When the Philadelphia Flyers took to the Wells Fargo Center ice on Sunday, they were hoping to end their recent home stand on a high note.
Unfortunately, it wasn’t just the red-hot Los Angeles Kings that the team faced. They also faced a day in which the puck wouldn’t quite bounce their way.
Kings goalie Jonathan Quick and Flyers rookie phenom Sergei Bobrovsky dueled to a 0-0 tie after one period of play. Although the scoreboard was untouched, both teams had significant opportunities to get a leg up on their opponent. It wasn’t a surprise that the two offensively talented teams combined for 27 shots, but the lack of scoring surely was.
One team had to seize control of the game, and only 17 seconds into the second period, that team was the Kings. Defenseman Drew Doughty got the puck past Bobrovsky, and it seemed as if the early goal would inspire both teams to increase their attack.
But, Los Angeles would only fired 12 more pucks on net. However, the Flyers ratcheted up their attack in a big way.
For the remaining 37:43 of the game, the Flyers tried everything and anything they could to beat Quick, only to find all attempts futile. The result was a 1-0 defeat, and the fifth time that the Eastern Conference’s highest scoring team has been shutout.
Quick stopped 40 shots from the Orange and Black, but he wasn’t the entire reason the Flyers failed to score. Philadelphia had more than their share of opportunities to put goals on the scoreboard, but for whatever reason, they couldn’t. With every post hit and every bouncing puck, the frustration seemed to mount.
“We threw a lot of pucks on net,” said a frustrated Daniel Briere after the game. “I thought we did a good job going to the net. We battled it out, and for some reason we just couldn’t find the loose pucks. Quick was good when he had to make the big saves.”
Despite the lack of success, the forward was encouraged by the team’s play.
“We worked hard. I was disappointed with the outcome,” Briere said, “but if we play that way we will wind up winning most of the games.”
Briere wasn’t the only player that found solace in the team’s play. Claude Giroux explained the lack of goals from his perspective.
“Yeah, I think it’s a little bit of [Quick and bad breaks],” Giroux said. “When we had a scoring chance, [Quick] was there to stop it. We got a chance because we were playing good defensively. I don’t think it was a bad game overall.”
There is an age-old adage that states, ‘you win some, you lose some’. For as well as the Flyers have played this season, they realized that some nights the puck doesn’t bounce your way.
Despite the 65 total shots that the Flyers took (25 of which were blocked or missed the net), coming up empty on the scoreboard didn’t seem to worry the team too much.
“We had a number of chances and a couple that [Quick] didn’t even know he stopped,” defenseman Chris Pronger stated. “When things are going your way, that’s what happens.”
That’s exactly what can happen on any given night in the NHL. And, that’s exactly what happened to Philadelphia Sunday night.