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Flyers 5, Wild 4: Do not go gentle into that good night

Unrelated: I will follow Claude Giroux into the deepest corners of hell.

NHL: Philadelphia Flyers at Minnesota Wild Marilyn Indahl-USA TODAY Sports

At exactly 7:58 p.m., I remembered that the Flyers were playing tonight. Again! I was tired from simply writing about last night’s game, and now the Flyers were meant to travel all day and play another one tonight? How awfully absurd.

Although early on it looked like the Flyers were letting exhaustion get to them, a clear display of effort is what ultimately led them to coming out on top over the Minnesota Wild. Overcoming a 3-1 deficit from the first period, the boys just would not give it up, and this dedication to The Sport gave them the 5-4 win tonight.

If you’re counting, not like I am or anything, the Flyers are 9-1-1 in their past eleven games, and I am certainly about to call the police.

From the start of the period, the Flyers looked like they were going to be a sheer delight to witness. Any game where they come fresh out the gate with a burst of speed and offensive energy is bound to be an enjoyable one. There was no possible way that they could prove me wrong on this one; I simply cannot be fooled.

Ivan Provorov vindicated me right away, throwing the puck at Devan Dubnyk’s net and getting the benefit of a deflection on a Minnesota player up front. At 2:54, it looked almost like Justin Bailey had his first goal as a Flyer, but it was ultimately determined that he was not the player it had deflected off of. Boo. Provorov got credit for this one, which is also good.

That was fun and exciting, but from there it would only go downhill, starting with a hooking penalty on Shayne Gostisbehere at 7:19. This was unideal as it was, but then eight seconds into the penalty, Radko Gudas would be called for The Dumbest Penalty In The Game. That’s right, folks; after having two of those penalties benefit us last night, the Flyers got one of their own. Now I can say emphatically that it is stupid, and I hate it, and now that it is going negatively impact us, I hate it even more. Get rid of it. Make it like a defensive zone face-off, like an icing call. Do anything else but this.

The Flyers now essentially had a full 5-on-3 power play to defend against, which is a tall order for anyone, even Anthony Stolarz, as tall as he may be. Although they did a fairly impressive job staving off—what felt like—the inevitable, of course it would turn out to be just that in the end. With 28 seconds left on the power play, Zach Parise got one behind Stolarz are a difficult angle at 8:58. There really isn’t much to be done about that.

Damn, I think I hate hockey again. Less than two minutes later, Gostisbehere committed a pretty heinous turnover in front of the net, and Luke Kunin jumped at the opportunity to get a shot off on Stolarz. It went in, obviously. That’s 2-1 Minnesota at 10:45. Sure.

Another one? Absolutely. Let’s enjoy that. Kunin scored again at 13:28. I have very little to say about this one, except that I think the sport is bad.

Because nothing can be fun for me, another penalty would be called on the Flyers at 14:02, this one on Scott Laughton for slashing. Fortunately for all of us, the Wild couldn’t get much going with this one. I would have started yelling, personally.

Hey, guys, let’s talk about officiating, huh?

Many of you may recall, literally just last night, the completely baffling and insane thing where that ref (whose name is Kyle, of course his name is Kyle, I never trust a Kyle) whistled down play right before Nolan Patrick scored on Matt Murray on the rebound. That was ridiculous. That was straight hogwash. But, hey, mistakes happen, right? Surely this is not a conspiracy against the Flyers? Surely that is not the case.


This penalty they called on Robert Hagg was atrocious. This was more than undeserved—it was baffling. I know it’s very Philadelphian of me to think there is some league-wide vendetta against the Flyers, but goddamn, can anyone even blame me for it at this point? Hagg’s stick was nowhere near Zucker’s face. I’m going to stress eat now.

AFTER ONE: 3-1 Wild, shots 13-7 Wild; Flyers goal scored by Ivan Provorov (2:54), Wild goals scored by Zach Parise (8:58) and Luke Kunin (10:45, 13:28)

There were still two minutes of that absolutely insane Hagg penalty left on the clock to start off the period, but the momentum had presumably been lost during intermission, and the Wild failed to get anything done. Also, our penalty kill isn’t half bad lately, so that could be a factor as well, who knows.

The Wild looked plainly like the stronger team throughout the first several minutes, reflecting a lot of what we saw in the first period. Anthony Stolarz did his best to recover from those three goals (none of which, I believe, should be pinned on his shoulders) and made a few stunning plays, most specifically this robbery on Jordan Greenway. Woof.

Eric Fehr would go off to the penalty box for a holding call at 7:37. For the first time tonight, the Flyers went to the man advantage, and long overdue. I was, as they say, on the edge of my damn seat. I want to see them win now. Get with it.

A nice vintage keep by Gostisbehere at the blue line led to the second goal for the Flyers, as he took a shot at the net and got a lucky deflection going his way. It went in off James van Riemsdyk’s stick at 8:42, but it hit Wayne Simmonds on the way to the net as well. Whatever it was, a lot of folks were involved. Teamwork, dreamwork, et cetera.

Not long after this, the Flyers were given another opportunity on the power play, this time for the game-tying goal. Zach Parise was sent off for slashing at 10:02, and I started to think this game was actually quite winnable, and I was being a little bit dramatic earlier when I said I’d rather be watching the 76ers game.

Obviously, as these things sort of go whenever I start to feel optimism, the power play couldn’t get it done with this chance. I won’t really look too much into that, because it didn’t take much longer after the power play for the Flyers to tie the game, and these sort of things feel just as good when they’re five-on-five too, right?

Sean Couturier would take credit for this goal at 13:57, but without Travis Sanheim’s effort to get to the net and push the puck into the crease, this wouldn’t have happened. Couturier got the puck in five-hole on Dubnyk. Those types of goals have got to be so demoralizing. Not like I care. I don’t know you, “Devan,” I don’t care about your feelings.

Nolan Patrick took a high-sticking penalty shortly after the tie goal, and the Flyers went back on the kill. Thankfully, the Wild failed to do anything special here. That’s right. Keep being mediocre on your power play, guys. It sustains me.

AFTER TWO: 3-3, shots 24-18 Wild; Flyers goals scored by James van Riemsdyk (8:42) and Sean Couturier (13:57)

I should have been a fan of a different sport, I think.

A flurry of activity in front of Stolarz led to a shot by Jared Spurgeon appearing to hit the crossbar and come right out, but the officials took a second look at this and determined that it actually had gone in, it was just sort of a weird one. Personally, I think, as retribution for what has been done to us both tonight and last night, the officials should’ve just said, “ah, fuck it.” Considering that’s pretty much what they do anyway! I am just saying this because it is true and I am extremely brave and courageous to do so!

Anyway, yeah, it was a goal. Spurgeon got credit for this at 2:06. Whatever, I guess.

Hahaha, I mean, holy shit, Claude Giroux. Sometimes there’s not much else you can say. Really I cannot think of anything to say. I will lay my life on the line for him, not a single question asked. He scored a goal at 6:30. I won’t describe it to you, but you can see it for yourself, just as I will in my dreams for the foreseeable future.

I became so absorbed with my deep feelings for Claude Giroux’s slapper that I forgot to watch the next five minutes of the game, but that is perfectly acceptable, as nothing particularly interesting happened. Also, who out there can judge me? I feel it’s fairly valid.

I came to around the time that Nick Seeler took a tripping penalty at 14:11. Oh, baby. I felt God in this apartment in Powelton Village tonight. The Flyers would go back to the power play with just over five minutes left in the game. Boys, you know what must be done.

A strong effort by the first unit solved Dubnyk. My heart jumped into my chest. I’m about to start running laps around my room, which will certainly be appreciated by my highly skittish cat. Van Riemsdyk, continuing his strong play against Minnesota all season, just wouldn’t let go of the puck on the side of the net. That’s tenacity, folks. 5-4 Flyers. I’m all short of breath. You know how I feel about one-goal leads with just a few minutes left in the game.

With under two minutes left in the third, Dubnyk went to the bench for the extra attacker. This looked like it could’ve been bad, but for no reason at all, Ryan Suter decided to take a mystifying stick holding penalty at 18:33. I changed my mind about officiating; it is now good and not bad.

Bruce Boudreau would not let this deter him, as he made it clear to Dubnyk that the minute the Wild got into the offensive zone, he would again be called back to the bench for an extra skater. I have respect for a man with this level of determination.

Some minor dramatics would ensue to close out the period, but the scoreboard didn’t change, and the Flyers absolutely won this game. These buffoons. I adore them with every inch of my heart.

AFTER THREE: 5-4 Flyers, shots 39-26 Wild; Wild goal scored by Jared Spurgeon (2:06), Flyers goals scored by Claude Giroux (6:30) and James van Riemsdyk (15:31)