In a night of Sports full of rivalries, one that was over looked was the Rangers at Flyers Thursday night. The game was full of all things Flyers and Rangers, the kind of game you expect. The kind of game that after you watched you said to yourself “now that's hockey.” That is if you're a Flyers fan and not a Rangers fan. The Flyers were victorious 2-0 in front of a raucous crowd at the Wachovia Center.
The game had it's usual fisticuffs, but one fight was a little out of the ordinary. Early on in the game, things were getting chippy as they tend to do when the Flyers and Rangers get together. There was a little get together in front of the net after a puck was frozen but to the side of all that action, a site no one thought they'd see. Marian Gaborik dropping the gloves. That's right Gabby threw down, with none other than Flyer tough guy Dan Carcillo. And I know what you may be thinking, but if you didn't watch the game you wouldn't understand. To Rangers fans blinded by loyalty they'd disagree, though Gaborik started the fight, and well Carcillo finished it.
After the game the always animated and seemingly angry John Tortorella said of Carcillo's actions,”there is no honor in that.” Tortorella went on to talk about how he doesn't usually say things in these situations because he's not on the ice and hasn't played. He should have thought of that before he started mouthing off, the fight was clearly a mutual contest. Perhaps Gaborik felt he had to prove his toughness? Well he only proved he could get his back side handed to him. Which put the wrong kind of fire under his teammates, they were seething with revenge all game long. The Flyers had gotten under their skins and they had no one else to blame but themselves.
The contest was 1-0 Flyers after a James Van Riemsdyk goal early and stayed that way until nearly the very end of the 2nd period. The Rangers had a chance to get back into this game, but they let it get away from them, seemingly more concerned with trying to get back at the Flyers for what happened to Gaborik.
The Flyers defense had a lot to do with it as well, and Ray Emery while not spectacular made the saves he had to.
In the end the Rangers can look back and see they beat themselves tonight. The Flyers turnaround continues as they now have climbed into a playoff spot, starting off their 6 game home-stand with 2 wins. They'll face-off against the Carolina Huricanes and their newly crowned Captain Eric Staal, then a much anticipated contest against Sidney Crosby and the Pittsburgh Penguins. The Flyers have a golden opportunity to solidify themselves back into the playoff picture by finishing off this home-stand as well as they've started it.
About the Author
Written by Mike Santa Barbara
Sports writer covering mostly Philadelphia sports for over 10 years. Work has been featured on RealGM.com, GCobb.com and Comcast Sportsnet Philadelphia (CSNPhilly.com.)