Just a couple of quick thoughts on the win this evening. Tonight the Flyers did what they needed to do, get a win. With a Toronto team currently sitting third in the Eastern Conference and the Flyers in their own mini slump, this was a test they needed to pass. Adding injury to insult of an early Phil Kessel tally, the Orange and Black lost their captain in a very scary moment after taking a stick right to the eye. The Flyers were going to have to fight their way back into this game without their captain.
Coming into tonight’s game, criticism was starting to come down around both Jaromir Jagr, for not yet scoring a goal, and Scott Hartnell for all around substandard play. They each managed two goals and an assist as the Flyers climbed back from their early 0-1 hole. For a while it looked like a one goal lead was all the Toronto Maple Leafs would need as Jonas “The Monster” Gustavsson was looking every bit his namesake, making excellent stops and frustrating the Flyers. Then it happened. In a flashback to 1998, Jaromir Jagr got a breakaway and did was he’s always done best, put it in the net. He then set up Hartnell’s second goal with a nice pass. Later in the 3rd Hartnell returned the favor, springing Jagr yet again, and he made the Leafs pay, putting the Flyers up by two with less than five minutes remaining. In an unselfish play, Hartnell tried to set up Jagr for the empty net hat trick, but the Leafs held down the fort and cleared the puck.
It wasn’t the prettiest of games, with 9 penalties between the two teams, but the Flyers hung tough. Sergei Bobrovsky, in his second start of the season, gave them a chance to get back in it, and held off some great surges by Toronto. Despite the play of the team, which as a whole was excellent, tonight was all about Jagr. The monkey is off his back. The weight on his shoulders has been lifted. Whichever cliche you wish to use, it fits. After a mind boggling preseason, the lack of success in the regular season was a cause for concern. Don’t sweat the Czech, cause he’s still got it, and he let us all know with authority. Authority and a salute.
After the game, GM Paul Holmgren gave an injury report on Chris Pronger. Bed rest for three days, could miss up to three weeks altogether. Great news after a heart stopping few moments on the ice.
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