A throw back on Friday for the head coaches of the Flyers and Capitals, Adam Oats and Craig Berube, who played for both clubs and were teammates for a few seasons. Now both head coaches, their clubs faced off on Philadelphia Flyers home ice. The Capitals were looking for the win last night, even without Alex Ovechkin, and they broke their losing streak with a 7-0 victory over the Flyers.
It took nearly the entire first period for the Capitals to get on the board, even though they were outshot 8-4 by the Flyers. That first period goal opened up the flood gates for the Capitals, who racked up the points during the second period and headed to the locker room with a 6 point lead. Then, out of desperation in the third, Wayne Simmonds set out on a mission of revenge and sparked a line brawl, including a goaltender fight between Ray Emery and Branden Holtby.
The Capitals did not miss Ovechkin at all last night as: Joel Ward tallied a hat trick and Nicklas Backstrom found the back of the net twice. Jason Chimera and Troy Brouwer each scored as well during this heavily slanted game. Holtby made 30 saves for a game shutout last night and survived the Emery fight.
Steve Downie burst back onto the scene with positive contributions early in the game and then a fight in the attempt to bring some energy to the Flyers. With every opportunity missed and turnovers galore, the Flyers hit rock bottom and broke into a line brawl out of frustration. Emery, received a game high of 29 penalty minutes for engaging Holtby, who wanted nothing to do with him, in a fight. The discouragement and frustration is running at an all-time high in Philadelphia as they push on to face the New Jersey Devils later today.
After the game last Downie went to the hospital with a concussion from his fight, while Lecavalier suffered facial injuries. Both players will be scratches tonight against the New Jersey Devils. Captain Giroux still has not scored after 12 games and continues on the worst start of his career.
The Flyers are now 3-9-0. Even with the added talent, readjustment of lines, and goaltender switch they dropped this game to the Capitals – not even able to answer one goal. What is next for the Flyers? Could it be that promoting an assistant coach to head coach does not make the kind of impact needed to win NHL hockey games?
There does not seem to be any chemistry among this Flyers team. With their coach unable to motivate them into being the champions that all of their leadership and talent would suggest they can be, GM Paul Holmgren has created quite the predicament for Ed Snider. Berube, a good coach but not the answer to the Flyers problems and while Holmgren made an excellent trade on Thursday, he struck out on the coaching decision. Now that Downie is out with a concussion, Holmgren lost the energy and offensive spirit that he was intended to bring to the ice. While everyone spins there wheels about what to do in order to fix the Flyers, the solutions seems pretty obvious at this point.
Catch the Flyers again tonight as they take the ice against the New Jersey Devils.
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