OK then. Ilya Bryzgalov and Tom Sestito it is. 2-1, good guys. Both goals from Sestito.
Bryz: This was the type of game I was talking about two weeks ago when I said that Bryz never wins a game for the Flyers. The defense put together perhaps their best effort of the season last night, but Bryz made a handful of saves that, quite frankly, he probably wouldn’t have made last season. His lateral quickness, reflexes and decision-making are all much improved. He looks not only stronger, but also is putting himself in better positions to make routine saves. This is the sort of goalie the Flyers are paying for. Of course, you’re not always going to get two goals from Tom Sestito and the Flyers are still inconsistent at both ends of the ice.
Sestito: Now has four career goals. Two of them, last night. In high school, my buddy and four-year linemate, Fran, wasn’t particularly fast or skilled with the puck, but if you gave it to him in front of the net (I always did, of course), he would bury it. Sort of like Sestito last night. He (Sestito) has one move – that simple backhand-five hole jawn, ripped from the user guides of Mylec street hockey sticks everywhere – but it worked, twice.
Jokes: After the game, Sestito and Bryz joked about Sestitov: [quotes via Flyers city-leading PR department]
If we told you going into the game that Tom Sestito would score two goals. Would you have believed us?
You know, we talk about scoring like being a sniper. And he said if I became a sniper, he would change his name for the Russian last name from Sestito to “Sestitov.”
Q: Guys joking with you, asking you if you had any other moves? Same move twice.
A: Yeah, I’ve got one. Hopefully no goalies catch on to that. If it works once, then I’m going to keep doing it until it stops working.
It stopped working for Fran sometime around overtime of a semifinals loss to Penncrest in our senior year. Maybe Sestitov will have better luck if the Flyers get that far. [UPDATE: Holy shit– reader Paul was on Penncrest and passes along the game recap to piss me off.]
Stupid questions: You know, sometimes you can’t blame Ilya Bryzgalov for being terse in interviews. A couple weeks ago, he was asked if what he had just seen was Flyers hockey, which is the dumbest sort of sports question a lazy scriptual can ask. And just look at the sort of slop he had to deal with last night:
Was that the kind of win you guys were hoping for?
I think that might have been the lowest scoring shot total the defense kept the opponent to. Was that the focus going in trying to stop the highest scoring offense in the league?
How do you go into [the game] mentally?
What was the key to keeping them out on defense?
It wasn’t until the last two questions that Bryz was finally asked if this is the best he’s felt and if he was injured on a scary-looking play– two questions that actually needed to be asked. Unreal.
Electricity: Peter Laviolette talked about Zac Rinaldo’s fight giving the Flyers some energy. A bolt of energy. Against the Lightning:
Q: Do you think Rinaldo’s fight had any bearing on tonight’s games outcome?
Sure. Zac is a huge bolt of energy that came through the building, the fans, the players, the coaches, and everybody. It was one of those that can really pick up a game and building.
Said without a hint of irony on those pursed lips, too.
Lunatic: Rinaldo is fucking nuts. Listen (and look!) at these answers:
He reminds me of Leonardo DiCaprio playing an impoverished protagonist. I'M NOT NO ONE TO SAY NOTHING LIKE THAT.
Rinaldo mic’d up: Rinaldo was mic’d up, too. You can’t hear much during the fight (ya wanna go?!), but afterwards he asked an official and a Lightning player if he sucker punched B.J. Crombeen while he was on the ground. Awesome video of that, after the jump.