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Capitals 5, Flyers 3: This has all been one big fever dream

I am dying, and it is their fault.

Philadelphia Flyers v Washington Capitals Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images

I am sick.

If you follow me on Twitter, you already know this, because I love to complain when I am sick, and it’s about all I’ve been doing since the minute I woke up with a sore throat on Sunday morning. It has now sadly escalated to a point where my friends are sending me melodramatic texts like “i’m gonna be so mad at you if you die” which I agree would be incredibly annoying of me. Anyway, like a healthy person would do, I have been guzzling Dayquil (not sponsored) and chasing it with Water (also not sponsored) by the gallon, but I feel I have negated all of these earnest efforts by simply choosing to watch our very own Philadelphia Flyers.

What a trial it is to love this team. I feel for my sad, sorry orange boys like they are a bunch of sodden puppies that have been left on my doorstep in the rain. What pathetic helpless creatures they are, but I must love them, because if I don’t, who else will? It is my duty; I am bound either by morality or some contract with a malevolent demigod, whichever.

Tonight was their eighth loss in a row. There is no sugarcoating it; this team is in the dumps, and it is no longer a laughing matter. The culprits here are numerous. It could be a confidence issue, which is the theory I lean the most towards, or a lack of effort, or Scott Gordon is secretly three children in a trench coat, or the ghost of Ron Hextall (may he rest peacefully) is haunting the organization like a cold, ominous specter, wanting us to atone for what was done to him.

It’s such a good thing that no one relies on me, Emily Quast, for analysis or observations, because I could never be trusted with such nonsense. The Flyers lost. They lost is 5-3. It sucked, but it felt natural, like coming home.

Likely because the Flyers know I’m entirely doped up on the swig of Nyquil I took at 7pm, the start to the period felt very much like both teams had done the same. It was a clunky start through the first few minutes, and it seemed like this would be another boring Flyers game, the type we’ve seen ad nauseam throughout the season.

The Flyers love to be unpredictable, however, and what is more unpredictable than allowing a Tom Wilson goal? I’m just kidding, guys, I know this is exactly the type of thing the Flyers would do. Oh man, this sucks. I won’t lie. Wilson scored at 4:21, just shy of the weed number, which seems fitting.

A hooking call would be pinned on Andre Burakovsky at 5:46, sending the Flyers to their first power play of the game. Honestly, I believe there should be an option to just not take the power play. It’s embarrassing. I hate fans of other teams being allowed to see this. It should just be me, alone, in my dark bedroom, watching the power play while swirling a comically large glass of boxed wine.

They failed spectacularly at this power play, a truly breathtaking display of incompetence. They didn’t even manage to get set up for any length of time. You could say the Capitals simply have a good penalty kill, and that’d certainly be true, but you could also say that the Flyers hate me and want me to suffer and they don’t care that I’m sick and that would be true as well.

However, all of this fatalism is not to say that the Flyers were entirely terrible this period. There are rays of light in even the darkest of places. I’m talking, of course, about Oskar Lindblom. A strong feed from Lindblom to Jake Voracek would put the Flyers on the board at 9:28, and it looked just like old times, a nice vintage one-timer. Listen, there is no one in this world who wants Voracek to be good again more than me, and you can and should fight me on that. Just wait until I’m less incapacitated, thank you.

One of the cooler things to happen during this period was watching Mike McKenna. Although he wasn’t faced with very many shots, he looked not-awful when he was forced to make saves, most notably when he stoned Alex Ovechkin (oh, that little guy) point-blank on a shot from the slot. That was pretty sexy, if you ask me.

As a whole, the first period wasn’t actually bad. They had more energy and more compete level than they did on Monday night, although I’m mostly guessing on this one, considering I watched that entire game in a feverish haze and was convinced none of it was real.

AFTER ONE: 1-1, shots 11-4 Flyers, 102.2 degree fever

I am struggling to find truly positive takeaways from the second period. So it goes.

Washington’s first power play of the game was gifted to them by Robert Hagg, who went off to the box for hooking at 3:24. Although the Capitals would fail to score here, facing a surprisingly not-awful penalty kill, this simply felt like the death knell to seal the fate of the rest of the period.

The Capitals dominated in the second; it wasn’t even remotely close. The Flyers came out with a nice burst of offensive energy, but it wouldn’t last, and the rest of the period looked like a Capitals power play even at even strength.

Lars Eller would feed TJ Oshie for the go-ahead goal at 9:19, and it felt correct. I couldn’t even bring myself to feel anger, only the empty, calm acceptance I have begun to feel whenever witnessing this team’s mere existence.

Another Capitals goal? Absolutely, baby, inject that shit into my veins, I want it so bad. Jakub Vrana scored one off a breakaway rush at 11:22. Not exactly the Jakub I wanted to score, but whatever, we’re all going to die, and every single Flyers game means we are one day closer to the inevitable heat death of our universe, and that’s the real good news.

A delayed penalty would be called on Ivan Provorov for tripping at 14:12. Sure, another Washington power play. It’s cool, I’m cool, it’s really all fine.

You are assuredly waiting with bated breath to find out if they scored here, and I am happy to be able to satiate this curiosity. Of course they did, baby. Of course they scored here. It was Vrana again, just a few seconds before the end of the penalty, because we don’t deserve good things ever, don’t you know this?

With just under a minute left to go in the second, the Flyers would be sent to a power play after a roughing minor was called on Brooks Orpik. You will be simply gutted to hear that nothing particularly interesting happened here.

AFTER TWO: 4-1 Capitals, shots 22-15 Flyers, 102.4 degree fever

The remaining minute-and-change of the Flyers power play would, of course, get sufficiently killed by the Capitals penalty kill. You really are shocked to see that.

It wouldn’t quite be a demoralizing Flyers loss if someone didn’t fight to try and inspire the rest of the team to get moving, so Radko Gudas would be the man to do it here. Devante Smith-Pelly wasn’t happy with Gudas for his hit on Nic Dowd, and so both fellas would engage in some physical aggression. The fight wasn’t really that exciting, but anything would be preferable to watching the Capitals continue to molly-whop us, so whatever.

Some good came of this, as Smith-Pelly would take the instigator penalty and send the Flyers to another power play. This would be truly the perfect opportunity to score a goal, if we were a better team, and instead we did not do that, because for inexplicable reasons, we are not a better team.

The Flyers started to look tired and weary, and at this point, I can’t fault them for it. Barring an act of God, this will be their eighth loss in a row. Everything sucks. We are all dying. I just watched Blue Planet II and I found out about how walrus mothers and their babies are suffering because of climate change. It made me cry. As human beings, do we even deserve this life we are given? Do we deserve anything good when we continue to harm the earth around us? Maybe the Flyers are penance for what we’ve done to the environment.

I think my fever is starting to break.

Wilson would take a slashing penalty at 9:06, and yet again I am forced to watch a Flyers power play. I deserve it. I know I do.

No, they didn’t score. Let’s move on. Please can we just move on.

My stream cut out at this point. It seemed like a last-ditch effort from a kind cosmic power, but unfortunately, I found another one, and I continued on this journey regardless. For you, illustrious reader, and only you.

Oh, how lovely, another power play for the Capitals. I am having fun. Are you having fun? Travis Konecny was sent to no-man’s land for slashing at 13:31. This recap is almost over.

For reasons I cannot fully explain, the Flyers managed to not give up a goal here. Truly, their magic ceases to amaze me. What awful, mediocre boys. They exist only to defy God, and only to hurt me.

Let’s get weird. Scott Gordon pulled McKenna with just under four minutes left in the period. The comeback can now begin!!!

Further proving my point from two paragraphs ago, Wayne Simmonds scored a goal at 16:33 that just barely squeezed underneath Pheonix Copley (that’s his name, it’s his real name, I just had to google it and it really is his actual name, given to him at birth, by his mother, who carried him for 9 months and then named him that).

Then, as is about expected from this team, Tom Wilson would score another goal. An empty-netter, but it doesn’t matter. It still hurts to see him score on us. Him!!! HIM!!!!

Gordon decided to challenge this, and that seemed very silly to me, because it feels like we should just be going gently into the good night, but instead we are not doing that, and I can’t fathom it, I hate it very much and I’m mad. He won the challenge, and so we technically didn’t let Wilson score on us twice, but it changed nothing, as I am still furious.

In order to even out the minor favor they did for us, the refs would then decide to retroactively call a penalty on Shayne Gostisbehere for *checks notes* hooking. That’s fine.

Simmonds was then tossed from the game, given a game misconduct after he opened his mouth and said something to the refs. No idea what he said, probably something foul, and I would pay good money to hear it.

We emptied the net during the Capitals power play, which is neat, and cool. Evgeny Kuznetsov would then receive a penalty, not joking, for hooking with a mere 30 seconds left in the game. It makes sense, and is fine.

In an effort to prove to me that he is the only man in the world worth loving and defending, Claude Giroux scored an actual hockey goal at 19:53. A one-goal game, with six seconds left? Sure.

Obviously, TJ Oshie would put one in the empty net with three seconds left. That felt right. What a disaster it is to care for this team.

AFTER THREE: 5-3 Capitals, shots 39-25 Flyers, 100.8 degree fever