So it’s late, and most of you aren’t awake to read this recap right now anyways. My guess is that most of you didn’t even stay up to watch it. Luckily, I’m here to do that for you! Below is my live, beat-by-beat reaction to the Flyers’ 3-1 loss in Calgary on Wednesday night. Follow me as we relive the magic of a largely unexciting Wednesday night hockey game in western Canada.
9:00 p.m.: Radko Gudas knows he is going to be up past his normal bedtime tonight, too.
9:20 p.m.: Toronto, the Flyers’ closest opposition in the wild card race at the moment, is losing 4-2 in Columbus right now in the third period. With a Flyers win and Leafs loss, the two teams would be tied up for the final playoff spot in the East, though Toronto will have played one fewer game.
9:28 p.m.: So are the Flames good? I would be lying if I said I pay a ton of attention to the Pacific Division, but it seems like there’s not an easy answer here. They’re just below the playoff cut-off line in the West but it seems like Not All Is Well in Calgary. First-year head coach Glen Gulutzan is currently listed as the third- or fourth-most likely coach to be fired per betting odds, which is never really a good sign, y’know? (Also, Dave Hakstol is showing up in eighth on that same list. We reading anything into that, folks?)
9:30 p.m.: The CSN (actually, it’s TCN tonight!) broadcast just reminded us that this is the first of three straight games out west for the Flyers lmao who needs sleep.
9:32 p.m.: Cripes, they just said the Flyers haven’t won a game in Western Canada in two years? How? These teams (Calgary, Edmonton, and Vancouver) have all been terrible for a while. Though now that you mention it, Jim Jackson, I do remember this road trip in November of last year in which the Flyers were routinely playing terrible hockey. Right before Ghost got called up, if I remember correctly.
9:34 p.m.: I promise I won’t complain here every time the broadcast goes out of its way to praise Andrew MacDonald’s play of late. I will mention it here, now, and not again. Maybe. No guarantees, actually.
9:36 p.m.: Yeah, that last thing I said was a lie. I am probably going to do this again. I apologize in advance.
9:39 p.m.: Flyers After Dark is underway. Let’s roll.
9:40 p.m.: These Flames jerseys are coooooooool. Good jersey matchup tonight.
9:41 p.m.: Two good chances there for the Jordan Weal - Sean Couturier - Jakub Voracek line. Would very much like to see more of th—
9:41 p.m.: HEY A GOAL!
9:42 p.m.: That’s an incredible shift by Matt Read to win a battle along the boards, then win another one right in front of the net to draw multiple Flames — including Brian Elliott — out from the netfront before finding Nick Cousins for the slam dunk in front. Outstanding start in the offensive zone for the orange and black.
9:42 p.m.: Also, woof, Dennis Wideman.
9:43 p.m.: Who does Glen Gulutzan look like? This is going to bug me.
9:46 p.m.: Michal Neuvirth was just forced to wake up from his pre-game nap and make a save for the first time in the game. That’s a shame.
9:47 p.m.: Aaaaaaaaaaand we’re tied. Matthew Tkachuk in front. Basically every guy wearing orange got lost there.
9:49 p.m.: Radko Gudas appears to have taken a hit into the boards (off-screen) and is struggling his way off the ice. This is fine.
9:51 p.m.: Never mind! Gudas is back on the ice. Pretty sure we just got a CSN Fearless Play Of The Game nominee right there. (I will vent about this later in the game, don’t you worry folks.)
9:52 p.m.: I mean, I think it’s really great when broadcasts tell you that a penalty has been called but then go to commercial break before they tell us what it is. I think that’s a thing that makes a lot of sense to do.
9:53 p.m.: Whoaaaaaaa. Five and a game to Alex Chiasson for spearing Nick Cousins. I’m all for power plays but that seems like a bit much for this:
In today's edition of "The NHL rules are basically Calvinball", this got an ejection three days after Nyquist got a double minor. pic.twitter.com/BI8Lr5GFYD— Jeff Veillette (@JeffVeillette) February 16, 2017
Will take it, though!
9:56 p.m.: This is some remarkably bad power play-ing by the Flyers right now. Two minutes in and they’ve barely been in the offensive zone at all. I think the PP has gotten too much crap this year but this is absolutely the worst attempt at a power play I’ve watched all year.
9:57 p.m.: Well then! Sean Monahan just threw the puck over the glass from all the way down the ice. Two minutes of 5-on-3...
10:00 p.m.: ...which also goes nowhere. And then the best chance of the opportunity for the Flyers comes a few seconds after it expires, as Elliott gets over to rob Cousins from getting his second goal of the period. Saying that the Flyers wasted that power play is doing an injustice to anyone who has ever wasted anything in their lives, frankly. No shorties, though. Positives!
10:03 p.m.: Flyers are still outshooting the Flames 12-2 in the game so far, though, so maybe I’m complaining too much?
10:04 p.m.: No, idiot. You’re not. Flyers called for too much man.
10:06 p.m.: Very solid first minute of the penalty kill for the Flyers! Very solid second minute of the penalty kill for Michal Neuvirth. Turned away two or three solid Flames chances to keep us tied up.
10:11 p.m.: Sam Bennett hits Cousins into the bench for some reason. They seem to really not like him. Flyers back on the power play.
Nick Cousins doesn't have time for your bullshit pic.twitter.com/zaCybpZQtW— Broad Street Hockey (@BroadStHockey) February 16, 2017
10:14 p.m.: You can guess how that power play ended.
10:17 p.m.: First period is done at 1-1. Flyers outshot the Flames 15-7 and were probably the better team for most of this period but seven minutes of power play time going by the wayside is not what you are hoping to see here.
10:20 p.m.: As always, Charlie is able to take what I’m thinking and say it more eloquently and concisely.
The Flyers dominated every single statistical category in that period, but it still totally feels like they lost it.— Charlie O'Connor (@BSH_Charlie) February 16, 2017
10:34 p.m.: So, like, do any people actually watch NHL Network during the day? I only ask because there’s a commercial for it on NHL.TV right now and I feel like any time I go there when there’s not a game on they’re just showing some old replay of a game. NHL Network should be better than it is, right? I feel like some of the other North American leagues that have set up their own channels that have been at least somewhat successful; would love to see the NHL do something similar.
10:35 p.m.: Oh man that’s a depressing stat from Jim Jackson just now. Across their last four games, the Flyers have outshot their opponents 56-22 in the first period. They also have not led after the first period in any of those games. Tough to find a more Flyers stat than that one.
Also, the Leafs lost to Columbus. Flyers will, sort of, be in a playoff spot with a win tonight.
10:37 p.m.: Second period begins almost the same way the first one did: with a really good shift from that Weal-Couturier-Voracek line. They’ve probably been the best all-around line for the Flyers so far in this one; would be nice to see them rewarded for it.
10:45 p.m.: In the last two stoppages, the Flames have played Booyah, the Flyers’ 2014-15 goal song, and then the Mups song from Fall Out Boy, the Flyers’ 2013-14 goal song. Holding out hope we hear Bro Hymn tonight.
10:46 p.m.: Giroux line (with Schenn and Simmonds) looking a lot more active this period. Making concerted efforts to get the puck in the slot, and—hang on I have to rant about something.
10:48 p.m.: Hey, so remember 57 minutes ago when I said that Radko Gudas getting thrown into the boards, leaving the ice, and then coming back into the game was going to be the CSN Fearless Play Of The Game? Guess what! That’s exactly what happened! I’m going to take a second here and complain incessantly about what is routinely my least favorite part of Flyers broadcasts, which is the CSN Fearless Play Of The Game. It’s not even something they do every game, but it’s something that happens every time a player takes a big hit or does something that leads to him getting injured, hobbles off the ice, and then comes back into the game. What exactly does this have to do with being fearless? “Wow, this guy may have been injured but it turns out he wasn’t. What fearlessness!” Hockey players are really, really tough human beings. We all know that. Glorifying potential injuries seems like a stupid way to attempt to teach us something that we already knew and this segment is really dumb and it should go away.
10:52 p.m.: ...anywho, Kris Versteeg, who I have never heard of before tonight, just hit Brayden Schenn in the face with his stick. Power play time. Avert yer eyes.
10:54 p.m.: Jordan Weal, who’s had two good chances on this power play, has probably been the best non-Nick-Cousins player on the Flyers tonight. Still not sure what the Flyers have in him, but this is as good a chance as any to find out, and he seems to realize that and is playing like it.
10:55 p.m.: We’re past the halfway mark of this game and the broadcast team still hasn’t mentioned where Johnny Gaudreau is from. Does anyone know where Johnny Gaudreau is from? I think he may be from South Jersey. Not sure, though.
10:56 p.m.: Speaking of, Johnny Gaudreau, wherever he’s from, he just forced Michal Neuvirth to the splits. Neuvy hasn’t been asked to do a ton so far, but he’s been good when called upon.
10:59 p.m.: Of course, Neuvirth can’t stop shots he can’t see. T.J. Brodie scores from the slot. Good screen from Sam Bennett. Flames lead, 2-1.
11:02 p.m.: And the home team nearly gets another one on a scramble in front. Flyers are on their heels here.
11:06 p.m.: What the — Pierre-Edouard Bellemare and Micheal Ferland, who can’t even spell his first name right, got in a fight while we were all in commercial break. This is some reeeeeeeeeeal Flyers After Dark shit, right here. It appears Calgary took exception to a hit Bellemare threw just before the break, which prompted the ensuing pugilism.
11:16 p.m.: Yeah that’s about right!
If you like hockey filled with icings, offsides, and bobbled passes, you are gonna love this Flyers/Flames game.— Kent Wilson (@Kent_Wilson) February 16, 2017
11:17 p.m.: One last fire drill of a defensive zone shift comes and goes without a Calgary goal and the Flyers will head to the locker room down 2-1. It’s not too hard to see a comeback happening here, because even with their miscues the Flyers have been the better team for much of this game, but that will require the Flyers keeping themselves awake throughout this third period, and I can attest first-hand here that that may not be the easiest thing to do.
11:24 p.m.: Remember earlier in the season, where every time the Flyers trailed early in a game you basically knew they were going to come back and tie things up at least once? It’d be nice to still have the confidence that that will happen now, in February.
11:39 p.m.: The Flyers’ broadcast crew is currently fretting over Johnny Gaudreau’s plus-minus this season. I agree, this is a big concern and the Flames should look to trade him ASAP, presumably to Philadelphia.
11:41 p.m.: Simmonds just pulled a classic Hartnell in front of the net at the end of a solid shift for that line. (He fell down.)
11:43 p.m.: Near miss there for the Flyers off of a Brandon Manning point shot. Save that one for tomorrow night in Edmonton, buddy. It’ll feel better then.
11:51 p.m.: That...was a really nice offensive shift by Andrew MacDonald. Multiple keeps along the blue line to extend a Flyers pressure long enough for everyone else to change. We’ve reached peak Flyers After Dark, guys.
11:57 p.m.: The Flyers have doubled up the Flames in shots on goal so far in this one and are on pace to lose. Turns out that the groundhog woke up and sent us all back to November.
11:58 p.m.: Oh for f...Michal Neuvirth called for playing the puck in the restricted area with 7:23 left. Incredible.
12:01 a.m.: Penalty kill has been good tonight, at least!
12:08 a.m.: Woof, nice catch-up there by Provorov with Michael Frolik to snuff out a potential last-minute breakaway and somehow avoid getting a penalty called on him.
12:10 a.m.: the puck is pinned along the boards below the other team’s goal line WHY AREN’T YOU PULLING THE GOALIE
12:11 a.m.: Welp. The 190-foot clear from Mark Giordano beats Ghost to the Flyers’ empty net. Flames will win this one by a 3-1 score.
12:12 a.m.: The Flyers just took a timeout, down 2 goals with 38 seconds left, for...some reason. They don’t score.
12:13 a.m.: With the Flyers losing at 12:13 a.m. today and starting on Thursday at 9:00 p.m., we could very well be looking at the possibility of the Flyers losing twice in one calendar day. History stands in front of us.
Thanks for reading. If you didn’t watch, congrats on that. Back at it tomorrow against the fighting McDavids. Here’s to Brandon Manning pissing some people off. Go Flyers.