Flyers-Avalance: Pucks Continue to Bounce Flyers' Way, Win Fifth Straight

Chris DiFrancescoAnalyst IDecember 17, 2008

If anybody has any questions about my headline and what it states, go watch any highlight of last nights Flyers game and take a look at Mike Richards' goal. It's funny how a little over a month ago we would all sit here and say the bounces are just not going the Flyers way. Lately, all of the bounces are in the Flyers' favor.

Joffrey Lupul can help me explain what I'm talking about regarding lucky bounces and Richards' goal.

“It’s a funny thing sometimes,” Lupul said after the game. “At the start of the year we couldn’t get a break and win a game. Now we’re getting goals like Richie’s bounce off the glass and come back and hit the goalie. It’s a nice feeling. You know it’s not going to last forever, but there’s a lot of confidence in this dressing room right now.”

“When it hits the glass, you don’t expect it to go in,” Richards said. “But when you’re playing well, the team gets bounces.”

The Flyers cannot take this lucky spin for granted as Lupul said. But as for now, take all you can get because this team is hotter than hot right now, and it's exciting to watch.

Other than Richards' crazy goal, the rest of the Flyers' scoring was eventful. Jeff Carter netted his 22nd goal of the season on a beautiful shorthanded goal from Simon Gagne.

He is behind only Thomas Vanek for the league lead. Joffrey Lupul scored on a great shot from close to the blueline that appeared to be tipped by Scott Hartnell, but was still given to Lupul.

Mike Knuble and Simon Gagne also added goals to this 5-2 depleting of the Colorado Avalanche. It's amazing to think about what happened the last time the Flyers played the Avs. It was the worst game of the season where the Avs beat them 5-2.

The Flyers had a players meeting after that game and have been one of, if not the hottest team in the NHL since that dreadful day. The Flyers are 13-1-3 in their past 17 games. Only the Sharks have had a better set of productive in the NHL this season, garnering points in 21-of-22. In all, the Flyers are 17-7-6 with 40 points.

They are only two shy of the Atlantic Division lead with the Rangers. This is remarkable when you think about how the Rangers looked a little while back when the Flyers looked dead.

Also, Carter's shorthanded tally last night, gives the Flyers 12 shorthanded goals on the season, which is six more than any other team, and is the same amount the Flyers scored all last season. They have only played 30 games.

It looks like Captain Mike Richards is a man on a mission now, with his three points last night, he now has 15 in his last eight games. Without a doubt, he is the best all-around player this season that I believe the Flyers have had in a long time, maybe ever.

The Flyers powerplay has been close to unstoppable lately. The Flyers’ powerplay is second-best in the league, having scored 14 goals in 33 attempts during the past seven games. For the math genuises that’s about 43 percent.

The new dynamic duo of Philadelphia hockey is Simon Gagne and Mike Richards. They both have 37 points and are tied for fourth in the NHL in scoring, behind some pretty big names such as Crosby, Malkin, and oh yeah, that Ovechkin guy.

There are a lot of things to be excited about with this Flyers club, and the sky seems to be the limit. But it is only December.

Also, if my sources are correct from the NHL, Mats Sundin will end up with the Rangers most likely. So, we get to see Sundin more often than we're used to. Good for him, the new Roger Clemens of hockey.