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
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........