It isn't every day a fan gets to watch his or her team fire 40-shots on the opposing netminder and not sink a single one of them.
Yesterday, that was exactly the case with each Flyers fanatic.
Los Angeles' own Jonathan Quick put up a robbing performance between the pipes for the Kings giving Philadelphia its fifth blanked competition of the 2010-11 season.
Drew Doughty had the game's only goal 17-seconds into the 2nd period when Flyers captain Mike Richards turned the puck over behind Sergei Bobrovsky's net. Anze Kopitar controlled the play in the corner boards, made the pass to a net charging Doughty who wristed the rubber gloveside on Bob.
From then on it remained a goalie battle.
Minutes later in the period, Kings' right winger Wayne Simmonds took advantage of the Flyers sloppy offensive zone passing and broke away from Timonen and Coburn with a commanding lead. Just as he entered the deep slot his backhanded shot was stopped by Bobrovsky in leg splitting fashion. It was a move that made every male watching cup his crotch and grimace.
Simmonds' denied breakaway goal earned Sergei a thunderous standing ovation from the hometown crowd.
Quick's performance in net overshadowed any and all Bobrovsky's highlights.
"I think we got close to 20 quality chances, but couldn't solve the goaltender. It was tight out there, and I think it will be the rest of the way. The goaltender deserves credit, he played a heck of a game." ~ Peter Laviolette, Philadelphia Flyers
"Heck of a game" doesn't begin to describe it. I counted six times when I flipped the middle finger to Quick on the tv screen. Countless amounts of, "JEEEEESUS CHRIST, QUICK!"'s. And maybe a dozen "Just get the puck in net!"'s.
By the mid-point of the 3rd period, Kings' center Jarret Stoll chased the puck in the Philadelphia's corner boards where Chris Pronger was busy trying to pass it out. With his back facing Stoll, Pronger was defenseless while completely focused on the puck. That didn't stop the 6'1", 210 pound Saskatchewan-native from bull rushing our defenceman from behind sending Pronger's head and neck pounding into the glass and sliding to the ice headfirst.
All of that happened maybe ten feet from the official who refused to make the boarding call. I've seen Pronger mad before, but he stood up (thankfully uninjured) almost foaming from the mouth as he cursed off the referee.
And he had every right to. If I didn't know any better, I'd say Stoll's hit was intended to injure. Had it been called then we could of gone on another powerplay, or better yet, a 5-minute major! Being down by 1-goal and not getting a call like that is pretty significant.
But we have no one to blame but ourselves. The opportunities were there all game long. It was either Quick shutting us down, or we shut down ourselves.
The Flyers went on the man advantage four different times with the same abhorrent outcomes. Nothing clicked and when it did....Jonathan Quick was there to deny.
Philadelphia still stands at the top of the Conference with 77-points, and luckily the Bruins, Penguins and Capitals are all on a 2-game losing streak while Tampa remains 4-points behind. This is an opportunity to get ahead of the threats in the standings.
And for the love of everything holy STOP getting shut out! Our boys have more depth at the front line position than any other squad in the league. There's absolutely no excuse for losing a match 1 - 0.
All we can hope for is that minds are collected and new momentum gets established Tuesday night at 7:30 when we battle the Lightning in Tampa Bay.....whom we haven't beaten yet this season.