Friday, April 18, 2008

Knuble Propels Flyers in 2 OT


Mike Knuble scored a typical Mike Knuble goal in the second overtime period and the Flyers took Game 4 of the best of 7 series with the Caps by a score of 4 - 3.
The victory enables the Flyers to take a commanding 3 games to 1 lead in the series as it heads back to Washington for game 5.

This game featured the Washington Capitals coming out with much more of a snarl than in recent games and it felt like they pressed the action much more than in either Game 2 or 3. In particular, the recently demoted Niklas Backstrom played with good intensity and scored the Caps' first goal.

As for the Flyers, they seemed to play a little tentatively in the first period and through most of the second. While they were enduring their period of being somewhat off-kilter, Jeff Carter held down the fort offensively, scoring the first two Flyer goals. The first Carter goal was on a nifty backhand just 42 seconds into the game that really got the already juiced up crowd in a frenzy.

That the game even went to overtime is thanks to Danny Briere, who seems to be coming up big every night in this series. Briere scored the game tying goal half-way through the 3rd period, and after that goal, you could feel that the Caps were sagging and starting to doubt themselves a bit. Every foray down the ice by the Flyers after the Briere goal seemed like that could be the rush that ended the game and sent everyone home happy.

When the game went into overtime, play seemed a little tentative in the beginning, which you would expect of two relatively young teams. The Flyers got the best of the shot total in OT (18 - 12), but the Caps definitely had their opportunities in the OT, but Martin Biron made the saves when he had to. Biron's clutch saves set the stage for Carter-Upshall-Knuble line to work their magic.

Random Thoughts on the game:

- Kimmo Timonen is an ANIMAL! Another good game of containing Ovechkin, who did notch 2 power play assists, but did nothing at even strength.

- I'm sorry, but the hockey gods owe Patrick Thoresen a goal.

- Danny Briere trying to get Nik Backstrom to drop the gloves in the first period?

- Having not seen much of Mike Green, it appears he is going to be a truly elite player when he learns to control his emotions. In game 3, it was the Upshall fight. It this one, it was a roughing call after Derian Hatcher (legally) pasted him into the boards. While the roughing call he took in the 2nd period was ticky-tack, he shouldn't have put himself in that position to begin with. As Ed Van Impe used to say, you have an entire career to get revenge on a guy.

- The Flyers' power play appears to be having issues, going only 1 of 7. If their power play had clicked at all, this game would have never gone to OT.

- The Caps took 2 too many men on the ice penalties. Not good.

Seen at the game

- I was in attendence at the game last night....the crowd was rowdy and energetic. The weather was BEAUTIFUL outside before the game.

- I wish the Flyers wouldn't whip out the "God Bless America" montage in the playoffs until a Game 7 situation or the Cup Finals. A game 4 in a first round series is not when you need "God Bless America".

- The thundersticks have GOT to go. No more thundersticks. Since when does a Flyer crowd need thundersticks? Save the thundersticks for hockey markets like Anaheim and Nashville.

- Hatred for thundersticks aside, I like the orange paper helmets. They look goofy, but my kid seemed to enjoy his this morning. Definitely a good, original idea.

- If you went to the game, and you hung out by the Bud Light pavillion, you may have seen this one BIG FUCKING LOSER with a Rangers jersey on. You have tickets to the game and are not a fan of either team, that's fine. But to show up to a Flyers-Caps playoff game in a Rangers jersey? On top of that, it was a Jagr jersey. Did this asshole not have anything else in his closet to wear? Big. Fucking. Loser.

- On the other hand, two enterprising guys had a couple of pretty cool homemade shirts. One referred to Mike Knuble as "Obi-wan Knuble", a Star Wars reference, which the geek in me really sort of dug. The other, had a "Kukkonen for Cocoa Puffs" shirt, replete with Lasse Kukkonen's picture with the Cocoa puffs logo.





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