Thursday, October 6

Forsberg shoots, he passes.....yeah, he does everything

Man, that was a tough one. After coming out to face an early deficit, the Flyers really came together to put themselves in the lead. We had Forsberg to Gagne, Forsberg to Knuble, and at least two other perfect chances that Forsberg set up. I like the sound of that though, Forsberg to Gagne, actually just Forsberg to anyone, or anyone to Forsberg. Point is, their overly complicated powerplay aside, they looked great. The young guns looked great (Mike Richards first career NHL game, first career NHL goal), the defense looked good (Desjardins still calls the shots from two skates, instead of the four-bladed ice sled I expected), and Robert Esche made a few great saves and even got some help from the crossbar on a penalty shot.

Then the third period started. The orange and black looked just tired at first, but then they went on to show such qualities as confusion, laziness, and just plain dumbness. I couldn't tell if that third period collapse was actually awful, or if I was unconditioned to watching hockey, and forgotten that maybe the team that wants it more will win 75% of the time. It's not all bad news, as the Flyers are obviously a better team than the one that came out after the second intermission, but they do need some work. Luckily the best coach in the NHL still resides behind our bench, and I don't really have too many serious worries.

As for the new style of the game, I was slightly surprised by a few things. First of all, so many penalties. But unless they were giving someone a two minute break for self-reflection, there weren't many whistles at all. The game went by pretty quickly, and the lack of the two-line pass really opens up the neutral zone to quick attacks. It's weird to not see the clutching and grabbing that some critics thought were bringing the game down, but it will eventually benefit the game. At least after the players learn what's now become a penalty.

Hockey's back, thank God. Now all we need is Iverson to lace up the skates like I've always wanted and we'll be a lock-in for the Cup.

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