Kurt from Broad Street Hockey asked me if I'd be interested in doing another "Five Questions" segment and I said, "Sure Kurt, that sounds like a swell idea." Actually, I probably said something more along the lines of, "Sure Kurt," but I have the ability to make me sound more polite and intelligent than I really am and was because I am presenting this particular reality to you. Did I just blow your minds?
Anyway, here are my five questions and Kurt's five answers for you guysI Be sure to check out their blog for a different perspective on the series and those hooligans that dye their beards black and have the audacity to wear orange jerseys with red hair.
I mean ... I like to think so? Mason has been a better goalie this year, and he probably gives them a slightly better chance at winning any given game if he's fully healthy, but I don't think the difference is enough to significantly change the Flyers' chances of winning the series. Like we said at BSH at the beginning of the series, if this thing comes down to goaltending (i.e. Lundqvist vs. Flyers goalie), the Flyers were probably screwed no matter which guy was in net, so I'm not too worried about it.
That said, specifically regarding Emery, I'm both optimistic and a little nervous about things moving forward. He was reading the action in front of him and started anticipating shots on Sunday once it was painfully clear that the Rangers were doing whatever they could to set up those cross-ice passes or rebound chances that would get him moving post-to-post (y'know, the way that they've scored, what, five of their six goals so far?). If he's able to do that and STILL keep good track of the action going on right in front of him, in the center of the ice, he'll be fine. But if he (and the defense right in front of him) keys on the side-to-side stuff too much and the Rangers adjust a bit, it could maybe burn him. So all in all, there's reason to be uneasy with him, but anything can happen in five games, so yeah, they at the very least could win with him in the net.
2. What is your opinion of the officiating thus far in the series?
LOL. But no really it's bad. Half the calls that are being called are ridiculous and then two or three times a period a seemingly obvious one slips through. I mean ... consistency, I guess? Is consistent terribleness a thing? Does that count? I give refs more benefit of the doubt than most because their job is really really hard but yeah it's not been pretty so far. Though fortunately I don't think a bad call has significantly swung a game in either team's favor yet or anything like that, so at least there's that.
3. Through the first two games which Flyers have exceeded your expectations? Which have fallen short of what they need to do for the Flyers to go deep into the playoffs?
For who's exceeded expectations the overwhelmingly easy answer here is Jason Akeson. That penalty in Game 1 was very dumb of him, but the Flyers were almost certainly losing that game with their sorry all-around effort in the third period, and regardless, he was pretty easily one of the best Flyer forwards on the ice in both games. He's the only Flyer who's been positive in possession through two games, he's been the most willing to just put the damn puck on the net, and he's shown a pretty good nose for the net. A lot of people wanted him up with the NHL team all year, and even if it's a bit late, it's nice to see him succeeding. Sean Couturier's done a pretty solid job, too, but we all pretty much expect that from him at this point.
On the other side of the coin, there are a handful of guys that come to mind. Giroux's the guy whose name has come up the most around here, and no doubt I'd like to see more from him, but for now we'll pick on someone else: Braydon Coburn. He's done a great job this season rebounding from a rough go of things in the lockout year, but he's had a lot go poorly in this series. Poor coverages, brutal turnovers, a penalty or two ... it's added up a bit. He's seen his five-on-five ice time fall off a lot in the first two games, and while that may be largely because of the Flyers spending so much time on the penalty kill, it could be a result of Berube not liking his play much. He's the best defensive presence on the Flyers' blue line and needs to play like it. Honorable mention to the entire second line of Brayden Schenn, Wayne Simmonds, and Michael Raffl -- often, those guys are either huge or invisible, and right now they're closer to the latter (acknowledging, though, that Simmonds' effort on the empty-netter on Sunday was pretty outstanding).
4. Did Luke Schenn actually score a goal? Or was it some kind of shared fever-induced hallucination that everyone experienced from too much Easter chocolate and a disorienting start time to Game Two?
I ... well ... I mean ... I got nothing. I'm still laughing at the fact that that goal happened (assuming that it did, indeed, happen). Though I do love me some Easter chocolate!
5. We all know that Giroux has yet to register a shot in the series but the real question I have is how have you guys prevented Jesper Fast from registering a shot in this series?
I'm not sure how they've done it but man you must be pretty awesome if you're going against a guy named Fast and you're able to SLOW him down like that, am I right? I'll be here all week.
6. The color orange is terrible. It only works on flags and during sunrises and sunsets. Yes, I am aware you wanted five questions, which is why this is a statement.
Editor's Note: (...Kurt didn't respond to this.)
I should have asked him why his dumb team has two guys named "Brayden" that spell that dumb fake name in two different ways. Anyways, a big thanks to Kurt for doing this and for proposing the idea in the first place. Be sure to check out my responses to Kurt over at Broad Street Hockey whenever they put up their "Five Questions" article, which should be well before the game starts tonight.
Hope you guys enjoyed this and are having a great Tuesday.
Let's go Rangers.
EDIT: Check out the questions I answered for Kurt over at Broad Street Hockey HERE.