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Philadelphia Flyers vs. New York Islanders: 10/30/2008

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Pregame thoughts.
This image pretty well sums up the relationship between the Philadelphia Flyers and the New York Islanders over the past few seasons. Each year the Flyers continue to find ways to motor forward, while the Islanders can’t seem to discover a firm footing. Even in that awful 2006-07 season, Paul Holmgren made moves to solidfy his team for the next several years by acquiring Martin Biron, Scottie Upshall, Ryan Parent, and Braydon Coburn at the deadline. Garth Snow sacrificed a lot for Ryan Smyth, only to lose him on July 1.

That doesn’t mean tonight will be a glide through the park for the Flyers. Yes, they finally reached .500, and yes, Biron appeared to relocate his game against the New Jersey Devils. But let’s consider this fact: the Flyers still need 2 points to tie for eighth in the Eastern Conference with the Toronto Maple Leafs. Somewhat shocking, but true.

The Flyers had the home-ice practice this morning, so hopefully they will take the home-ice advantage tonight and win one for the fans. Almost all things about this move sound positive to me. It makes complete sense for the team to warm up on the actual surface and conditions they will face during the game. My only concern is how the shift might impact Simon Gagne, the only player to vote against the move. I understand that he’s a professional and he will cope, but he is the key offensive player for this team. It’s important that he is happy and running on all cylinders. I suppose we’ll see.

If you’re going to the game – like I am – make sure to wear your Halloween garb. Prizes will be awarded for the best costumes. It should be quite a festive affair since the NHL’s two orange teams are competing.

As I said, I will be at the game, which means no in-game blog for the evening. I will

Update 5:58 PM – If you thought the stink bomb at Saturday’s Flyers game or the rain delay were bad, check out the latest from the KHL over at the NY Times Slap Shot.

Update 10/31/2008.
So now that the major distraction otherwise known as the World Series Championship Phillies is out of the way, allow me to make a few comments on last night’s contest.

I will be blunt: the New York Islanders were ROBBED! They brought all the energy, hard work, and motivation into the game against a Philadelphia Flyers squad that barely registered a pulse. Kyle Okposo will be a star in this league one day. With a better goaltender and some more talent on this team, the Islanders would have left the Wachovia Center with two points.

On the Flyers’ end of the ice, Scott Hartnell and Martin Biron were the only two guys who came ready to play. Hartnell has been a man on a mission since the season began, and his intensity and passion make him a joy to watch. Biron turned his play up a notch and saved the game for his team.

I understand that facing the Islanders may be an emotional let-down from New Jersey and Atlanta. I understand that the Flyers can’t win every game. But when playing against the only division rival who actually lacks talent, you MUST win. The Flyers were very fortunate to emerge the victors.

10 Comments leave one →
  1. John permalink
    Thursday, October 30, 2008 2:28 pm

    No in-game blog?! Now what am I supposed to do to keep myself occupied between periods tonight? 🙂

  2. Thursday, October 30, 2008 2:51 pm

    Do I detect mockery? One day after we win the Championship, and already it starts . . .

  3. John permalink
    Thursday, October 30, 2008 3:39 pm

    That’s right FF! It’s not easy being top dog is it?
    But I don’t mind having someone other than Donovan McNabb all over the sports section..

  4. John permalink
    Thursday, October 30, 2008 6:51 pm

    Okay, I found something to do. is apparently showing some games on GameCenter Live tonight for free, so I’m watching Rangers-Thrashers and Sabres-Lightning. They aren’t showing the Flyers though, so I’ll have to rely on you for a recap.

    Hmm… I wonder if they’ll let me watch the Avs game.

  5. John permalink
    Thursday, October 30, 2008 8:10 pm

    I can’t say I’m very impressed with this thing so far. It’s locked up at least five or six times to this point. I’m hoping this is just because it’s a free preview, not that they charge 20 bucks a month for a product this bad.

  6. John permalink
    Thursday, October 30, 2008 8:52 pm

    Well, there’s another 2 goals for Carter. And by the way, I’m able to watch the Avs game on Of course, now that I got that game to work, it won’t let me switch to any others. 🙂

  7. John permalink
    Thursday, October 30, 2008 9:29 pm

    Perhaps I’m a bad luck charm? I finally get to watch an Avs game again and they’re down 4-0 in the second.

  8. Thursday, October 30, 2008 11:09 pm

    Yeah, that Carter is something else. His deflection goal was a thing of beauty. Thanks to him, Vanek and Semin, I’m 20 points ahead of everyone else in my fantasy league.

    I tried out the Game Center Live when it was free during that first weekend of the season and didn’t have any problems. It’s possible the system got overwhelmed by the number of people trying it.

    As for the Flyers, they played a horrible game and deserved to lose. I’ll recap in the morning, but it was one of the worst games I’ve ever been to.

  9. John permalink
    Friday, October 31, 2008 11:16 am

    Well the Avs made this one mistake. After a defensive-minded first period left the teams tied at 1, they came out trying to score and forgot to play enough defense. So Columbus scored on a couple of rushes down the ice and Norrena was solid against the onslaught.

    Of course, then came my favorite part. Down 4-0, Colorado went into Desperation Mode and started trying like crazy to get back in it {4-2 final}. My question: Why don’t teams play that hard the whole game, not just when they’re behind several goals?

    Well once the Avalanche game started I didn’t have any problems with it because I was only watching the one game. But the Multi-Game feature conceivably could have suffered a system overload.

    And regarding the Flyers, isn’t the cliche that good teams find ways to win even when playing badly? So this should be encouraging!

    So, what are Phillies fans dressing in for Halloween? 🙂

  10. Friday, October 31, 2008 10:42 pm

    I have that exact same question – the Flyers weren’t engaged in their game until the Islanders tied it at two. It was quite possibly the worst hockey game I’ve ever been to.

    Maybe good teams do find ways to win while playing badly, but it still makes me nervous. I don’t care if we have broken the curse, we’re still in Philly, the land where good teams fall prey to disaster.

    Well, based on today’s parade attire, the range runs from homemade Phanatic ensembles to the inevitable drunken streaker guy.

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