What a doozy!
In Jeff Carter’s return to Philadelphia… Er, anyway, even Carter couldn’t have helped his new team survive the Flyers’ 9-2 thrashing of Columbus last night.
The game, which the home team controlled from the start, was a real crowd pleaser. It featured a little bit of everything and a whole lotta scoring.
The Flyers started off the first period fast, scoring two within the first 3 1/2 minutes, and worked up a staggering 5-0 advantage before it was all over. Among these were a pretty power play goal by Jaromir Jagr, a great dexterous goal by Max Talbot and a goal from the blue line off the stick of Jakub Voracek, who looked pleased (to say the least) to score off his old team.
The period — whose roll of tape will be burned by the Jackets’ coaching staff — was rounded out by two very spirited fights, with Wayne Simmonds and Derek Dorsett sharing punches, followed by Zac Rinaldo and Cody Bass throwing down. The Flyers managed to chase Steve Mason out of the game early, but after rookie/fresh meat Allen York let in two goals on five shots, Mason was left in for the second and third periods.
The second period had a bit more neutral zone play than the first. The Flyers still managed to score three times (Sean Couturier with a nice short-handed goal, Simmonds put on the red light after a killer setup from James van Riemsdyk and Matt Carle with a nasty top-shelf backhander).
Carle’s goal happened only 20 seconds after Simmonds’ score and caught Lou Nolan off guard since he wasn’t through announcing the previous tally. Right after Carle’s goal, two guys with really long and hard to spell names decided to duke it out (James Wisniewski and Harrison Zolniercyk). It still wasn’t enough to stoke the fires of the visiting club.
So, with the Flyers up by a healthy 8-0 margin, the third period got under way with the hosts cruising and looking sloppier than they were in the first two periods. Unfortunately, this, coupled with the fans doing the wave (seriously) led to the Blue Jackets scoring to end Ilya Bryzgalov’s shutout bid.
But the Flyers struck back, with Couturier getting his second of the night, before the memorably-named Grant Clitsome scored, capping the offense for the evening. This may come as a surprise to you (it did to me) there were no penalties, on either side, in the third period.
This was clearly a game that the Flyers should have won, and they took it with drive, panache and a bucketful of goals. So much so, that after the second period, the Blue Jackets looked done .
It was hard not to feel sorry for Mason, as the defense was mostly non-existent for the entire game and the burden of expectations just crushed his chest a little tighter. Still, this was a good win for the Flyers, even if it came off the league-worst Blue Jackets. The third period was a let-down period for the Flyers, which is understandable after being up by 8 goals, but it would be nice to see this team play a 60-minute game.
Notes: The Flyers boasted eight different goal scorers, with only Couturier scoring twice…It marked the fifth time in franchise history that occurred, and the first since an 8-5 win over Toronto on October 23, 1983…Van Riemsdyk returned from injury and looked solid, posting his fourth goal in his last four appearances…Flyers defenseman Kimmo Timonen left the game early, but no injury has been reported…Former BC forward Cam Atkinson was called up from Springfield of the AHL…Since Carter did not play, there was no chance for the Flyers fans to decide whether to cheer or boo him… Every player dressed for the Flyers posted a plus-minus of even or higher, with defenseman Erik Gustafsson leading the way with a plus-6… Chris Pronger has been skating with the team for practices… Andreas Nodl was a scratch once again with some sort of body injury.