Well, sort of. Immediately following the opening faceoff Panther Gregory Campbell and Flyer Ian Laperriere squared off. Two seconds later Panther Nick Tarnasky tangles with Flyer Arron Asham. Then at the 2:45 mark of the game, Panther forward David Booth basically followed Mike Richards of the Flyers from the Flyers zone into the Panthers zone, checked him into the corner and apparently asked Richards to “have a go”. Richards obliged and while it wasn’t much of a battle, it finally happened. Good for Booth for asking, and good for Richards for obliging. Now we can move on from that? Lords knows I did a long time ago.
Back to the game, and sorry but I need to recap quickly. The Panthers scored seven, that’s right seven goals against the Flyers who scored seven the previous night against Tampa Bay. Two streaks were stopped in the process. A winning streak for the Flyers, and a losing streak for the Cats.
The Panthers had some energy and while they not only came out fighting, they also came out shooting and ended up chasing Flyer goalie Michael Leighton with 6 minutes left in the second period after giving up four goals. Note: If the Flyers do not get past the first round of the playoffs, provided they make them, goaltending will be the cause. Leighton was replaced by Brian Boucher who surrendered two goals, and the Panthers added an open netter for their seventh.
Michael Frolik scored twice and had eight shots on goal, snapping a sixteen game goal scoring drought! Little Stevie bagged number 23 of the year, and David Booth had the “Gordie Howe Hat Trick”, with one goal, three assists and his fight against Richards. Defenceman Jason Garrison who is going to get significantly more ice time now with the trading of Jordan Leopold and Dennis Seidenberg, scored his first career NHL goal and added an assist. Bryan McCabe also added a goal and three assists. So for a change scoring was not only abundant, but spread out amongst the ranks.
While he only had one assist, I thought that Shawn Matthias actually played a decent game and made a nice pass on Garrison’s goal. Tomas Vokoun who obviously was not traded, was good enough as he made 38 saves facing 42 shots by the Flyers. Their were some tense moments in the game, and the PP (piss poor) looked weak at times, but in the end the Cats prevailed. You might say that their performance was a result of the trade deadline being over, and that they could now relax and focus on the balance of the season. I will wait a few games before I pass that judgement, as they are currently five points out of the last playoff spot with Carolina coming to town Saturday night.
Scoring for Philly came from Jeff Carter, Ville Leino, Daniel Briere, and Ryan Parent. Carter has continued a hot streak as he has now scored in six consecutive games for Phildelphia, which ties him for the longest scoring streak of the year with players like Zach Parise, Steven Stamkos, and Jason Spezza.
It was a fairly exciting game for all the scoring, and there wasn’t much defence that’s for sure as both teams had played the night before. Flyer coach Peter Laviolette wasn’t happy with his teams performance calling it “mindless hockey”. He accused his team of not executing both offensively and defensively. I would have to agree as it was not the type of game I expected the Flyers to play. I also didn’t expect the Panthers to play the way they did either.
My Molson Canadian Player of the game, David Booth!
Nice game David. Now can we all move on from the revenge that we were waiting for?
Next up Carolina on Saturday night. Start time 7:00 p.m.
Coming Friday, my trade deadline tirade anger analysis. I realize this is a process in trying to fix a broken down system which has gone on way too long. But I was fairly disappointed and not overly impressed with what we did. I know we got some draft picks for potential free agents, but that only tells me that we are in a rebuilding mode, and not in a playoff mode.
At least we got a player with a cool name right? Byron Bitz! And he’s gonna wear Olli’s old number 12!
Thanks for reading.