The Flyers Week in Review for April 18. Your source for all things Orange and Black.
By virtue of a gutsy (and exhausting) late-season surge, the Flyers managed to eek out the final playoff berth. Coming into the postseason the big question was whether they had enough left in the tank to compete with the Washington Capitals, the team with the best record in all of hockey (56-18-8). Here’s how things played out this past week:
THURSDAY – GAME ONE: Loss– “Ouch!”
The Flyers came up empty on three power play opportunities in the first period, and then things went from bad to worse. The Orange and Black only managed a measly eight shots on goal in the final two periods and were shut out by a very physical Washington team 2-0. Once again Steve Mason was excellent in goal, but Caps goalie Braden Holtby was even better. Adding injury to insult, Washington’s Alex Ovechkin laid a wicked hit on Sean Couturier, severely injuring his left shoulder and knocking him out of action for the rest of the series.
SATURDAY- GAME TWO: Loss – “Oops!”
In contrast to Game 1, the Flyers came out flying in Game 2, hitting everything that moved, and firing 19 shots on goal in the first period, (the same number they had in all of Game 1). Yet despite the great effort, the result was the same – a 4-1 defeat. Again, the magnificent goaltending of Holtby was a huge factor in the Flyers’ loss. But unfortunately, the most memorable moment was a fluke goal that squirted in from the Capitals side of the red line (see below). Jake Voracek scored the lone Flyers goal.
The Passing of a Philadelphia Icon
There was a much greater loss for the Flyers organization then the two defeats in Washington this past week. Flyers founder and chairman Ed Snider passed away on Monday after a two-year battle with cancer. The fiery Snider was best know for his great business acumen, his generosity and compassion, and most of all, his heartfelt passion for the team he owned and loved for the past five decades. The Flyers players have dedicated these playoffs to his memory. “Mr. Snider” as he was respectfully called was a Philadelphia sports icon, and will be greatly missed.
More Flyers: Ed Snider Was Truly One Of Us
Mason’s Mind-blowing Major Mishap
In the second period Jason Chimera scored the game-winning goal on a 101-foot deflection. Had the puck not gone in the net, it would have been icing. Instead it slid five-hole on Mason, who had intended to direct the puck into the corner but simply whiffed. Mason was obviously embarrassed:
”Can say it over and over again, it’s a bad goal. That wasn’t good. My fault, obviously. Put the team in a tough position after that. Just a bad goal.”
It needs to be said that except for this one embarrassing fluke play, Steve Mason has repeatedly “stood on his head” in goal, and is the main reason this team is even in the playoffs. Hopefully Flyers fans won’t be too hard on him – despite this crazy play, he deserves our praise, not our scorn.