A Special Treat…….

Yes before the Game Of The Week, there is brunchtime with Chris where we liveblog the nice Saturday afternoon (morning for me) game. The Flyers travel to Tampa where the vultures are circling around Tampa Bay especially when they are under .500 and playing well below expectations. Well time to get this started….drop that damn puck already!!

Starting Goalies:

Martin Biron (14-10-4 2.72 GAA .919 sv pctg)
Karri Ramo (1-2-1 2.35 GAA .929 sv pctg)

Keys To The Game:
1. The Special Teams
2. Goaltending consistency
3. The first lines must score.

Opening Faceoff:

10:08 — And we’re off….woohoo!!!!!! Biron has already had to make one good save on Darche.

10:11 — The net is off and no the puck is not in…Flyers caused the stoppage so puck goes outside the Tampa defensive zone.

10:13 — ROY VS. COTE….this one’s a good one folks….lots of good in-tight punching and they all fall down…these two will go off for 5.

10:16 — Gratton feeds St. Louis and Biron just plain stone cold ROBS him….HA! Biron should learn only Brodeur can play the puck….LOL Tampa has the better of the play so far.

10:20 — We have just finished cider #1. The game has settled down some as the teams just simply skate around it seems. We are gonna get a penalty shot….yes…A PENALTY SHOT!!

10:22 — LUPUL SCORES on the Penalty Shot…no real deke…he just flipped it in on the wrister…it barely creeps thru Ramo’s five hole and at 7:13….it is 1-0 Flyers!

10:24 — Tampa 3 on 2…Richards gets the feed and shoots it wide! Then Philly ices it…d’oh! Richards gets a questionable call….he batted the puck but they call it closing the hand on the puck…so its a Tampa PP.

10:27 — Gratton was there for the tip but Martin Biron, like Avis, just tries harder and there’s no rebound. Philly keeping them out on the perimeter which makes it easier on Biron…and Philly clears but goes offside on the rush…oops! The PP ends but Tampa still in the zone…so Biron has to cover it in front of a big crowd.

10:32 — Dan Boyle is skating on the ice….Tampa absolutely needs this guy to have any prayer at all this season. Briere roars in but misses the net!! That was a nice rush. Tampa still has it in the zone…Biron makes another easy save…and he stops O’Brien too. Knuble off for hooking somewhere in that fray??? Ok….another Tampa PP….interesting.

10:34 — I so DID SEE that coming!!! As right off the faceoff the puck goes to St. Louis in the slot and a nice feed by Richards….St. Louis knocked it down with his knee…fires a perfect feed to Lecavlier who FIRES it home past poor Biron to tie it at 1. Biron really had no chance at all. A beautiful textbook one timer if I ever saw one…that is Lecavlier’s 26th.

10:37 — Biron is going to get quite the workout today…11 saves akready…still 6:45 left in the first. The flow of the game is going end to end but not much action in close. I didn’t know they do laps like that in the NHL.

10:42 — St. Louis feeds it to Gratton but the thing has potato eyes..and the same thing happens as Richards tries to feed it to St. Louis. Weird! A lot of good hard, physical play in the corners…and now there’s a penalty…a Tampa penalty on Ranger for holding the stick. Now Philly gets a Power Play.

10:45 — Philly is 2nd in all the land on the PP…but Tampa clears it. Now O’Brien clears it. Tampa is hot on the PK lately…killing 15 of the last 16. Vandermeer hits the side of the net…but little activity in close on this one…now Lecavlier comes in shorthanded and that will end the PP.

10:47 — Less than a minute left. Ranger gets a gift in the slot but Biron makes the save. However, Jason Smith covers his hand on the puck. The Flyers got caught napping and now Tampa has its 3rd PP of the period. Gratton fires one and Biron covers it. With 3 seconds left…this should do it for the period. Shots on goal…14-6 Tampa and the score is tied at 1.

Be Back In 15 Minutes…………

SECOND PERIOD

11:07 — Tampa continueth the PP. Flyers are killing this off pretty easily. Tampa can pass the puck very well on the power play no doubt about it but Philly is just making this way too easy and the Tampa PP is dead. Ward TO DARCHE BUT WIDE!!!! Ooooh that was way too close.

11:11 — A few minutes in and this game is settling back a bit. Cote now goes off for hooking….yet another Tampa PP. Flyers are great on the PK today aside from the Lecavlier goal…as Richards flies in shorthanded covered by Richards but shoots just wide. Brad Richards tries once…no….comes around..tries a second time and this time it gets in..but Biron makes an easy save.

11:14 — Hatcher and Ward going at it….as Biron had to dive to cover the post off a weird carom. The PP dies as it seemed Philly had the better chances shorthanded. Biron snatches another easy one. Tampa with some good pressure but mostly on the outside. Flyers finally clear…and O’Brien gets a tripping minor for tripping up Mike Richards. Flyers PP.

11:21 — Flyers finally set it up only to see Ward nearly break in on Biron. Neither PP has really done all that great today..except for 1 amazing play by St. Louis. Hartnell WIDE OPEN but fumbles the pass….he is one fast sucker!! This PP died quickly.

11:24 — We are now halfway into the game. Prospal fires…bad rebound by Biron…luckily Darche didn’t get all of the rebound. Tampa warming to the task and Jason Smith fires the puck over the glass and that’s a penalty….Tampa PP.

11:27 — Holy shit!! The goalie gets a penalty??? LMFAO Lupul shorthanded, dekes out his man, and as the puck gets away…Ramo apparently trips him…and PP over for Tampa. Beautiful end to end action as Vandermeer almost connects and then St. Louis on the other. Ranger has it…but the shot is blocked. Philly now on the PP…but Tampa comes out shorthanded as Ranger fires it wide!! Philly tries to settle it down. The PP ends. Tampa rushes in..but Timmonen breaks it up as Grattan FLOORS Lupul then Richards catches them in a change but no one home. Icing on Philly as this game has gone wild. Nice save by Ramo in the flurry of wildness.

11:31 — Tarnasky shoots but the puck gets tipped and out it goes. Breathe! The Flyers should thank Biron with dinner at this point. He has kept them in the game. The Tampa announcers have their Beavis and Butthead moment and no it wasn’t pretty.

11:38 — Tampa calls timeout with 4:07 left in the 2nd. Lupul and Lecavlier both have 10 goals this month….and yes they both scored in this game. Tampa ices it. A Flyer handpass so NOW Tampa can make a change. Maybe the refs need an interpreter today???

11:42 — Would you like more icing on that cake? Tampa ices it again. Richards to St. Louis…Biron saves…..Richards fires….Save BIRON….then Philly comes down in a madhouse scramble..as the Flyers crash the net…the puck cleared out and basically the Flyers were sleeping on Ramo…this was bizarre to say the least as Ranger decked a Flyer. Let’s see who ends up in the box here. More ref interpretation. Upshall got drilled and so did Briere. St. Louis off for cross checking….Ranger for cross checking and Briere for roughing. Philly PP.

11:46 — And now Tampa fans have more reason to boo! Smith to Hartnell to Lupul to Knuble down low and he takes one…two..three whacks at it….and Mike Knuble has made this a 2-1 game with under a minute left in the second. So despite being outshot 24-15..the Flyers lead. Poor Ramo…he made two outstanding saves on that flurry. Persistence is Knuble and after two periods…the Flyers lead.

Time to take another 15…this is like working Union ya know……

THIRD PERIOD

12:05 — By the way, the Flyers have blocked 13 shots…Jason Smith has 5 of those…I didn’t know that. And the puck drops!! We are still 4 on 4 from the leftover penalties. And a delayed call is coming…..NEVERMIND! Scott Hartnell with a nice sweet goal with a tip in front past Ramo…..so that makes it 3-1 Philly….Tampa really has its work cut out for them now.

12:08 — Coburn gets the assist for that laser of a shot…damn that was fast!! Lupul won the faceoff and fed it to Coburn so he gets a 2nd assist…(a 3 point day for him). The goal came at 31 seconds by the way. Tampa cycles down low but again just can’t get it to the front so Philly clears. Philly has been solid when it has to be…just as I say that Biron has to make a save…oops!

12:11 — The other matinee is underway as the Avs-Kings are scoreless early. Great block by the Philly D as Tampa going all for broke here. And when you do that…this happens!! Briere comes skating in….Ramo gets the first one but Timonen taps home the rebound…and now it is becoming a rout…4-1 Philly….all at 4:17. So that’s 3 goals in 5:44.

12:13 — Tampa is outshooting Philly 27-18….oh and the 2nd assist will go to Umberger as he set up the rush. OUCH! Vandermeer takes a deflected puck to the mush.

12:23 — Prospal on the scramble makes it 4-2…ok…maybe don’t stick a fork in Tampa just yet…the assists from Janik and St. Louis. We have a game again. That was a long review but it went Tampa’s way. Bolts are now outshooting Philly 29-20 btw. Halfway into the 3rd…Tampa has to really get it going here!!

12:26 — Nine minutes left and the buzz from the goal seems to have settled down some. Briere to Smith but it whistles wide! TOO MANY PASSES and Biron makes an easy save….5 passes in all…JUST SHOOT THE PUCK! That is part of the reason why the Flyers are up 4-2.

******A SCORING UPDATE*********

Jordan Leopold has made it 1-0 Avs as he beats the Kings’ J.S. Aubin…Wolski and Laperriere with the assists.

—–BACK TO THE GAME—–

12:30 — Can the refs get the right people on the ice? Go figure! The puck comes back to St. Louis and from his knees almost gets it past Biron. Flyers are getting outworked a bit by Tampa in this period.

12:33 — Lots of work done down low…Richards shoots…save Biron. Tampa STILL has it in the zone…and finally Philly comes out with it and they make a change. So do the Bolts. The Flyers are doing a lot of bank shots to test the rookie it seems…and the puck goes out of play….commercial time.

12:36 — Philly blocks yet another shot…that has to be what..20 today? Hartnell on a 2 on 1 with Lupul but he falls down. So Tampa comes back down as the game gets a bit skittish. Time keeps on tick tick tickin away here. Kuba with a great keep and Darche couldn’t get a good shot on it so Tampa has to reset. 3:00 left and Philly looks pretty poised right now.

12:39 — O’Brien fires and it hits a stick and goes out. Now Vandermeer takes one off the leg and limps to the bench. Coburn fires…it trickles harmlessly past Ramo but nowhere near in. Ramo is out…empty net. 90 seconds left.

12:40 — Flyers just yank it out. O’Brien gets clipped by Knuble but it looked accidental. Last minute of play..and here we go…..as O’Brien now gets a roughing penalty as he yaps at the officials…feeling he was hooked by Tolpeko. Philly now on the PP..and Ramo back in net. And the crowd does much booing. Ranger shoots…Biron saves..and this one is pretty well finished. Player of the game goes to Lupul with a 3 point afternoon. Biron makes 29 saves and the Flyers win 4-2! Thank you and good night!

Coming soon: The NHL Arena Program Year in Review….coming Monday…..

About Chris Wassel

Simply I am a hockey writer who is a jack of all trades. Whether it is draft, fantasy, NHL, KHL, AHL, etc...I probably can write about it. The challenge in hockey is to be able to step out of your comfort zone and write like you are still there. Hopefully you enjoy the humor in the writing on the site and tell your friends. Thanks for reading!

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