Thoughts from the Winter Classic
The Philadelphia Flyers opened up a 2-0 lead on the New York Rangers, but could not hold on as the visitors scored three unanswered to win the Winter Classic, 3-2. Here are some thoughts from today's Bridgestone Winter Classic from Citizens Bank Park:
-Schenn off the Schneid
Brayden Schenn was one of the stars of the Winter Classic for the Flyers, netting his first goal and playing an enthusiastic game throughout. He totaled just over 13 minutes of ice time and registered three shots, while winning 12 of his 16 faceoffs. The goal was the first of his career and hopefully this will set some positive things in motion for the 20 year old center. Schenn has struggled with injuries this year and was a -8 heading into the game against the Rangers, but this could be the juice he needs to regain some personal momentum moving forward.
-Jagr's Absence Felt
Jaromir Jagr played just over seven minutes in the game - none after the first period - and that could have played a role in the Flyers stagnant offense following two quick goals early in the second frame. Reports say he left the game with a calf injury, and losing one of your top offensive threats is never what you want, especially in game of this magnitude.
-Flyers Ran Out of Gas
The Flyers really just seemed to lose fuel toward the end as they played sloppily in their own end and allowed the Rangers to crawl back in the game, and then, win it. Such has been the case, at times, in the absence of their best defenseman, Chris Pronger. Perhaps this will open the door for a trade in hopes that it will solidify the men in front of Bobrovsky/Bryzgalov.
-Speaking of Bob...
Bobrovsky played well early on but let in a sloppy second goal to Mike Rupp, one of his two on the day. Perhaps being tricked by the goalie switch, as everyone expected to see Bryzgalov today before head coach Peter Laviolette made the call to go with Bob, the game summary sheet given out after the game had Bryzgalov saving 33 shots that came his way. Obviously, Bobrovsky was in goal and while he showed some flashed of brilliance, he let up a softy that cost them in the end. The Flyers need to get this goalie thing straightened out. But, then again, we've been saying that since roughly 1987.
-Hartnell Gives His All
Scott Hartnell looked like a man possessed out there. He has looked quite spry for the better part of this season, and that changed little during the Winter Classic. Harts had a game-high 13 hits and assisted on Giroux's goal. The Flyers second-leading scorer was chippy and in the Rangers faces all afternoon. After a down year last season, he's found a role that suits him well. It's safe to say that the Flyers wouldn't be in the position they're currently in without the hardworking Hartnell pulling through. I was hugely disappointed by Hartnell for the better part of his time in Philadelphia, but he's now proving he certainly belongs.
And what more can you say about Claude Giroux. The dude is money. He lit the lamp in the second period and played 23 minutes, 23 second, a team-high for forwards. Thank the Hockey Lord he's healthy once again, because without him, this team might be doomed.
-An Awesome Scene
Just a fantastic event and it was really amazing to be in the building. I got a chance to walk through all of Citizens Bank Park and check out all the angles. Some seats were better than others (center field seats were top notch, as were the Hall of Fame level. Diamond Club was too low to see the entire ice), but the atmosphere was intense. Flyers fans know how to party as well, as they were in top form outside of CBP with their grills and coolers out in full force. Another cool scene was when the players took the ice. As they walked from the dugout to the ice, the crowd erupted and showed their boys some love. I can only hope they do this again soon in Philadelphia. Although, Lincoln Financial Field might make more sense as more people would be able to take part in the festivities.