I'm unsure what coach Ken Hitchcock expected out of the Flyers, sitting physical guys like Max Lapierre and Brenden Morrow in favor of slighter players like Dmitrij Jaskin and Magnus Pääjarvi. The line-up that probably should've been iced against the Blackhawks in that 4-0 embarrassment Wednesday night was out there against the Flyers this afternoon, and it showed.
It was difficult for either team to get any sort of consistency to their game considering the number of penalties called. Witness:
|04:30||STL||Barret Jackman Tripping - 2 min against Zac Rinaldo|
|13:59||STL||David Backes Cross checking - 2 min against Scott Hartnell|
|15:02||PHI||Claude Giroux Holding - 2 min against Vladimir Sobotka|
|15:02||PHI||Claude Giroux Hooking - 2 min against Vladimir Sobotka|
|15:22||STL||T.J. Oshie Charging - 2 min against Mark Streit|
|19:53||STL||Vladimir Sobotka Hooking - 2 min against Scott Hartnell|
The only team in the first period to take advantage of having a player in the box were the Blues, and they took advantage of having Barret Jackman in the box to go up 1-0 on a very nice shorthanded goal by Jaden Schwartz:
If you assumed that was going to set the tone for a solid game from the Blues, you can be forgiven for being mistaken. The second period was just as penalty filled as the first, and the Flyers took advantage of the Blues' lack of focus for two goals.
|03:47||PHI||Claude Giroux Cross checking - 2 min against Vladimir Sobotka|
|08:05||PHI||Scott Hartnell Tripping - 2 min against Kevin Shattenkirk|
|18:13||STL||Carlo Colaiacovo Roughing - 2 min against Jakub Voracek|
|18:13||PHI||Jakub Voracek Roughing - 2 min against Carlo Colaiacovo|
|18:13||PHI||Scott Hartnell Roughing - 2 min against Carlo Colaiacovo|
|18:13||STL||Roman Polak Roughing - 2 min against Scott Hartnell|
|20:00||PHI||Claude Giroux Hooking - 2 min against Jaden Schwartz|
The first, from Scott Hartnell, was one you could feel coming:
The second Flyers goal, this one from Brayden Schenn, looked like this:
|02:06||STL||David Backes Tripping - 2 min against Braydon Coburn|
|02:06||PHI||Braydon Coburn Holding the stick - 2 min against David Backes|
|04:35||STL||Steve Ott Tripping - 2 min against Nicklas Grossman|
|09:53||PHI||Jakub Voracek Closing hand on puck - 2 min|
|19:13||PHI||Andrew MacDonald Delay of game - 2 min|
The Blues started the third on a powerplay, could do nothing with it, and despite decent puck possession on the four on four that came immediately afterward, they did nothing with that either.
T.J. Oshie was injured while blocking a Wayne Simmonds shot, which went off of his hand. Don't be embarrassed if you had this reaction:
@hildymac OShiet— James Gleason (@Gleasonavenue) March 22, 2014
Oshie came back with just over five minutes to play in the period. He would've been helpful to have out there on a missed powerplay, but it's unsure if he could've beaten Steve Mason, who was absolutely on his game today. He had to be in the third, since the Blues ran roughshod over the Flyers.
It doesn't matter how many shots on net you have when none of them squeak through. The Flyers showed the Blues this when Jakub Voracek rifled a shot past Ryan Miller on the Flyers' second shot of the third period. Wayne Simmonds sealed it on an ENG.
Losing these kinds of games happen, and it doesn't bother me as much as Wednesday night's embarrassment did. The Blues did not look outworked - the second period's lack of effort was on themselves. The inability to score on Steve Mason was on Steve Mason, who had an excellent game. Despite the fact that the loss taken by itself isn't concerning, the recent spate of not being able to score is. There may be something forthcoming on Game Time where the writers and guests discuss what may be going on. Line combos? Benching people for games they shouldn't be benched for? Lack of intensity? Whatever.
Blues need to clinch tomorrow against the Penguins, and they need to right this ship on a very difficult road trip.