What Did the Flyers Learn From Game One?
WASHINGTON — At the end of the regular season, the Flyers were on a roller coaster ride. Every loss was devastating because it might've been the one that knocked them out of playoff contention.
A loss in Game 1 of the postseason against the Washington Capitals wasn't met with such depression because the Flyers know they have another chance...and at least two more after that.
"In the playoffs you’ve got to have a short memory," Nick Cousins said. "It’s going to be a long series. It’s going to be two teams that don’t like each other very much. You gotta have a short memory. If we win tonight and we go home 1-1, I think we’d be pretty satisfied with that coming into the start of the series. Big game tonight. We’ll be ready for the challenge."
The Flyers think they have a chance at evening the series before heading home even without top defensive center Sean Couturier because they looked at the game tape and saw some places for improvement. Among them is getting more traffic in front of Capitals goalie Braden Holtby, the odds-on favorite to win the Vezina Trophy as the league's best goaltender.
"Holtby’s a pretty sharp goalie," captain Claude Giroux said. "We know that if he sees the puck he’s going to stop it. We’ll throw more pucks at him, traffic, rebounds, some greasy goals."
That's easier said than done, but the Flyers think they can wear down the Capitals. Half of the job might be done already for them because of how much the Capitals used their top two defense pairs. The last one of Dmitry Orlov and Nate Schmidt combined for 18:20 of ice time, four minutes shy of any other single defenseman. If the physical play keeps up, the Flyers may be the biggest benefactors.