Through three games, the Flyers have been perfect in the standings. They’re looking to start the season with four consecutive wins for the first time since 1995. But after beating the reigning Stanley Cup champions, the reigning President’s Trophy winners and a division rival, coach Peter Laviolette still sees room for improvement.
“The puck got away from us a few times through turnovers,” Laviolette said about Wednesday night’s home opening win over the Canucks. “I think a lot of that has to do with the style that Vancouver plays. They pressure pucks an awful lot. I think we can try and clean up that a little bit.”
Laviolette also mentioned that the Flyers have to stay out of the penalty box. They held a parade in the third period with five infractions. The area that they needed to improve on after two games was faceoffs. Check that box off though, because they won 52 percent of the draws on Wednesday.
Claude Giroux seems awfully comfortable being “The Man” in Philly
Yes, Chris Pronger wears the “C” for the Flyers, but there’s a lot of pressure on the new top center duo of Giroux and Danny Briere to pick up the slack after Jeff Carter and Mike Richards were traded. Giroux already has three goals in three games in a large part because of his alertness during instantaneous breakdowns. And we are looking for Giroux to one of the players this season to break the 100 point mark. Giroux will be a huge factor in Philly’s success.
The Ilya Bryzgalov gamble is paying off so far
On paper, Bryz didn’t have an amazing night on Wednesday, as he allowed four Vancouver Canucks goals. The thing is, he also faced 40 shots and was due a statistically questionable evening after allowing just one goal in his first two starts. People were so wrapped up in his questionable contract that they forgot that the guy can flat-out play. Bryz biggest challenge will be keeping the fans happy and we all know that isn’t an easy task in Philly.
New forwards are fitting in already
Jaromir Jagr and Jakub Voracek were big wild cards coming into 2011-12, but so far, they’ve been looking pretty good. While those Czech wingers provide depth offense, the most pleasant surprise has been Wayne Simmonds, who’s done a little bit of everything for Philly. Sean Courturier might not avoid a demotion after his ninth game, but he’s been solid in his own right. And JVR isn’t a new forward but the kid has the skills to be a top forward in Philly.
Don’t sleep on Pronger
If fantasy hockey draft selections are any indication, many in the hockey world assume that Pronger is next to done. Yet in three games, he has four points, including a goal tonight. He might not be the irresistible force he once was, but 90 percent Pronger is still better than almost any blueliner in the league – and it’s possible that no one is meaner. Everyone keep their eyes on Pronger because he has a lot to prove from what he lacked at the end of last season.
Yes, it’s early on, but this Flyers team defeated the two 2011 Stanley Cup finalists in their first three games. If they can beat their Western Conference doppelgangers the Los Angeles Kings on Saturday, it might be time to start taking this Philly experiment seriously.