Some observations on Flyers' opening loss

Matt Slocum/AP

 A few thoughts on the Flyers’ season-opening 3-1 loss to visiting Toronto on Wednesday:

  1. If the Flyers play like they did last night, they will win more than they lose. They had the puck down Toronto’s end at least 60 percent of the game, but they just ran into a hot goalie (Jonathan Bernier).
  2. The Flyers’ PP was only 1 for 7, but any team that has Vinny Lecavalier and Mark Streit on its second unit is extremely dangerous. Both played very well on the PP.
  3. A year ago, the Flyers were one of the NHL’s worst teams in five-on-five situations. That area figures to improve this season because of Lecavalier will give them better matchups. It didn’t happen in the opener, though. Toronto outscored the Flyers, 2-0, in even-strength situations.
  4. It was surprising goalie Steve Mason got the start. Not because he’s not good enough to be the No. 1 guy, but because I thought coach Peter Laviolette would show his respect for the veteran, Ray Emery, and what he did for Chicago last season _ a 17-1 record and a seventh-place finish in the Vezina voting. Look for Emery to start Saturday in Montreal against Danny Briere and Canadiens.
  5. It’s not a good sign that the Flyers couldn’t beat a Toronto team that had played the previous night and was missing one of its marquee off-season additions, suspended winger David Clarkson. Toronto should have been a tired team in the third period, but it held a 2-0 advantage in those 20 minutes.
  6. The Flyers struggled in the faceoff circle last year, but having Adam Hall for a full season and the addition of Lecavalier figures to improve the team greatly in draws. Both struggled Wednesday, however. Lecavalier won 43 percent (9 of 21) and Hall won just 27 percent (3 of 11). Sean Couturier won 73 percent (8 of 11). As a team, the Flyers won 48 percent.
  7. Jake Voracek on the third line? From here, it’s a mistake to break up the great chemistry that he and Claude Giroux had last season.

      Follow Sam Carchidi on Twitter @BroadStBull.