The game last night against the Thrashers was simply disgusting, and the outcome was inexcusable. The third period—especially if you have a lead—is where your team should be playing its most aggressive hockey. Why? Because desperation for the opposition is setting in, and it will do anything to put points up on the scoreboard.
What should the Flyers do?
Since Pronger is banged up, why not create special third-period lines consisting of your best closers? Sure, the chemistry may not be there, but if these guys, who have played together all year, can’t come together for just 20 minutes, something is not right.
Veterans need to be on the ice in crunch time. The third period isn’t the time to be testing out new lines. It’s a time to go back to basics and a time to use the strategies that got the Flyers to the top of the Eastern Conference, strategies such as an aggressive forecheck and eternal relentlessness.
Kris Versteeg has had two key turnovers since he got here, and both of those turned into goals for the other team. Maybe Pronger should take out his whip on V instead of Giroux. I almost find myself wanting Zherdev out there.
Lastly, play Carcillo MORE in the third period; the aggression he brings is unmatched. The other players will feed off of that, which is exactly what the Flyers need.
The third period is quite simply a keep-away game for 20 minutes. It shouldn’t be that difficult…
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