Last night was another disappointing outing by the “Broadstreet Bullies” – who really lived up to their moniker in the third period of last night’s embarrassing loss. Last night was supposed to be a fun night. It was supposed to be a welcoming home of a former Flyer in RW Steve Downie who was acquired by the Flyers earlier this week from the Colorado Avalanche for C Max Talbot. It was supposed to be the turn around we’ve been waiting for as the Flyers had just won 2 of their last 3 games. Instead, last night was an absolute rout by the Alexander Ovechkin-less Washington Capitals winning by a football score of 7-0.
The usual Flyers ailments crept up once again:
1) going 0-5 on the Power Play
2) Zac Rinaldo committing stupid penalties racking up 12 penalty minutes including a 10 minute misconduct for instigating.
Rinaldo’s two minute boarding penalty was quickly followed by a Power Play goal by Capitals RW Joel Ward one minute later capping off his hat trick on the night. Newly acquired Steve Downie racked up a game high 17 penalty minutes including a 10 minute misconduct which, you guessed it, also led to a Capitals Power Play goal. It was not the homecoming Downie probably had in mind. Towards the end of the second period, Downie got into a fight with Caps tough guy Aaron Volpatti and lost big time. Flyers General Manager Paul Holmgren announced after the game that Downie had suffered a concussion in the fight and was later taken to a local hospital for precautionary reasons.
Sloppy play and poor goaltending also lent a hand in last night’s loss. Flyers starting goaltender Steve Mason, who has been one of the few bright spots for the Flyers so far this season, allowed three goals on only eight shots. He was then lifted for backup Ray Emery who was not much better. As the goals continued to accumulate, including three in under three minutes, the crowd began chanting “Fire Holmgren” as they voiced their displeasure for General Manager Paul Holmgren and the team he has assembled.
As the frustration grew with the crowd, frustration grew with the Flyers players as well. Roughly five minutes into the third period, Fight Night broke out in Philadelphia. Flyers players Wayne Simmons, Vincent Lecavalier, and Brayden Schenn began fighting with Capitals players. However, none was more entertaining to the crowd than Flyers goalie Ray Emery making his way to the Capitals zone and picking a fight with goalie Braden Holtby. Holtby clearly wanted no parts of Emery. While most of the officials were trying to break up the other three fights around them, Emery laid a malicious beat down on Holtby that will most likely earn him a suspension.
There wasn’t much to cheer about during this game. Before the melee broke out in the third period, the only thing Flyers fans had to cheer about was when NBC 10 Meteorologist Sheena Parveen appeared on the scoreboard to give this weekend’s forecast during the 2nd intermission.
The Flyers are dead last in the Metropolitan division sitting at a woeful 3-9 and only 6 points to show thus far. They face another division rival tonight as they head to New Jersey to face the Devils. Let’s just hope that the frustration they let out in last night’s third period lit a spark to the turn around Flyers fans expected.