Games against the Rangers are always bad. I don’t know why that is the case, but I swear it always has been that way.
To be completely honest, I don’t really hate the Rangers and never have. For some reason, even though they’ve been a pretty decent team for the last decade, they just don’t irk me. Even though they totally cheated in the playoffs a few years ago, I’m not too bothered by them.
And that’s why I hate them.
Seriously, only this team, whom the Flyers have played twice this year as part of NBCSN’s Wednesday Night Rivalry, could make me not care about an alleged rivalry. I’m supposed to hate Rangers games. I’m supposed to curse their name. But they are too damn boring for me to even care.
Their jerseys are boring. There I said it. They don’t have anyone on their team that is super flashy or worth drooling over. And Madison Square Garden....well...
The Rangers will win by 10 tonight but that doesn't change the fact that Madison Square Garden is made of solidified piss— Scott T. (@NHLFlyera) January 26, 2017
What I’m saying is I hate them because I have no real reason to hate them. Jerks.
Anywayyyyy....the game tonight. Yeah. Remember what I said up there about Rangers games being bad? Well, boy were the Flyers determined to prove me right.
Let’s not mince words: the first period was absolute shit. I won’t go into too much detail because I might lose my mind, but the Flyers looked like absolute garbage. Here’s some stats for you — by the end of the period, the Rangers were up 16-8 in shots and 25-14 in shot attempts. And, to be honest, those stats kind of understate how bad that period was, given that half of the Flyers shot attempts didn’t even come until after the 17 minute mark.
It was just nasty all around. The Rangers had too many odd-man chances for me to count, including a breakaway chance by Michael Grabner. It felt like every time the Flyers got the puck, they were determined to give it back to the Rangers and let them dance around the damn zone with it.
Controlled NYR entry, shots, failed PHI exit due to NYR forecheck, more shots, uncontrolled exit, NYR n-zone recovery, entry. Rinse, repeat.— Charlie O'Connor (@BSH_Charlie) January 26, 2017
At one point, Sean Couturier was able to control the puck in the offensive zone, creating a two on one opportunity with Nick Cousins. I was hoping that Couturier could steal a goal from the Rangers and make me feel at least somewhat happy. Instead, he did absolutely nothing.
The one bright spot of the period was that the Rangers failed to score. That was all because of Steve Mason. Dude looked really good in the first period, bailing out his shitty defense over and over again.
Steve Mason, everybody pic.twitter.com/6ES1V9TWgt— Broad Street Hockey (@BroadStHockey) January 26, 2017
So I had that to be happy about going into the second. Oh, and Bob McKenzie talked a bit during the intermission about Robert Hagg, Sam Morin, Travis Sanheim, and Phillipe Myers, which reminded me that eventually Andrew MacDonald will not be playing for the Flyers. That felt nice.
The second period was more or less exactly like the first — a lot of zone pressure from the Rangers, sloppy play by the Flyers, and more Steve Mason saves. The Flyers eventually started to establish some pressure, but then like, the period ended. So whatever.
So, at this point, you probably understand that Steve Mason was playing pretty good in this game — by the end of the second he had stopped 27 shots, some of which were pretty good chances. So did Mason-shit-talker-in-chief Mike Milbury have anything nice to say in the second intermission? Of course not, because he is very bad at his job.
Oh yeah, another funny thing that happened in the second was Doc Emrick’s ... creative ways of pronouncing Ivan Provorov’s name. That was funny.
"Poroveov"— Peter Laviolette (@fakelavy) January 26, 2017
- Doc Emrick
Is Doc calling Provorov "Voroboyov"?— Bill Matz (@BILLadelphia1) January 26, 2017
One thing that the intermission bros talked about was that this game looked like one that the Flyers could maybe steal. And it sounded just stupid enough to make sense.
Well, Wayne Simmonds gave a little credence to those words when he scored a greasy goal on the power play to open the third. When that happened, I let out an audible chuckle, and the following exchange happened:
Mrs. Butt: Why are you laughing?
Me: Because the Flyers scored first.
Mrs. Butt: Oh, and they suck?
Then things got even stupider when Michael Grabner scored a goal ... against Henrik Lundqvist to give the Flyers the two goal lead. But seriously, that goal wouldn’t have happened without some tenacious puck play by Jake Voracek, who was the guy who got credited for the goal.
Jake Voracek is a god among men— Broad Street Hockey (@BroadStHockey) January 26, 2017
and could totally kick all our butts in a fight. pic.twitter.com/jF1Rshsuge
So with ten minutes left to play, the Flyers were winning a game in which they were being thoroughly outplayed. Sports!
And it stayed that way! Steve Mason got a shutout! Our team won!
Stupid observation I have to vocalize:
Brady Skjei’s name really bothers me. Not because there is no way I would be able to pronounce that on my own. Not because I dislike it or anything, either.
It’s because every time I hear Doc Emrick say “Skjei,” I look up to the screen expecting to see former Flyer Shea “Skjei” Weber, who Kurt informed me tonight is now former Flyer P.K. Subban. Don’t ask.
Embarrassing Flyers-Rangers memory:
Watching this game reminded me of the last time I saw the Flyers play the Rangers in person. It was a matinee game on some Saturday during the 2010-2011 season. I could probably find the exact date, but I’m a bit too lazy at the moment. I do remember that Nikolay Zherdev (should of kept) scored a breakaway goal, and I believe the Flyers won.
The embarrassing part of this memory is threefold: I went to the game wearing a Martin Biron Flyers jersey (why do I own this?), I snuck in one of those big ass bags of beef jerky to eat for some reason, and worst of all, I had bleached blonde hair.
Hair that I had bleached myself intentionally. I was 23 years old at the time (not 14). It was either 2010 or 2011 (not 1999).
Anyway, the real joke is on my girlfriend at the time, because despite my embarrassing existence, she eventually decided it was a good idea to marry me. What an idiot!