Monday, February 8, 2010
Monday night was different, however. Despite their constant march to the penalty box, the Flyers fought back with 2 goals late in the second period to claw their way back to a tie and steal all the momentum in the game. What followed was an exciting third period filled with tense penalty kills, plenty of near misses, a few amazing saves and the game winning goal by Mike Richards halfway into the period.
This was a big win for the Flyers as they managed to beat the first-place Devils with their new prize, Ilya Kovalchuk, who had 9 shots in the game but didn't register a point. Michael Leighton, who we may be seeing even more of as Ray Emery may be on the shelf for a while, turned in another solid performance as he made the big stops when he had to.
Of course, people may be talking a lot more about one incident on the ice than the outcome of the game. Yep, folks, we have another controversy over a Flyers hit. Moments after scoring a goal in the second period, Anssi Salmela was nailed by Jeff Carter and laid motionless on the ice. Carter was not whistled for a penalty on the play but you can bet the NHL will take a close look at this one:
My take? Carter shouldn't be suspended. Sure, it was a rough hit, but Carter didn't elbow Salmela and the fact that his face hit the ice is why the hit looked so bad. You can't penalize Carter for the hit just because Salmela scored, either, since Carter had no way of knowing if that shot was going to be stopped by Leighton. Luckily, word has come out that Salmela is ok after being stretchered off the ice.
Looking past the hit, the Flyers have given us hope once again. If they can play with the same passion they showed on the ice on Monday night, this team has a playoff run in them. I'm looking forward to seeing which Flyers team shows up when they face the Devils again on Wednesday.