When the final seconds of an overtime period melt away, a heavy feeling of faithlessness consumes me like a steady fog rolling over the Golden Gate Bridge. I cannot help it. The shootout is soon to follow and our Orange & Black aren't exactly the picturesque skater-on-goalie conquerors.
Down 2 - 1 late in the 3rd period, I sat on my couch fuming from the ears because certain players have failed to step up in the wake of our injury bug. Players like James van Riemsdyk and Danny Briere, to be particular.
Here you've got two forward skaters earning the big bucks, yet incapable of rising to the beckoning calls of a heart-broken Flyers nation. Our star player is out with a concussion. Our captain may never see another second of NHL ice in his lifetime. And every game seems to claim a Flyer as victim to physical affliction.
Where is our break?
Danny Briere, our alternate captain, in the final 19-seconds of the tilt assisted on a Wayne Simmonds game-tying goal that forced the match into overtime and the Flyers stole a point.
Yes, Simmonds is the official puck-potter on the scorecard even though to the naked eye it seemed Danny Boy had the wrap around on Jean-Sebastien Giguere's farside. Nevertheless, our fist-pumping little elf stood out as the star of the play --
Briere made it happen. And there I was bad mouthing him. I mean I was reigning verbal hellfire and brimstone all over his reputation.
If you've been reading my material for awhile, then you're no stranger to my distaste for #48. It's nothing personal to the guy. I just feel if you're getting paid more than any player on the roster then it's your responsibility to add defense to your game, be less of a stick-infraction liability, and go off on points tangents less than a couple times throughout the regular season.
That's all I ask.
But I'll be damned if he didn't show up at the bitter end of what was sure to be our second consecutive demise in regulation time.
I enjoy eating my crow, having my words turned around and slapped over my face, and (for lack of better words) looking like a douche because I dug myself in a hole. Whatever helps put a 'W' in the win column for my Flyers, I don't mind playing the town's fool.
After an exciting OT period that featured a lengthy segment of 3-on-3 hockey, the momentum led its way into the shootout.
Briere kicked us off and scored his 12th all-time SO goal, while James van Riemsdyk top-shelf'd his first ever in the "dual period". It was all up to Matt Read after Bryzgalov failed to deny even one of the three attempts on his end of the ice.
Dismissed by the crossbar.
Read's wrist shot smacked Giguere's bailout-buddy....the post, Avalanche win.
Colorado is not a bad team. In fact, they're stocked with youth and filled to the brim with potential. They'll be a force to reckon with in a few seasons or less. But regardless, the Flyers should have won that game.
We're not a one-man, two-man team. Just because our leaders are sidelined with injury doesn't mean we cannot prevail against even the NHL's C+ clubs. We're deeper on the bench than we have been in quite some time.
An example of that has got to be skaters like Jakub Voracek. Prior to Couturier and Giroux going down, Voracek seemed to be destined as a one-way player. Recently that's far from the case. The 22-year old Czech has become one of this team's best penalty-killing players, and his chances are gaining more signs of life and finish by the game.
Last night Voracek led all forwards in ice time (23:06) and it was noticeable in a very positive fashion. He had scoring chances, he was effective on both the back-checking and fore-checking, and he continues to display his soft hands and brilliant puck handling skills. It seems he's blossoming on this squad, and all of a sudden I'm reluctant to label him as tradebait any longer.
Let's see if Jakub can carry the momentum of his positive play with him to Dallas Wednesday night when the Flyers take on the Stars.
This West Coast club is third in the Conference Standings, 1st in their Pacific Division. They also house one of the most pathetic attendance records in the league. All the attitude, drive and emotion will have to be built from the ice. The players won't get any help from the crowd.
Until next time, my Flyers brethren.
Good night, Meh hockey.