Sometimes in the NHL it’s a very hard thing to stay competitive. The salary cap evens everything out even more. You have to stay on your toes, and you need a group of guys to bring a ton of heart onto the ice every night.
Say what you want about the Flyers’ lack of heart and energy during their slump, but there is certainly an NHL faction that carries it in spades. NHL officials are always hard at work, and tonight during the Flyers victory over the Penguins in Pittsburgh, they were at the top of their game.
Unfortunately to win games in the league though it takes a certain amount of skill. That didn’t stop Don van Massenhoven from trying.
Some points where his heart was evident: Carter’s “offsides” breakaway, Gagne’s disallowed goal, Malkin’s blatant trip on Giroux early in the game, and various missed cross-checks flying about.
The game quickly became a teeing off contest to see which Penguin could push the limit too far before going to the box. The officials kept things in check though. Non-calls quickly became scoring opportunities for the Penguins.
My hat is officially off to Don van Massenhoven, his teammates in the Toronto War Room, and General Manager Gary Bettman. Still the Flyers come away with an 7-4 victory once again proving that the only way to beat the Penguins is to score until the officials can’t get Pittsburgh back in the game.
Carter gets a pair, vanRiemsdyk gets a pair, and Pronger, Carle, and Richards each get one. Gagne gets snubbed while Arron Asham and Michael Leighton also have spectacular games. Without Massenhoven’s help this game would have been an absolute route.
Flyers now shift their attention to Saturday where Emery could make his triumphant return.
Keep your feeds glued to @shafer22 on Twitter, and you’ll know who will be getting the start in net as soon as it’s announced as well as any updates going into the Saturday home stand against the Lightning.
P.S. Pittsburgh fans booing their former player, Dan Carcillo, for laying on the ice after catching a puck in the face? Classy. Just proof that obviously Philly fans are the worst in the free world.