Isles-Flyers: Isles can end Flyer season tonight in Philly.

 

Deer Park, N.Y. – What better way to payback the Flyers and their fans than to skate into town, visit the Rocky Statue, take 2 points, leave them floundering at the bottom of the Patrick, say good-bye grab a cheese steak, and move on?

Oh yes my friends, we Islander fans suffer from short term memory gain, and yes we still have fresh in our grey matter the 7-0 drubbing they dealt out to us that Monday afternoon last month ruining President’s day. Revenge is a dish best served cold, and John Tavares and the boys are poised to dole out a heaping dish to our brotherly love neighbors to the south.

All Scarecrow, no Tin Woodman

I have to ask for your understanding, see I despise the Flyer organIzation. I despise their team, their management, their fans, their city, their mascot, everything but their sweaters (they are really sweet).

So to expect this piece to be neutral and objective, well that I simply can not do. My mind and heart are linked and inseparable ( it’s a hockey thing.. you wouldn’t understand.) so to act as though I am not all fired up for this evening’s tilt would be a lie, and you deserve better!  I no, no WE shall take great pleasure in nailing your coffin shut, as we skate off your home ice putting an end to your miserable season.

True, I may be missing the “big picture” of the importance of this game in the post season scheme of things, but really folks how many times can one write about how “big of a game it is tonight?” If you have been watching every game, every period, every shift, (I think he’s talking to me?) and the emotional rollercoaster that has gone along with it this season, then you deserve a little R.R. you deserve some fun! Tonight’s game could/should be that night for us.

Of course we are not at any sort of level where we can take anyone lightly, I mean who the heck are we? But the Flyers have mailed it in, and are all but done for the season. We have to leave Broad Street with 2 points, and as you can see I am oozing with confidence that we will. We are after all, the better hockey club.

If we can jump all over them, take it to them as we did in the first stanzas versus the Penguins and Panthers recently, the Flyers will fold on themselves. Tonight if we can take the ice and leave no doubt that we are moving onto to bigger and better things. The flyers will quit, trust me, remember I have my well trained Gaylord Focker fingers on the pulse of the Philadelphia player psyche.

Dear Flyer Fans,

Not to be callous, I extend this note to my Flyer fan “friends” in Philly.

Dear Philadelphia brothers,

My door is always open. Feel free to contact me for ideas and advice on draft parties and lottery gatherings. Nothing is more fun in Philly than having people over, looking like pumpkins and watching the NHL draft. Hey it’s in Jersey this year, hey you guys can make the trip up? Wonderful! I also have great ideas for appetizers and Ferris Wheel placement and the like. I’d be glad to help in any way I can. In short I’m here for you, and all too glad to assist.

Mundane, neutral, objective, pre-game observations:

The two teams are truly trains thankfully headed in opposite directions. The Flyers have lost 3 straight and 7 of their previous 9. They are on a downward spiral and will more than likely to miss the post season for the first time in six campaigns (tough break sorry to see it.) Philly had appeared to have righted their ship back in mid February when their captain Claude Giroux called out his team and they seemed to respond. March however have seen the Flyers fade into oblivion. Going 3-6-1 thus far and playing uninspired undisciplined hockey along the way.

Injuries have taken their toll on the club the most recent of which being Danny Brier who is now out indefinitely with a concussion, and to add insult to injury (literally) it occurred in practice.

Goaltending has been as always with Ilya Bryzgalov well more philosophical as opposed to stoposophical.  With a save percentage of .898 and a perplexity for the weak goal, the Flyers net minding has been below par at best. At least they have little to worry about in between the pipes. Ilya is signed through 2020. We know how that feels… Hey, he has a really cool mask…

Our Boys:

The Isles take the trip down to Philly coming off of what was truly a spirited effort earning a hard fought bend but don’t break win in Washington Tuesday night 3-2.  After blowing an early 2-0 lead Matt Moulson out hustled the entire Caps team took the puck from Mike Green and fed John Tavares, who was not exactly having his best night, but as it is with great player fired home the winner wrister as Evgeni Nabokov and the Isles made the tally hold up.

The Isles won, but even of greater importance in today’s NHL of points stupidity, won in regulation, gaining 2 points on Washington as the two clubs had entered the contest all knotted at 31 points a piece in the standings.

Thomas Hickey had his best game as an NHLer and sent a clear message to the coaching staff. “You will not scratch me again!” Hickey though small in stature went toe-to-toe on numerous occasion with Alex Ovechkin and the Caps holding his ground and often looking like our best defenseman all night.  Hickey obviously cares about his career and this team, and it would be wise for Snow to sign him as well. He belongs in the NHL.

Infectious Trouble:

The Isles are back to .500 yet again and are winners of 2 straight and are 5-4-1 in their previous ten. However better this season has been there is an underlying problem brewing, well overflowing now. That systemic problem is Marty Reasoner.

The goalless, often clueless, face off average-ness of Marty Reasoner is hurting our team not only when he is on the ice, but the “need” to play him at center is effecting Coach Jack Capuano‘s ability to role 4 lines.

First: He has zero goals.

Second: Whomever are his line mates whether it be Michael Grabner or Matt Martin their playing time diminishes because of Cap’s clear lack of confidence in Reasoner.

Third: Because Reasoner and apparently Aucoin have to play center, our arguably 2nd best center Casey Cizikas has been moved to wing? I never will understand this!

Fourth: Because of reason 3 the 4th line of Cizikas, Martin, and Colin McDonald have been broken up, and I have yet to forgive Cappy for this!

Solution:

Scratch Reasoner, keep top two lines the same (for now), make the 3rd line Keith Aucoin, Grabner, Eric Boulton (until David Ullstrom returns from groin), and reunite the 4th line of Cizikas, Martin, and McDonald. Either we do something or we are saying this below is acceptable.

 

Iginla a Penguin:

In a weeks time the Penguins added Jarome Iginla, Brenden Morrow, and Douglas Murray, while giving up picks and prospects to be “all in” for a run at the cup this season. This is bad for the 8th placed team in the conference. (Hope we get to 7). This is good for us as Isles fans.

First it makes the East better which means the Rangers now have much less of a chance to reach the Finals, if they reach the post season at all. Second you can bet the Bruins will now be even more “buyers” then they were 72 hours ago. Third. Should the Bruins attempt to match the Pens both will be hard pressed against the cap for years to come. Which will be good for a young, under the cap team on the rise from say Brooklyn.

Pens-Bruins Conference finals would be SWEET! Hope Bruins catch Habs to make this a reality.

Quick Notes:

  • Congrats to Matt Moulson on his 100th career assist Tuesday night versus the Caps on Jt’s game winning sniper.
  • The Flyers also suffered another injury hit on Wednesday with general manager Paul Holmgren announcing that defenseman Andrej Meszaros was placed on injured reserve after he re-aggravated the left shoulder. They had already announced two days earlier that Danny Briere was out indefinitely with a concussion.
  •  Claude Giroux,  has 21 points in his last 15 games against us.
  • The Islanders enter Thursday looking for their first three-game winning streak of the season. We has seven two-game win streaks in 2012-13.
  • The Islanders have 19 points in their first 14 road games, matching their second-highest total in franchise history.
  • This is a must win Saturday we head into Jarome Iginla’s new lion den in Pittsburgh. Better get 2 points tonight boys.
  •  Here is a link to the NCAA Men’s ternement kicking off this weekend with the Frozen Four in Pittsburgh in mid April. Go ND, Go Denver ! http://www.nhl.com/ice/news.htm?id=662124&navid=nhl:topheads
  • Below is a video to say thank you for reading.. It’s amazing on so many “Philadelphia” rooted levels…

 

On a quick side note tonight Andy Graziano will make his Eyes on Isles debut as he writes the Isles-Flyers post game. We are excited to add Andy to our Eyes family so please give him a big welcome and check out his piece on what we are hoping is another huge win for our boys !!

Thanks everyone, enjoy a fun night of hockey!

Scotty Bonner

Tryin to capture the Spirit of the Thing…

P.S. Have a Nice Day !! :0)

Follow Scotty: @moosiestmoose42

Follow Eyes on Isles: @eyesonisles

Follow the Dream @battle4theapple

Follow Andy @tazman19

And don’t forget to upload the new Fansided App, so you never have to miss an “Eyes” piece again… Which is nice…

k you, enjoy a great night for hockey everyone.

 

Topics: Casey Cizikas, Evgeni Nabokov, Flyers, Garth Snow, Ilya Bryzgalov, Islanders, Jack Capuano, John Tavares, Marty Reasoner, Matt Martin, Matt Moulson, New York Islanders, NHL, Nhl Playoffs, Philadelphia Flyers, Thomas Hickey

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  • Þorsteinn Halldórsson

    Now its time to meet the big guns in Pitt………we´ve done this before all I can wish for now is for ESPN to show the game in Europe on Saturday and an Isles easter surprise.

    • http://twitter.com/MoosiestMoose42 Scotty Bonner

      Big Test tomorrow ! Thank you so much for reading. Have a great weekend!