Flyers begin preseason with 4-3 victory over NJ

It wasn’t always pretty, but the Flyers started the preseason off right with a 4-3 shootout victory over the visiting New Jersey Devils, Tuesday at the Wells Fargo Center.

Darroll Powe, Jeff Carter and Danny Briere each had a goal and rookie goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky took home the win with three shootout saves and seven in regulation. Goaltender Michael Leighton started the game strong, but slowed down in the second period. He finished with 20 saves on 23 shots. Claude Giroux and Mike Richards scored in the shootout.

The Good

Claude Giroux – The third-year forward started slow the past two seasons, but appeared to be in continuation of his playoff form on Tuesday. With a jump to his step and his typical confidence with the puck, Giroux, who is in a contract year, had an assist in the Flyers’ first goal and was pressing all night.

James van Riemsdyk – All reports coming into Tuesday’s contest had the second-year forward in the best shape of his life and looking stronger and quicker than ever. That was confirmed against the Devils, as van Riemsdyk tore past defenders and put his firm wrist shot on display. JVR was held scoreless but was a plus-1 with three shots and used his speed on the edge to draw a key penalty in overtime.

Sergei Bobrovsky – Seeing his first professional action in North America, the rookie goaltender acquired by the Flyers from Russia in the offseason, was impressive. Instead of nerves, Bobrovsky,22, flashed quickness and savvy, making seven saves in the third period and overtime to send the Flyers into a shootout. There, he stood out once again, making three-of-four saves to give Philadelphia the win.

The Bad

Michael Leighton’s Second Period – Just when you thought it was safe to not worry about Leighton coming down to earth this season, after a solid first period, bad rebound goals by Dainius Zubrus and Jamie Langenbrunner reopened the questions.

The Interesting

Nik ZherdevDespite a solid effort on the offensive end, Zherdev finished the contest a minus-3 and missed a crucial shootout attempt. A sign of things to come or a fluke?

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3 Comments

Filed under 2009-10 season

3 responses to “Flyers begin preseason with 4-3 victory over NJ

  1. Carl

    You didn’t think that Guerin was slow and generally God-awful? I understand that he is likely going to make the team but he is just spent. He has got nothing left. He was clearly being outskated by his linemates the entire game. At one point he was the only forward that didn’t have to rush back to get onsides…

    Also, I don’t like Walker due to his absurd cap hit for a 7th defenseman but he didn’t look bad. In a non-cap world he’d definitely a solid guy to have around. But since Bart is waiver eligible, young, and cheap I don’t see how you can keep Walker instead.

    Zherdev is definitely the most “skilled” player on the team. Obviously, that doesn’t necessarily translate into his success. But, you forgot to note that, despite being -3, it was never his man that scored. Additionally, those goals were awfully soft. Zherdev is going to open a lot of space for the offense.

    I would also add that Giroux really needs more skilled linemates. He creates so much by himself and, even though Powe scored, he needs to be surrounded by offensively gifted players.

    Also, it is pretty clear that the new defenders weren’t prepared for Leighton’s rebound shenanigans.

    • Bill Guerin looked very slow early on but picked up as the game got going. He showed some nice puck possession and offensive instincts. For me, jury is still out.

      Oskars Bartulis didn’t look out of place, but I doubt he’ll replace Matt Walker. Walker is someone the Flyers have always liked, and Paul Holmgren LOVES the physical aspect of his depth d-men.

      I liked Zherdev’s game tonight. Still knocking off some North American rust, and I thought he worked hard back checking. That’s why I put it in the “Interesting” category. Stats didn’t match the effort, in my opinion.

      Claude Giroux will have talent around him. Don’t worry about that.

      Good stuff Carl.

  2. Carl

    Homer may love Walker but the logic behind number theory outlined by Alfred North Whitehead and Bertrand Russell in their landmark work “Principia Mathematica” clearly shows that wishful thinking won’t allow Homer to circumvent the salary cap no matter how he tries to twist the numbers.

    It’s insanity to pay your bottom pairing and #7 defenseman the amount that we are spending. In addition, Homer thought that it was a great idea to offer Bartulis a 3 year, one-way contract after playing all of five NHL games. Big mistake. If you waive Bart, he’ll get claimed. He’s just too young and too cheap not to.

    Walker, even with his (rather ineffective) right-handed shot and physical play, isn’t worth his salary and certainly isn’t worth the number of years he’s signed for. He was traded by Tampa because Yzerman wanted a salary dump. That’s the same reason Yzerman dumped Mezaros on us. We think that Mez has great upside, Yzerman thought that he was grossly overpaid and unable to reach his potential.

    We shall see. But, right now, the Flyers took on a great deal of longterm salary and lost scoring depth that they are so desperate to replace that they are considering Guerin.

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