The Flyers are a few hours away from the third of a seven-game series against the Canadiens, with Montreal sending Philadelphia crashing back to reality in a shocking 5-0 win in game two. If the Flyers are to right the ship and get back to winning ways, they have to find a way past Carey Price.
When Carter Hart’s idol is hot, he’s like an inferno melting the ice. He stopped all 30 shots in the Canadiens’ game 2 win, but should the Flyers be doing more?
Price has been integral to the Canadiens playoff hopes. In the six postseason games played in so far, he has a 1.46 GAA and a .954 save percentage.
In game one, there seemed to be a real aim to blind Price as often as possible. Ivan Provorov’s snipe went in off of Jake Voracek, and Joel Farabee knocked in a rebound. But outside of those chances, the Flyers have missed golden opportunities, or not done enough to create strong enough openings needed to beat Price.
On power play opportunities, the Flyers whiffed big-time in game two. They went 0-for-5 despite 13 shots on goal combined. But that was very much a cog in a much larger wheel.
Take Provorov in game two for example. In 23:49 of ice time, he had 11 total shot attempts. Five of these were on target (leading the team), five missed, and one was blocked. Not ideal.
Scott Laughton has failed to drive the puck home in several clear-cut chances, instead putting a bit too much mustard on the shot and sending it over the bar.
Alain Vigneault spoke about this last night, stating that it’s something his players are ‘very aware of’.
That’s a very fair assessment. Not just Price, but goaltenders in this league, if they can see the shot, there’s a good chance they’re going to make that first save. There’s no doubt that we weren’t good enough in that department as far as getting to the front of their net. It’s something that our players are very aware of. I’m confident we’re going to do better.Alain Vigneault
The concerns about a lack of top-line production had seemingly disappeared after the opening game of the series, but it didn’t take long for them to return.
The Flyers simply have to be more clinical from top to bottom when facing the elite Carey Price. If they’re not going to send bodies to crowd him, they have to at least finish the few strong chances they do have…and that all starts with the top line.
Mandatory Credit: Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports