Blog of Shame: Flyers Drop Second Straight in the Sunshine State

This is totally not a bad, fake Photoshop.

This is totally not a bad, fake Photoshop.

Blog of Shame is an attempt at a rational look back at the previous night’s Flyers game in simple bullet-proof form. (Discarded working title: 36 Reasons Michael Del Zotto is Texting You Right Now)

On Saturday, November 1, the Philadelphia Flyers dropped a 2-1 decision to the Florida Panthers. Let’s highlight some noteworthy elements of the game.

  • Steve Mason posted a season-high .993 SV% in his return to the net, stopping 28 of 30 shots against. He did not look rusty at all. It appeared that he did not see the first goal against and admitted he should have tracked it better. However, he kept his team in the game and gave them a shot to win a game the Flyers should have won.
  • Mason’s season was summed up in the Charlie Brown-esque statement that the team played best when he was on the bench. In no way was that Mason’s fault, though. The team simply failed to show up for a majority of the game.
  • Obvious statement: A team cannot go 0-for-6 on the power play — including a 5-on-3 — and expect to win a game.
  • In his first game back, Vinny Lecavalier killed Roberto Luongo’s chance at a shutout by putting the Flyers on the board with only a handful of seconds left in the game. It was his fourth point in four games this season. He started last season strong as well, prior to suffering setbacks due to injury. He is clearly on the decline and injury prone but, when used properly in a limited role, Lecavalier still has something to offer to the team.
  • Michael Raffl has been a revelation this season. Even when he fails to register a point, he still generates scoring chances and makes good plays. He has been a surprisingly good fit with Claude Giroux and Jake Voracek on the top line. One cannot help but begin to wonder what his older brother, Thomas, is up to.
  • There are precisely zero reasons to keep Zac Rinaldo in the lineup. One of the strengths of the team this season has been its ability to stay out of the penalty box. Between Rinaldo’s poor decisions and bad reputation, he hurts the team more than he helps.
  • Michael Del Zotto has played better than expected this season and, as Bill Clement stated, he is showing flashes of the player he was just a few years ago. This experiment could turn out to be a successful reclamation project. New acquisition, Carlo Colaiacovo, might just be a complementary partner to Del Zotto on the power play.
  • If Del Zotto continues to improve and Colaiacovo stays healthy, the Flyers might actually have a decent top four when Braydon Coburn — who is ahead of schedule — returns.
  • The Flyers play another weak opponent on Tuesday when the team squares off against the Edmonton Oilers. Mason should get another start to get back in rhythm and work out the kinks in his game. As long as the Flyers show up ready to play, the game is winnable. Seeing a W in the win column would be a big boost to Mason’s confidence.

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