The game started off typical of the Flyers and the Pens. Back and forth stuff, lots of hitting. Emrick works in a nice burn on the Flyers, noting that they lead the league in penalty minutes, but that it hasn't won them anything in decades. Is it enough to make up for his Chris Osgood knob polishing?....no.
You know it burns every Flyers' fans soul that the son of their greatest coach has assembled a team that has skated rings around them in the playoffs the last two years.
The Pens get a nice 3 on 2 opportunity, but Pronger blocks the shot. They were protecting Emery like a 3 ply condom the whole game.
Crosby goes to the box for slashing. It takes Carter about 20 seconds to pound in some trash...then he rolls off Hartnell's wife and scores a goal. 1-0.
Didn't know anything other than an inflatable doll could get its mouth open like that.
Wachovia Center was rockin'. Give them credit, it does have a lot of atmosphere. Then again, so does Venus.
Johnson makes a save, but gets run over by Hartnell. Replay shows Orpik checked Hartnell into him. Normally we'd say tough break for the other team, but since it's Philly we'll just point and laugh.
Edzo offers a stat that makes you sicker than his coaching: Pens lead the NHL in powerplay chances, but are 29th overall and 30th on the road.
The powerplay lives down to the non-hype until 5'10", 180 pound Alex Goligoski hits 6'6", 220 pound Chris Pronger who goes face down, ass up faster than Pierre for Mike Richards. But, you know, Crosby's the diver.
Speaking of Pierre and Michael:
McGuire also had a 1st period telestration fail. If you can't see it, you shouldn't be reading this blog:
The 4 on 4 is whatev, then a Staal hook on Hartnell turns it into a 5-on-3. Hartnell's legs somehow kicked out from under him and he collapsed like he'd been sniped from a stick that touched his wrist. Not denying it was a hook, but come on. Pierre calls it "a little gamesmanship."
Pens kill the 5-on-3, then get a 4 on 4 when Richards leads his stick into Gonchar's face. The less said about the 4 on 4 and the Pens powerplay, the better.
The world seems to end when Richards buries one. Replay shows Gagne gave Malkin the Yeti/Hulk Hogan treatment. If you don't know what we're talking about, the 25-45 second span will change your life.
Anyway, that's a penalty. So Richards touching the puck to shoot was gaining control and that's the whistle. Hence no goal. That's the rule. It happened to the Pens against the Coyotes earlier in the season.
The powerplay stops passing and tries shooting. Gonchar puts a nasty wrister home while Emery is out buying an 8-ball. 1-1.
Matt Cooke gets sent to the box for asking Carcillo to have a seat over there. Powe runs Gogo. Letang takes exception and drops the gloves, Powe turtles up, 5 minutes for each. Solid move by Letang to end a period that felt like it took a year and a half.
Flyers had some powerplay time leftovers. Pens steal it out of the office fridge.
2nd verse, same as the first. McKee makes a bad mistake and it leads to a Flyers 2 on 1 that Malkin frustrates with a nice backchecking effort. Ron Cook starts work on a column that since Jagr was a solid backchecker, Malkin will be sulking his way out of town.
Pens get some pressure, but nada. No doubt, the Flyers are getting dangerous again. Laviolette's system is sinking in and it's a lot like Disco's. When two systems like that meet, lots of neutral zone clashing results.
And hey, if the system fails, they can still infect you with AIDS.
Refs went from calling everything to swallowing their whistles. Pens continued to dictate the play and got more nice chances
Emery was there. Is it just us or does he not look very confident yet? Seems like every save he makes has a touch of desperation to it.
Third line has their usual unreal shift.
Emery slams the door shut and snorts away the key.
NBC makes their first sound coverage decision of the season and draws attention to Guerin's 'stache.
Then they proceed to miss a faceoff which features a Flyers tripping penalty.
The powerplay looks like Brett Favre when the game is on the line.
A playoff type game had emerged, except that the Flyers weren't choking it away. They draw a penalty as the period ends.
Philly gets a fresh sheet of ice and almost 2 full minutes for their powerplay to start the period.
Beej and the PK are up to the task.
Then Goligoski takes a penalty for breaking Philly's china doll. Pens shut it down again. No witty metaphor needed, the penalty kill is in another orbit right now.
Nick Johnson has a sick shift where he embarrasses Scott Hartnell by beating him out on an icing, then gets right in the middle of a good old fashioned Pens-Flyers mass scrum.
Welcome to the fraternity, kid.
Big Johnson rises to the occasion with a pad stop on Carter. Asham looks to challenge Cooke, who declines. Some people will job him for that, but you gotta know when to drop 'em. Ten minutes left in a close-checking 1-1 game against your bitterest rival is not one of these times.
Richards and Hartnell get a 2 on 1 break. Hartnell actually makes a great pass to Richards who for reasons unknown to God and McGuire decides to pass it back. Scotty's not ready for it and they blow a great chance. They do draw a penalty, though.
Anyone who claims they didn't feel the freight train comin' when the Flyers powerplay took the ice is either a liar or Dan Bylsma. What a cool customer.
Staal draws a penalty as the Philly powerplay expires. Weak call? Sure it was. But ask Goligoski about his "crosscheck" earlier, Flyers fans.
Pens get some opportunities, but snake eyes is the result. At least the PP looked competent.
Kimmo Timonen then completely shits the bed and puts the puck over the glass. What a mistake. Remember two years ago when Versus was hyping him as Jesus?
Onto the powerplay. Malkin tries to feed Gogo for the Whitney play, but nothing doing. Things look to be circling the drain when Malkin finds Gonchar. Blast from downtown. Cooke with the deflection. 2-1.
cogitobsw in the stands
Cooke deserved it. He had a monster game.
Philly fans deflate like someone shoved a pin into Heidi Montag's tits. Over the beautiful sounds of their silent pain comes the sweet chorus of a huge contingent of Pens fans cheering.
Emery comes out of the net. The refs decide to call a hooking penalty on Gonchar for no adequately explained reason, thus giving the Flyers one more golden opportunity.
Normally Philly excels at these kinds of situations....but not this time.
You know when you beat the Flyers, you're guaranteed to be flooded by tears. Boy howdy, they did not disappoint.
First, the coach. FLYERS.COM
"“Going back and looking at that game, there are just too many penalties that never happened,” said the head coach. “On that play in particular, Simon Gagne didn’t high stick anybody. So, it turns around and goes the other way.
“Scott Hartnell did not, in my opinion, interfere with the goaltender (at 7:44 of the first period). I don’t know if it’s a reputation from the past, but you know we want to play tough, physical…we don’t need to go to the box. But, we’re still going there, and our players aren’t taking penalties.”
We used to respect Laviolette, but he seems to have fallen victim to whatever worm they put in your ear when you start work for Philly.
Arron Asham was next up to bat by claiming Matt Cooke bit him. SOME DUMB BLOG
"It’s not bad, but he’s a gutless guy. I have no respect for him at all..... If you go and bite someone … I just have no use for him.
He does his job well. He’s an agitator. He’s garbage to me and I have no respect for him at all.
You should have a little more honor than that. Usually if you bite somebody you stick up for yourself and you fight the guy. Not this guy, he’s chicken and I have no respect for him. He plays the game hard and I respect him for that, but he yaps, he’s a dirty player."
So he doesn't respect Matt Cooke, but he does have respect for him. Okay then.
Ray Ray Emery had his turn. SOME WEBSITE
"Seems like every time we play them, it's our second game in two days."
Just gonna point out that cocaine use is well known to affect people's perception of time.
We'll round out the whining with who we started it. BUTTBLUG.COM
"Finally, with the Pens having now won 4-out-of-5 games against the Flyers this season, despite Philadelphia outplaying them in at least three, if not four of the games, coach Peter Laviolette was asked why, when the team is doing everything right, they still can't beat Pittsburgh. His response?
"We will when it counts," he said.
Perhaps Peter should up the ante and declare the Flyers are going to unleash hell.