: Wednesday, March 21st, 2012
Cody Hodgson scored his first goal as a Buffalo Sabre and added another in the third period to procure the Sabres a win, Tuesday, against the Canadiens.
The Sabres once were where the Canadiens are, and are now where they usually tend to be at this time of year, fighting for a playo...
Making Ilya Bryzgalov the story for every game has become tiresome to the fans, the front office and Bryzgalov himself.
But when he does something as special as he's done the past couple of weeks, it's hard to just take all the focus away from the Russian netminder, nicknamed the $51 Million Man.
The Flyers have been winning, and they have been playing a brand of hockey many expected them to play down the stretch. Scoring, defense and goaltending - those are the three things that win championships.
So why does the focus all come back to Bryzgalov? Because of the franchise shutout streak that he just broke that stood tall for 13 years midway through the second period.
There is nothing more frustrating than sandwiching a win in between two shut out losses.
After a 2-0 loss in Edmonton and a huge 5-4 comeback win in Calgary, the offense disappeared again, dropping 1-0 to the Sharks in San Jose Tuesday night.
There was one huge bright spot in the game though and it came in the form of goalie Ilya Bryzgalov.
Not even 90 seconds into the game, this game had the makings of a Bryz-aster. The Flyers turned over the puck in the offensive zone and San Jose's Ryan Clowe ripped a wrister past Bryzgalov for a quick 1-0 lead.
With that being said, it wound up being the one tally that made all the difference in this game. But be that it may, Bryzgalov picked himself up and played one of the best games he had all season, despite being on the losing side.
As the puck went through the net with 44 seconds left in overtime, Jaromir Jagr's right glove came off for his patented salute. It's been his trademark since his current teammates were skating around peewee hockey rinks.
The old man at the end of his career helped point out the unifying factor among every individual in the NHL.
While there are discrepancies in pay grade, talent level and strategic philosophy, the bond that every player shares is the fact that some day, inevitably, the game will come to pass them by.
For some, that day will come sooner than it will for others.
In the case of Philadelphia Flyers 40-year old forward, that day is just over the horizon.
Riding off the momentum a two-goal game against the Penguins on Saturday, Jagr found the back of the net in overtime to cap off a come-from-behind win against the Winnipeg Jets, 5-4. The win prevented a series sweep from the Jets for the season.
Jagr's opportunistic goal wouldn't have come if it weren't for the timeliest of Wayne Simmonds' 22 goals this season. With goalie Ilya Bryzgalov pulled, James van Riemsdyk set up Simmonds with a pass pass in front of the net that number 17 tapped through Ondrej Pavelic's legs to tie the game, 4-4, with under 10 seconds left in the game.
It has been two different types of February for the Flyers heroes on Tuesday.