Frustration the emotion of the night
Ruffly speaking, Hitchcock offers fighting words
Which is what made this so compelling, when Flyers coach Ken Hitchcock took on Sabres coach Lindy Ruff last night. You can go to a thousand games and never hear one coach say of another, as Hitchcock said of Ruff, “Tell Lindy to [bleep] off. Tell him to mind his own [bleeping] business.” You can go to several thousand.
Put it this way: It was not Robert Esche’s finest hour. After being the Flyers’ star in a Game 1 loss, the goaltender was just one of the fellas in an 8-2 loss in Game 2. After giving his team every chance to win in Game 1, Esche was reduced to the meaningless gesture of punching an opponent in an attempt to revive his teammates in Game 2.
“I didn’t even know who it was,” Esche said when asked why he slugged the Sabres’ Derek Roy in a melee near the Flyers’ bench. Esche was at the bench because of a delayed penalty call that preceded the scrum.
If Primeau has his way, he will be stepping onto the Wachovia Center ice as a player tomorrow night in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference quarterfinals against the Buffalo Sabres. If not tomorrow, then Friday for Game 4. It’s what he wants. And what he now feels he can do.
The beauty of the new NHL was on full display. The swift-skating Buffalo Sabres zipped around the ice, making so many dazzling plays to summarily overpower the Philadelphia Flyers.
One, two, three, four, five goals before the first period had ended.
Then the game turned dark. The frustrated Flyers had no response offensively, no witty rejoinder on defense. They turned into the Charlestown Chiefs. So they gooned it up. Old-time hockey.