Richards vs. The Media
I have to fall on the side of Mike Richards on this one. The Philadelphia media loves to talk negative about all their teams to generate call-in buzz for the sports talk radio fanatics. When the team (regardless of the sport) wins, they are great. When they lose, they suck! I left the Philadelphia area in the late 1980s and I do not carry the same venom for my teams as the locals still carry. If you think I am wrong, look at how the media turned on Lindros with the mob, McNabb has needed to be traded for years now, Mike Schmidt was a bum, and Steve Carlton never talked to the media after they wronged him in his first interview. It is fine to offer opinion of performance on the field, but if you start writing stories claiming unnamed sources that a player was drinking or whatever, you are not a sports reporter, you belong on TMZ with the rest of the tabloid media!
Gaborik vs. Carcillo
Listening to the NHL Powerplay on XM – these guys were saying that Carcillo seeked out Gaborik. The Rangers put their top players on the ice after an icing against the Flyers 4th line – who were tired after icing the puck. So the Rangers had the mismatch on the change, but then when Emery held the puck instantly the Rangers were digging away and the scrum started.
Now the facts, Dan Carcillo is an agitator on the Flyers. Marion Gaborik is a sniper on the Rangers and like most snipers likes to put in a cheap shot now and again, when he can get away with it untouched. Next Carcillo is nothing more than a middle sized player at 6’0 and 205 lbs. Gaborik is listed at 6’1 200lbs. These guys are the same size! Carcillo is NOT A HEAVYWEIGHT as everyone is assuming, he is a middleweight guy – just like Sean Avery.
Back to the play…When Tolefsen got mixed up with Dubinsky, Gaborik threw a punch from behind at Tolefsen. Carcillo grabbed the 3rd guy that was Gaborik, and was doing the standard face wash on Gaborik. Then Gaborik inexplicitly drops his gloves first and then got his butt kicked. Here is the lesson that Mr. Gaborik just learned. Don’t drop your gloves! Carcillo was doing nothing more than separating Gaborik (sticking up for his teammate) and giving the obligatory face wash with the stinky glove until he saw the golden opportunity that Gaborik dropping the gloves. Enough said!
From CSN Philly....
There has been much discussion following Dan Carcillo’s fight with Marian Gaborik in the Flyers’ 2-0 victory over the Rangers on Thursday. Those on the Flyers side argue that Gaborik dropped his gloves first and deserved whatever fate was handed to him. Meanwhile, the New York rebuttal – mainly coming from Rangers head coach John Tortorella – is that Carcillo did not prove anything by decking the Blueshirts’ leading scorer. Allan Muir of SI.com says the Tortorella has no one to blame but himself. Tortorella’s poor decision-making actually led to Gaborik’s beat down. “A gentle reminder for Rangers coach John Tortorella: Whine all you want about honor, but the real culprit in the Marian Gaborik - Daniel Carcillo dust-up is you,” Muir said. Muir states that after an icing call Tortorella chose to place his top line in action while the Flyers stuck with their bruising line of Carcillo Ian Laperriere and Blair Betts.
Flyers vs. Blue Jackets
The Flyers played Columbus for the Ken Hitchcock and RJ Umberger return to Philly. As the Flyers are apt to do, RJ scored a pair of goals and even got the hat trick treatment when it appeared he might have tipped in a 3rd goal late in the game. Another example of Philly fans understanding the game and loving their players. Brind`Amour and Umberger were fan favorites and have always been treated with class. In order to bring the wrath of the Philly fans, they must be provoked. If you don’t believe me – go back and watch Michael Irvin get cheered as he is injured. Two plays earlier he was giving the Eagles fans the 1st down gesture and putting his hand to his ear to say he couldn’t hear the fans booing! Philly fans have a long memory – just as Ron Duguay or JD Drew.
Here are some random notes from the game. The Flyers have to address their 3rd defense pair. Lately Carle/Pronger and Timonen/Coburn have left a 3rd pair of Toleffsen and Bartulis. This pair is under constant pressure in the zone. Toleffsen is not NHL ready and should be playing in the AHL. I was not a fan of John Stevens and also not a fan of Laviolette. However I like the style he has brought to the team. They are playing a more aggressive and puck possession team, then they ever were under Stevens. Good job Homer, this must have been what you were talking about last summer. For the first time in my life, I have witnessed a man score from the faceoff. Carter snapped the puck directly into the net. I have seen this tried since the 1970s and never seen it work! As a guy who watches the Eastern Conference mostly – I was really impressed how of many quality shifts Nash turns in – with very little talent around him. Reminds me of a young Jagr they way he controls the puck and creates offense. Lastly, Blair Betts is the definition of “Hockey Smart”! He is always on the right side of the puck.
Flyers vs. Rangers
The Flyers absolutely played the best game of the season versus the Rangers. I watched the game a 2nd time and am still searching for a tough save that had to be made by Ray Emery. The Flyers defense and forwards completely took the game away from the Rangers. The game was never as close as the score looks. Laviolette’s system was played almost flawlessly to keep the Rangers out of the Flyers zone and the game was played deep in the Rangers end and at center ice. The Rangers should be madder at themselves for playing a game without much effort on their part, then they were about screaming at Carcillo. If they played with half the passion of their comments, the game might have been more interesting.
The Flyers have a big weekend with Carolina and Pittsburgh coming into Philly before a few off days for the Flyers.
Good night and good hockey!