Totally insane, absolute chaos, everyone’s D in a shambles, goalies thrown to the wolves, audience tossing hats for no reason. No doubt there were dancing giraffes and circus acrobats out of camera range.
Byfuglien didn’t score. Before the game, NBC asked him how he was going to deal with Chris Pronger. He said he would sit back and wait to see what Pronger would do. I got so excited about that, I thought “yay! That nincompoop thinks sitting back is a good idea.” In fact, he did seem to sit back for a while, then he started throwing his weight in some new directions. I was thinking that Pronger was spending too much time wrastlin’ Byf when maybe he should be… and the Hawks scored.
It would be crazy and wrong to think that pinning the City Bird’s name down could have… nah. I am pretty sure that was Pronger. One of these days I will have to dig up the dirt there, but for now I will leave those details buried from my sight. Pronger worked his tail off yesterday, for the right team of course. And I think it is safe to say that Byf was only neutralized through the concerted effort of several players. Probably it cost them in other areas.
I suppose there were players working hard for that other team too but I don’t care about them, no matter how dejected and shell-shocked they looked on the bench. (Flashbacks to the Red Army entirely unwarranted.) Blame you know who. One scoreless game is not enough, not nearly enough.
Byfuglien’s empty points purse was very much the high point of yesterday’s game for me. All emotionally bruised from my last run in with the Hawks, the words “we only lost by one” looked good until I realized “I know this place, these are the Cliffs of Despair.” And yet…
The gut-reaction I have to seeing the team I root for fall by one point to the Blackhawks is not founded on a valid comparison. I don’t think the Sharks choked, but neither did they ever elevate their defense to the level that the Flyers are capable of. Which is something they should work on, and also something that gives me reason to pause before jumping over the edge. This is not the first time I’ve said it: the Flyers have a defense worth emulating. They didn’t get into sync last night, but if they do, it will be something the Hawks probably have not faced before. If the orange lines coalesce into their usual form, it may well blind the young prodigies.
Which brings up another oddity in coverage. So very very much is made of how young the Hawks are. That interview with Toews and Kane sure drove that home. Yet the Flyers are NOT much older. At a glance, I would say the average age is only a year apart, if that. There are a lot of early 20 somethings on both teams. But maybe a year is an eon in hockey time.
Danny Briere is enchanting. Very thoughtful responses to questions, not that I can remember the answers but it is possible they were over my head. Still, he seems like an excellent spokesperson for the game. He should get more air time. Much more congenial than some other cover boys I can think of.
The Hawks took all the penalties. It was as if someone told them to bully the Bullies but, not really knowing how to play that way, they just got themselves in trouble. Not much trouble, the Flyers’ power play didn’t give them much grief. Nonetheless, I wish people would keep up- these are not your granddaddy’s Flyers! They don’t play that way anymore, and when they do you will not catch them at it.
I did finally get the name of the player who got hurt in one of the games against the Sharks: Ladd. I am not happy he got hurt. I hope he’s okay. (But he shouldn’t hit Sharks.)
Leighton is getting the Nabby treatment on the Flyers’ board, of course. Same old same old: “It’s all thanks to you,” or “all your fault,” the latter cycle being in full swing now. It was good to see so much support for Boucher, not only in the “now it is time to shit on Leighton” sense, but also genuine enthusiasm. Of course for Sharks fans this is predictable, since he used to be a Shark.
Found a blog after my own heart, at least the first entry I read: Can’t Pin Game 1 Loss On Michael Leighton. Phew. I’m not crazy. Funny how finding a little affirmation not only makes me feel clever but also sane. Research skills are a gift and a curse.
Have been wondering if Leighton has a nick name. I think I heard someone call him “Leights,” which could be pronounced “lights,” but it wasn’t. It was more like “lates.” Neither one seems like a good handle. PH call him “Pudding.” I have no idea why, and I won’t bother asking. They don’t answer my questions. Pudding sounds nice, like milk and cookies but from the context I believe it is not the author’s intent to say he is sweet and smooth. It will have to be filed with MAF’s juice boxes under “no effing idea.”
I could think of a lot of reasons to swap goalies that did not include disapproval of Leighton’s performance. Unlike the Hawks, perhaps, (I’m not sure who else the Hawks have) the Flyers have two very good goalies to choose from, as of last night. Also, Leighton did just recover from his injury so why overwork him? Boucher has barely recovered but if he wanted to play then why not? No one was playing defense anyway.
When the game goes like last night’s game, everyone on the ice is pretty worn out and it might demoralize the other team to see you plunk a fine fresh goalie in there. I don’t think the Flyers have more confidence in one than the other. They seem pretty much on a par, both have done fine in the playoffs. But again, fresh versus ragged and weary from long abuse… yeah, better to swap.
Maybe players also think a little harder about protecting their goalie when they know he is not warmed up, or if they feel guilty for letting the last one get chewed up. I don’t know. I’m sure they’ve all been there, done that. I just didn’t think pulling Leighton was such a very big deal, since Boucher was ready.
Interesting, crazy, megalomania, Cassie-syndrome inciting facts about the game: Byf didn’t score (oh, did I say that already? Never get tired of writing that.) Also on the “pointless” card: Toews and Kane. These facts are not truly crazy-making, they are just affirming, since yesterday I seem to have “noticed” the same players the Flyers decided to neutralize. Hm.
When a horse is in unfamiliar territory, they want to go really fast, and they are also prone to suddenly jump sideways at the slightest provocation. That last part is called “shying.” This is why you don’t want to let a horse go really fast in unfamiliar territory, because you are likely to fall off and be left alone in unfamiliar territory. Once you both get a feel for the place, fast is just fine, so long as you are sure no one is going to shy and end up in the wrong place. I hope everyone has settled in now, so they can get back to work tomorrow.