While it remains to be seen if the Flyers can build on the momentum of what coach Peter
Laviolette called “a complete game”, fans at least have to feel better in the short term about their team after Philadelphia’s dismantling of the Islanders Monday afternoon, 7-0.
The Flyers (7-9-1) set the tone early, with Claude Giroux scoring twenty-six seconds into
the first period, putting Philadelphia up 1-0.
The Captain held a team meeting today to address their poor play this season, including his own. Giroux made his intent clear early when he laid a few hits on Islanders Center John Tavares,
whose five game goal streak was ended today, as well as compiling three points (two goals) in leading the Flyers’ onslaught.
It’s safe to say that Giroux’s words motivated the whole team, as they dominated an Islanders team fresh off of a sound victory over the New Jersey Devils on Saturday. The Flyers were physical and
aggressive in out-scoring and out-hitting the Islanders, forcing turnovers and never really allowing the New York skaters to get comfortable.
Matt Read, Giroux, Danny Briere, Braden Schenn, and Zac Rinaldo all scored goals for the Flyers, with Jakub Voracek assisting on four of the goals. Two goals came on the power play, where
the Flyers went 2-4 today, a good deal better than the team’s season average of 17.2%.
The game was close until the second quarter, when the Flyers erupted for three goals to build a 4-0 lead. It was clear that the Islanders players were becoming frustrated, particularly when LW
Matt Martin engaged Wayne Simmonds in the first of two fights in just this game, the second being against Braydon Coburn in the third.
Goalie Ilya Bryzgalov played very well, particularly in stopping one very close shot early and not allowing any of the nineteen shots he saw in all to go in the net. The lack of scoring opportunities
was just as much a testament to the strong defense employed by the Flyers, who prevented
New York from scoring on all five of their Power Play opportunities. It was Bryzgalov’s first shutout of the season.
Even after the events of the second period, the game was still faintly within reach for the Islanders, but the Flyers kept up their aggressive play, and scored another three goals, including two by Briere, to run up the score to 7-0.
The two three-goal periods were impressive displays for a team that averaged 2.4 goals per game coming into the contest, despite the mediocre 2.81 GAA New York Goalie Evgeni Nabokov brought
into the game.
The Flyers have an off-day Tuesday before heading to Pittsburgh (11-5-0) for the final game of their six-game road trip. A victory would likely give the team a huge momentum boost, as they would break even for the road trip. Of course, it will also be a big game against the hated Penguins, as well as a chance to move up in the division standings in this short season.
New York (6-8-1) travels to Ottowa looking to bounce back after this lopsided defeat at home. It
will certainly be a challenge, as Ottowa is the third-stingiest team in terms of goals allowed per game (1.9). With today's loss,
New York drops to last in the Atlantic division with thirteen points, behind the Flyers, who have fifteen.