For the past twenty-plus years, I have chanted "Fly-ers Suck" whenever Philly was in town (and sometimes when they weren't). Usually it was out of that combination of envy, embarassment and frustration that is engendered by one of two things: either sport fanaticism or the most popular kid in high school who you knew was a douche bag but over whom the girls fawned for some unknown reason. Maybe it was his money. Maybe it was his looks. Mayb- Sorry 'bout that. Anyway, point being that never before has the "Fly-ers Suck" mantra rung so true as it does right now - the Flyers do, indeed, suck.
And they suck hard. In fact, they come into tonight's game at the V.C. as the worst team in the NHL (second-worst St. Loo is seven points up on the Flyers... with a game in hand). Philly is scoring the second-fewest goals-per-game in the League and giving up the most. Their power-play is 28th in the NHL (but their penalty kill is actually a very respectable seventh overall - see, it's not all Flyer-hate here at The Rink). Flyer skaters have the three worst plus/minus ratings in the League (Nedved was -20 came in just 21 games with Philly before he was claimed off waiver by Edmonton), and the Flyer goalies have goals against averages that some Major League pitchers would be embarassed to have as ERAs.
But they're still the Flyers, and the Caps are still the Caps, so if the home team doesn't take their beleaguered guests seriously, they will be in for a rough night.
The bottom line is that on the road to the playoffs, you've gotta beat the teams you've gotta beat, and tonight the Flyers are one of those teams. As Vogs points out, "[w]ith a win over the Flyers on Tuesday, the Caps would have their first-ever sweep of the season’s series between the two clubs." Which would be nice, since, as I've been saying for years, the Flyers suck.
- Hart: Jan "Playa" Hejda (Game-winning OT goal, +1, 2 SOG, 1 hit)
- Ross: Nine players tied with 1 point each
- Norris: Jan Hejda (see above)
- Vezina: Dwayne Roloson (34 saves on 35 shots against in OT win)
- Richard: Jan Hejda, J. Stoll, K. Pushkarev (1G each)
- Calder: Jan Hejda (see above)
- Aiken: Rob Blake (0 points, -1, 1 SOG, 3 giveaways, 0 takeaways, on ice for both goals against in 2-1 OT loss)