Sunday, February 14, 2016

Three things to look for in Flyers' Game 2

Three things.

Three things to look for in Flyers' Game 2

Brian Boucher stopped 41 of 46 shots in Game 1 against the Bruins. (Yong Kim / Staff Photographer)
Brian Boucher stopped 41 of 46 shots in Game 1 against the Bruins. (Yong Kim / Staff Photographer)

Here are three things that might catch your eye in Game 2 against the Boston Bruins.

1) Glass half-full. This has been the Flyers' take on their 5-4 overtime loss in Game 1. They knew the first period had disastrous potential because of the team's 9-day layoff between series, and it pretty much was. In the second and third period, it is very easy to say the Flyers had the better of the play; overtime, not so much. To put a couple of numbers to the argument, consider: In the first period, the Flyers were outscored by 2-0, outshot by 15-8, and lost 12 out of 19 faceoffs. In the next two periods, the Flyers outscored Boston by 4-2, outshot the Bruins by 24-16, and won 22 out of 34 faceoffs. It really was half-full.

2) Richards vs. Chara. With the benefit of the last line change at home, Bruins coach Claude Julien used it to make sure that his shutdown defenseman, Zdeno Chara, was out against Flyers capain Mike Richards (and his linemates, for the most part, Dan Carcillo and Claude Giroux). If you were looking for a sign of how much the Bruins respect Richards, that is it. He had 39 shifts in Game 1 and Chara was out against him on 34 of them. On the flip side, Chara was out for 36 shifts and 34 of them were against Richards. On the day, Richards had a power play goal and two assists. He and his linemates attempted 11 shots and nine of them got through to the goaltender. Richards played great. Against Chara, he had to play great. We'll see if Julien keeps the matchup in Game 2.

3) A must win? I honestly don't think so. This series has all the signs of being an elongated hell -- very physical, very tense. It is obvious that the math helps the Flyers a lot if they win Game 2, but as long as they continue to play well, it seems to me that regardless of the outcome, either way, we have long way to go here. The body count is going to matter at some point. The Flyers are playing without leading scorer Jeff Carter, Simon Gagne and Ian Laperriere. The Bruins have now lost their leading scorer, Marco Sturm, as well as defenseman Dennis Seidenberg. But we have a long way to go.

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Daily News Executive Sports Editor
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About this blog
Rich Hofmann arrived at the Daily News in 1980 for a job whose status was officially designated as "full-time, temporary." A senior at Penn at the time, he was hired to fill in on the copy desk during a staff illness. The notion of him covering the Eagles or being a columnist did not exist in anyone's imagination. It was supposed to be six weeks and out, but he never left. It is only one of the reasons why so many people have concerns about him as a potential house guest. Rich has blogged the postseasons of the Flyers and Eagles. E-mail Rich at Reach Rich at

Rich Hofmann Daily News Executive Sports Editor
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