we ice pilots fans all remember The Night Steven Later Went Psycho quite well. well, last night during that fiasco of a flyers game it was robert esche’s turn. after an absolutely stellar performance in game 1 of the eastern conference quarter finals (which, sadly, the flyers lost), i for one expected him to at least be decent in game two. i don’t consider allowing 5 goals on 10 shots in the 1st period decent. i call that sucking. not that his teammates gave him much help, but come on. he could have stopped at least four of the five goals he allowed. unacceptable, i tell you. the final score last night was buffalo 8,
but anyway. i was going to tell those who didn’t see it for themselves of robert esche’s psychotic break. it happened in the first period, shortly after he allowed the 4th goal of the game. coach hitchcock opted to pull esche in favor of my boy antero niittymaki after that one, and he was at least okay in goal for the flyers. he only allowed three goals, anyway. but that’s also not the point. the point is that at the next stoppage of play after he was pulled, esche left the bench to attack every buffalo sabre he could get his hands on, steven later style. yeah, this is a goalie i’m talking about here. a very frustrated goalie. it was crazy. flyer captain and Most Overrated Defenseman in the History of Hockey derian hatcher eventually ended up grabbing and holding esche from behind (hatcher was on the bench at the time) and whispering sweet nothings in esche’s ear in an attempt to calm his livid starting goaltender. it seemed to work, so perhaps hatcher’s leadership skills aren’t as deficient as his defending skills. just a note here, but sabres goalie ryan miller wanted to get in on that action, too, but buffalo coach lindy ruff waved him back. i guess he didn’t want to see Patrick Roy vs Chris Osgood: Part Deux. i kinda did. ryan miller may be a better goalie, but i think that esche could kick his ass.
i was quite surprised to see esche back in net for the flyers after all of that. then he allowed his 5th goal of the first period, so niittymaki relieved esche for good in the second. like i said, he was okay. not great. but he didn’t allow five goals on ten shots. god, that whole game was so unbelievably bad...
oh, and then the stupid guys at TSN, whose feed i was watching on NHL center ice, inexplicably switched over to the rangers/devils game (which was broadcasting on OLN) in the middle of the 2nd period. WTF??? i’d been saying from the first five minutes of the game that i wasn’t going to watch anymore, but who was i kidding? yeah, the game sucked big ass, but i couldn’t tear myself away. perhaps TSN was trying to do me a favor? i was pissed anyway. about halfway through the third period the good folks at directv realized that TSN just was not going to show anymore of the philly/buffalo game and switched over to the MSG feed... just in time for me to watch the end and witness buffalo’s 8th goal late in the period. yay. (that was a sarcastic ‘yay’, in case you didn’t get that).
and that, my friends, ends the tale of The Night Robert Esche Went Psycho. it was not a good night for