The Philadelphia Flyers haven’t started this unusual season (8-9-1) as they’d hoped. However, after last night’s tasty 6-5 win over the Pittsburgh Penguins, they’re only five points behind their longstanding rival (as well as the equally distasteful New Jersey Devils) for the Eastern Conference division lead.
Following any team throughout their regular season schedule, even a shortened one, can become monotonous. Every game doesn’t generate the same type of excitement. If three periods can be played out in less than thrilling fashion, but two points are still gained, such is the hockey life.
In what was the final stop on a six-game road trip that only lasted 10 days, obtaining an easy two points in Pittsburgh wasn’t in the cards. However, visions of last spring’s wild Conference Quarterfinals contest apparently weren’t forgotten by all remaining participants on both benches.
The off-season turned into the lockout and then into this compressed hockey year. But, the 1980s’ style clothing that each gritty squad figuratively wore during the first round of last year’s playoffs was on display again this week.
Jakub Voracek’s final goal, which established his hat trick, topped off a viciously delicious offensive display. The combined 11 goals that were scored felt like 22 tallies, as few forwards were attempting to emulate the immortal Frank J. Selke.
The ongoing Flyers-Penguins’ war is exactly the type of rivalry that the National Hockey League needs. Rink rats across North America and around the world know that loving your team is great, but hating another within the same game is simply ideal.