In a game that had a little something for everybody, the Flyers secured another 2 points at home as they prepared to take on their last opponent before the Olympic break. The scoring got started in the first period by a weird play in which Scott Hartnell was hacking away at Carey Price for a loose puck and wound up moving him into the net with his stick as Jeff Carter knocked the loose puck home. The Flyers came out in the 2nd period and scored another two quick goals to take a commanding lead. First one being by Carter again with a slap shot (rarely done) from the point after he rotated back, and the second being a shot by Matt Carle that deflected off of traffic in front courtesy of Aaron Asham. The Flyers were seemingly firing on all cylinders in the first two periods and they did a stout job of keeping the puck out of their own zone.
In the third period they let two early goals get the Canadiens back in the game before the Canadiens took 3 consecutive tripping penalties to give the Flyers ample powerplay time. Carey Price stopped them all, and preserved a chance for the Habs to get back in it even though they lost most of their momentum after being penalize so many times in a short span. Then on an aggressive forecheck by Darroll Powe, he sent Spacek face first into the boards and got a 5 minute major for boarding and a game misconduct.
In the end, the Canadiens pulled Price for a 6-on-4 advantage but the Flyers managed to hold on at the end until Timonen and Scott Gomez got into it with each other and there was a scuffle including all 11 players on the ice. Even Michael Leighton had to jump in and grab someone since the Flyers were down two men. It spells bad blood for tonight, and the Flyers will be facing an angry team who are looking to get back at the Flyers for the Powe hit, and it will be in front of a hostile Montreal crowd.
The hit on Spacek is most likely at the desk of Colin Campbell right now, and I think he will suspend Darroll Powe. Although if you watch the hit and see that Powe’s intent was not to injure, I think he will be suspended for a game or three. Spacek turned into the boards at the last second, and you can’t ask Powe in that split second to acknowledge that and not hit him. He was being aggressive on the forecheck and doing his fourth line duty, you can’t fault him in that.
Tonight’s 7 PM game is set to be a wild one. The last game before the Olympics and there are storylines emerging fit for the dramatics of hockey. How will the Habs avenge Spacek’s face? Will Powe even play? Will he have a mark on his head?
If Powe is suspended, Ville Leino will most likely play and get a chance to show his stuff tonight. Can you say trade bait? Come trade deadline time, I see him shipped off. Can’t wait for the game tonight.
Ryan Getzlaf is testing out his injured ankle this weekend and will be able to determine whether or not he will be able to participate in the Olympics. Carter is the first alternate and is looking to take that place if Getzlaf would be unable to play.
Blair Betts was signed to a 2-year, $1.4 million contract extension on Thursday. This is great news for the Flyers organization, especially at the price we got him. This is a STEAL for the role he plays on our team. Our record with him in the line-up aside, his penalty killing and face-off capabilities are alone enough to keep this guy around. His team play and great attitude towards the game is also a positive about this guy, and I’m so glad that he decided to try out for us this summer. I’ve heard it around the league for a couple years, but I really didn’t realize how under -appreciated Betts was until he played for us this year. Simply put, Lappy and Betts will be hitting and penalty killing the top opponents of the Flyers for at least the next couple seasons. That my friends is a move by Homer that is something worth smiling about.