Better With Popcorn

Philadelphia Penalty Parade

After the lengthy playoff run last season all the way to the Stanley Cup Finals, Flyers fans hoped to see a parade this season. They’ve already seen a few. Although, instead of a glorious parade down Broad Street, the fans have seen downtrodden parades to the penalty box. Such was the case Saturday evening, when the Flyers dropped a 5-1 decision to the Pittsburgh Penguins. Penalty, after penalty, after penalty. Frustration doesn’t begin to describe it.

I would love to believe that this is simply a wake-up call for the team and they’ll show their resolve on beginning on Thursday when their home stand continues. But there really is no faculty in my imagination that allows for such hope. As talented as this year’s roster is on paper, it’s completely thrown out the window when someone in orange takes up permanent residence in the box. It’s become almost comical, and the defeat to the Penguins only highlighted the lack of discipline.

Anytime an NHL team takes more penalties than the opposition, they put themselves at serious risk. The parity that exists in the league doesn’t allow teams to take nights off. When you play a team like Pittsburgh, whose power play unit can boast two of the best players in the world, you REALLY can’t afford to take too many penalties. The Flyers were pretty disciplined in the season opener against Pittsburgh, and what do you know? They won. Saturday, they were so undisciplined that the word doesn’t even do it a justice. The Penguins cashed in on their opportunities to no one’s surprise. And by the time the Flyers had to put together some type of effort to crawl back in the game, they had no energy. Obviously, having no energy is a direct consequent to trying to kill penalties all night.

After the disappointing loss, Mike Richards had some interesting words to say to reporters in the locker room. Richards is not the most vocal leader, and as I’ve highlighted before, it can be maddening to someone who looks for insight in post game comments. His answers are usually as vanilla as French bean, so when he spouts off it’s rather eye-opening. Here is his press availability:


(Video Credit: BroadStreetHockey)

Honestly, my jaw dropped to the floor when I saw the video. I look at this two ways: A. Richie is really irritated with what happened in the game on Saturday. Hopefully that frustration will be guided towards the team’s mistake instead of officials. B. Whatever it is that irritated Richie so much, it can only be a good thing. Richards has been up and down in the beginning of this season, and he plays much better when he has a chip on his shoulder. I would expect him to come out ready to roll on Thursday in a big way.

As for his comments, I don’t really care about the officials. The Flyers took their fair share of blatant, dumb penalties, and as far as I’m concerned, it’s human nature to lose benefit of a doubt on calls moving forward. I strongly dislike what Richie said, but I do love to hear some type of outspokenness from him. We’ll see what impact, if any, that Saturday’s game has on him and the rest of the team.

I don’t want to venture to guess if the Flyers will come out a much more disciplined team on Thursday. I know they’ll have some time to stew over the 5-1 drubbing they took to their Atlantic Division rivals, and that should be a good thing. I won’t be surprised if they play disciplined hockey.

I’ll be even less surprised if they don’t.

As I re-learn algebra in order to calculate the number of PIM’s the Flyers are on pace to have this year, feel free to email me at mtrible@thecheckingline.com or follow me at www.twitter.com/mtrible

5 Comments

Larry DAngelo's picture

I don't like the fact Richards hates being interviewed. The dude was doing ok til he walked away at the end. Also since when does he compare himself to Crosby ?" If Crosby fights Carcillo I will fight him (cooke)" He is not even in the same league as Crosby talent wise. I did like the fact he pointed out the Pens are light on their skates, they do go down easy. The Pens had 8 Power Plays against the Isles the night before too. Just sayin.
They are taking lazy penalties right now, I believe too many players are still not in shape enough to play this system yet, especially Richards as he decided not to show for camp early. Leino, Betts, Pronger still hurt and not in shape too. Hartnell can't even skate, why did he not go to a skating coach in the off-season or did he ? I always tell my wife , hey see Hartnell that's how I would skate right now if I was out there, and he is getting millions. I hope they bag skate all week !!!

Patrick Storto's picture

"It's tough when you're playing Pittsburgh because you know they're going to be falling pretty easy"

LMAO

George Prax's picture

LMAO that interview is hilarious. I love how he just walks away at the end.

I really don't like it when people whine about the refs... and I know I'll get the Habs fans comments but I'm really not like that. A specific call or non-call, sure, but it's always the easy way out to just blame the refs for the other team getting a lot of man-advantages. I didn't see the game but it's pretty obvious Richards is just trying to excuse a bad performance on the refs.

I got into a twitter fight with some douche from Washington who was doing the same thing. Look at the way your team is playing before you blame the refs. Cause most of the time it really isn't the way the game is called.

DeeRawk's picture

I don't think he was making an excuse for his team, let alone blame the refs for what happened, he was just saying that it's extremely difficult to win with so many power plays being conceded and aforementioned, a rare and quite composed interview from the cap.

I would actually defend him if he did take a jab at the refs because, the Flyers have always been a physically dominant team, all of their players hit, often and hard, it's kind of been their thing for the past few decades ? The Pens on their part have really nasty sticks and it just so happens that on this night, the refs were calling the body/roughing a lot more than the hooks and slashes.

So when you have 2 differing styles of play and one is being called a helluva lot more than the other, it's hard to keep composure.

Nose Candy's picture

Someone bring me crimsonija here right now.

Thanks.