man, do i love that guy. he played a huge role in the flyers' 8-1 whipping of the washington capitals last night. i swear, he pick-pocketed alex ovechkin (the caps' dynamic, high-scoring rookie) every other shift. chad hates ovechkin since he's gotten to the lightning (yep, right under their skin like our old pal digger the dermatophyte) every time the two teams have met. alex wasn't a problem for the flyers, though. eric desjardins was assigned to alex-patrol (until he left the game with a concussion, joining captain keith on the head-injury list), and he did an excellent job. no one really got physical with the rookie, though. they just skillfully poked the puck away from him. anyway, ovechkin was shut down, that's the point. it was really funny when, on the way to a commercial break, one of the caps' announcers said (as the camera focused on ovechkin), "and the flyers lead alex 2-1 here in the first..." not, "and the flyers lead the capitals" but "the flyers lead alex."
the flyers did a good job of taking as few penalties as possible (which they haven't really been good at so far), and they didn't allow a single power play goal. that may have been the first game all year in which they've killed off every penalty. but the flyers capitalized (ha ha) on the caps' penalties with two power play goals of their own. i'm glad to see the improvement in philly's special teams. i was worried at the beginning of the season when they ranked 24th on the PP and 29th on the PK. their PK still sucks (it's 27th in the league), but the PP is in the top half of the league now (11th). they do, however, still lead the league in short-handed goals, and jeff carter scored one beauty of a shortie last night. he totally faked out brett johnson, i mean he had the guy sprawling, and just flipped the puck right in around him. it was the flyers' prettiest goal of the night.
and now let's talk about simon. he and forsberg are so good together. one of the caps' announcers said they're like two players in one body. it really does seem as if they read each others' minds. forsberg was the best acquisition that the flyers made from the free agent pool. bobby clarke did a great thing when he swooped in and scooped up peter the great. he always finds a way to get the puck to gagne when simon is in great scoring position. and being himself, gange can usually find the net. his two goals last night prove that. every member of the forsberg/gagne/knuble line scored last night, and none of the goals was the result of a weird bounce (like forsberg's first two goals of the season were). it was excellent.
you know who else was excellent? jeff carter. for most of the season, i've been far more impressed with mike richards than i have with cater as far as flyer rookies go, but last night carter really shined. first, there was that absolute beauty of a short-hander, then he managed to strike again with a less pretty goal (one that was totally cap goalie brett johnson's fault - he just couldn't control his rebound, but he went down and tried to get the puck anyway).
so, now it seems that the flyers will be injury-plagued once again, as both captain keith and top defenseman desjardins are out with concussions, and johnsson is out with a pulled groin (he should be back in the line-up soon, though). i don't think it's really going to be a problem, though. the flyers have such a talented pool of young guys to pull from that i think they can pull out a good season, injuries or no.
now we just have to worry about the pilots. i'm hoping for a good game tonight... and maybe even a win (chris heid or no).
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