Flyers Dropped in Bruising Matinee


One of the prevalent storylines for the Flyers lately are all the man games lost to injury. Today, it got a little worse, with two more skaters spending time on the trainer's table, while another was lost to long penalties. The Sabres were able to outlast the Flyers in a 60-minute rumble, winning 4-2. 

With Danny Briere also out serving a suspension, it only got worse in terms of personnel woes. The Flyers battled hard, but they couldn't keep up with the Sabres, who scored two unanswered goals in the third. Patrick Kaleta ran Jared Ross behind the net, hitting him from behind and smearing his face on the glass with the impact. Ross dropped to his knees and had to be helped off, not to return. Then, Ian Laperriere missed much of the game after getting drilled in the face with one-timed slapshot. He spilled some blood and four teeth, then went to the locker room and got 50-plus stitches—and returned to the game. Warrior.

Dan Carcillo was also absent for much of the game. Remember our post about his reduced penalty minutes? 

That's probably washed out now, although when a guy gets 20 minutes due to two fights with the other team's captain and bruiser, it's hard to be upset with him over the "takes too many penalties" thing. For the next few months, Carcillo's PIM total should be taken with a grain of salt with the padding that category got today in two instances that didn't result in a power play. Down some manpower, they could have used him out there, but I wouldn't nitpick anything he did today. I'd have preferred they be without Riley Cote, but it's hard to blame Carcillo, at least for me. You may disagree. 

Overall, it was a pretty entertaining game, especially if you're into the bloodlust aspect of hockey. It was absolutely brutal out there, as it often is when these two clubs play. I think the Kaleta hit really got that trend started, and I'll be shocked if he isn't further disciplined. 

He's a known dirty player, and he hit from behind, to the head, with the player getting hurt. Recipe for NHL discipline in these days. 

Give the Flyers credit though. They played with a lot of energy, especially considering how many men they were down. Ryan Miller was his typical dominant self though, and they couldn't solve him more than his 1.98 GAA would indicate. Ray Emery kept it close for most of the game, but he let up a relatively soft third period goal—although it was a total rocket off the stick of Tim Connolly. Later in the period, Connolly put the puck backward between his skates and lifted it off of Kimmo Timonen, dropping over Emery's shoulder. Not much could be done about that one. 

There's also not much time for the team to mend. Up next is a Saturday Night Special against the Thrashers in Atlanta. Fortunately, the Thrashers will have it a little worse, playing tonight in Carolina while the Flyers are in their hotel rooms. 

Video via Puck Daddy, where Sean Leahy has a good look at the hit in the context of the league's current disciplinary "policies."

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