The Flyers played a game full of mistakes Thursday, but one minor thing really stuck out to me, for some reason.

Hockey players are taught at an early age that the goalie bangs his stick on the ice when his team's power play is about to end. He's letting his teammates know that, while they work in the offensive zone, an opposing player is about to leave the penalty box behind them and be in prime cherry-picking position.

When the goalie bangs his stick on the ice, you make sure not to allow the puck to get to that guy coming out of the box.

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Twice Thursday, the Flyers failed to do that. Once was on a turnover that led to Ville Leino's penalty.

The other was more egregious, though it didn't lead to anything because the Canadiens went offsides on the ensuing breakaway.

Seconds after Flyers goalie Michael Leighton banged his stick on the ice, Mike Richards attempted a no-look pass from down low, back out toward the point. His pass missed the mark, and Montreal would have had an easy breakaway if not for the offsides.

Those plays symbolized the whole game. The Flyers just did not play sound hockey. They got caught up in having won six straight and scored 13 straight. They made dumb plays that they had not been making over the past month, like Richards' ill-advised pass, and the Canadiens jumped on them.


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