PHILADELPHIA PA - DECEMBER 20: Dmitry Kulikov #7 of the Florida Panthers upends Ville Leino #22 of the Philadelphia Flyers during the first period of a hockey game at the Wells Fargo Center on December 20 2010 in Philadelphia Pennsylvania. (Photo by Paul Bereswill/Getty Images)
PHILADELPHIA -- Tonight was a bad game. The worst of the season. It was very, very bad, but we're taking the Sean O'Donnell atttitude on tonight's 5-0 shutout loss to the Florida Panthers.
"You'd like to think that as professional athletes you come and play hard 82 nights, but there's some nights where it's just -- it's no excuse, but we had some real tough games lately. The Rangers, Pittsburgh, Boston and Montreal. We did well. We weren't able to get up for this game.
"Fortunately it's one game here. You know, when you win you celebrate for a couple of minutes and put it behind you. We're just going to have to do the same thing tonight."
Amen, Sean. So let's do that. We're going to clear the air. In the Festivus spirit, it's time for the Airing of Grievances. I got a lot of problems with you people!
(Note: some of these notes below are sarcastic, and just about all of them are exaggerated. Don't get your panties in a bunch.)
- You let Bill Thomas, Evgeny Dadonov, Shawn Matthias, Mike Santorelli and Dmitry Kulikov beat you tonight. Five goals from five completely unknown players (basically). Could've dealt with a goal or two from David Booth, maybe Bryan McCabe. But Bill fucking Thomas? Are you kidding me?
- Matt Carle was a minus-3 tonight, and it's quite possible that getting completely outworked and embarrassed along the wall by Dadonov on the second goal was the goal that made most of the team say "screw this, I want egg nog."
- Dan Carcillo. If there's ever a time for you to fight... it's during the second period tonight. And you don't do it. Why are we paying you?
- You really got so cocky, Flyers, that you thought you could waltz in and beat the Florida Panthers without any effort? Did you realize the Panthers had chased the starting goaltender in their last two games tonight? Make it three. You made Bob wish he was back in Novokuznetsk again.
- You knew this was a trap game. You absolutely, positively knew it. And you still decided not to put in any effort.
- Okay, guys. We all know you wanted to upstage the Eagles and everything, but a 5-0 deficit in the third period isn't ever a good thing. Besides, the Panthers play about as far (culturally speaking) from New York as possible, so domination is never a guarantee.
- Feel free to add your own grievances in the comments.
Okay, now that that's out of the way: tonight's game sucked. The Flyers will go off on vacation after tomorrow's skills competition for four days, get away from hockey, and be back and ready for a really, really difficult road trip. It's a good chance to forget all about this mess and regroup in Vancouver next Tuesday.
Questions with Answers
- This isn't a trap game, is it? It is.
- Can Zherdev (and the rest of that line) keep it up? Nobody kept anything up tonight (that's what she said).
- How about the defense? Great all-around defensive game the other night. A repeat? See answer 2.
- This will be answered before the game, but who is the healthy scratch tonight, and does that decision appear to be wise? Shelley was the scratch again. Who knows if he would've given the team the spark tonight, but Carcillo certainly didn't do it.
- The Flyers put a season-high 42 shots on the Panthers when these teams met here last time. Can they control the offensive game and pepper Vokoun again? One of the rare games the Flyers have been outshot this season. Not sure on the exact number, but the Flyers aren't outshot often these days.
Some video from a bunch of dejected hockey players (and an irritated coach)...
Post-Game Video: Peter Laviolette
Post-Game Video: Sean O`Donnell
Post-Game Video: Scott Hartnell
Post-Game Video: Mike Richards
Post-Game Video: Kimmo Timonen
Comment of the Night
Good luck with that COTN, Travis. Big night of nothing.