Jan 19, 2012, 11:20 PM EDT
Cross the Flyers’ home winning streak over the Islanders off the ledger, replace it with 0-1-0 on games after fashion shows.* Sergei Bobrovsky gave the Flyers all they could possibly ask for, but at times, he might as well have been on the ice by himself. Evgeni Nabokov and the Islanders defense kept the Flyers off the board until halfway through the third period, then finished them off, 4-1, with an empty netter.
The Islanders scored on an odd-man rush, a shorthanded breakaway, a 4-on-3 power play, and an empty net. Hell they even kicked one in (waved off). Bob was under fire all night, turning aside a stream of breakaways and keeping the Flyers in a game they trudged through until the third period. Unfortunately, none of his skaters matched his performance.
The Flyers’ shot total (41) was about as meaningless as the Eagles’ ability to pile up yardage at a record-setting pace. They rarely actually threatened. They struggled to gain the zone with any momentum, then were quickly put on their heels as the Isles cruised in high gear through the neutral zone. Passing lanes were left wide open, and the Isles sent long passes through them at will. Bob was all but abandoned at times.
Try as you might, there was little beyond Bob’s performance to hang your hat on in this one. Sean Couturier’s goal-scoring streak was snapped at five, but he did assist on Matt Read’s third period marker. Cooter snapped a rolling puck toward the net, and Read deflected it under Nabokov’s glove. Read now leads NHL rookies in goals with 14.
That was it though. Defensive efforts struggled from the forwards on back, with some key turnovers leading from both units. The Flyers actually showed regression from the last time these teams met. Just last week, Bob weathered an Islanders storm to salvage a win. Tonight, even his great performance wasn’t enough.
After the game, Kimmo Timonen, who had a rough night, indicated this game was all about the Flyers.
While there is truth to the sentiment that the Flyers sucked, the Isles’ effort can’t be discounted. Even had the Flyers played a decent game, they might have driven home with a loss. In fact, if Bob weren’t so on point, it would have been even uglier, earlier.
Here’s the video. The Bob saves are actually kinda worth it despite the awful plot.
The Flyers head to Jersey for a matinee on Saturday, then host the Bruins on Sunday afternoon. No Fashion Show Fridays, boys.*
*I’m obviously kidding about the fashion show hangover thing, but wanted to make that clear here to prevent any misinterpretation. The Flyers’ wives have always been league-leaders in charity work, and their first ever fashion show looked like the start of a great new tradition.
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