Better With Popcorn

Flyers-Rangers Set Stage for Classic Showdown

Philadelphia’s rivalry with New York is a storied affair seething with animosity and hatred.

That will only be intensified today with the prospects of January 2nd’s Winter Classic hovering over the first meeting of the season between the Flyers and the Rangers.

Although it’s the first official game of the calendar year, it’s not the first time these two teams have had a chance to play in 2011.

And if it’s any indication of what we will see today, rest assured; things might get ugly.

While it may have only been a preseason game, it certainly didn’t seem like it.

The Flyers went on to win the game 5-3 but no one really cared about the score when all was said and done. In total, the two teams combined for 77 total penalty minutes and 15 different power play plays.

But the real sparks started to fly when Zac Rinaldo pummeled Dale Weise, which seemed to bring the Flyers back into the game.

There of course was an incident later between Wayne Simmonds and Sean Avery in which Simmonds was accused of calling Avery a homophobic slur.

Simmonds denied the incident and did not receive disciplinary action from the league.

Fast-forward to the present day and you have all the makings of what should turn out to be an intense game.

Both teams are not only battling for the top-spot in the division but also are clawing their way to the top of the conference.

Not to mention that HBO’s 24/7 camera crew will be in the building recording every piece of tension filled drama.

Things are sure to be chippy.

The Rangers are recently coming off of an eight-game winning streak and are currently in the midst of starting a new one, winning their last two games. The team is 8-2-0 in their last ten and hasn’t lost a home game since October 29th

During that span, the team has outscored their opponents 33-20.

Marion Gaborik currently leads the team in points (17) and goals (10) while Artem Anisimov is the team’s leading dish master (10 assists).

After starting the year in the AHL, rabble-rouser Sean Avery has had the opportunity to play in all of the team’s games since November 5th. In that time he has registered two goals and a surprisingly low 14 penalty minutes in eight games.

The Flyers are currently on a two-game winning streak of their own.

After a slow start in their two most recent games, the team managed to comeback on both opponents in order to pull out wins.

The team has been playing a bit sloppy in their last few but still managed to go 5-2-0 in their last seven.

The team’s sloppy play could certainly be attributed to the fact that the injury bug has run rampant through out their locker room.

Chris Pronger, Jaromir Jagr, James van Riemsdyk and Andreas Lilja are the newest members to the injury list and will all be absent for Saturday’s game.

The two teams will faceoff today at 2 PM.



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John Russo's picture

It's going to be interesting to see who is mic'd up for this game because I'm assuming HBO will be there. Also should be interesting to see what kind of chirping is involved. The preview showed some animosity towards Dubinsky/Avery and Hartnell and It's going to be interesting to see if those three get involved in some extra curricular activities.

But back to the hockey aspect of this game: I always love this rivalry. The hitting, the scrums and especially the usually tight games. The Flyers are banged up but still playing strong hockey despite in the injuries. Claude Giroux is doing dirty things on the ice and is throwing his name in the early Hart talks.

Bob was excellent yesterday but I don't think he goes in a second straight day. I hope Bryz picks his play back up. He's been sturdy but he hasn't been phenomenal yet this season on a consistent basis.

Flyers win 3-2: Giroux, Briere, Coburn; Dubinsky, Callahan.

John Russo's picture

Hartnell, Lavy and Talbot mic'd up

John Russo's picture

Also, Bob in net.