Hockey Night In Canada Stanley Cup Playoffs 2011

Flyers up against top goaltending again

Categories: Boston Bruins, PHI vs. BOS, Philadelphia Flyers

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Philadelphia's James van Riemsdyk has been a load for Boston and goalie Tim Thomas, but other Flyers will need to get in on the act. (Tom Mihalek/Associated Press) Philadelphia's James van Riemsdyk has been a load for Boston and goalie Tim Thomas, but other Flyers will need to get in on the act. (Tom Mihalek/Associated Press)

By Tim Panaccio,

The Philadelphia Flyers are pretty much cooked in this series. Like New England lobsters off the piers leading to the North End.
Sure, they'll win a game in Boston either Wednesday or Friday when this Eastern Conference playoff series continues.
That aside, Bruins goalie Tim Thomas owns them. Don't mention the 3-0 hold the Flyers climbed out of last against Boston. That was against Tuukka Rask.
He didn't make 52 saves in any game of that series like Thomas did on Monday during the Bruins 3-2 overtime thriller that gave Boston a home sweep against the Flyers to open this round.
"He's playing great for them," Flyers forward Claude Giroux said. "He competes a lot. He will do anything to stop the puck and I think we just need to keep shooting."
The Flyers have given Thomas more than they gave Buffalo's Ryan Miller in the first round and still have little to show for it. They had 22 shots in the second period and couldn't score.
"The game started out they got a couple quick goals and a couple of funny bounces too," Thomas said of that period. "I think [Claude] Giroux was trying to shoot that on the 2-on-1 that they scored the first goal on.
"As the game went on I was just trying to work hard and to build to get myself into the game. By the time the third period rolled around I was starting to feel really good. Fortunately I was feeling good at the right time because they got some shots and some opportunities and kept me busy for the third period."
Thomas also had 10 saves in the overtime. Thomas took some heat in the Montreal series for some soft goals. So what, if anything, has changed?
"First I didn't read the criticism, thank goodness," Thomas joked. "I kept myself away from that because we didn't win and we weren't happy with the results for the first two games but I didn't think I played that bad. I mean they scored goals early but they scored some pretty good goals.
"Even in Game 3 I was battling pretty hard and I think even though I let in three goals by that time we called the timeout in the third period. I think I started to at least let Montreal know that they were really going to have to work for any goal that they got from then on out.
"So I don't know if anything necessarily changed completely. The way the team played in front of me has changed in that goalies are always very team dependent and I think that's what you're seeing more than anything."
Déjà vu, up 2-0

Boston was in this spot last year, too, actually getting up 3-0 on the Flyers. This is a different group of Bruins, however, as seven players not in last year's set dress every game.
Like Flyers coach Peter Laviolette said before the series began, counting on his club to make an 0-3 comeback against any team this spring just because the Flyers did it last year, isn't a very safe bet.
"Well it's good to be on the other side this round," Bruins forward David Krejci said. "We can control our own things and bring it back to our building. We are going to use our fans as our seventh player and just go out there and take it game by game. Hopefully we can win the third one and go from there."
Bruins coach Claude Julien doesn't want to go there.
 "Well, you know, it is a nice position to be in, especially when you win the first two on the road," he said. "There is no doubt that it is the perfect scenario for the first two games on the road, but we are not thinking about that. 
"We are thinking about this year. Probably half the players were not even here last year, so we can bring up whatever we want. Our goal here is to focus on what is happening this year.  What happened last year is last year, so it hasn't really been on our minds.  We have absolutely learned from that. We are using those kinds of things as a learning tool."
Lavy says

Flyers coach Peter Laviolette saw his team shut out twice, 1-0 by Ryan Miller in the first round.
Game 2 wasn't a shutout, but when a goalie makes 52 saves, it tends to feel that way.
"A lot of times you can't control the goaltender," Laviolette said. "We can control what we do and certainly we want to go back and go after him again offensively in generating as much as we can and look for those opportunities again.
"We scored a lot of goals this year and I have a lot of confidence we will come back and score more goals."

Laviolette continues to spin it Boston's direction.
"We're gonna go into Boston and we're gonna have some fun," he predicted. "We just put our comfortable slippers on. It's time to go in there.
"The pressure gets alleviated a bit when your're down 0-3 last year and 0-2 this year. Technically, that's 0-5. I'm not sure any team in the history of sports has come back from 0-5. We're just going in there to have fun."
Blown leads

Philadelphia had an early 2-0 cushion on the Bruins in the first period of Game 2 and never scored after that.
Giroux didn't want to address that but preferred to think positive.
"I think it's a good sign that we started playing the way that we should," he said. "We put more pressure and more pucks on net. This reminds me of last year. We weren't getting the bounces at the start of the series. Hopefully we will get the bounces in Boston.
"Yeah, I think everybody played well. I mean the third [period] and overtime were played great. I think we've just got to keep playing like that."
Flyers defenceman Kimmo Timonen didn't duck the question on the blown lead.
"Well that's playoff hockey," he said. "The lead is never safe. It doesn't matter if it's 2-0 or 1-0, that's playoff hockey. We've seen it around the league, it happens, 3-0 leads and the team comes back. 
"Obviously, with a 2-0 lead we have to make sure we get the next goal. Obviously they got a quick two goals and it was a new game. Overall I thought we played pretty well.  We created so many chances to score but couldn't put one in."
Stat you need to know

The Flyers have been outscored on home ice, 21-18 in the playoffs. No other team has yielded as many goals on home ice. Not even close.
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