Wow, what an exciting headline! What an exciting game! The Flyers are winners again! Hockey matters again! Hockey is fun again! And the Flyers! They're so good! We were wrong all along! Jaromir Jagr is like a fine wine! Ilya Bryzgalov is the goaltending piece that finally completes a puzzle which has only had one piece missing for 36 years! The Cup is ours!!!!!11
Like all of you, I have an item on my DVR called "Flyers @ Bruins" that I will never, ever delete. But...it is not this game.
After a half-hour long ceremony to lift a piece of cloth in the air, (which I did not watch, and thank God for that), the Bruins came out with all the jump. Dominating the action, Brad Marchand made Kimmo Timonen look old and tucked one through Ilya Bryzgalov's five-hole to give the Bruins a 1-0 lead.
But with less than a minute left in the first, Claude Giroux brought sexy back to hockey with an incredible dancing goal that made me believe in God again and tied the game. With only two seconds remaining in the period, Jakub Voracek made it 2-1, bringing the Flyers from trailing to leading in Boston in no-time flat (sound familiar?).
It seemed like we were in for a wild roller coaster of a game. But as the second and third periods wore on, it became clear that the Bruins climaxed way, way too early tonight. Before the game started, even. American Pie-style. Their flaccid play kept them from any sort of meaningful penetration, and the Flyers held on for a 2-1 win, a victory that gives them the best record in hockey.
After the jump, bullets, questions answered, and a comment of the night.
- Zac Rinaldo will only bring us pain and frustration. His early penalty put Boston on an early power play and gave them an early lead. It was all much too soon. His liabilities overshadow his upside to an absurd degree.
- There was a pretty interesting moment in the second period when Claude Giroux stopped with his back turned to Zdeno Chara early in the second period and was promptly sent into the boards. It was an incredibly idiotic move by Giroux to expose himself like that to the savage sequoia that is Chara, and he's lucky he didn't get injured. Maybe he's gotten overconfident from winning all those wrestling matches on the living room floor of Briere's house, but he should NEVER be trying to use his size against Zdeno Chara, especially such a vulnerable distance from the boards. What was nice to see, though, was JVR standing up for Giroux. It was even nicer to see Braydon Coburn realize what a horrible idea it was for JVR to pick a fight with Chara and intervene. Give yourself a triple fist pump tonight, Braydon, you've earned it.
- As old as Kimmo Timonen and Chris Pronger were last year, they're even older this year. Funny how that works. Each had moments of brilliance (Timonen's point-blank stuffing of Nathan Horton especially) and each had moments of slowness that got them burned. How their minds have to compensate for their aging bodies is going to be a huge storyline to watch as this season unfolds.
- Andreas Lilja almost scored once. Everyone keeps trying to set me up with him as a Wolf/DSOD replacement, and after that incredible almost-something, I'm vaguely more open to the possibility.
But really though, tonight was sort of awesome. As you probably noticed, I wrote about 2.5 posts over the entire summer. When it comes to hockey that's not being played, I kind of...don't care at all. But this is hockey now. And it's good stuff.
- How do the Bruins come out after a long, emotional pregame ceremony (one which the Flyers will
enjoyexperience from the locker room)? And for that matter, how do the Flyers respond to the long wait before the game? Pierre McGuire at one point posited that the Bruins looked "worn out from clapping." Flyers started slow, finished fast.
- How's Ilya Bryzgalov look in his first regular season game as a Flyer? Strong to quite strong. It's nice having a brand name in net for a change instead of these weird generics.
- Which line matches up against that top line of the Bruins? Who cares. Terrible question, Travis.
- Jaromir Jagr has 30 points on opening night in his career. And tonight? 1. GWA.
Comment of the Night:
Easy, Bryzy, Beautiful: Cover Goalie --Chemistry66
1 win down, 97 to go. Go Flyers.