Everything you didn't want to happen....happened last night | Flyers Downed in Toronto, 5 - 2 >

by Michael DeNicola

Tuesday, Feb. 12, 2013 -

Everything that you could possibly imagine could go wrong went wrong in last night's miserable 5 - 2 loss to the Toronto Maple Leafs -- Flyers goals coming from Wayne Simmonds (1st, 00:38) and Tye McGinn (3rd, 19:28). 

In front of a surprisingly diminished Toronto attendance, Philadelphia's defense took a big, steamy shit on Ilya Bryzgalov, who was pulled from net in the 2nd after the Leafs lit two lamps 28-seconds separated from each other. Colton Orr (Yes, Colton fucking Orr) undressed some of our best blue liners, scoring a backhanded shot after forechecking Nicklas Grossmann like he was a pylon. Through a 5-minute man-advantage, the Flyers failed to pot a single puck. Possession was worthless, our forechecking was non-existent through two periods, and our boys skated on their heels during one of the most repulsive hockey games I have had the displeasure of watching. 

And worst of all....

James van Riemsdyk muscles his 6'3", 200-pound frame through a sluggish Luke Schenn and delivers an anemic backhanded shot past Brian Boucher. Of course it was JVR, and of course it had to be Luke Schenn being the lone disputing skater between the play and Toronto's fifth scored goal. 

All in all, last night's match was as bad as it could have gotten. 

"We have to learn from it and move on. It's good to be frustrated I think. It's good to be a little [ticked] off. We have another game here and we have to move on," says Claude Giroux, who tallied 19:54 of some of the most invisible ice-time I care to acknowledge. 

Our captain continues to skate in a rut, and has now gone the last four contests without finding the back of the net. To give you some perspective, van Riemsdyk now has more goals (8) than Giroux has points (7). 

Whoa, whoa, whoa....lower your weapons! I'm not about to jump into a "WE SHOULD HAVE NEVER TRADED JVR!" rant. We had defensive needs, and GM Paul Holmgren used the tools he had to get us more defense. Besides, I remember 90% or more Flyers fans begging our organization to deal the injury-prone van Riemsdyk for a rusty skate sharpener and some net twine. 

I know what you're going to say; "I never wanted JVR gone."

Sure ya didn't, Kato Kaelin. 

On top of everything else, Sean Couturier was announced scratched from the roster before the game due to the flu. In fact, he's been sent home to rest, and will not skate in tonight's tilt versus the struggling Winnipeg Jets. 

Couturier was surely missed. As I was saying, the forecheck was virtually absent through 40-minutes. We struggled digging the puck out of our zone, and it showed. Players like Braydon Coburn and Nicklas Grossmann cost us turnovers that led to goals against a peppered Ilya Bryzgalov. Tom Sestito tried clearing our end, but the attempt was intercepted and immediately put to the back of our cage by a forechecking Frazer McLaren.

Once the 2nd began, in a span of 7-minutes, our Orange & Black world went totally unraveled. 

Philadelphia entered the first intermission tied up at 1 - 1, but Colton Orr, Matt Frattin, and Clarke McArthur shared turns bursting the bulbs throughout a painful 375-seconds into the middle-frame. 

It was horrific hockey that sucked any high hopes from our late homestand. We're now 1-6-0 on the road this year. We still have five games left on this season long swing, and it started out like a nightmare. But it's no nightmare, it's reality. 

What truly amazes me is that the Flyers got off 46-shots on the Leafs and only managed to sink two. Before James Riemer had to exit the game with a pulled groin, he had done a remarkable job stopping pucks. After suffering an injury, backstop Ben Scrivens squatted in goal for Toronto and took it from there. 

Riemer's backup denied 32-shots out of 33, morphing from a second-year nobody into an energized Ed Belfour. He made saves he had no business saving, frustrating our shooters and every Philadelphian watching from home on their television set. It was a brilliant performance from the 26yr old Spruce Grove, Alberta native. 

To top off this shit heap, deep into the final stanza, Leafs captain Dion Phaneuf had his way with Zac Rinaldo along the boards. Phaneuf spent 10-or-so seconds mugging Rinaldo behind the play, face-washing, shoving Rinaldo's head down into the ice, and basically committing every act of interference against the defenseless Rinaldo --

Being the hothead that he is, Zac finally built ice under his skates and decided to retaliate by stick-shoving his own lost helmet towards Phaneuf. 

For whatever reason to the officials, that was enough to eject Zac Rinaldo with a game misconduct. Dion was also sent to the dressing room, but for good reason. Zac continues to be a marked man in this League whose only crime in this case was lightly expressing his displeasure for the raping Phanuef handed him seconds prior. 

After hearing the referee's decision, Zac aggressively voiced his objection, which (though muffled) could clearly be heard from my TV speakers. 

"WHAT??? ......FOR WHAT!?!?" Rinaldo cried out. "Oh, FUCK that!"

The rest was hard to hear, and I'm not much of a lip-reader. But visually, Zac had a few more choice words for the official, which I am sure will be carried over to a fine given to him by the disciplinary committee. What are the grounds? Talking back to the referees, probably. I am not even clear on how severe of an injunction it is, but knowing Rinaldo's reputation, I'm expecting death by guillotine. 

Speaking of this League's disciplinary bigwigs -- 

Korbinian Holzer will receive no disciplinary hearing for almost turning Tye McGinn into a wheelchair-riding vegetable. Thankfully, McGinn stood up and skated himself to the Flyers bench. 

We got through the first half of this back-to-back fraction of the schedule. Tonight we complete it by skating against the Winnipeg Jets, who've had their fair share of lamenting bungles this season. 

No official word yet, but LeftWingLock.com has Bryzgalov as our starter for the evening. Opposite of him is the former Islander, Al Montoya. 

If you wanna watch, make sure you have a strong drink in hand; Flyers in Winnipeg, Tonight, 8:00 EST. 

For now,

Goodnight. Bleh hockey. 

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