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What was Biron thinking?

Monday, February 23, 2009

I have spent the last two days pondering the curious play that led to Pittsburgh’s game-winning goal in Saturday’s edition of the Keystone Klash. I’ve read the articles, watched the interviews, scanned the chatrooms, and discussed with friends. Truth be told, I’m still asking the same exact question that I asked as Crosby and Dupuis celebrated that tally: What on earth was Biron thinking?

Watching that play from my perch in section 210 of the Wachovia Center, it felt like a scene out of some C-level sports movie, in the range of The Cutting Edge for example. The instant I saw Biron moving away from his crease, I knew we were in trouble. The play he made earlier this year against New Jersey, giving the puck away directly to Brian Gionta which led to a Patrick Elias goal, has stuck with me all season; the memory flares up each time Biron comes out to handle a puck. Why he chooses to leave the goal empty when facing the best players in the world astounds me!

After that goal, I received a text saying that Marty Biron sure knew how to kill the buzz in a building. I believe, however, that the play did more than just destroy one afternoon’s excitement for Flyerdom. That type of play destroys fan confidence in a goaltender, particularly in an intense environment like Philadelphia. This city will not stand for subpar performances from a goalie, let alone gigantic blunders in the face of enemy #1 Sidney Crosby. But it also chips away at team confidence in their netminder, and that is the worst thing that can happen as the drive to the playoffs begins.

Whatever the cap issues are, whatever the rumors say, and wherever the Flyers’ scouts may be this evening, I suspect that Paul Holmgren may be looking for a new goaltender. Martin Biron and Antero Niittymaki have both had ample opportunity to show they can hold the job. And neither is convincing anyone right now that he is the best man to earn the nod.

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19 Comments leave one →
  1. John permalink
    Monday, February 23, 2009 1:11 pm

    “I have spent the last two days pondering the curious play that led to Pittsburgh’s game-winning goal in Saturday’s edition of the Keystone Klash.” All that time to ponder Biron’s stupidity, but no time to console me?! 🙂

  2. Monday, February 23, 2009 1:58 pm

    I’m not sure what to say about those Avs. On the upside, you have Atlanta coming in on Tuesday night. Maybe we could loan you Niittymaki for the evening . . . .

  3. John permalink
    Monday, February 23, 2009 6:58 pm

    Sure, just have him fly down to Atlanta, we’ll accept him! Anything to help our chances. Because I’m pretty sure that Budaj will be in net on Tuesday. And then we head to NJ for Brodeur’s return.. Hopefully he’s rusty from being out so long. After that comes the Rangers and their mess of a team. Then we finish the week against the pathetic Islanders. Maybe we can go on a run and make up some ground. Of course, we have to win those games anyway because every loss is now magnified with only 22 games left on our schedule and us sitting in 15th{?!} in the West.

  4. John permalink
    Monday, February 23, 2009 7:02 pm

    And by the way, Biron made that gaffe because Crosby paid him off. Sidney figured it was a quick and easy way to get himself some more headlines. And then he got into a “scrum” with AO. Man I really, really wish Ovechkin had just beat him the f*ck up right then and there.. Anyway, yeah, Crosby is just trying to keep himself relevant while the Pens continue to suck night in and night out. 😉

  5. Monday, February 23, 2009 9:38 pm

    FF, we can only hope that they are looking for someone to replace Marty. That goal really did kill my Flyers hockey love a little bit that day, especially after such a great comeback in the third. I doubt that they’ll actually get a new goalie, but a girl can hope, right?

    A friend of mine at work contends that Marty didn’t lose that game, but that the rest of the team lost it in the second period when they played like crap. He’s wrong. Marty lost the game.

  6. John permalink
    Monday, February 23, 2009 9:40 pm

    In my opinion, Philly will replace Biron when the Avs give up on Budaj..

  7. Tuesday, February 24, 2009 9:04 am

    Kristin – Well, I’d have to agree with your friend that the Flyers played like crap in the second period. Most of the Flyers were flat-footed for much of the game and lost far too many board battles to a Penguins team that really doesn’t have much confidence at the moment. I don’t understand how a team comes out with that little energy against a huge rival, but the Flyers definitely did not seem prepared to play on Saturday.

    That said, Martin Biron was even sloppier in net than his team was in front of him. The first goal he allowed was softer than a Rita’s Water Ice – the defensemen had eliminated any possible passing play, Biron could see the shot the whole way, and it wasn’t exactly a blistering wrister. Biron just failed to catch it. Take that tying goal away from the Penguins, and you might have changed the entire game.

  8. Tuesday, February 24, 2009 9:05 am

    John – You’re starting to sound like a Maple Leafs fan . . .

  9. Tuesday, February 24, 2009 9:05 am

    And I LOVED the whole spat between Crosby and Ovechkin. Ovie’s comment that Sid the Kid “talks too much” – priceless!

  10. John permalink
    Tuesday, February 24, 2009 10:51 am

    Checked the standings lately? The Leafs are a mere point behind us! Is it surprising then, that I sound like a Toronto fan? 🙂

  11. John permalink
    Tuesday, February 24, 2009 2:32 pm

    Stastny’s back!

  12. Tuesday, February 24, 2009 3:51 pm

    Woohoo! Gotta love those Denver alumnae.

  13. John permalink
    Tuesday, February 24, 2009 4:44 pm

    I’ll love him even more if he helps get us going in the right direction.

  14. John permalink
    Tuesday, February 24, 2009 6:07 pm

    Aw, poor Crosby hurt his groin.. I hope he isn’t out too long! {For those of you unsure, yes, that was SARCASM}

  15. John permalink
    Tuesday, February 24, 2009 7:58 pm

    I don’t get the feeling that Budaj is quite as dominant against the Thrashers as Niittymaki is: 3-1 after the first, with Hejduk the lone Avalanche player to get a goal.

  16. John permalink
    Tuesday, February 24, 2009 8:37 pm

    4-2 heading into the third. Hejduk adds another to make it 3-2, but then Budaj gets beaten for a short-handed marker. Plus Atlanta is on a Power Play to start the final period.

  17. Tuesday, February 24, 2009 10:42 pm

    Tough game for the Avs. Did Stastny play well?

    As for Crosby, well, we all know how little of my love is lost on him. While reading On Frozen Blog the other day, I caught an article about a recent Hockey in Heels event the Capitals held for women. One of the ladies asked whether visor size is regulated across the league. Bruce Boudreau used Sidney Crosby as an example, pointing out that the large visor side could “hide the tears.” Too good.

  18. John permalink
    Tuesday, February 24, 2009 11:42 pm

    Giving up two short-handers is ridiculous! Even the Flyers and their knack for shorties would have difficulty pulling it off. As for Stastny, he did okay, got the first assist on Hejduk’s first goal and everything.. Always nice to see a guy get on the scoresheet after a long layoff. No obvious indications that the arm is bothering him, so that’s a good sign.

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