03 November 2011
Winning an NHL game with Harry Zolnierczyk, Ben Holmstrom, Zac Rinaldo, Erik Gustafsson, and Jody Shelley in your lineup is quite the feat. I don't care how you do it. If you want to score all your goals on American hero Ryan Miller in the first 6 minutes and then not really have much offense afterwards that's fine. No complaints here.
The difference between a 6-5-1 record and a 7-4-1 record is huge. For me. As a fan. Makes me breath easier. Allows we to keep thinking that we're a solid club, not a team who might be .500 after tonight. Keeps the controversy talk down. Me likey. Mucho gusto.
There were a number of significant plays that led to the win last night. Obviously the goals helped. But I want to take a minute or two, depending on how fast you read, and talk about three plays that I felt shaped the game, and the traits they displayed, that hopefully come to define this team.
Responsibility - At the beginning of the shift that ended with Steve Hartnell's eventual game winning goal, Hartnell and Jagr were fighting for the puck deep in the Sabres zone. The puck squirted out and Claude Giroux, who was floating around the slot like a sea gull, started to go for the loose puck but then pulled up and fell back into his defensive role. He stuck to the system. The race to the puck would have been close, and he knew that was reason enough to pull out even though it was just 5 minutes into a game where offesnive pressure meant more shots on a wounded goalie. Who knows what would have happened if he went for that puck, missed, and there was an odd man break the other way. Not to soothsay too much, but the Sabres would have won 14 -2. Just soothsayin'.
Sacrifice - Max Talbot, who I'm still getting used to like a fancy gin cocktail I've only taken two sips of, had a huge shot block during the first of many second period penalty kills. The Flyers squad had been pinned in their zone since the opening face off of the power play, and after about 90 seconds were all dying or dead. Kimmo may have actually been dead - blocking his second shot in as many periods. The Sabres were moving the puck well around the perimeter and Derlicht Roy wound up for a clapper from the point only to have Talbot slide out at him like Patrick Roy in '93 and block the shot all the way down the ice. If Turtle McGuire stops asking him about Pittsburgh this might become a gin drink I can stomach.
Skill - Our lost in the woods, iPhone wielding mother fucker of a goalie, only minutes after Turtle McGuire tried to question how "comfortable" the broadcasting team was with his play, made a gigantic, point-saving save on Thomas "my eye injury makes it look like I'm wearing mascara" Vanek. We need our top players pulling off sick plays. And that was the case with seconds left in the third.
A few other things:
- feeling a little bad for Big Ville Leino. Not that bad, I guess. As the dude is getting PAID. Would hate to see him turn into the next Sheldon Souray, Michael Nylander, or Wade Redden in a couple years. He should feel free to go on a hot streak from now until the next time the Sabres cross our path.
- Mike Weber deserves an ass whomping. Just slyly drops his gloves and starts punching in a scrum. And then, after the linesmen don't intercede, Coburn finally drops his much later only to have Weber TURTLE?!? What a little bitch. If there actually was a code in the NHL he would have to answer for that. As it stands, The Code basically reads "do whatever you want and use anything to justify it."
- we've put in a patent on James van Riemsdyk's new one-foot fist pump goal celebration. So don't even think about it.
- Keith Jones - Love. Eddie O - Like. Mike Milbury and Pierre McGuire should go to Medieval Times and joust it out. The loser is bannished from all things hockey forever. So is the winner.
- and lastly, it's T-SHIRT THURSDAY (for real this time)!!!!! The Flyers host the Devils tonight. Get in your Hartnell picks in you, double backing sonsabitches.
Don't know what T-shirt Thursday is? Oh, I would have welcomed your spaceship from Mars had I known you were arriving this week. Here's the deal:
1. Every Thursday during the season (when the Flyers play) we're giving away one of our home brewed shirts found here in our gear shop.
2. You can win it
3. All you have to do is send an email to Flyersgoalscoredby@gmail.com, hit us in the comments, or tweet us with the name of whoever you think is going to score the first goal of that night's game for the Flyers.
Rules for all you hamsters out there:
- 1 entry per email address, 1 per commenter name, 1 per twitter handle (so you could enter 3 times)
- that's it.
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