Blogs > In The Room with Anthony SanFilippo

Daily Times beat writer Anthony J. SanFilippo takes you inside the locker rooms of the Philadelphia Flyers and the rest of the NHL.

Thursday, April 14, 2011


As the final horn sounded and the "send" button was being pushed on the lap tops of the 100 or so media jammed into the press box, the boos emanated from the crowd below.
At that point, a fellow writer walked by me, tapped me on the shoulder and said, "The natives are getting restless."

That they are. It's because they saw a Game 1 loss to an inferior team. It's because the team didn't care about hockey for a month and that frustrated them to no end.

It's because they now are letting their instinct kick in - the same instinct that always tells Flyers fans in the Spring to panic after following the Stepford mantra through 82 games.

It's certainly understandable.

But, it's also a bit of a rash response.


The Flyers dictated the play for much of the game. They controlled the puck. They out-hit the Sabres. They out-worked the Sabres. They out-everythinged the Sabres except for in two places - on the scoreboard and in the crease.

And while those are two very important aspects to a hockey game - and the blatantly obvious reason the Flyers are trailing the Eastern Conference Quarterfinal series 1-0 - they are not the most tell-tale signs from this game.

No, the most telling thing to me, is the Flyers are the better team - by a lot.

All they need to do is find a way to score a few goals.

Sounds simple, but it's not all that hard - especially if they continue to dictate the defensive game. The Sabres got very few chances. Very few. Sergei Bobrovsky had 24 saves and I had to do a double-take when looking at the scoresheet, because it didn't seem like that many - not even close.

Meanwhile, the Flyers were buzzing around Miller and got a lot of good first shots, they just didn't pounce on rebounds - that might be the one area they look to improve at practice.

But, that said, if the Flyers play games 2-through-whatever like they played Game 1, they'll win this series with relative ease.

Miller stole one game - even if he wasn't the first star (this writer thought James van Riemsdyk was more impressive on the ice) - and he could steal another one along the way.

But the Sabres can't compete with the Flyers when their system is rolling - and that was evident for much of Game 1.

And here's the belief that it'll be evident the rest of the way too.


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