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Enough to Choke a Horse


Sabres @ Flyers, ECQF Game 5, April 22, 2011

The game started out very strangely.  First, Zac Rinaldo was in the lineup.  It was his NHL debut.  As a member of the Adirondack Phantoms this season, Rinaldo is said to have had more suspensions than goals. 

So that was a surprise.  It appeared that the Flyers anticipated some fireworks.

Not far into the first period, Boosh was pulled after giving up two bad goals and a third.

That didn’t upset me too much because Leights came in.  The team responded by taking over the game for a bit and catching up.

The Flyers were suddenly on their game, even some who usually weren’t. Zherdev was backchecking like he’d always been able to do that.  Rinaldo didn’t see much ice time at all but he didn’t hurt anyone.  He even drew a penalty. The sleeping dragon was awake. It seemed impossile that the Flyers would not win.

But then they lost in OT.  Leights made 20 saves but once again he got the blame for a very important goal against.

Doing chores after the game, I found a horse choking.  Horses almost never die from a choke, but to see it you wouldn’t know it.  Different horses react in different ways.  Some just cough incessantly. Others assume a posture like a cat coughing up a hair ball.  This horse lies down, rolls around, makes pathetic crying sounds and has neck spasms. She’s very sensitive and expressive.

It is a pathetic sight, a big strong animal reduced to sad whimpering sounds, unable to function normally, overwhelmed by this non-fatal ailment.

It alarmed me, made me feel sad and sick.

What causes an otherwise healthy horse to choke? What renders this big strong thing so helpless?  Same as for anyone: gobbling her food.

As soon as the game ended, Twitter exploded with “who’ll start in goal for game 6?” Also, reminders that the Flyers’ power play still stinks cropped up.

My sense is that it shouldn’t matter who is in goal. It shouldn’t matter if the power play stinks. The Flyers team I fell for was so fierce and resourceful that they didn’t need a power play to score and there wasn’t much for their goalie to do anyway. Which is exactly what they looked like when Leights first came in today.

So, I know what brought the greedy 800 lb equine spluttering and whimpering to a halt: missed details like chewing.

I have no idea what hog tied the Flyers.  The horse got better.  I don’t know if the Flyers can do so fast enough.

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