Tag:Downie rules
Posted on: January 21, 2008 11:41 am
Edited on: January 21, 2008 11:42 am

Flyers continue their roll over the Senators

Well, not having their top two players really hurt the Senators last night. The Flyers just flat out beat them, convincingly, 6-1. The only way the Senators could score last night was when three players on the Flyers fell down on the play. Chalk up another win for Niittymaki, another goal for Scott Hartnell, and another point for Steve Downie. And oh yeah, chalk up a win for Riley Cote. He really beat down Brian McGrattan.

Speaking of that fight, I really think that was the tone setter for the game. McGrattan wanted to send his message to the Flyers, and he found a willing combatant in Cote. I think Cote really surprised him. These two players have had conversations in warmups in each of the past two games against each other, so this has been boiling for awhile. Cote gave up 4 inches to McGrattan, but he stood really tall and took down one of the better fighters in the league. Cote played a great game, maybe the best game I've ever seen him play. He first of all set the tone for the Flyers after the fight, and during the course of the game finished his checks. John Stevens even rewarded him with some powerplay time at the end of the game, and he made a great deflection pass to Scottie Upshall for a goal.

The power play, yes, that has been good. They are now at a 25% clip, putting them in first place in that category. Both the first unit and the second unit have been great. And maybe the second unit has actually been better.

This game was supposed to be all about Steve Downie. Well, he did record an assist and made a great move for a nice scoring chance that also drew a penalty. That's 8 points in the 8 games since his call up. He's been producing on that red hot line with Hartnell and Richards.

The Flyers are a scary team. They've got three lines that can put the puck in the net, an absolutely killer powerplay, shorthanded scoring threats, and just an overall physical team. The Flyers play the Devils on Tuesday night. This is a huge game to say the least. The Flyers have as many points as the Devils and Penguins, but have a game in hand. But if they lose to the Devils, it could be a huge mental loss. They've struggled against the Devils this season, no question about that. If they win Tuesday, they should have no problem beating the Crosby-less Penguins Thursday night. This is a huge week for the Flyers in the division. If they win each of their next two games, they can start putting some distance between themselves and the second place teams.
Category: NHL
Posted on: January 19, 2008 11:35 pm

Flyers beat Isles 5-3 and play the Sens tomorrow

I missed the first period tonight, but the Flyers had a nice come from behind win tonight against DiPietro and the Islanders.  The Flyers got a lot of breaks off weird bounces, but they took advantage of them and buried them.  Give Derian Hatcher a lot of credit for turning the game around tonight.  He squared off with Trent Hunter and pounded him.  Hatcher really doesn't fight anymore, and I've been wondering about that lately, but he showed tonight that he can still really throw 'em.

I said in the last entry that I was looking for the Downie/Richards/Hartnell line to have a big game.  Well, here's what happened:
  • Downie: 1 goal
  • Richards: 1 goal and 1 assist
  • Hartnell: 3 PP goals and 1 assist
Man, this has been one hot line.  And the power play has been absolutely on fire as well.  I believe that they moved into first place in that category.  Kudos to Hartnell for really stepping it up after Lupul got hurt.  He's really picked up the slack in a big way, and he's a huge reason for the Flyers' recent success.
Well, tomorrow is the game we've all been waiting for.  The Flyers square off with the Sens for the first time with Downie in the lineup since Downie's preseason board on McAmmond.  It will be very interesting to see how the Senators handle the situation.  Downie is yet to engage in a fight at the NHL level, and I'm very curious to see him throw down.  They've got to be doubly careful now with Downie....not only is he physical, but he can also do very well offensively, and defensively too.  Tonight after a goal, he went straight to the bench and asked the coaches what he could have done better to have prevented the goal.  Good stuff there.

I don't know if they'll get it done and over with right away or if they let it fester a bit.  I think a lot of it will have to do with the Flyers being home, so they will be able to have the second change.  Will Stevens keep off the ice when McGratton's on the ice?  I would say that he should just keep to his gameplan and not do anything special for that.  But if the Senators take a shot at Downie, you can be sure that the Flyers will respond in a big way.  Everyone has the other guy's back on this team.  And couple that with the fact that he's on a line with Richards and Hartnell, who are two guys that never shy away from the rough stuff.

The Flyers and Senators do have a history.  They don't like each other.  A few years ago, the two teams played a game where the Flyers pretty handily won, and after Donald Brashear beat up Rob Ray pretty good in a fight, the Senators responded by jumping Brashear as he was being led to the penalty box.  That's when the crap hit the fan.  There was a fight with all the players on the ice, including the goalies, and after three consecutive faceoffs, there were fights involving all the players.  The game set the NHL record for most penalty minutes in a game.  And it was all started by Marty Havlat slashing Mark Recchi in the face the game before.

But I'm getting away from myself.  Niittymaki will probably be in the net tomorrow since Biron was in net tonight.  Emery was in net for the Senators tonight, but I'm not sure of Paddock's policy regarding goalies playing in back to back games.

And do you know what the best part about the game is?  My friend called me up today and said he had an extra ticket........
Category: NHL
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