Saturday, February 07, 2009
I try to avoid using the L word for sports as much as possible. To me, bad luck isn't hitting a post, or hitting a flyball 400 feet and into an outfielder's glove. Typically, plays that are deemed by many to be lucky are the end results of good play leading up to a fortunate happening.
But Saturday afternoon, the Flyers were lucky. They were lucky that the referees called a tight game on the Bruins and a loose game on them. They were lucky that as the most penalized team in the NHL, they received a mere 6 penalty minutes. Meanwhile, the Bruins were shorthanded 6 times.
The Flyers are pussies. It's as simple as that. They wait for an opponent's back to turn, then they get all rowdy. Face-to-face, man-to-man, they're cowards. And now, they're also divers.
Philly's first goal came during a 5 on 3. Both penalties on the Bruins were correct and indisputable. But Mark Stuart's tripping should have been a coincidental minor with Braydon Coburn (the Flyer he tripped) for diving. Coburn pirouetted like Sasha Cohen, embellishing the call. And by the rules, that's a dive, even if the player was actually tripped or hooked.
Philly's 3rd and tying goal also came on a BS power play. Chuck Kobasew was called for a ticky-tack interference penalty, and once again, the Flyers demonstrated their acting abilities. Claude Giroux convinced the refs Kobasew had molested him. Once again, instead of coincidental minors, the Bruins were shorthanded, and they let up a goal.
The Flyers also got away with numerous small infractions, the likes of which were being called on the Bruins. In a battle for the puck on the boards, Bergeron got punched in the kidneys. Matt Hunwick got hit 40 feet from the play and there was no interference call. Philly only got penalized when it was blatant.
But all the blame can't be leveled at the officials, or the Fruit Flies. The Bruins defense collapsed due to miscommunication on Glen Metropolit's goal. That score really gave Philly hope. They had been down 3-1, had pulled their goalie, and were on the road. The importance of that goal cannot be underestimated.
The Bruins had a power play to end regulation, and for 36 seconds into OT. They did next to nothing with it. They passed to the Flyers more than each other, and if not for a stunning glove save by Fernandez, Philly would have won with a shorthanded goal.
Mental lapses, miscommunication, and low percentage passes are all inexcusable. As much as the officials sucked, the Bruins can look in the mirror to see why they lost this game.
But it's hardly the end of the world. They got a point, have cushion enough to not be perfect at all times, and were quite clearly the superior team.
Byron Bitz (Cornell '07) also got his first NHL goal.
Massive game Tuesday night. Joe Thornton and the Western Conference leading Sharks come to town. And I'll be working the BC/Clemson game so I won't be able to see it live. But neither will most of you. Remember, the game is on Versus.
Way to go NHL. Way to get those fans back by putting huge games like this one on a channel hardly anyone gets, or if they do get it, they don't know what number it is.
AP Photo/Winslow Townson