Four-for-Four: The ‘Brett Brown is Awesome’ Edition

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Jan 23, 2014; Columbus, OH, USA; Columbus Blue Jackets left wing Matt Calvert (11) celebrates with teammates after scoring a goal against the Philadelphia Flyers during the second period at Nationwide Arena. Mandatory Credit: Russell LaBounty-USA TODAY Sports

The Flyers have allowed the first goal in 9 of their last 12 games.

One of the reasons the Flyers have treated us to several exciting comebacks this season, is the fact that they often find themselves ceding the first goal of the contest. Especially as of late, Philadelphia seems to go through the motions until the other team strikes first. Even after that, it often takes a successful penalty kill or a fight to get the team out of their sleep mode. Especially with the pre-Olympic schedule crammed into a tighter window than usual, this forces the Flyers to play an exhausting style of play that looks to be taking its toll. In their loss to the Blue Jackets on Thursday, Philadelphia had almost no gusto to mount any sort of comeback and the upstart Columbus team increased their margin before winning 5-2.

Even against the Hurricanes at home, after the Flyers erased a two-goal deficit to tie it in the 3rd period, the team did not demonstrate the ‘go for the throat’ mentality that allowed them to beat a good Islanders team last Saturday. Every team is dealing with the same sort of condensed schedule that the Flyers are, so they will be the first to avoid making excuses. The Flyers are fortunate to be in a division that, outside of the Penguins, has no team pulling away from the pack. That said, with arguably more talented teams in the Rangers and even Columbus starting to compile points, the Flyers could see themselves taking on water more and more as the season continues.


Fresh off of his contract extension, Steve Mason decided to debut a newly designed mask. Whether or not it was a subtle jab (kidding) at his team’s approach to defensive hockey does not hide the fact that the netminder has pretty good taste.

Before the Holmgren detractors tar-and-feather the Flyers GM for signing Mason to a reasonable deal, one has to realize the team in front of the young goalie is putting him in a position where he, or any other netminder for that matter, cannot succeed. Between turnovers, bad line changes, playing shorthanded, and an inability to clear the puck in an effective manner the Flyers have turned their defensive zone into a shooting gallery with Mason as the unfortunate target. There were stretches earlier in the season where Mason could steal the team a win almost in spite of their lousy defensive play. However, that type of production is unreasonable to expect of any goalie and its hard to say his recent rough patch is a surprise.


Early in the 2nd period of the Flyers eventual shootout loss to the Islanders, Matt Read tallied a shorthanded goal much to the expense of Isles goaltender, Anders Nilsson. The goal was far from memorable, but the wingers reaction to the shorty? Priceless.