Archive for February, 2009

Flyers Lose to Canadiens in Overtime

Posted in Uncategorized on February 28, 2009 by flyersfan44

This was a bizarre game on many levels.  First, center Glen Metropolit began the day with the Flyers at the morning skate and then, after being claimed off waivers by Montreal, started for the Canadiens this evening.  Second, the Flyers came out with great energy and scored 29 seconds into the game on Joffrey Lupul’s goal, then took a 2-0 lead when Canadiens’ defenseman Roman Hamrlik made a wonderful six-foot pass to Mike Richards in the right circle and the Flyers’ captain buried the puck past goalie Jaroslav Halak, who must have been wondering if his teammates’ idea of defensive coverage was standing around watching the opposition buzz the net.  Thirdly, the Flyers again demonstrated their propensity to show us what Attention Deficit Disorder looks like on a hockey team, when they lost focus and seemingly stopped playing for the second half of the first period.  Montreal scored three goals in the span of 2:04 to take a 3-2 lead. 

The Flyers recovered in the second period, controlling play and outshooting the Habs 18-5 but scored only on Simon Gagne’s breakaway and the “PECO Power Play” again looked low on energy.  (If this keeps up, the Philadelphia Electric Company will probably rethink its decision to have its name associated with such a power-deficient entity).  The Flyers couldn’t score despite having two five-on-three advantages for over two minutes. Overall, they were 0 for 8 on the man advantage. 

The third period was scoreless for both teams although the Flyers had several good chances but couldn’t convert.  The overtime period put the cap (sorry – don’t say that word) on the bizarre night.  Scotty Upshall flew down the wing with the puck past a Montreal defender , got around him  and cut hard toward the net.  As he attempted to make a move around Halak, he went into the crease and made contact with the goalkeeper.  Of course, a very questionable goalie interference penalty was called, as the referee evidently disregarded the fact that the game was in overtime, once again demonstrating the  preferential treatment that the League gives to Le Bleu, Blanc, et Rouge.  This was one of the most ridiculous calls I have ever seen.  The goalie interference penalty is designed to keep opposing players WITHOUT the puck from preventing the goalie from making a save.  Additionally, incidental contact made by a player with the puck who is attempting to score is not typically considered goalie interference and the contact must be “intentional or deliberate”.  Upshall was looking at the puck as in moved in on Halak and did not deliberately run into him.  This was a ridiculous call especially for overtime. 

All that being said, the Flyers could have played a better game. They had a 2-0 lead and then fell asleep, they couldn’t score on the power play while allowing Montreal to go 2 for 5, and they missed numerous good chances to score. 

Finally, I couldn’t believe the number of Canadiens’ fans at the game. Why the hell are they following around the circus act that the Canadiens’ have been lately?  The only solace that I took from this was after the game when my nephew’s friend saw a Canadien fan looking highly unfashionable with his jersey tucked in; he tucked in his own Flyers jersey, pulled his jeans up to his chest, and followed the poor guy through the concourse to the delight of many otherwise disgruntled Flyers’ fans. 

Friggin’ Devils tomorrow.  We need to get things together soon because play like this does not bode well for the stretch drive and playoffs.

This was a penalty!!!?

This was a penalty!!!?

Who’s Number One in Net?

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , on February 12, 2009 by flyersfan44

It looks like we have a genuine battle for the number one goalie position.  Marty Biron has been rather inconsistent this year while Antero Niitymaki has the better record, goals against average, and save percentage.  Last Saturday in Boston, Biron let up three goals in the first period including a weak short side third goal.  Niitymaki came in and shut the Bruins out in the second and third periods as the Flyers rallied to win in overtime.  Although Coach John Stevens will say that the switch was made to fire up the players, the result was probably the turning point in the Flyers’ net battle.  The indication now is that Niitymaki is the number one guy.  Maybe this was done to light a fire under Biron, but either way, it looks like Biron will have to win back the number one job.  The Flyers probably prefer Marty to be the playoff guy, since he was sensational in two rounds last year and since they’re paying him about $2 million more per season that Niitymaki.  However, Antero’s numbers and record can’t be ignored, and whoever is playing better down the stretch will likely get the nod this spring.

Antero Niitymaki

Antero Niitymaki

Marty Biron

Marty Biron

Sbisa Sent back to Juniors

Posted in Uncategorized on February 5, 2009 by flyersfan44

There’s no evidence that Flyers’ GM Paul Holmgren reads this blog, although yours truly has met and spoken to Homer several times, but after my last entry wondering when the Flyers would figure out what to do with defenseman Luca Sbisa, who was missing in action for many of the last 15 games, they decided to send him back to his junior team in Lethbridge, Alberta.  I’m not sure the Flyers handled Sbisa wisely, as he was playing pretty well for an 18 year-old rookie.  Yet, the Flyers scratched him for many games when Randy Jones returned from injury. This undoubtedly hurt his confidence, because when they threw him back into a game in St. Louis this past weekend, he was on the ice for two goals and didn’t look as good as he had earlier in the season.  Now, we have to hope that having him go back to juniors after half a season in the big league doesn’t retard his development.