The puck had barely hit the ice by the time Mike Richards' helmet came off. His gloves, and the gloves and helmet of Matt Cooke soon followed. After Richards' comments on Cooke blew up on YouTube, this one wasn't a surprise. But the ferocity and length of their fight was fairly unexpected, and decidedly awesome. I think Richards won it, but I'm biased. He did land some pretty awesome punches after Cooke was already down, which can be excused given the circumstances.
Sadly, the Richards-Cooke throwdown was not accompanied with a Carcillo-Crosby tussle, as Richards had predicted. Aside from being a parallel match-up, Carcillo and Crosby really should fight at some point in the playoffs when both of their mustaches are at equal weakness.
Then in what has to be the highlight of a lifetime for anyone named "Deryk" with a "y," Deryk Engelland beat the everliving crap out of Jody Shelley. There was blood on Shelley's helmet from being struck so many times by the fist of Engelland, which itself was also covered in Shelley's blood. Also covered in Shelley's blood? The ice, which was actually fairly gross in HD.
Because the whistles hadn't been used enough by that point, the referees decided to call five minor penalties (none matching) in the next 66 seconds, resulting in some rare 3-on-3 action. The officials largely seemed to have it out of their systems by then, and the rest of the game was fairly well officiated.
Oh yeah, there was some scoring in this one, too. The always awe-inspiring Claude Giroux, whose awesomeness seems to be growing eXponentially (I know you see what I did there). Giroux notched an absurd third short-handed goal of the season, meaning that he's on pace for around 24 for the season, a number that would be more than any team had ever gotten in a season. He also added an eventually game-winning power play goal in the third, one of a garbagey variety far different from the works of art he has become known for. The Flyers other goal came from finesse specialist Daniel Carcillo.
The Flyers were outshot 28-24, but Sergei Bobrovsky was sufficiently stellar in the win. He's quickly establishing himself as yet another reason it sucks to be from Pittsburgh. Bob's grasp on the starting gig seems to be more and more cemented.
After the jump, questions answered, and a comment of the night.
- How long does Nikolay Zherdev stay on the fourth line? Answering this question is sort of like trying to divide by zero. Zherdev was a healthy scratch tonight. Lots o' questions surround Zherdev these days.
- Does Sergei Bobrovsky match his opening night performance in Pittsburgh? Little known fact: Bobrovsky is actually Russian for "flightless bird smasher."
- How much do we hate Arron Asham at the end of the night? Since it's me (Ben) writing this recap, I can say that my love for Asham is as strong as ever, and I still have mad respect for the guy.
Marc-Andre Fleury hasn't started a home game since October 10th or something like that. Can the Flyers keep him unbalanced and shaky in the CONSOL net? Fleury didn't have the early shakes that have done him in before, but he still was a sideshow next to Bob.
- Is tonight's game generally more entertaining than the Sixers game, thus making the decision to throw the Flyers on TCN while the Sixers get the CSN top-billing seem silly? I know nothing about the Sixers game, but I'm sure the answer to this one is "yes."
Comment of the night:
Number of home wins by the Pens this year….2
Number of Flyers win in Pen’s arena: 2
Enjoy the rest of your night Flyers--EREX21
5-4-1. Better than 4-5-1. Go Flyers.