The Flyers were victims of perhaps the worst non-call of this Hockey season. Simon Gagne was cross checked face first into the boards by Anton Volchenkov, as Gagne laid on the ice, the Senators scored. Gagne attacked Volchenkov after the goal and promptly received nine minutes in penalties, which led to a seven minute power play for the Senators. The Senators were rewarded for a dirty hit that would have undoubtedly led to a lengthy suspension were it done by a player wearing orange and black.
The officiating during these events is certainly troublesome. There is no way every official on the ice should miss an illegal and dirty hit like that when it happens at center ice. What’s more troublesome however, is the Flyers response. Not to long ago, if a player of Gagne’s status was hit like that, an entire posse of angry men wearing orange and black would have attacked Volchenkov on the spot. Though, this time Gagne had to do it himself? Captain Mike Richards’ comments are alarming, stating the Flyers had a “lack of motivation and a lack of urgency, which shouldn’t be there. It’s frustrating and it has to change.” Indeed. Isn’t that your job to change that Mike? Aren’t you wearing the “C?”
Officiating and dirty hits aside, the Flyers didn’t play well enough to win this game, anyhow. The Flyers had a number of power-play chances including a 5-on-3, all of which they failed to capitalize on.
Without sounding absurd and completely biased, it’s hard for a team playing like the Flyers are now to win, when they are facing the opposing team and the officials on the ice. Some are calling for the officials from Tuesday’s game to be suspended. Besides the Volchenkov missed call, the Flyers had scored an obvious goal which was somehow missed by the official standing behind the net. The goal went up for review, and it was concluded that there was no definitive look showing the goal go in. This is the second time this season the Flyers have had an obvious goal disallowed, the other time was in Pittsburgh. Later it was revealed that the TV station in charge of sending certain camera angles to Toronto for review, failed to send angles which would have shown the puck was clearly across the goal line. With last nights game meaning so much in the standings to both teams, I’m not accusing anyone, but if you’ve seen the play it’s a clear goal. Just makes one wonder.
In the end however, the Flyers can not use this game, nor the officials as an excuse. Now is not the time to put their head downs. It’s situations like these when the truly great teams show their worth. It’s time for the Flyers to show theirs.
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.)