Damn that Shane Doan! And Ilya Bryzgalov too! Giroux scored late to send us to OT, where a powerplay goal ended our night in a 3-2 loss.
The Coyotes aren’t exactly a marketable team, so last night’s game was the only time I’ve seen them all year. But I have seen a few highlights from time to time. And what I’ve learned is that we’re just another team that can say we deserved the win, but their goalie is just too damn good. We generated plenty of good chances; he’s just always ready. Our goals came off a deflection and a rebound. Like most shooters he faces, we just couldn’t beat him clean.
Still, after taking a 1-0 lead into the third, I thought that might hold up since their offense wasn’t exactly scaring me. I thought we’d finally get the shutout. Nope! So after we blow the lead less than three minutes into the third, I figure the Flyers will pick it up and get it right back. Instead, Bob let’s in a weak ass butterfly. All he had to do was be square to the shooter, and hug the post. Instead, his body positioning was a bit off, and the puck just bounced off him, short side, and into the top floor. The last goal was just a nice one-timer in OT off a cross-ice pass.
For the second straight game, a d-man went down and we had to play with 5 guys again. Except this time, the hit was dirty. Scottie Upshall came in way late when he steamrolled Bartulis. I’m not buying his bullshit explanation either.
I was just going hard to the net,” he said. “I didn’t intentionally go to hit him, let alone hit him into the boards. You know what? I’ve been off balance before where you can’t find your footing and you try to plant. It was a play that is usually a routine shoulder-to-shoulder kind of play going hard to the net. I hope he’s all right. Those plays happen a lot when it’s just guys standing up to each other.
That’s not how it happened at all. You didn’t hit him shoulder to shoulder. He was standing next to the net, you took a few steps and crushed him from the side. He didn’t have the puck. He hadn’t just released the puck. He was stationary, not doing a damn thing as Bob was covering the puck. It’s not that he was off balance and you caught him. It’s that a guy without the damn puck doesn’t expect to be hit. It doesn’t matter if you hit someone hard or not; if they’re not expecting it, they’re probably going to go down. And you, Mr. Upshall came at him full speed, and nailed him hard after he’d just stopped moving. That, my friend, is a dirty hit.
Also, Shelley’s fight with Yonkman (great name) was kinda cool. He won, but got busted open and needed 60 stitches. It’s a weird argument to make, that he won the fight. Despite being the one looking like a train wreck, he did land more punches and stun the guy a few more times. If Yonkman had landed the bloody knuckler as his final punch, and the fight had ended with that, then I’d give him the win. But since Shelley kept going and landed a few jabs and hooks of his own, he’s the winner.
Day off today, Islanders tomorrow. Which is kind of like a day off. Hopefully O’Donnel is back.
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