Photo from the Associated Press
The Philadelphia Flyers had a big night with a lot to accomplish in New York at Madison Square Garden Wednesday night. After back to back losses, the Flyers had a lot to prove to the Rangers; the Flyers can beat the Rangers, that the Garden is not the “House of Horrors” and that their bileagered defense will not keep them from victory. Not a whole lot of proving any of those things. The only thing that they did prove was that the Rangers in white at home and the Flyers in their winter classic jerseys on the road looks a little strange.
Adding to Philadelphia’s anxiety was the uncertainty of Captain Claude Giroux’s participation after a lower body injury. His status played out some what like the hokey pokey- they put their captain in, they take their captain out, his ankle gets sore and it turns us all about. While Captain Claude did finish warm ups and return to the line up, he did have to leave the game early in the third period, which strangely gave the flyers that taste of adversity they seem to thrive on. Unfortunately, the effort was too little too late.
The Flyers came out with energy in Madison Square Garden, knowing that they would need it against the number 2 ranked in the Metro Rangers. However, the Rangers also came out hot, out numbered shots on goal 4-1 in the first five minutes and the Flyers energy waned. Flyers goalie Steve Mason made some great saves, but it was clear that the Flyers would not be able to keep the Rangers score at zero indefinitely at that pace. At 14:50 to go in the first, the Rangers Kevin Klein assisted by Carl Hagelin, scored their first goal, making it 1-0 over the Flyers. The Flyers tried to keep up and some amazing saves were made by Mason, but the Rangers dominated the 1st period easily. The period ended with the Rangers up 1-0 over the Flyers.
The second period saw the Flyers lackadaisical bordering on somnambulist, spending a little too much time in zones incompatible with triumph. The first 7 & a half minutes ish into the second the Rangers broke through and with 12:17 to go and Rick Nash capitalized on the power play and scored assisted by Martin St. Louis and Derek Stepan after Nick Shultz’s slashing penalty on Derek Stepan.
“It knocked me right down, I never even saw him coming.”- Steve Mason on a 2nd period plot twist. So what happened?
An unexpected turn in events was a team collision when newly returned Braydon Coburn smushed into Steve Mason. The Rangers added to and maintained their 1st period lead with the second period ending with New York up 2-0 over The Flyers.
Photo from bleacherreport.com
The third period saw Flyers Captain Claude Giroux leave early, possibly due to his lower body injury. The Flyers put on a last effort push, but were unable to change the score or game outcome. Power plays and penalty kills on both sides, but the score remained the same and the game ended with the Rangers winning 2-0 over the Philadelphia Flyers.
While the Flyers overall were under impressive, Steve Mason had an incredible game with 32 saves and some serious acrobatics and pilates type moves. Mason kept the game from being a 8-0 blow out and that is still an impressive achievement. He played the puck with his usual style; he either knows exactly where the puck is, how to play it and to who or just stays in net. He chooses his moments carefully.
Wayne Simmonds said of his goalie and teams performance; “He stood on his head for 60 minutes and we didn’t support him, We just didn’t show up.” On his head Flyers fans, for you.
While the game ends here, the big story of the night was only just beginning and could be heard all over the tri state area. Hexy was unhappy. The kind of unhappy you need noise cancelling headphones for children and a welding mask for one and all. If you looked at Flyers General Manager Ron Hextall directly, blindness was a serious risk. Players and fans alike may develop cancer from being too close to the detonation site.
What I can in good conscious quote Hextall on “”It bothered me a lot, I don’t think we were hungry enough. I’m very disappointed”
Warning; explicit content; ” That’s &*#$%*% #(*@%%!#)*&! $*&%^ &*#$%*% $(*&%^(!!! Sayeth Hextall.
The usually hot Jakub Voracek has this to say; “We know how to play hockey, it’s just…I wouldn’t say we weren’t ready. We just were slow. I don’t know why. I don’t have the answer.”
From Planet Twitter:
The Flyers defense is very Flyers-y tonight.
Mason is standing on his head early. Flyers have made some bad choices in their own zone leading to early chances for Rangers
If the flyers don’t score soon I may throw my self down a flight of stairs
Marissa Vandenberg @mvandy17
I’m going to have a heart attack by the end of this flyers game.
♥Little Mrs. Jen♥ @FlyersFanLMJ ·
Hey Flyers! How about a power play goal??
Matt Baumann @Matt_bau ·
Just a lot of reaching by Flyers defense there. Think they forgot how to use their skates.
Andrea Stevens @instantphilly17 ·
Steve Mason is this entire
#Flyers team right now. Ridiculous. (Not in a good way)
Robbie Rob @RobbieCap ·
It would be so flyersy if a flyers player took out their best goalie on the team.
Justin D. Cate @jdcate86 ·
The only way the Flyers are winning this game is if “The Most Interesting Man In The World” dons a Flyers jersey.
Mike @ChaiMike26 ·
Rangers passes are crisp. Flyers look floppy and just bad. It’s frustrating as a flyers fan
For Captain Claude’s post game snack, Giroux will have an individually wrapped cheese food product slice on toast, but a real grilled cheese is for winners.