POSTGAME 10-6-09: FLYERS 6, CAPITALS 5 (OT)
Wow. That was some hockey eye candy folks. It wasn't the most disciplined game. It drives coaches nuts. But it certainly was a beaut to watch - even for a stodgy purist like me.
There's a lot to get to, so let's jump right in, shall we?
MY THREE STARS:
1. Mike Richards - when the captain gets up for a game, there are few better. You can see why, in games like this, he gets compared to Bobby Clarke. He played with a mean streak. He played with offensive precision. He scored three goals and was the best player on the ice.
2. Matt Carle - I've been saying it since Day 1 of camp and I'm gonna keep trumpeting it all season long - Carle is going to have a huge year for the Flyers. I'm thinking 50 points plus. He is so much more confident playing with Pronger that he's becoming a star in his own right. Four assists tonight. Team USA please take notice.
3. Alex Ovechkin - The guys is the best player in the game. I will argue this point with anyone. He can do so much that guys like Evgeni Malkin and Sidney Crosby can't. They're great players too, but Ovechkin is otherworldly.
DID YOU KNOW:
This is the 10th time in Flyers history that the team has started the season with a 3-0-0 record and first time since 1998-99. Of the previous nine times, the Flyers have improved their record to 4-0-0, seven times.
The Flyers also improved their home opening record to 24-12-5-1 (shootout loss)
Matt Carle's four assists in the second period of tonight's game is a new Flyers record for most assists in a period by a defenseman. It also ties an NHL record for most assists in one period by a defenseman. The last time a defenseman recorded four assists in one period was: Rob Blake, 2nd period, Los Angeles vs. Calgary on Jan. 29, 1998.
Carle’s four assists in a game are also a new career high… He now has six points (1G,5A) in his last two games
Mike Richards became the Flyers player to record a hat trick in a Flyers home-opener… Tonight was also Mike Richards’ second career hat trick. The first came on Feb. 8, 2008 vs. NY Islanders.
With his assist on Scott Hartnell’s goal in the third period, Kimmo Timonen recorded his 300th assist in the NHL.
The Comcast-Spectacor ice crew removed 492 hats and 104 T-shirts that were tossed onto the ice following Mike Richards hat trick at the Wachovia Center tonight.
IN OTHER NEWS:
Blair Betts' injury is a big one. Don't be fooled by the fact that he is a minimum salary player on the fourth line. He's the best faceoff guy on the team. He's one of the best penalty killers. A dislocated shoulder is a tricky injury. Paul Holmgren said "at least" four weeks. If we see Betts before Thanksgiving, I'll be impressed.
James van Riemsdyk's situation is a bit more cloudy, but then again, aren't they always when it comes to head injuries and the Flyers? He's day-to-day. He'll be re-evaluated. Homer is saying "bell rung." I'm saying uh-oh. My biggest problem though isn't the veil of secrecy - it is, after all, just a precaution - but rather, the macho test the Flyers seem to try with all of their young players after injuries.
THey sent van Riemsdyk back out on the ice at the start of the third period. He took two shifts and realy didn't feel right. If he had his "bell rung" why the hell put him out there at all? Just keep him in the locker room. It's the third game of the season for Pete's sake.
They did this in 2005 when Jeff Carter was a rookie and half of his ear was sliced off. They sent him back out with a huge bandage on his head. He had just lost a ton of blood and had his ear sewed back on. But, they wanted to see if he could tough it out - you know - be a hockey player.
Sometimes, you need to know when to draw the line. You'd think, with the history here they would be more cautious. As well run as this organization is from top to bottom, it's the one thing I'll never understand about it.