Tuesday's bout between the Penguins and the Flyers got started on the wrong foot, then turned into a very good game, then turned very ugly by the end. Early in the third, a bad officiating call turned the game on its end. We're just lucky that we didn't see something like the line brawl between the Sabres and Senators last season.
Just :20 into the game, there was a fight between Ryan Malone and Jason Smith. Nothing came out of that, but it was only one of many altercations of the evening.
Joffrey Lupol scored two quick goals to give the Flyers the lead, but ten minutes later, Pittsburgh answered back with two to tie it.
There was a little bit of chippiness in the second, but no fights broke out. Just a bunch of roughing penalties against the Penguins. The Flyers scored three markers in the second, but only one was on the power play.
Three minutes into the third, with a scrum along the boards at center ice, Ben Eager landed a big elbow to the noggin of Georges Laraque. Le Grande Georges didn't like that and immediately took Eager to task for it. I figured there would be (at the very least) an elbowing call against Eeager and matching roughing penalties, leaving the Pens with a power play. Instead, there was no elbowing call. There was a double minor roughing penalty to Le GG and nothing at all to Eager. This was a horrible, horrible call. Gary Roberts made sure that Eager didn't get away scot free by pummeling him in a fight. Only then did Eager get a penalty. During the ensuing four minute power play, Joffrey Lupul completed his hat trick and Braydon Coburn kicked the extra point to make it 7-2.
For the next several minutes, the two sides were itching to brawl, but the linesmen kept it under control.
At 13:49, tempers flared again. Multiple players squared off resulting in a couple of ejections.
At 16:47, Le GG did a very stupid thing that will surely get him suspended. He took a feet-first leap at Martin Biron in an attempt to take him out. Biron was knocked down but not out, and another fight erupted. Again, players were ejected. Under five minutes to go, that's a mandatory ejection and fine.
A minute later, RJ Umberger scored his third goal of the night, making two hat tricks for the Flyers.
The Penguins still wouldn't let it go, and Jarkuu Ruutu got himself ejected with about a minute to play.
This was an ugly, ugly game. George Laraque, who is a talentless piece of crap was completely idiotic there at the end, but all of tonight's bad blood got started with the dirty hit for which Ben Eager was unpenalized.
Laraque will certainly incur the wrath of Colin Campbell for his act of lunacy. Eager should (but won't) be disciplined for his elbow.
I expected this to be a good game and I was very disappointed that it turned into a very bad game. I was also disappointed with the officials. Not just the non-call against Eager. Every time the game boiled over and there were multiple penalties, the Flyers ended up with a power play. Out of all that rough stuff, there were 12 penalties levied against the Pens and only six against the Flyers.
All told, there were 23 penalties against the Pens for 98 PIM. The Flyers had 11 penalties for 58 PIM.
Philly is now up 3-0 in the Battle of Pennsylvania. They won't meet again until late January. I expect the Flyers won't have forgotten about the dirty play of Le GG. Nor will the Penguins forget how badly they were beaten.
3 years ago