Marsha! Marsha! Marsha!
- Jan Brady
“The Brady Bunch” TV Show
It’s always the middle child that gets forgotten, isn’t it? Last week, Cliff Lee spurned the Yankees and signed for less money with the Phillies. Yesterday, the Eagles put on one hell of a show. This being a Flyers blog, I don’t want to get too into that game. But please, bask in the glory at Inside the Iggles. With those two amazing events going on, it’s easy for a Saturday afternoon hockey game to be forgotten. Not on my watch. Your Philadelphia Flyers also took part in the New York bashing, as they continue to ride the wave, sitting on top of the hockey world.
I love beating New York in anything and everything. Maybe it’s a complex, maybe it’s something else. I don’t know, and I don’t care. All I know is that when we play the Rangers, it’s always a fun contest. Saturday afternoon, we handled our business, 4-1. Zherdev was the main cog, netting a pair, with some support from Nodl and Leino. Without Pronger, the defense stepped up in a big way. The limited the Rangers to just 25 shots, and Boucher stood tall for all but one of them.
What can I say about a team that has gelled together very well, wins on a consistent basis, and plays a fun brand of hockey. We’re starting to pull away from the pack, the offense is clicking, defense has been solid almost the whole season, and goaltending has performed surprisingly well. The newly formed trio of Zherdev, Carter and JVR has become very dangerous since being formed a few games back. They’re all working hard to prove themselves, and they’re pretty damn skilled.
Back to Z. If you haven’t paid attention, you’ve been missing a lot. At the start of the season, with Gagne dealt away, I felt that he could step in offensively. He started slow, but he’s picked it up lately. He’s scored a few highlight reel goals, he’s scored some clutch goals. Zherdev was scratched a few times this year for lackluster defensive play. But with the offensive power he supplies, you can’t sit him anymore. He’s too involved, and too important. Ryan/Fran from FGSB have talked about the need to play him all season long. Aside from arguing based on observations, they backed up their argument with some interesting stats. Karla Garrow has a broader take on Zherdev, which you can check out here.
Tonight, Flyers-Panthers, and then a looooong holiday break. For them. Not me. I’ll be here, writing. Please visit me.
Thanks for reading!
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Topics: Andreas Nodl, Brian Boucher, Chris Pronger, Cliff Lee, Jeff Carter, New York Yankees, Nikolai Zherdev, Philadelphia Eagles, Philadelphia Flyers, Philadelphia Phillies, Simon Gagne, Ville Leino