The Captain Has Spoken
If you have followed the Philadelphia Flyers this year, my example of the curb-stomp that was handed to the team in Montreal last night will not seem foreign to you. In order to give some sort of background to the situation, I have one comparison that I can present to do it a justice.
Let’s see what Mike Richards has had to say after every loss as a Flyer (paraphrased, mind you. However, I probably could have found this exact quote if I had looked for 12 seconds):
‘Well, obviously, we need to play a little bit better. I thought we did some good things, but we have to play a complete game and start getting more pucks at the net.’
Not only does the C on his jersey mean Captain, it also could represent Cliché. Now lets take a gander at what Richie had to say after last night’s joke of a blowout:
“[Game three was] an old-fashioned ass kicking…They handed to us right from the get-go, I don’t know if we thought we could throw our sticks on the ice and it was going to be easy…”
Slowly pick your jaw off the floor. If you need further medical attention, you never read this post and I’m not responsible. All I can muster is ‘wow’. Even though I share similar sentiments about the game Thursday night, I was shocked to hear the bluntness of Richie’s words. I knew when he attacked Spacek at the end of game three he was ticked off. But this ticked off? I can’t say I don’t love it, because I do. The fire that we as fans are used to seeing from Richie on the ice finally leaked out onto a microphone. In doing so, I can say with confidence that I highly doubt you will see another effort as pathetic as game three. The Captain has spoken.
I’ve said from the beginning, one game is one game (obviously game seven and other elimination games hold more meaning, and if you really needed this explanation I feel awful for you). There’s no reason to find the nearest bridge and contemplate a jump (unless you are one of people mentioned in the last parenthesis). Montreal took advantage of a raucous home crowd, blew the doors off the building with solid play and took complete advantage of a poor effort by the orange and black. Just as I emphasized not overreacting after wins, I feel the same after losses at this point. This team was due for a bad game after six consecutive victories. The best advice I can offer is Sean Carter’s; now it’s ‘onto the next one’.
Game four looms large. A 3-1 lead in the series headed back to Philadelphia would obviously go a long way in landing the Flyers in the Stanley Cup. At 2-2, the series becomes a best of three that could go either way. I really don’t think that the blowouts of the first three games will return for the rest of the series. Expect Saturday’s game four and the remainder of the series to be highly contested with a few breaks here or there separating victory and defeat. I don’t know which side will get the favorable breaks from here on out. Although, for now I’ll stick behind the theory that the Flyers follow Richard’s post game commentary onto the ice. Screw stoicism. Embrace fury. It’s time to be the team doing the ass kicking.
According to multiple news outlets, Ian Laperriere will likely be activated to play in game four saturday afternoon. Jeff Carter is most likely out but may return Monday in game five. Lappy's presence in the lineup means the Flyers get their best penalty killer back, as well as invaluable leadership on the ice. Good news for Flyers fans, without a doubt. Expect Andreas Nodl to be scratched in order for Lappy to play.