PITTSBURGH, PA - DECEMBER 29: Jaromir Jagr #68 of the Philadelphia Flyers celebrates his second-period goal against the Pittsburgh Penguins during the game at Consol Energy Center on December 29, 2011 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)
I'm starting to think that HBO scripted tonight's game and it was all a farce, because damn, that was just about too perfect. Jaromir Jagr scored the goal that put the Flyers ahead for good in the second period -- and saluted a Penguins fan giving him the finger in the process -- Max Talbot scored an empty netter to seal the win, and somewhere in the middle, a little kid in a Pens jersey cried on live television.
It wasn't all roses -- on the first real shift of the game, the Penguins took the 1-0 lead and the Flyers never really knew what hit them. It wasn't good, and in the face of the seething crowd at CONSOL Energy Center, who knew how the Flyers were going to respond.
But then Jagr, Claude Giroux and Scott Hartnell stepped onto the ice, and from there, it was literally all Flyers. Over at Pensburgh this afternoon, they ran with the hypothesis that Jagr would fold under the boos, unable to channel that sort of emotion in a positive way like so many other players have the ability to do. It was evident, however, that Jags was feeding off that energy from the crowd.
From the first to the last, his shifts were long and his chances were plentiful. After that first prolonged shift in the Pittsburgh end from Jagr & Co., it seemed like it was only a matter of time before the Flyers would tie the game, and only a matter of time before Jagr got on the board himself.
And as soon as he scored, I think we all kind of knew this game was in the books. When that moron in the baby blue Crosby jersey gave him the finger, and Jags turned around and saluted him right in the face? Then we definitely knew it was over.
It didn't really mean much when Tyler Kennedy scored a goal with about six minutes left in the third period. Sure, maybe we had that thought in the back of the mind that this thing could turn out less than okay, but that's when Talbot and Sean Couturier really showed up. The two proved their worth as defensive forwards late in the game, helping to kill off a too many men on the ice penalty and playing with a whole jar of Smuckers in the last minute.
Talbot scored the empty net goal to wrap things up, and really, HBO couldn't have written it better. Some video and stuff after the jump. It's fun, you'll wanna come to the party.
Questions with Answers
- How long do the boos persist for Jagr? Allllll night.
- ... and Talbot? They actually gave him a standing ovation during a tribute in the first period. Not many boos for him at all.
- Can the Flyers shut down the Penguins top line? Yes. Malkin was dangerous at times, but the Flyers shut the top unit down rather well. Won a ton of puck battles against them, and you can thank Claude Giroux for that. Tyler Kennedy was the most dangerous Penguin tonght.
- How does Sean Couturier look back in the lineup? Juicy was great, especially late in the third period. Such a defensive stud.
- Overall, how's the fourth line tonight, much improved with both Schenn and Couturier? Much, much better. Really like that unit now
- How many points to Talbot and Jagr combine for? Two!
- Sergei Bobrovsky is good in Pittsburgh. More of the same? Bob was great yet again.
Comment of the Night
I love youuuuuuuuuuuuuuuu!
>> Jaromir Jagr, on what the Pittsburgh crowd was chanting at him all night