Tuesday, March 8, 2011
Posted: 9:30 p.m. Updated: 11:23 p.m.
By Tim Panaccio
Chris Pronger was yelling loudly enough he could be heard through the locker room doors.
Yeah, the Flyers broke a four-game winless streak with a 4-1 win over the Edmonton Oilers at Wells Fargo Center on Tuesday, but it was a sloppy win.
Prongers message was, You cant expect to win games if you keep turning pucks over. He was visibly angry when reporters got into the room, leaving hurriedly, then returning minutes later.
Sure, the Flyers outshot Edmonton 17-1 in the first period. After that? They settled for just 10 more shots over the final 40 minutes in which they sat back while the Oilers turned it on. They were lucky their goalie bailed them out.
We got off to a great start, but after that first period it was a little sporadic, Pronger said after calming down. We did a great job in the first period of limiting them, getting pucks deep, moving our feet. Doing the little things you got to do to win hockey games.
After that, the wheels fell off and we started turning pucks over, stopped moving our feet. Our gaps as defensemen got bad. Our forward gaps got bad. You turn pucks over like that, the other team is going to gain a lot of momentum.
This is why Pronger gets it. Why hes won a Stanley Cup. Winning sloppily, as the Flyers found out in early February, bites you in the fanny come late February and March.
On a night when some players would have preferred cherishing two points, Pronger let them know this isnt going to cut it for a team that expects to be playing in June again. He estimated the Flyers played 23-24 minutes.
In what way? We played one period, Pronger shot back.
Its a win.
Theres winning and then theres winning despite how you play, Pronger shot back again. You look at the last two periods and how you leave the rink, we still have a lot of work to do.
He added, Theres been a lot of talk and sometimes, talk is cheap.
Jeff Carter and Danny Briere each scored their 29th goals in the first period. Carter got another goal in the second period on an empty net for a Dirty 30.
Those were the highlights.
Dirty 30 because goalie Devan Dubnyk lost a footrace with Kimmo Timonen for a puck behind the net. Timonen centered it right back to Carter in the slot.
We got some rest yesterday and came out pretty hot, Carter said. The second and third periods we got back to the old habits. But right now, two points is two points. Well take positives out of it.
Sergei Bobrovsky, who mopped up in the 7-0 debacle on Sunday against the Rangers, made his third start in four games. He made a number of quality saves among the 25 shots he faced.
Were it not for his 13 saves in the final period, this win could have gotten away.
I thought BOB played very well, said Coach Peter Laviolette, who like Pronger, didnt think much of this hollow victory.
Pretty fair assessment, Laviolette said of Prongers take on the game. Of the 23 minutes hes talking about, its the first period. And for the final 40 minutes, hes picking out three good ones.
Thats probably not far off. Hes correct about the turnovers. We lost our speed, turned the puck over, tried to be too cute. We played a different game in the first period
We want to win all of the games we play, but we also want to do it the right way. We are still working at it and will continue to work at it.
The Flyers had a dominant opening period, holding Edmonton to a single shot at the end during a power play.
Briere, who said he felt re-energized by the day off on Monday, broke an eight-game goalless skid at 8:54, taking a Matt Carle pass from another time zone right up the middle for a breakaway goal.
A good feeling, its been a while, Briere said of ending his personal drought. I couldnt remember the feeling, it felt so long ago. Theres no doubt there was a big relief to get one early in the game.
His take on the game was different from Prongers.
This was definitely a big game for getting back on track and finding a way to win the game, Briere said. A little bit at a time we need to find our mojo back. The Oilers have had a tough season. But it wasnt about them tonight, it was about us.
Briere said he felt the Flyers became very cautious and sat back protecting a 3-0 lead in the second period.
It was kind human nature, he said. We wanted to protect that lead, especially the way things are going lately We played a little bit too defensive, but we did a pretty good job at it, keeping them to the outside for the most part. The couple times they got in, BOB made some pretty good saves.
Well get back to where we were ... Its one step at a time.
Laviolette had a different take, as well. He said sitting back and protecting leads only invites disaster.
We are not in the position to do that right now ever really, he said. However, certainly coming off some of the games we have played recently, we are looking for a complete sixty minutes.
E-mail Tim Panaccio at email@example.com
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