Toss out the rulebook, it doesn't matter anymore: Pens 4, Flyers 1

The Philadelphia Flyers may not be as good as the Pittsburgh Penguins. They might not have deserved to win today at Mellon Arena. But there is absolutely no way in hell that they deserved this fate, either.

We'll start with Johan Backlund, who looked pretty darn solid in two periods of action today. He didn't control his rebounds good enough, but he was solid in his positioning and he looked good enough. It was promising, at least. But as the third period began, Brian Boucher replaced Backlund, who suffered a groin pull.

Who knows how long he'll be out at this point, but we really should have expected it, the way this season has gone. Even more so, we should have expected it the way this game had gone to that point.

There were weak penalty calls all afternoon, but the most egregious came in a 1-1 game during the second period. A Simon Gagne goal was waived off after Ville Leino made incidental contact with Marc-Andre Fleury outside of the goal crease. Never mind that Rule 69.1 clearly states that if incidental contact is made outside the crease, the goal should be allowed.

You know, never mind what the rules say.

From that point on, the Flyers lost all the wind in their sails. Maybe that's the reason why this team isn't going anywhere this season. Maybe it's because when they face adversity, they just crumble in on top of themselves like the building they played in today will in a few months.

But as Ben Feldman said in the game thread, when you're facing adversity and all you're dealt is more adversity -- like losing your goalie or a phantom penalty on Scott Hartnell after he touched Sidney Crosby in the third period or Fleury throwing his stick and the Flyers not getting a penalty shot, for example -- it's hard to over come.

Boston won 5-0 today, so the Flyers are now in eighth place. Speaking of Boston, Matt Cooke had another dirty hit today... this time on Claude Giroux. Luckily, G was fine. Doesn't mean Cooke still isn't a scum bag though.

After the jump, questions with answers and the comment of the day.

Questions with Answers

  1. Martin Havlat, after the Wild game: "Once they got the lead, they gave up." Does the motivation of playing the Penguins translate into [enter Flyers' marketing slogan here] hockey? The Flyers came to play today, but after all the adversity they faced throughout the game, they certainly looked like they gave up to an extent.
  2. How's Backlund look? As mentioned, he looked quite solid. It's a damn shame he got hurt, an hopefully it's something minor so he'll get another shot.
  3. How much does missing Malkin hurt the Pens today? Same goes for Gonchar, if he is indeed out. They probably would've scored some more PP goals if they had those two.
  4. Can the Flyers win their last regular season game at Mellon Arena? They could have, but they didn't.

Comment of the Day

Has Steigerwald made any jokes about plane crashes yet?

>> Ben Feldman

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