The truth will set you free, but first, it will piss you off.
The truth? The Flyers are mediocre, but sometimes fun. We’re deep in the “piss you off” portion of that statement.
Within the first minute of the game, the first line did what the first line does: set up an absolute beauty of a chance. Jakub Voracek threw one over to Sean Couturier who nearly netted himself the opening goal. They reviewed the play because for a minute there, it kinda looked like it just snuck in over the line and then bounced back out. There was a pretty funny little moment where Wes McCauley’s mic wouldn’t work and he ended up screaming “MIC’S NOT WORKING” as soon as his mic began to work.
Wes McCauley has some trouble getting his microphone to work and its hilarious pic.twitter.com/342rzIPU4v— Broad Street Hockey (@BroadStHockey) November 23, 2017
Pretty funny, but also ... not fun. McCauley seemed a little too pleased to say no goal. Why so excited, Wes? Huh? Got a stake in the outcome of this sports game? Huh? I demand an ethics investigation immediately. The game remained scoreless.
It seemed pretty evenly balanced through the first five minutes of play, with shots tied, but the Flyers’ fourth line (and offensive zone beast Travis Sanheim) maintained great possession of the puck in the Islanders’ zone and Taylor Leier, Vincent Lecavalier’s bastard child, scored the first of the game and his first of the season off a Travis Sanheim shot.
This shit was exciting, and not just because the Flyers were winning. Like, remember the games against the Wild, when you were sure that you could just go to the bathroom during the game and still not miss anything? When you could feel your soul leaving your body, a sixty-minute long death rattle? The first period of this game was the exact opposite. Nerds called it “high event”, but I called it fun. Sure, the Flyers looked looser than a thrift store turtleneck and it’s not exactly the best idea to turn the puck over like it’s going out of style, but ... still. I love drama. I love chaos. I am a petty bitch, and this is what I crave.
Speaking of drama, Shayne Gostisbehere tripped the shit outta Matt Barzal and gave the Islanders a power play to end the first period. Please. Don’t score, The Islanders, I thought to myself. I just typed about a hundred words about how I love chaos. What the fuck is wrong with me? The Flyers in the middle of a five-game losing streak. Fuck, I hope they don’t score. Readers will never forgive me.
So, anyway, Matt Barzal scored. Tie game. If it was anyone’s fault, I would say ... pretty definitively? Not my fault.
Michael Raffl had his second breakaway of the game, and as he was streaking down the ice, a vision in white, I clenched my hands in prayer. I bargained away decades of my life for just one stupid goal, and for once, God looked down with all His Immense Glory, put a hand on my sweaty forehead, and told me my battle was won. Michael Raffl. Backhand, forehand. In. I screamed. I’m not ashamed to admit it. 2-1, Floors.
To be quite honest, I mostly blacked out after that until Ivan Provorov got called for a kinda dorky hooking call. That got my attention. The Flyers are notoriously bad at penalty killing now, so it didn’t surprise me that the first full minute of the power play was spent in their zone. Sam Morin made a desperate play, backhanding the puck out of the zone so they could make a change. Sam Morin is just too damn strong, though, and he put it out of play. Delay of game. Very bad stuff.
The puck movement was just insane for the Islanders 5-on-3, and of course, Zach Boychuk went bar down. Tie game. Again.
I went to get wine, because I was still riding high on Raffl’s goal. I barely had time to sit back down before the Islanders scored. Brian Elliott seemed super mad about it, immediately gesturing that it was deflected in with a high stick from Ho-Sang. He was wrong, though. They confirmed the goal, and the Islanders took their first lead of the game. The wine was no longer for celebration, but for mourning.
Jason Chimera is trash. We know this. You also know the old saying: you can take the trash outta DC, but you can’t take the DC outta trash. Or something. He tried to kill Nolan Patrick which is just like, the new thing these days, I suppose. It’s a trend. They’re trying to level the Sweet Boy playing field.
With the opportunity to even up the score on the power play, the Flyers did just that: Wayne Simmonds made an incredibly smart pass from the side of the net, and Jakub Voracek’s shot went off the post and in. Tie game. Again! I’m a broken record!
The Flyers opened the third period with a penalty to Brandon Manning. Makes sense. We don’t deserve good things. (Technically speaking, it was Claude Giroux who high-sticked the guy, but Brandon took the penalty regardless.) I felt a distinct and ever-present ennui as Manning began to serve his minor. Sure enough, the Flyers nearly killed the first penalty before Sam Morin took, uh, another penalty. Interference. Back to the penalty kill. More ennui.
The Flyers played an incredible aggressive penalty kill, though, and boy, that was nice to watch for a change.
If I was capable of feeling anxious over this hockey game, I would have been, but the Beaujolais Nouveau tempered all that. I felt fine. The game waxed and waned like the moon, with the Islanders controlling play for minutes at a time before the Flyers surged. I wondered about the outcome of the game, just about six minutes left in the game.
Just about that time, the Islanders took a penalty. A Thanksgiving miracle? No, but you know what was a miracle? Overtime! Or so I thought. The Flyers controlled the latter portion of the third period, but couldn’t tally, so to overtime we went.
I went into overtime feeling over-confident which was an objective mistake. It seemed like, before I could even really think about it, Casey Bailey had lost Gostisbehere and put the puck in. Islanders win, 4-3.
Wow, some bullet points:
- Our very good son Danick Martel (aliases: Danny Jr., the second prince of Dorne, the Orange Viper) made his NHL debut. He was definitely memorable, especially his breakaway towards the halfway mark of the first period. Kid is just so fast. I hope he stays up because he totally deserves it.
- Sam Morin made his season debut tonight which was pretty dope. He absolutely leveled Jordan Eberle along the boards, tried to drop the gloves, and took a nutso penalty. It was pretty fun, to be honest. Also, just as a reminder, Sam Morin forgot the word “brunch,” and now he’s a Flyer. The real glow up.
- These silly boys just keep giving up power play goals. What a friggin’ mess. I mean, they are aware that the idea is to keep the puck out of the net there, right? And ideally, keep the puck out of the zone? Maybe someone should write them a letter. I’m very concerned.
- Shayne Gostisbehere looked great tonight, but he did not play so well. (Seriously, a very yikes game from our favorite emoji boy tonight.)
- Brian Elliott always looks like he’s absolutely freaking the fuck out while in goal. He reminds me of myself whenever I have to make a phone call. He stopped 35 of 39 shots. I thought he did a great job tonight.
- Greiss tried to kill Brandon Manning after a breakdown in front of the Islanders net, which makes me think that the goaltender is an agent from the Oilers. We see you, Davo. You think you’re slick? Nah, bud.
- I know I already talked about it, but hey. Michael Raffl, everybody. That’s my man. I made Joe make this video for me because I needed it for scientific purposes:
A request from @seashorst12 pic.twitter.com/SDSoE3J5R3— Joe Pergola (@BSH_Joe) November 23, 2017
Flyers are back at it again at Krispy Kreme on Friday afternoon against, gasp—who? The Islanders? Oh my god! Love a rematch. The tension will be palpable.
Go Flyers, and have an excellent Thanksgiving, folks.