Skate Bites: A Win, More Injuries
“I don’t know exactly what does it means, “Flyers hockey”– but I like the way the team played tonight, and I think we deserved to win tonight. Because guys play unbelievable, the team looks sharp in crease. It was a great sacrifice made, guys blocking the shots. Nobody cheats. I can’t say enough words here. It was a just great game tonight.” – Ilya Bryzgalov
He followed up that awesome quote by chiding Paul Jolovich for repeating a question that was already asked. Perfect.
But back to the Flyers Hockey thing: Finally someone answered the question, “Was that [team name] [sport]?” the right way. Was that Flyers hockey? Was that Phillies baseball? Was that Villanova basketball? Was that Eagles football? That means nothing, and Bryz answered it perfectly: No, we just played really well.
And so they did. A win. Against the Rangers. How’s that Jam taste, John Tortorella?
Some notes, from the Flyers city-leading (three years running!) PR department:
Tonight’s win snapped an eight-game losing streak to the Rangers. The Flyers’ last win over the Rangers came almost two years ago, on February 20, 2011.
The line of Tye McGinn (22 years and 5 months), Sean Couturier (20 years, 1 month) and Scott Laughton (18 years, 7 months) had an average age of 20 years, 4 months and was comprised entirely of players born in the 1990s.
Giroux was 10-for-22 (45 percent) on faceoffs tonight, but his 52 faceoffs won on the season and 93 faceoffs taken both currently rank second in the NHL behind Tyler Bozak’s 62 and 103, pending the end of tonight’s games.
On that last point: Did anyone else get the sense that Claude Giroux kept telling teammates to ice the puck in the final minute? Hey, fuckin’, just ice it. I’ll win the faceoff and we’ll just keep doing that. That’s the sort of thing captains do. It’s not always about goal scoring and making big hits, it’s giving your teammates confidence that you’ll be there to back them up or bail them out, though that latter term seems harsh. I get the sense it was the Flyers’ strategy to ice it two consecutive times in the final minute.
Now, of course, the bad news. Paul Holmgren on Scott Hartnell and Zac Rinaldo:
Q: How about Scott Hartnell?
A: We sort of know what it is, a broken first metatarsal in his left foot. Right now we’re trying to decide, we’re talking to the doctor about the best way to proceed with it, in terms of how to approach it. I can’t give you a time frame, it’s probably, gonna be between four to eight weeks depending on how significant the injury is.
Q: Any update on Zac Rinaldo?
A: He skated today, some tightness though, it feels like a charlie horse to him, the wound has actually healed up fairly quickly. He’s unlikely to play at all over the weekend.
Andrej Meszaros and his writhing in pain after the second period? He’ll be reevaluated today, but he was seen with a harness on his left shoulder after the game. I’m guessing it was a dislocation, maybe worse.
All the injuries – especially Hartnell’s – led to the Flyers signing Mike Knuble. Who didn’t see that coming from 1,000 miles away? When our old friend Steve Whyno (former Flyers beat writer, now Washington Times Caps scriptual) wrote, on January 9, that Knuble still didn’t have a home, I immediately thought that he would wind up in Philadelphia, because, after all, the Flyers love signing their former players at the end of their careers. For realsies, they should ™ that shit. Mark Recchi. Ruslan Fedotenko. Ron Hextall. Brian Boucher (17 times). Knuble. That list could go on forever. They take care of their own. Nothing wrong with that, either. Especially when it comes to good-guy Knuble, who Whyno continuously calls “the best human on Earth.” Maybe. But I’d be fine with the best aging power forward to score ugly Scott Hartnell goals for a few months on Earth.