Impressions of the Philadelphia Flyers' Opener
The first Flyers' game is over and the new look Flyers walked away with the 2-1 victory. In this game, Boston seemed to have no Stanley Cup hangover while the Flyers showed some early signs of chemistry.
That said, some players really stood out in this game. Without further ado, we look at the standout players. The ratings are outstanding, good and sub-par.
Outstanding: Brad Marchand
Brad Marchand was amazing in last year's playoffs. He broke out at as a rookie player to watch and is looking to build off that this season. His new contract has a $2.5 million cap hit, which looks like a steal for the Boston Bruins.
Besides scoring the first goal of the game by getting open and showing incredible patience to beat Bryzgalov on the breakaway, Marchand seemed to be constantly working hard to make himself a threat.
He had multiple scoring chances including another breakaway. He seemed to be the most dangerous Bruin on the ice.
The one knock on his play was the slashing penalty at the end of the game on James Van Riemsdyk. The goalie was pulled and Marchand was trying to keep the puck in the zone.
But the defense was back and at best JVR clears the puck. The slash pretty much put the Bruins away. If Marchand can play like this, I could see him becoming a star in this league.
For Flyers fans who were worried about the Bryzgalov, he has shown good reason to put those worries to bed. 22 saves on 23 shots is good for any goalie. It's even more impressive when you look at how many quality scoring chances the Bruins got in the game.
Perhaps his best save of the game was a glove save on a backhand by Marchand. Marchand was shaking his head no after that save and rightfully so. I could not believe my eyes.
You could never count Bryzgalov out for an amazing stop. He made all the stops that he should have made. While this isn't as tough as playing in Philly (our fans are pretty tough), he still gave us plenty of hope that all the offseason moves were worth it to put this man in the net.
Outstanding: Tyler Seguin
Tyler Seguin did a lot of things right in this game. While one assist may not seem particularly flashy for a guy with this much potential, he had a great game.
His assist to Marchand was a beautiful stretch pass to give him a breakaway. He showed terrific vision and the ability to make a great pass. Other than that, Seguin was not a defensive liability, which is important for young players.
Another thing to get excited about is his positioning. He was in the perfect position to get the puck for a shot at the wide open net in the final minutes of this game. It is arguable that he would have scored had he not been hit just prior to the shot. Nine out of 10 times he will make that shot.
Outstanding: Jagr and Giroux
While individually they looked good, together they could dominate the game. Giroux was making back passes and Jagr was controlling the puck in the corners and deking around players.
Giroux ended up scoring the first goal for the Flyers on a feed from Jagr. Jagr must have had at least three good scoring chances off feeds from Giroux. The two seem to have amazing chemistry early that has carried over from the preseason.
I would be suprised to see the JVR, Giroux and Jagr line be broken up during the season because they looked fantastic.
Good: The Boston Bruins
The Bruins as a whole looked very good in this game. They played with intensity and controlled the flow of play for a good portion of the game. If a couple amazing saves and defensive plays weren't made, they could have walked away with the win.
The Stanley Cup hangover is universally excepted around the NHL. The Bruins did not seem to have it. Thomas looked good, Chara looked good, Caron looked good, Bergeron and Krejci looked good and no one looked bad.
This team seems to be as good as they were last year, so the Bruins definitely have a chance to repeat if they can keep this play up.
Good: Sean Couturier
Sean Couturier was the Flyers' first round pick this year. The pick which was brought over in the Jeff Carter trade seems to have been used on the right man.
As an 18-year-old, he is one of only nine players out of this year's draft to be on the team's opening night roster. On top of that, he was put on the penalty kill for the team and on the ice during crucial times at the end of the game.
He played incredibly well defensively on a penalty kill which allowed one goal on five chances. Also, he made an amazing play off the boards to get the puck around Patrice Bergeron setting up a two-on-one.
The defenseman took away the passing lane, so he shot the puck instead of forcing the pass. If he could have gotten a point or a great scoring chance, he would have been on the outstanding list.
Sub-Par: Matt Read
I wasn't expecting him to play like a Calder trophy finalist like some predicted he would. However, he did not play up to the standards that I had come to expect from him.
He made a couple turnovers at different points of the game which I would have written off as first game jitters had it not continued throughout the game.
One memorable instance was his short handed turnover which lead to a great chance for Boston. He thought he had more time than he did so he chose to pass instead of clear it. Boston took it and kept the pressure on.
I was not the only one to notice that Read looked a little off because the coaching staff took him off the line with Couturier and Hartnell at the end of the game. They opted to go with veteran Max Talbot instead. He was absent for the last couple of kills as well.
Players That Were Close to Having There Own Good Slides
So many players played well in this game. It was easier to lump Boston as a team into one slide than have slides for all the players who impressed me. The Flyers had some players who could have warranted slides as well.
Caron, Krejci, Bergeron, Chara, Lucic
Timonen, Carle, Voracek, Simmonds
What do you think of the game? Who impressed you as a fan? Leave a comment below.