Saturday, February 9, 2008
28-24-6: *Whew* We Needed That
So as I don't have a lot of time to sum things up, I will break the wonderful 2-0 win over the Broad Street Gutter Trash down period-by-period but promise not to drone (too badly):
*As everyone knows, I am a big advocate for checking lines and threw my support behind Hollweg-Betts-Orr ... but starting them in this game was rought as they got pinned in their own zone for the opening minute. Not to mention that they struggled for most of the period with Hollweg making an aweful giveaway. Then again, Jagr had two of those but no one is yelling for him to be dropped from the roster ('cept me an an enlightened few).
*I mentioned it last game but it truly is remarkable how different the Rangers are with Jagr on the ice. With Joffrey Lupul in the box for hooking (a weak call, but we'll take it), Jagr's power play unit couldn't create anything and struggled to get to the Flyers' blue line. Jagr went off, the other unit came on, got in and scored.
*Derian Hatcher hasn't been able to skate for six years, how is he still in the NHL? Oh wait, he is on the Flyers as a 'physical defenseman' ... that answers that. What a joke.
*An attaboy to Prucha for going after that panzy Mike Richards when he hit Vally in the back and a slap upside the head to Rozy for taking another lazy penalty. Gotta love Richards - a real tough guy who cheap shots while wearing a visor. What is he, the Flyer version of Richie Pilon?
*Remember what I said about the power play in the first? Yeah, same thing in the second with Jagr off the ice and Gomez scoring in the second to make it 1-0.
*I had watched the first period at the bar with the jukebox on. I moved to where I could listen for the second and damn, Micheletti ... he is just ... I can't take it. Although, if I didn't have the audio up I would have missed Sam talking about how well Andrew Hutchinson and Dane Byers played for the Pack Friday night. Funny, but I've said both should be playing with the Rangers ...
*Old time hockey folks. A nice line brawl that broke out as MSG focused on a fallen linesmen of all things. Orr gets his second fight in in as many days, hammering Riley Cote. Steve Downie goes after Toots, glad to see he is like Richards - a real tough guy with a visor on. The funny thing is that the linesman might not have gotten hurt if he had a visor, and Downie is a girl because he wears one. Oh, the ironies in life. What really gets to me is that when they announced all of the penalties in the arena, Joe wouldn't shut the hell up so you could hear them.
*Why do the referees insist on being part of the game? Is it for the glory? They are the highest paid officials in sports and yet they have to try to grab the spotlight. Instead of letting Richards fight Avery, they get in the middle of it and give Sean a 10 minute misconduct when he doesn't relent to their meddling. Richards doesn't get a misconduct - although he was about to fight with his visor on. This is just idiotic.
*Richards finally gets his for a cheap shot, but of all people its Dubi. Jesus. The spirit is awesome, but the execution is just godawful. Just in case you cared, he has taken over from Girardi as my favourite player. Love Dan-o, but you just can't deny everything Dubi brings shift after shift.
*Cally has a two step lead on a breakaway and is slashed from behind by Randy Jones, and yet the ref doesn't call a penalty shot? I don't get it, is it because he got a bad shot off? I bet if he took a dive and went down, he would have gotten the call ...
*You all can say how I am picking on Jagr in Malik's absense, but the captain was a nonfactor for most of the game. For a guy who was capable of this, expectations are higher than for, say, Bettsy. Unfortunately he isn't coming anywhere close. One assist in eight games is inexcusable.
*Vally ... what can you say? The Flyers worked and got themselves some good chances but he played a solid game and shut 'em out. Let's the Man Who Would Be King keep searching for his crown and give Vally the starting job - at least for now; ride the hot goaltender.
*PHW Three Stars
3-Hatcher - for being a huge pain in the ass.
2-Gomer - goal and an assist.
1-Vally - 31 save shutout.
Scotty Hockey Three Stars
3-Vally - a solid shutout, while making Hank look like a pauper.
2-Dubi/Staal/Cally/Pru/Dawes - the kids are alright. I couldn't pick just one as all of them skated hard every second of every shift and played like veterans.
1-Gomez/Drury - the high priced signings paid off in this game as Gomez moved the puck well and skated strong to get chances while Drury was rock-solid on both sides of the ice blocking shots, moving the puck and working the crease.