Someone on these two teams is going to fucking die.
For real, body bags during the likely upcoming playoff series between the Flyers and Penguins. Including today’s game (match?), it’s possible that the two teams will play each other a total of nine times in three-and-a-half weeks.
They already hate each other. Two weeks ago, Scott Hartnell had his face blended into the ice by Chris Kunitz, which escalated tensions. But today, things kicked up another notch.
First, Brayden Schenn hit a bitch: [keep reading– much, much more after the jump]
video via (@fakelavy)
I probably wouldn’t take pleasure in watching that if it were any other player besides Sidney Crosby. But it’s not… so fuck it. He looked like one of those undersized Pee-Wee hockey players – with glasses, a turtleneck and a fucked naivety – who gets pushed around by his more developed peers. You can just see his hamster spinning while he’s getting up, trying to come up with an adequete response: You… you… you meanie! He cross-checked me. He fucking cross-checked me!
That led to what appeared to be a retaliation from the Penguins. With just over a minute remaining and the Flyers holding a 6-3 lead, Danny Briere was leveled at center ice by little-used Joe Vitale (a clean hit). A 10-man scrum ensued, and then Peter Laviolette voiced his displeasure with Penguins coaches Dan Bylsma and Tony Granato for their decision to put out fourth-liners in the final minute of the game. And by "voiced his displeasure,” I mean the Flyers coach toed the dasher boards like a mad man and screamed at the Penguins bench. Not 100% sure what was said, but reader Mark’s mom has an idea. Here’s a screenshot from Mark's phone:
After the game, Lavs mostly avoided the subject when speaking to reporters, but did have this to say about the Penguins sending in the goons:
“Well, those guys hadn’t played in 12 minutes. It’s a gutless move by their coach. You know… it’s gutless. Questions about the game, please.”
Bylsma and his slightly over-sophisticated glasses disagreed: [CSN Philly]
“There was a minute ten or so left on the clock. Someone took exception to it. From what I can gather their coach didn’t like the hit and took a stick and broke it over the glass, and that stick ended up in our bench.”
Crosby tried to be a tough guy: [Philly.com]
“I’m sure (Laviolette) doesn’t like to see one of their top players getting hit… Maybe he shouldn’t have put him out there.”
The Flyers are now 5-0 in the Consol Energy Center dating back to last year. Why? Two reasons.
1) Ribs. As described by Lavs: [via Frank Seravalli]
“You know, we buy ribs from Dee Jay’s in Weirton (W. Va) after the game, and we have them delivered to our plane,” Laviolette said. “Those ribs seem to be doing the trick.
“It went back to last year. Whenever the ribs are ordered, we win. I want to thank Dee Jay’s.”
2) The Consol Energy Center. Scott Hartnell: [via Frank Seravalli]
"This is a much different building than the Igloo. We were almost scared coming into the Igloo. People were right on you, and just how dumpy the place was. Rats everywhere. There's even more rats [there] now. It was tough. But I think it's good that we have the confidence to win here and play hard. We know in our hearts and our heads that we can come in here and win here."
Which is exactly what they did. And it was made even sweeter by Hartnell taunting a fan dressed as Hulk Hogan, on this, the night of Wrestlemania XXVIII.
Round 2 (of perhaps 9) next Saturday.
Here is full video of the melee, and Hartnell and Bylsma speaking to reporters after the game. You can see Lavs grabbing Talbot's stick at the 15 second mark of this first video.