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The Philadelphia Flyers vs The Chicago Blackhawks 10-18-2016- It Was Almost Amazing!



Philadelphia Flyers

The Philadelphia Flyers almost came back against the Chicago Blackhawks in a wild five minutes and twenty six seconds.

Photograph by Else via Getty Images

The first minute of the game the Philadelphia Flyers played against the Chicago Blackhawks on Tuesday, October 18th set an ominous and depressing tone for the rest of it.  Just 56 seconds into the game, Blackhawk Patrick Kane opened scoring.  The Flyers were able to keep the game 0-1 through most of the first period.  Unfortunately, Chicago made their presence felt when they scored 2 goals times 46 seconds apart.  They were scored at 17:26 and 18:12, by Dennis Rasmussen and Artemi Panarin, respectively.  The Blackhawks closed out the first period 3-0.  Are you sad yet?  Maybe a little angry?  Is sangry a thing yet, because it should be a thing.

During this time, Ivan Provorov has been receiving some negative attention and may be needing some support.  The game was not incredibly kind to him, there was some falling and some less than optimal plays.  It may be growing pains.  It may involve gravity, it happens a lot.  Regardless, it is his 3rd game of the season, he is a rookie and he is 19.

Furthermore, he is also in a career position, he is not making ends meet until he is qualified to seek a job in his field.  This is what is at the end of his rainbow, this is the rest of his life and his happily ever after.  It is very possible that a 19 year old may have some less than optimal things happen due to inexperience, it is a common occurrence.  Unfortunately, being a pro athlete draws greater criticism than someone making you a sandwich while saving money for school of a sandwich for themselves.  This is wrong.  You eat the sandwich, you do not eat Provorov.

Coach Dave Hakstol has a similar outlook; “He’s going to be fine, he’s been a good, strong player for us all the way through.  There’s five guys on the ice in all those situations…The one or two mistakes, those are easy to move past. Some of the other things we’ll look at, grow and learn from.”

Philadelphia Flyers via Christian Petersen via Getty Images

Philadelphia Flyers via Christian Petersen via Getty Images

The second period was less exciting (for Flyers fans), although Blackhawk Marian Hossa scored his 500th career goal 5:04 into the period.  This was a power play goal that arose from a hooking penalty by Boyd Gordon.  Correspondingly, Steve Mason took his place on the rink, replacing starting goalie Michael Neuvirth.  The Flyers finally opened scoring for themselves at 18:23, denying the Blackhawks the opportunity for a shut out.  Matt Read broke the seal and scored on the power play, assisted by Jakub Voracek and Claude Giroux.  The second period closed with the Flyers still down 1-4, but the action would continue wildly in the third period.

General Manager Ron Hextall has taken note of Matt Read’s contributions; “I really like the way Reader is playing, he’s clearly picked his game up. He is much sharper, crisper, faster. That’s a big plus for us at this point.”

The Philadelphia Flyers brought their momentum from the second period into the third and things got fabulous.  Whatever was said during the intermission needs to be bottled and sold to the masses.  Matt Read had fans reaching for their hats when he scored his second goal of the evening at an impressive :37 into the period, assisted by Shayne Gostisbehere and Claude Giroux.  In like fashion, Sean Couturier joined the effort 1:07 later with his own goal, assisted by Travis Konecny and Nick Schultz.  Moreover, Wayne Simmonds added his own contribution at 3:49 into the period, just 1:55 after Couturier’s goal, assisted Claude Giroux and Jakub Voracek.  The Flyers scored 4 goals in 5 minutes and 26 seconds, tying the game 4-4.  It was 5:26 seconds of hope and glory, reminding us what the Philadelphia Flyers are capable of.

Philadelphia Flyers by Norm Hall via NHLI/Getty Images

Philadelphia Flyers by Norm Hall via NHLI/Getty Images

“The positive is the character to come back and tie the game in the third period, to stay with it and do that is a positive. The thing we’ll look at the other side is, just too loose on a couple of plays,” Flyers coach Dave Hakstol commented on his team.

Then Chicago started scoring again.  Hearts were breaking, tears were shedding and the Flyers roller coaster was continuing in motion.  You know where this is going, right?  Terrible places.  At 10:24, Chicago got their lead back after Artem Anisimov acceded their 5th goal, making it 5-4.  Not much time passed before Artemi Panarin made it 6-4 at 16:03, his second of the evening.  Artem Anisimov closed out scoring at 19:15, his second goal for the night, for a final score of 7-4, with Chicago as the victors.  While the Philadelphia Flyers may not have made a full comeback, they only lost 4-7, which is much better than 0-7, and they showed some serious grit in the process.

Flyers Wayne Simmonds reflected on the game; “We never give up, I don’t think we ever have ever since I’ve been here.  We’ve always been a team who’s been able to come back.  Obviously that’s not the situation you want to be in.  We made a good push, but we turned the puck over a couple too many times.”

Philadelphia Flyers

Philadelphia Flyers by beanhugger via Wikipedia Commons

In addition, we saw some classic Claude Giroux with his 3 assists.  Every captain is a different type of captain, some are out in front and score 25+ goals a season.  They are foreground people who type A all over the place.  Conversely, there are captains who are back ground B types who have Beyoncé strong thighs from letting people hitch a rides on their back.  They are commemorated in karaoke when their team mates sing Bette Midler’s “Wind Beneath My Wings” and then dedicate it to their captain.  Claude Giroux is the latter.  He is doing things differently, he is contributing and he is doing what his team needs.  Looking at his time since becoming captain full time, he has consistently made roughly twice as many assists as goals.  Every goal cannot be scored unassisted, so this is not a bad thing

In less than happy Giroux news, his post game snack is almost a whole box of fish sticks for almost a comeback, but the grilled cheese sandwich of victory is for winners alone.

Michael Raffl has sustained an upper body injury and will miss 10-14 games.

The Philadelphia Flyers play next on Thursday, October 20th at their home opener.


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Chicago Blackhawks

Patrick Kane ‘Warming Up’ To Blackhawks Offseason Moves



Chicago Blackhawks right winger Patrick Kane has been lukewarm about the team’s offseason moves.

Back in June, Kane was “disappointed” and “a little emotional” that the team traded Artemi Panarin and the Blackhawks continued to embark on a roster overhaul that saw the departure of many players and the addition of 11 players via trade and free agency.

Back in July, Kane said the following:

“If you look at our season last year, I mean, we had a pretty good season,” Kane said via

“We just kind of collapsed there at the end. Disappointing finish, but when that happens, you know there’s going to be changes. You can’t really ask for much more from a management standpoint, as far as asking for them to make moves to help us win. They did that.”

Kane is starting to warm up to the flurry of moves that Chicago has made.

“It’s tough to say,” Kane said on Saturday (h/t

“I think time will tell, obviously, but I’d like to think on paper we’re a better team.”

Kane noted the big roster turnover including non contract offers for Brian Campbell and Johnny Oduya, goalie Scott Darling traded to the Carolina Hurricanes, Marcus Kruger traded to the Vegas Golden Knights and the loss of defenseman Trevor van Riemsdyk to Vegas in the NHL Expansion Draft, among other moves.

“Obviously, there’s some faces that have been here for a long time, and some faces you didn’t want to see go, that are maybe kind of the cause of some of those moves, but it’s disappointing [to see them go],” Kane said.

“At the same time, we’ve got some guys coming back in, like [Sharp] and Saad, [and] they’re pretty high on this Murphy kid, as well. We have guys that are going to come in. It looks great on paper, but we need to go on the ice and do it.”

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Chicago Blackhawks

Blackhawks Brian Campbell Announces Retirement



After 17 seasons in the NHL, Chicago Blackhawks defenseman Brian Campbell announced his retirement earlier on Monday.

Coming off a five-goal, 17-point season with Chicago this past season, Campbell was an unrestricted free agent. Campbell won the Stanley Cup with the Blackhawks in 2010 and was a 4-time All-Star.

“I’m excited to transition into the next step in both my professional career and life,” Campbell said in an official team release on Monday.

“I’m grateful to the countless number of teammates, coaches, team staff and fans that I have crossed paths with throughout my playing career in Chicago, Buffalo, Florida and San Jose. The Blackhawks organization has allowed me to take on this challenge and I’m thankful for this new opportunity.”

Campbell was a sixth-round draft pick of the Buffalo Sabres and would go on to play in 1,082 games with Buffalo, the Florida Panthers, San Jose Sharks and the Chicago Blackhawks scoring 87 career goals and 504 points.

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