Philadelphia Flyers Show Signs of Rebounding

Chris DiFrancescoAnalyst IOctober 19, 2008

Last nights game against San Jose was a game that the Philadelphia Flyers had to show up to. They had to at least hang with the Sharks to prove that they were trying to fix things quickly. The did just that if you ask me.

The Flyers lost in overtime by a goal from defenseman Dan Boyle to make the score 5-4. Coach John Stevens made some desperate changes to his lines, and even to his defensive pairings.

Mike Richards was put back to center the second line with Joffrey Lupul and Scott Hartnell. These three had some success last season together. Danny Briere was put back at center on the first unit alongside Simon Gagne and Mike Knuble.

Daniel Briere seemed to benefit the most with the change after scoring twice for the orange and black. The first of those two gave the Flyers a 1-0 lead in the first period. This was the Flyers first goal in the first period thus far this season.

As mentioned earlier, Coach Stevens finally put Kimmo Timonen and Braydon Coburn back together to try and stop the bleeding of goals that have occurred so far. They did fantastic against the Sharks all around offensive attack, with Coburn even scoring a goal.

While the Flyers did lose, they went into overtime with the team whom many consider to be the team to beat in the Western Conference besides the Red Wings. But if you watch the game over again, you will see the improvements of the squad. They showed heart, which was something they were lacking thus far.

Daniel Briere gave insight to the moves Coach Stevens made and how they are all ready for more of them.

"At this point, we're looking for a spark," said Briere, who had been playing right wing on the team's only productive line. "And Mike Richards, [Scott] Hartnell and [Steve] Downie played well at times last year, too, so hopefully it can be a little spark that starts our team off. I think we're all open to any combination that might work right now."

Briere continued to talk about the importance of not falling behind in games, and how they have to work better to control the puck.

"It's tough to play catch-up hockey all the time," he said. "That's one of the things we've talked about. We have to be ready right from the get-go. We can't let the other team set the tempo and then adjust to that.

"We have to get out there and make sure they adjust to us. I think that was one of our strengths last year. A lot of times we came out hard-hitting with a lot of intensity. We just haven't done that yet so far this year."

One of the high points of the game happened during the second period when the Flyers were outstanding on the penalty kill, burning the Sharks full two-minute five on three advantage. The defense gave up only one shot during that span.

The Flyers are now 0-3-2 and are still at the bottom of both the Eastern Conference and Atlantic Division standings with only two points. The have off until Wednesday when they play San Jose again, this time in Philadelphia. This time off will give Coach Stevens a lot of chances to try different things that can click early and often.

Quick time change note: For those who don't know, This Saturday's game against the New jersey Devils has been changed from 7:00pm to 4:00pm due to the World Series game being played at Citizens Bank Park at 8:00pm.