Friday, July 31, 2015

First impressions on 0-2 Flyers

UPDATE: Zac Rinaldo will miss a minimum of one week because of a lacerated right leg, GM Paul Holmgren said. Tye McGinn will be recalled from the Phantoms.

First impressions on 0-2 Flyers

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Coach Peter Laviolette conceded that the Flyers can give goalie Ilya Bryzgalov more support this year, but made it clear he does not plan to change the team´s modus operandi: attack, attack, attack. (Tom Mihalek/AP)
Coach Peter Laviolette conceded that the Flyers can give goalie Ilya Bryzgalov more support this year, but made it clear he does not plan to change the team's modus operandi: attack, attack, attack. (Tom Mihalek/AP)

UPDATE: Zac Rinaldo will miss a minimum of one week because of a lacerated right leg, GM Paul Holmgren said. Tye McGinn will be recalled from the Phantoms.

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BUFFALO - A dozen first impressions on the 2013 Flyers, who are 0-2 for the first time since 2008: 

1. Luke Schenn needs to play with more discipline AND more physicality. That’s a fine line, and it takes time to find the right balance.

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2. Brayden Schenn has not been that effective on the top line. But it’s early and he deserves a longer look-see before Wayne Simmonds or Jake Voracek is moved to the first unit.

3. The power play is out of sync and dearly misses the injured Danny Briere, who won’t be back until Saturday at the earliest. In addition, the team has been weak on faceoffs.

4. The defense played well in the opener against the Penguins, but left Ilya Bryzgalov out to dry in Sunday’s 5-2 loss in Buffalo. They allowed 41 shots against the Sabres, a team that should have looked rusty because it was playing its first game.

5. Scott Laughton, the team’s No. 1 pick, plays with a tenacity and poise beyond his years. He will give the Flyers a difficult decision on whether to keep him here after he plays five games.

6. The penalty kill has been atrocious. Yes, there have been some bad bounces, but they are giving teams too much room. Opponents are 5 for 9 on their PP against the Flyers, including an empty-net goal. Luke Schenn and Ruslan Fedotenko are newcomers on the team's PK.

7. It’s only two games, but the Flyers have not displayed enough physical play. They have one of the league’s biggest D corps and need to show that size DOES matter.

8. Bryzgalov has been mostly sharp, and the 0-2 start can’t be pinned on him.

9. Don’t expect Flyers management to be patient, especially in a 48-game season. If they start this year like they did the lockout-shortened 1995 season (3-7-1), a major move is coming.

10. The Flyers miss Jaromir Jagr’s presence a lot more than many probably imagined.

11. Rinaldo has played with lots of fire (nine hits in less than 12 minutes), but is now sidelined by a leg injury. The Flyers need to play with Rinaldo's passion.

12. It’s still early, even in a shortened season. Exhale. Breathe. Didn’t that feel good?

Follow Sam Carchidi on Twitter @BroadStBull.

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