Tom Lea, a gifted artist and World War II correspondent for Life Magazine
, painted a picture that is famous not only for its stark portrayal of battlefield stress on an American Marine during the battle for the island of Peleliu in 1944, but also as a foreshadowing of what we know today as Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). The above painting is known as the "Two Thousand Yard Stare."
I would not be surprised if there are a number of Philadelphia Flyers players who have a similar look after the shellacking they took from a vastly superior New Jersey Devils team this evening. If some of them don't see this look staring back in the mirror, they should.
There is no such thing as a "must win" in January. However, this was close. This was a statement game. Gut check time. A chance to leave a calling card as we move towards the playoff chase. In the end, the Devils were the ones tossing Aces on the lifeless bodies of the Flyer players.
While no one game makes or breaks a season, this game should stick in the craw of every player, coach, GM Paul Holmgren and right up to Ed Snider. The Flyers were playing well, beyond well. They were humming. They were facing their mortal enemy and had to play a flawless game in order to come out of this one with a win. What transpired was nothing short of a massacre.
Not only did the Devils beat the Flyers for the fifth straight time, but they did it with brutal, ruthless efficiency. For the Flyers to win, they would have had to play disciplined, smart, patient hockey. They could not press, lose composure or try to be the 84-85 Oilers. They did all of those. The home team committed 13 penalties for 32 penalty minutes and the Devils took them to the woodshed. Not only did the Devils score FIVE...count 'em FIVE powerplay goals
, but also they also scored four times in a row on the man advantage and tied a team record for powerplay goals in a single game. Nice control and discipline guys.
If I were John Stevens, there would be so many windsprints tomorrow that there would need be buckets at either end of the ice for puking. The only saving grace is that there is the Penguins game on Thursday and they cannot afford another let down, otherwise they would be skating the ice 200' at a time.
You expect elite players, like Patrick Elias and Zach Parise to get some goals - both had two. But, Johnny Oduya, not to be confused with Ilya Kovalchuk, scored his second of the year and dished out three assists. Yep, it was THAT bad. The Flyers played with a lack of urgency, they were running around in their own zone, they could not cover the slot and they did not move bodies out of the way to give the goalies a chance. The goalies - boy did that mojo wear off in a hurry. Niity went from unstoppable to unable to stop. Five goals on 20 shots is not good. Marty Biron came in and let in only two goals on 16 shots. While he stopped all five in the second period, he let in the backbreaking 6th in the 3rd, when the Flyers were only down 5-3. The 7th goal was just icing on the cake for the Devils.
Each player needs to take a long, hard look in the mirror and remember how it feels to lose this badly to the team they should
hate the most. It will be very interesting to see how the team responds to this loss when they play the Penguins on Thursday night. My fervent hope is that they come out with an edge in their game and a chip on their shoulders.
This sort of loss is unacceptable on every level. Getting beat is one thing, getting humiliated is quite another.
Seven goals on 36 shots - you can almost hear Lou laughing. Two thousand yard stare.
Thanks for reading...