Entering tonight's game, a win by the New York Islanders would have pulled them into a matchup with Pittsburgh in the first round, whereas a loss would have meant a matchup with Florida. They weren't exactly thirsty for a win, and they sat John Tavares, Frans Nielsen, Kyle Okposo and Johnny Boychuk as a result.
On the Flyers side of things, R.J. Umberger and Jordan Weal joined Jakub Voracek on the top line. Claude Giroux, Sean Couturier, Wayne Simmonds and Mark Streit all sat out for Philadelphia.
So yeah ... I had the game on my television for three hours, but it wasn't exactly the most exciting thing I did tonight, even though the Flyers did win 5-2 and end their regular season with 96 points. Let me tell you about the excitement I did have though.
As I settled in around 7:03 and flipped over to NBCSN for the game, I decided to order a pizza. One of the most disappointing things about moving away from the Philadelphia area is that here in Washington, D.C. where I live, the food kind of sucks. I mean, if you want a good sit down meal that's fine, you can easily find a good restaurant. But if you just want a hoagie or a pizza or any type of everyday kind of food, you're stuck with a lot of crap. In my neighborhood, there's not a good local pizza shop like you can find on every corner in Philly.
So to make a long story short, Dominos has basically become my delivery pizza of choice, and you know what, I'll say this: it's really not terrible anymore. Their pan pizza really is pretty great -- much better than the crap you had from them back in your college days. Much like the Flyers in the playoffs this season, it's a lot more than you expect. So I pulled up their website, ordered me a pie, and waited patiently.
In the meantime, Nikolai Kulemin danced around Brandon Manning to open the scoring six minutes into the first period, and then Matt Martin scored two minutes later to make it 2-0. According to the Dominos pizza tracker, Jamal slid my pizza into the oven right around this point.
Not even six minutes later, Shayne Gostisbehere -- one of the few players on either team who seemed to be playing at full speed tonight -- buried one to cut the Isles' lead in half. Is it a coincidence that Twanna left the store with my order at 7:39 p.m., just moments after Ghost's goal? Further proof that all of America is in a perpetual state of watching Shayne Gostisbehere be amazing at hockey. Brings us all together.
About 10 minutes after Twanna got in her car, Evgeny Medvedev -- welcome back to the hockey team, bud! -- absolutely blasted a shot by [make up your own name for the Isles backup goalie because it doesn't matter] to tie the game. I would have been more excited, but let's be real folks. My mind was all pizza at this point. I hadn't eaten in about 19 hours and Twanna was literally in the process of bringing a saucy, cheesy, pepperoni-covered piece of bread directly to my building. It's important to have priorities.
But intermission came and went, no pizza. Six minutes and 38 seconds of hockey in the second period went by, no pizza. I was beginning to get a little worried at this point. According to Google Maps, the Dominos on West Virginia Avenue is a nine minute drive to my apartment building in current traffic.
By the time Michael Raffl scored to put the Flyers up 3-2, nearly 40 minutes had passed since Twanna left the store with my food. Perhaps she was driving with the same sense of urgency as the Flyers and Islanders played hockey with tonight.
That's a cheap joke, but the reality is that Twanna is a pretty awesome person. I've had her deliver a few times and she always seems happy and is always upbeat despite working a pretty thankless, low-paying job. And she's probably super overworked, putting in hours at a Dominos in a big city on a Sunday night. Even better, she's one of the few Dominos drivers who actually gets out of her car and comes into my apartment building, whereas most call and make me come find their car somewhere on the street. So I can overlook that it took over an hour to get my food. Not the end of the world, you know?
How many slices of pizza do you think Scott Laughton eats? I'm guessing four, maybe five. Dude can probably put 'em down. And he put one down tonight on the scoresheet, putting the Flyers up 4-2 at the 5:50 mark of the third. And R.J. Umberger ... fam, we know he eats a lot of pizza. He scored too late in the third to make it 5-2, and good for him. I hope he orders his own pizza tonight to celebrate.
Personally, I ate 4 slices. Gonna save the rest for later in the week when the PLAYOFFS start. (Update: damn I got called out for this it's called creative license folks I'm not actually gonna wait four days to finish the pizza.) Woooooo, go Flyers.