Philadelphia's Dark Knights Rise as Stars in 3 - 2 Win Over the 'Peg

Created 5 years 221 days ago
by Michael DeNicola

Tags: 02/12/2013 Game Review Philadelphia Flyers Winnipeg Jets
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by Michael DeNicola

Wednesday, Feb. 13, 2013 -

Coming off a demoralizing loss to the Maple Leafs on Monday, heading into Winnipeg to battle the Jets Tuesday night was not exactly -- what I'd call -- uplifting and filled with high expectations. 

For starters, the MTS Centre was voted last season's loudest arena in the National Hockey League. This year, the Jets are not only still playing in front of their raucous crowd of 15,000, but, additionally, the arena's brand spankin' new six enormous speakers installed last offseason. 

The 'Peg has officially become the NHL's version of the Seattle Seahawks.

Add the fact that Jets fanatics cannot stand Ilya Bryzgalov and choose to voice their displeasure in boo-birds every time he touches the puck, and you've got yourself quite a formula for a loud, unsettling venue for the boys in Orange & Black.

Pay no mind to the native attendance. Don't bother getting agitated by Dustin Byfuglien's rogue elbow and battle ax slash. Don't even worry about some guy named Anthony Peluso, who's playing in his first NHL game and wants to draw attention to himself by gunning for Rinaldo every chance he had. 

Just go out there, play hard and win so we can get the hell out of Winnipeg.

And the Flyers did exactly that. Philadelphia came out on top 3 - 2, with goals scored by Brayden Schenn, Kimmo Timonen and Tye McGinn. The victory was a total team effort, littered with unsung heroes like Zac Rinaldo, Jakub Voracek and Nicklas Grossmann to spark the next wave of Orange dominance. 

Jake "The Snake" assisted on two lit lamps, including the game's opening goal scored by B. Schenner --

Getting bodies in front of the net is key, but let's highlight how surgical Voracek was with the pass by feathering it through traffic like a world champion in FROGGER. 

Brayden tips home his third goal of the season, and is currently rolling on a 7-point streak in his last 7-games played. He started out this year looking out of place, and struggling to get himself in position. However, lately Brayden's bloomed into a high-energy player who's paid dividends on the scoresheet. 

To say the Flyers have been poor on the power play is a bit of an understatement. It's like telling me Mike Fisher's wife is sorta attractive. But our boys did manage to convert once on the man-advantage deep into the 1st period when the puck cycled its way to the point where Kimmo Timonen sent it home --

Great movement and tenacious forechecking kept the rubber in the offensive zone, and assisting on the goal was a points-starved Claude Giroux, who's otherwise been in a snakebitten rough patch. 

Some games aren't just won by goals alone, especially when a victory is tallied by a tremendous undertaking from your bench's depth. 

Tye McGinn stole the show last night with forceful fortitude. The rook not only scored the Flyers' insurance goal in the 3rd, but he sucked the life out of the vehement hometown crowd by exchanging fisticuffs with Jets defenseman Mark Stuart and winning the tilt decidedly --

In respectable fashion, both gladiators removed their helmets before clashing. Skating into center ice, the two began tying up and delivering bricks. McGinn got stood up by Stuart's jab, but without skipping a beat, Tye came back with a sea of right-handed haymakers that pummeled Stuart backward and onto the frozen pond. 

Jim Jackson's inflamed commentary boosted every Flyers fan's heart to a supersonic rate. The adrenaline carried from a victorious McGinn and washed over Philadelphia's bench like high-tide. 

"Then there's McGinn, and you see how well he plays and how tough he is out there. He fights, he goes hard to the net and he wins battles," said Brayden Schenn, who's skated with Tye as a linemate the last couple contests. 

"He's been such a nice addition to our lineup," said coach Peter Laviolette. "He's big, he's strong, he finishes his checks – he fights once in awhile. He scores goals. He sticks up for his teammates. These are all things you look for when a player is coming up - positive contributions to our lineup. It's not just the goals. He gets pucks off the wall. He does a lot of nice little things out there that have made him fit in and certainly we're comfortable with him."

Like I mentioned before, it was Tye who potted Philadelphia's game-winning goal early in the final frame --

Once again, Voracek puts the puck on a Hail Mary trail through the right faceoff circle, into the slot, and banks off of McGinn's skate/stick (ruled a goal after review) labeling it farside on Pavelec's twine. 

More tenacity from Tye McGinn, and more needle-threading from Jakub Voracek. 

"I didn’t even see the puck," McGinn said. "The defenseman did a great job on me. But Jake is a special player and he can put the puck where he sees your stick… He did an unbelievable job of finding me there."

One of Tye's best attributes is keeping his stick on the ice. It may just seem like common sense, but it's far from human-nature to keep the blade on the surface when in traffic. McGinn's stickblade has paid off in high volume since being called up from Glens Falls. 

After his performance last night, it's next to impossible to believe he hasn't earned his permanent spot on the roster, even once Hartnell returns from IR.

I want to take this time now to acknowledge another dark knight from the 3 - 2 victory. 

Zac Rinaldo has built himself a reputation of being hotheaded, and more of a nuisance than an asset. This season he's seemed to penetrate that glass ceiling and really stretch his ingenuity into more developed semblances of the game. 

Take last night's performance, for instance -- Rhino drew two penalties from the soapbox orator Anthony Peluso through the 1st and 2nd periods. He tamed his aggression and never once dropped the gloves to fight, even though he had plenty of opportunities to engage. Zac's discipline last evening is unprecedented versus the buffoonery he's cemented over his short tenure. 

But the praise doesn't stop there. 

Rhino blocked shots, put a shot on net, and backchecked gloriously through a team low 9:46 of ice time. When was the last time a player spent less than 10-minutes off the pine and contributed to a win considerably? 

Hands down, Zac Rinaldo played the best game of his career in Winnipeg, and it never involved a single punch to a face. Go figure. 

And let's not forget the consistent authority Ilya Bryzgalov's chronicled through the season, which, no doubt, grew itself even more in net against the Jets. 

Our franchise shield stopped 24-of-26 shots, ending the tilt with a .923 save percentage. Bryzgalov stood his tallest during the terminus of the 2nd stanza when the Flyers front couldn't dig the puck out of our zone. Bryz entered into the final intermission brindled from all the perennial shots he denied that added even more to the collected team effort. 

This Club needed this win on the road. Closing out a back-to-back portion of the schedule with style and vitality is significant to how the squad performs throughout the remainder of this road swing. Though our away record is still pretty pitiful (3-6-0), you can only crawl out of a ditch one arm & leg at a time. Last night's win gives us a strong pulse on the road. Let's keep that going. 

Don't miss Friday's battle at The Rock when the Devils welcome our Broad Street Bullies, 7:00PM EST.

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