Michael DeNicola

11/05/10

 

"What's your name?"

"My name is Sean Av..."

"IT DOESN'T MATTER WHAT YOUR NAME IS, JABRONI!"

 

Ahhh, classic Rock fashion from the better days of the WWF. Yes, the WWF. None of this WWE hoopla that was forced on us by those wedgie picking Wildlife Foundation noobs.

 

It came early in the 3rd period after Philadelphia had gone up 4 - 1 on the Rangers when Flyers sportscaster, Jim Jackson, muttered how Avery had been quiet all game long when he's typically "a jabroni"!

I had to rewind a LIVE game on my DVR to make sure I heard it right, and yes, that's exactly what Jim said. It gave me a good hard, long laugh.

But a Flyers and Rangers rival match up is no laughing matter.

 

It wasn't more than a few minutes in to the 1st when Jody Shelley and Derek Boogaard hit the ice simultaneously then dropped their mitts in another heavyweight battle. It was one tilt long awaited for by many a hockey fan.

Boogaard stands at a mountainous 6'7" without skates and has arms long enough to put the Star on top of the Rockefeller Christmas tree from his tippy toes. So needless to say once he had Shelley at arm's length Shelley stood little chance. He got the best of the blows from the Boogie Man and wound up losing the tilt, but this was just the beginning to what everyone expected to be an epic game.

 

The 1st period went a lot like a first date with a pretty, conservative church girl; there was a lot of frustration, some scoring chances, but ultimately no scoring....and certainly no "rubber" in the "net" HEYOOOOO!

Nonetheless, the Rangers came out of the gate firing two shots on Flyers net tender, Sergei Bobrovsky, within a minute of eachother that were wildly saved by the Bob himself.

Fortunately for Philadelphia, those two were the only shots on goal the Rangers could manage all period long.

 

With Rangers forwards Marion Gaborik, Vinny Prospal and Captain Chris Drury on the scratch list due to injury, the Flyers were going to have to watch out for players like Brandon Dubinsky who eventually potted the game's first goal just under two minutes into the 2nd period making it a New York lead, 1 - 0.

Let me go on record saying I despise Dubinsky. Just something about his face pisses me off. He looks like a constipated parrot, not to mention he's always seemed to play very well against the Broad Street Fever.

But hate for those who wear the Broadway Blue aside, I was quickly reminded why I love Claude Giroux so very much.

 

A few melted minutes from the game-clock later, Giroux found the puck in the Rangers zone under a pile of white and orange, collected it with his stick, and somehow noticed and backhanded a pass to an open Mike Richards adjacent to Lundqvist's crease who sky rocketed the biscuit upper deck, blasting the tender's water bottle into the air.

A very dramatic, and absolutely amazing game-tying Flyers goal.

I give Mike Richards all the credit in the world for being able to put such an unbelievable angle on that shot, beating Henrik Lundqvist gloveside high from only a midget's length away from the goal, but my attention immediately focused on Giroux.

The guy's a wizard. Either that, or he's able to flip his eyes around to the back of his head like a chameleon because I am still scratching my skull wondering how in the hell he saw Richards. Maybe Mike's reflection was on the opposite side glass and Giroux saw it? Maybe Mike and Claude have bluetooth walkie-talkies in their helmets? Or maybe Giroux's got Spidey Sense? I DUNNO.

We've known how sharp Claude Giroux's awareness has been for well over a season now, but he simply ceases to amaze his teammates and coaches, his opponents and the fans.

It's like Superman....we all know how super the guy is, but if he beat God in an arm wrestling match his impressiveness would take on a whole new level!

I don't know what Paul Holmgren's waiting for. Giroux becomes a restricted free agent after this season, but if I were Homer I'd tie Giroux down now. Like, RIGHT now. I'd give him anything he wanted.

Then again, when I try to compute the money and cap side of the NHL I turn into Lenny from "Of Mice & Men". Seriously, I understand the physics it takes to circle the moon more than the NHL cap. How Tyler does it, understands it, speaks it, adresses it....I'll never know.

All I can say is....resign Giroux.

 

Okay before you begin questioning my sexual preference, I'm going to move onto Nikolay Zherdev.

That man not only had a fantastic game against his old team, but he also managed to pull a rabbit out of a hat....or in this case, stick the rabbit IN the hat.

Nikolai had a handful of scoring chances last night, but seeing as how Lundqvist is one of the three best goaltenders in the league, Zherdev got shut down.....until late in the 2nd when he got tied up against the boards deep in the Ranger zone and with the flick of his wrist - from the hardest/worst possible angle - banked the puck off a napping Henrik and squeezed it through the net's top right corner putting the Flyers up 3 - 1.

Wells Fargo Center's gonna have a lot of lawsuits on their hands considering the whiplash from all the DOUBLE-TAKES that came from the ice, benches and the crowd!

It was a dirty goal that had a one in a million chance of going in, but hell...I'll take it. And so did the Flyers. (goal can be seen in the video attached at the bottom of the article)

 

Early in the 3rd the tension and rage thickened the atmosphere as Flyers agitator, Daniel Carcillo, once again boiled the blood of Ranger Nation.

As New York forward, Ruslan Fedotenko, handled the puck past the Flyers blue line, Carcillo came in with what seemed like a head hunting raised elbow. Thankfully, Fedotenko was already falling to the ice before his head was clipped by Carbomb which led officials to believe it did not warrant a penalty.

This turned Rangers head coach, John Tortorella into a suit dressed volcano.

"Do I have a problem with the hit?" he said. "Sure I did. Why wouldn't I? What do we talk about? All the tapes they send in over the summer. They ask us to watch them. Why send them? It's a waste."

That was Torts in a post-game interview addressing how the league has been so fixated on player safety due to recent head injuries, yet the officials let it happen with no consequences in last night's 3rd period.

I actually see where Tortorella is coming from. Although Carcillo wasn't head hunting and Fedotenko fell into his elbow, Carcillo still left his feet which is a penalty.

And considering this is Daniel Carcillo - a league-wide hated agitator and thorn in the League Office's ass - I wouldn't be surprised if NHL disciplinarian Colin Campbell takes a close look at the footage and suspends ol' Danny boy. He's of course a repeat offender, a hot head, and (some say) a dirty player....so he's had a target on his back since day one and will continue to wear it until he hangs up his skates.

 

Media favorite Chris Pronger drove the final nail in the Rangers coffin, sniping the Flyers third power play goal of the night from the left point and through a screening Jeff Carter's legs, chizzling the final score Flyers 4 - Rangers 1.

The Rangers came into Philadelphia looking for payback and all they found was an additional Orange kick to the groin. It was sweet. It was fantastic. It was the Flyers 5th consecutive win.

Although the Flyers came into last night's game on a four game winning streak, a Rangers rival match up is never easy no matter who has what record. But our boys decided to ignore that warning entirely and lit the lamp behind Lundqvist so often he probably thought he was outside a strip club with its neon nudie sign glaring on and off.

It was the beginning of a 6-game rivalry series that the Flyers didn't take lightly. The Fly Guys have proven that they are perfectly capable of setting up a consistent day-in, day-out performance and consistency is key in this league. It's certainly a breath of fresh air considering the roller coaster ride they put us through last regular season.

But I'm getting ahead of myself. There's still much more to go and much more to be accomplished.

Speaking of which, the Flyers take on the New York Islanders this Saturday only a week after they embarrassed them in Philly, 6 - 1, and...of course...the whole incident with Danny Briere (who will serve his final game suspension come Saturday). 

Point is...never under estimate an opponent who's looking for vengeance and blood.

Keep the consistency up, boys!

Good night. Good hockey.