There is a saying, most often associated with old time hockey, that says, "how can you beat em on the ice if you can't beat em in the alley?" Well, the New York Islanders certainly must have felt that way tonight as they skated to a 5-3 regulation victory over the hometown Toronto Maple Leafs.
For the New York Islanders, home hasn't been very sweet. One of the National Hockey League's "road warriors" with a record of six wins three losses and one overtime loss, the Isles are conversely one of the league's worst home teams. How bad? 2-8-0 bad. The worst home start in franchise history kind of bad.
Six times the Flyers attempted to get their record back to .500 and six times they have failed so far this season.
At 9-11-1, you have to start to wonder why that has been the case. It happened again last night when the Flyers dropped a home game 4-2 to the Maple Leafs, playing flat for the first 50 minutes of the game.
Is it mental? Are they snake-bitten? Or is this all just one big coincidence? Regardless, the Flyers need to earn every point they can get their hands on because this is a shortened season and every point matters just a little bit more if a team wants to make the playoffs.
(Pictured: Ilya Bryzgalov cannot stop a rebound shot by Mikhail Grabovski in the third period. Photo by Paul Bereswill/Getty Images)
The last man on the ice for warm ups was James van Riemsdyk.
Fans were decked in orange and black as well as blue and white no. 21 jerseys all through the Wells Fargo Center before the Flyers 4-2 loss on Monday to Toronto. Decorated with signs, there were a handful of people awaiting the return of the man they call "JvR."
So when the Toronto Maple Leafs left winger finally walked down the visitor's tunnel for the first time and hopped onto the ice, he received some scattered applause from the fans who were ready to acknowledge the returning young star.
(Pictured: James van Riemsdyk shoots on goal against his former team. Photo by Paul Bereswill/Getty Images)
Getting to .500 has been an uphill battle for the Flyers and it continued on Monday against the Toronto Maple Leafs.
An absolute sluggish outing until the final half of the third period cost the Flyers a chance to even up in the standings and get some much-needed points. And though the Leafs were almost equally as sluggish, they came out with the 4-2 win in Philadelphia.
Perhaps the Flyers are pressing to get to .500, but whatever it is, the effort was poor once again. Head coach Peter Laviolette didn't think they were pressing though.
(Pictured: Jakub Voracek battles with Toronto's Cody Franson in front of goalie Ben Scrivens. Photo by Len Redkoles/NHLI via Getty Images)
Former Flyers winger James van Riemsdyk returns to Philadelphia for the first time since being traded this off season for Luke Schenn. He already has a goal against his former team back in Toronto and he is looking for more.
After controlling the level of play through most of the first period, the Flyers were simply outplayed in every way, shape, and form in the second period.
In just the opening 4:10 of the second stanza, the Toronto Maple Leafs scored three unaswered goals on their way to a 5-2 win over the Flyers.
The first goal came on a rebound that bounced off Bryzgalov's pad and right onto enforcer Colton Orr's stick. It was Orr's 12th career goal in over 400 career games and was his first against the Flyers.
The New York Islanders kick off their first road trip of the season tonight against the Toronto Maple Leafs at the Air Canada Centre. It will be the first of three meetings between the two teams during the shortened 48-game season.
With healthy head coach Jack Capuano back behind the bench, the Isles came out on Monday afternoon with confidence and agility. They look to keep the momentum going tonight and pick up another two points. (Photo Credit: gbalogh/Flickr)
The Montreal Canadiens and the Toronto Maple Leafs will once again do battle tonight, this time on the night that Mats Sundin's jersey number goes to the rafters of the Air Canada Centre. These two teams have been in different places all season, with the Maple Leafs fighting for a playoff spot and the Canadiens struggling to even come close. This is a welcome change, of course, for Maple Leafs fans, for which the situation is usually flipped, but for Habs fans, it's an unusual and painful experience.
Tonight the oldest and most historic rivalry in the NHL is reborn, and both teams d...