Allegedly tough Flyers whine about big, bad Sabres
Unfortunately, the “Perry Street Bullies” doesn’t have as much of ring to it. But looking at this series, with the historically rough-and-tumble Flyers and the supposedly-soft Sabres, it’s been a battle.
It’s almost impossible to think that this would’ve gotten to this point, but in a set knotted up at 2-2, it’s Buffalo setting the physical tone. Although the stats are usually sketchy, the hit totals through four games is Buffalo 117, Philadelphia 105. It’s been a very rough series, and the fact the Sabres got out of the first four games with a split against the defending Eastern Conference champions is a credit to them.
Instead of upping the intensity and fighting back, the Flyers are choosing to work the media.
“They’re getting away with murder out there,” Flyers captain Mike Richards said. “And we got called every time [Dan Carcillo] was on the ice. It’s frustrating, but we’ve got to battle through it. It’s a physical series.”
After getting shutout again to tie the series, the soundbites out of the Flyers are not what you’d expect out of a rough and tumble team. Philadelphia’s doing a good job thinking like they’re getting the short end of the stick, especially in light of the major penalty to Mike Richards for elbowing Patrick Kaleta in the face in Game 4.
“I saw him take a couple of strides towards me,” he said. “I had to protect myself.”
He’s got a point. I mean, I’m pretty sure Marty McSorley said “I was trying to kill a bug on the side of his helmet” after he clubbed Donald Brashear upside the head way back when. What else is he supposed to do? Take a hit? This is hockey. There is no physical contact in this sport.
I don’t know if that was truly worth a major penalty, especially based on some of the other penalties handed out on similiar plays in other games. If the NHL was going to be consistent about plays like that, I’m fine with it being a major. An intentional elbow to the face should be a major. But the inconsistency is the problem with it.
Of course you heard many fans say “It was Kaleta, that shouldn’t be a penalty,” expecting that defending the expected hit from a guy with a reputation would be excusable. But the officials didn’t go along with that, and Kaleta (who, along with his door-opening stunt on Nikolay Zherdev, is clearly public enemy #1a in southeast Pennsylvania) drew a penalty that could’ve been a key opportunity, despite the fact the Sabres couldn’t take advantage.
Still the Flyers did plenty of whining after the game. The two main topics were Richards’ major and Dan Carcillo’s matching minor with Ryan Miller.
“I mean, I don’t know what I did to deserve that penalty,” Carcillo said afterward.
Obviously, Carcillo completely ignored the fact he cross-checked Miller to force the reaction out of the goaltender. Yeah, Weber roughed him up, but referees tend to be lenient to guys who stop opponents from attacking their goaltender.
It’s not like Buffalo isn’t getting calls against them. The 28 minor penalties assessed to Buffalo through four games is the most in the playoffs. Philadelphia’s 21 powerplays is the most in the playoffs. And they don’t think they’re getting enough calls?
Plays like Richards’ elbow, Carcillo going after Miller and Kimmo Timonen’s gourmet shot to Nathan Gerbe as time expired in Game 4 do little to bring sympathy to Philadelphia’s cause. They’re a team that prides itself on a reputation of being the toughest, meanest team in the league. Their fans definitely embrace it.
The Sabres seem to be the side willing to wage this kind of physical battle. They’re fighting back. They’re making statements. And they’re calling out the Flyers for the whining.
In Game 2, the Sabres were shorthanded for almost 16 minutes, but last night, Mike Richards and Daniel Briere both thought they were not getting a fair shake from the officials. Lindy Ruff, well he’s tired of it.
“I just feel that they’re doing a lot of whining. I didn’t hear any whining when they had ten power plays in Philly and I didn’t hear any whining when the power plays in the first game were lopsided, but all of a sudden there’s all this whining that we’re getting away with murder, that’s a bunch of crap.”
“That’s for the media, that’s for the officials to read, that’s for here let’s get the next call, that’s a bunch of crap, let’s just play. We’re just playing, there hasn’t been one word about officiating out of us, but if they want to cry about the officiating or whine about different calls, go ahead.”
Will this bout of complaining lead to another bevy of penalties to Buffalo such as the one dropped in Game 2? I’m sure that’s what the Flyers are looking for.
Posted on April 21, 2011, in Sabres/NHL and tagged 2011 NHL Playoffs, 2011 Sabres/Flyers, Assholes, Lindy Ruff, Patrick Kaleta, Philadelphia Flyers, Ryan Miller, Sabres. Bookmark the permalink. 6 Comments.