BOSTON -- With the exception of Game 2, when they poured 54 shots on Bruins goalie Tim Thomas but were denied by the Vezina Trophy candidate and lost 3-2 in overtime, the Flyers' offense and transition game were suffocated by the Bruins' defense and trap style. Following the 5-1 loss in Game 4 of the Eastern Conference semifinals that ended their 2010-11 season, the Flyers credited the Bruins for shutting down their attack throughout the series.
“It is disappointing whenever you end the season on a loss,” captain Mike Richards said. “Not sure where it went wrong. It’s a slippery slope when you stop playing your brand of hockey. Give the Bruins a lot of credit, they played extremely well. We just didn’t have an answer for it. They got a good defensive system, great coaches. They have a system in play that you don’t get too much offensively. We tried to force some pucks. A couple games it seemed like we didn’t have some jump and didn’t have our legs. We played loose defensive hockey and when you do that good teams are going to make you pay.”
Forward James van Riemsdyk agreed and pointed to sloppiness with the puck combined with the strong defense of the Bruins for the reason his team was swept.
“I think, maybe they were doing a smarter job with the puck and, I don’t know, I didn’t feel like we had as many odd man rushes and chances off the rush through transition,” van Riemsdyk said. “So they did a good job of managing the puck and, yeah, I don’t know, they tightened things up, obviously, a little bit too.”
Head coach Peter Laviolette saw his defensemen unable to move the puck up ice thanks to the Bruins' defensive coverage, and credited them for shutting down the neutral zone.
“Probably defensively, we weren’t able to generate what we had done all year,” Laviolette said. “They did a good job through the neutral zone and a good job in their own end. We couldn’t penetrate. Defensively, I think they [the Bruins] did a pretty good job.”