Wednesday, December 17, 2008

My Couch Never Felt So Good

What the hell is going on with the weather around here? Monday, it's 65 freakin degrees in the middle of December, then yesterday it's in the 30s with freezing rain/snow. That makes a ton of sense.

It wasn't the most ideal of situations, but it sure as shit made for a nice night to sit on the couch and watch the Flyers, who are just ridiculously hot right now. But they certainly didn't start out hot.

The visiting Avalanche, even without Joe Sakic, were taking it to the Flyers and scored the first goal on the power play. But the Flyers kept chipping away, and couple minutes later got a power play of their own. They made no mistake as Mike Knuble slammed one home from his office in front of the net on a great feed by Richards.

Still, Colorado had the better of the play, and with 2 minutes left in the first had another power play, looking to get the lead back. One problem, the Flyers continued to be ridiculous a man down, as Simon Gagne and Jeff Carter broke out on a 2-on-1. Gagne tossed an awesome saucer pass to Carter, who made no mistake.

After being outplayed for a period, the Flyers held a 2-1 advantage thanks to their incredible special teams. Right now, there is not a more dynamic power play or penalty kill in all of hockey. And after another slow start in the 2nd, the Flyers got kick-started on another goal by Joffrey Lupul, who absolutely ripped one from above the circle, for his 10th of the year, joining Carter, Gagne, Mike Richards, Scott Hartnell and Knuble as the sixth Flyer with double-digit goals. That's pretty scary.

With the Flyers on their skates now, Mike Richards added to the lead with a bizarre goal.

I can honestly say I've never seen a goal like that before. From there, the Flyers rolled to the 5-2 win, as Gagne added another power play tally in the third. Antero Niittymaki played fabulous again, showing he certainly can step in when needed. All he's done is win all season long. It's nice to have two good goaltenders.

Obviously, players like Mike Richards, Simon Gagne, Mike Knuble, Jeff Carter, Kimmo Timonen, Braydon Coburn and even Scott Hartnell have been getting love all year long, and rightfully so. Those guys are amazing. But there have been some other players that have really impressed me thus far this season. For starters, there's recent call-up Darroll Powe. Centering the fourth line, this kid has shown incredible grit, strong work in the faceoff circle, a little bit of skill, and a propensity to just flatten people. I know Danny Briere will be back at some point to take his spot, but I like what this guy is doing.

And Powe isn't the only fourth liner whose impressed. Well, maybe fourth liner isn't the right term for Aaron Asham because he's made stints on both the third and fourth lines, more recently playing on the third line. He's another tough guy who isn't afraid of the rough stuff, but also like Powe, he's gritty and really has provided a great forecheck and strong play in the corners. And he's not completely lacking offensive skill either. By no means will he become a scoring machine, but he knows what to do with the puck on his stick. Excellent pickup.

That brings me to the defense. What can you say about Matt Carle? The guy has been a flat-out stud since he's come over from Tampa Bay. What a trade. Steve Downie is back in the minors and Steve Eminger sucks. Matt Carle is turning into a guy who resembles a little bit of Timonen and Coburn. He makes the subtle play that doesn't show up in the box score but certainly plays a pivotal role in the outcome. His pairing with Coburn has given the Flyers two shutout defensive pairs, along with Timonen and Ossi Vaananen.

Speaking of Vaananen, I wasn't a fan early in the year. At times, he still looks jittery and unsure of himself. But playing with Timonen has quelled that for the most part. He suddenly seems confident and is playing at quite a high level. I guess that's why Randy Jones is on assignment with the Phantoms to get some conditioning. The defense is playing so well right now. It's a nice problem to have, an excess of quality blue liners.

It was a fun game, that's for sure, but my night of sports joy didn't end there. AdamEatShit's birthday was Monday. His girlfriend, God bless her, bought him the Phillies World Series DVD, and last night, we watched every second of it after the Flyers game. As silver fox said, it's a great watch. You will get chills, remember exactly where you were and what you were doing with each pitch, and just love every second of it. Go get it, watch it, and enjoy.

Remeber, the Phillies are World Fucking Champions.

BallHype: hype it up!

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