Yesterday’s 6-5 shootout loss to Boston was easily the most exciting Flyers game in a while. Neither team defense was able to help out their goalies much. But the scoring and the fighting made up for all of that slopiness to make the final product pretty damn fun to watch, even though we blew the game.
I’m not big on moral victories, so the fact that we held our own despite missing a ton of starters isn’t that huge. But I did appreciate the fact that the Flyers showed up to play against a team that embarrassed them the last time we played. Things didn’t look good after the first, when we were down 3-1 and weren’t generating a ton of chances. The refs weren’t a big help either, giving the Bruins a few early powerplay on some horrendous calls. That’s when things got interesting.
Whatever it was that ignited Scott Hartnell this season (cough:Giroux:cough), thank god. His whole career, he scored dirty goals. He had made a living of deflections and cleaning up the garbage. Now all of a sudden he’s ripping one-timers from the left slot. Right as we were setting up the powerplay prior to his first goal, I was saying to myself that we really could use Jagr in the slot. And then bam, Hartnell slide out from the crease and bangs home his first of the day. And then he later completes that hat trick with the exact same move. And this comes on the heels of a similar goal the day before against New Jersey. My only question is, why haven’t we seen this before? Why aren’t we putting this guy into a position to do this more often?
Let’s Get Physical
I’m not going to bother looking at the hit statistics from this game. Those numbers vary way too much based on who is keeping track and various scorekeepers across the league are more liberal than others. However, this game featured a ton of big hits. The best one of course was when Brayden Schenn laid out Steve Kampfer. The Flyers tried going after Chara a few times too. In fact, both squads did a realy good job of forcing turnovers by getting in on the forecheck quickly and aggressively. Also, let’s not forget the 3 fights in the game.
Ugh. Same old story.
So a great game got spoiled in defeat. One other thing to take away from all of this: why would the NHL want a realignment plan where these teams only play twice a season?
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