Rangers Defeat Flyers in Great Winter Classic


The fifth edition of the NHL’s Winter Classic may have been its best yet as the Philadelphia Flyers took on the New York Rangers in the league’s annual outdoor game at Citizen’s Bank Park in Philadelphia. While the game time had to be pushed back two hours because of the weather, the players were ready to go as soon as the puck dropped.

Both teams came out of the gate flying with back and forth action throughout the entire first period that ended scoreless, despite good chances from each team. The period was very physical, with both teams looking to leave their mark on each other.  Throughout HBO’s “24/7: Flyers/Rangers” documentary, an inside look at both teams, the anticipation for this game was building. Players made it clear on the show that there was no love lost between the two of them and it didn’t disappoint.

Just over half way through the second period, the Flyers got on the board with Brayden Schenn recording his first career goal off a bad rebound from Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist. Less than two minutes later, Claude Giroux doubled the lead with his 18th goal of the year and Philadelphia seemed to be in control. But just 30 seconds later, Mike Rupp cut the lead to one again and celebrated with a Jaromir-Jagr esque salute that drew the ire of many Flyer players.

Unfortunately for Philly, Rupp wasn’t done celebrating as just over two minutes into the third period, he snuck a shot past Flyers goalie Sergei Bobrovsky that he should have handled easily. Just a few minutes later, the Rangers big offseason signing Brad Richards broke the tie with his 14th goal of the year. A horrendous penalty call on the Rangers in final minutes of the game gave the Flyers an undeserved chance to tie up the game, but they couldn’t capitalize on it. Continue reading “Rangers Defeat Flyers in Great Winter Classic”

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Brashear’s Cheap Shot Unacceptable

Watch the above clip and tell me that Donald Brashear should be allowed to play in the NHL this year. He’s a big, hard-nosed player, who occasionally takes liberty with hits, but this was too far. Way too far. Brashear viciously elbowed an unaware Blair Betts in Game 6 between the Washington Capitals and New York Rangers. Betts had played the puck a few seconds earlier and even if the hit hadn’t been an elbow to the head, it was late. It was a dangerous cheap shot and Brashear shouldn’t be allowed to play in the rest of the playoffs or next year.

Give him a year suspension.

That kind of play has no place in sports so if that is how Brashear is going to play, then he has no place in sports. Betts was knocked unconscious and needed significant help just getting off the ice. It was an elbow right to the head. Forgetting about the game and Betts’s career for a moment, Brashear’s antics could have paralyzed Betts. An elbow that hard right to the head could certainly change a man’s life forever. Continue reading “Brashear’s Cheap Shot Unacceptable”

Goaltender Interference: Always Called Wrong

As the NHL Playoffs roll on, there have been plenty of questionable penalty calls by officials. The one call that is always made incorrectly is goaltender interference. A collision occurs in front of the net, a couple players and the goalie go down and all of a sudden a goaltender interference penalty is called on the attacking player. The refs never get a clear look at the play. All they see is the goalie on the ice and blow their whistles.

Players on every team take a beating by placing their body in the slot, screening the opposing goalie and looking for a tip. They are slashed, rough, and drilled the entire game. Yet, when they are knocked to the ice and hit in the goalie, somehow they end up being called for the penalty. Take a beating, head to the penalty box.

Goaltender interference must be “deliberate and intentional”. Falling in to the goalie is neither of those yet it is consistently being called a penalty. Goaltender interference penalty should almost never be called. That would only occur when another player takes a punch or a vicious slash at the keeper, the same sort of thing that would receive a roughing penalty if done against a skater.

The real call that should be made is incidental goaltender interference. That occurs when a player ACCIDENTALLY takes out the goalie. For instance, he is in the midst of a move, blows an edge, and ends up taking out the keeper. Whistle, but no penalty. The player had no INTENTION of taking out the goalie so it cannot be “deliberate and intentional”. Continue reading “Goaltender Interference: Always Called Wrong”