While I’m not old enough to remember the magic of winning back to back Stanley Cups, the days of the Broadstreet Bullies or the dreaded Cooperalls, I am old enough to have witnessed the glory days of Ron Hextall, the “Legion of Doom” line, Roger Nielson leading the team from behind the bench and many more exciting and amazing memories.
However, what happened last night has left me disgusted and embarrassed for the first time for being a fan of my team.
Granted the year is not playing out like we have hoped. A couple of bone head moves made by Paul Holmgren and company can leave the team deflated. I’m sure the tension throughout the entire organization is not something I’d like to endure but this is hockey and in times of rebuilding, these things happen.
Tension, frustration, the pressure from the ridiculous Philly media and fans came to an abrupt halt in last night’s game against the Washington Capitals. While I commend Wayne Simmonds for trying to spark some life into the arena and his team, I don’t think it was warranted when your team is already down by 7(!?). Should’ve tried a little earlier Wayner. All jokes aside, I have nothing bad to say about your actions.
What happened next was appalling and I KNEW something like this was going to happen when we announced the signing of Ray Emery. Did nobody remember him attacking a trainer in the KHL? Guess not.
For those of you who don’t know what happened or don’t follow hockey, Emery is a goaltender who skated the length of the ice to fight the opposing Capitals goaltender, Brayden Holtby. Holtby did not want anything to do with this and tried backing away. Instinctively, Emery grabbed him and started a 2 minute assault by pounding fists into the back of his head. The referee stopped players from jumping in to aide Holtby. What’s even more disgusting is that Emery gave up 4 goals, earned 29 penalty minutes, beat the shit out of Holtby and the Philadelphia media gave him third star of the game. Ridiculous.
Brian McGratton once said that Ray Emery would be a top 5 fighter if he wasn’t a goaltender. The man is a boxer on skates with a screw loose. This is just the sort of thing that is going to get people to jump on the “fighting should be banned from hockey” bandwagon.
I cover a lot of the LNAH which is a league known for its fights, whether staged or not. I am disgusted to think that guys like Emery and Jon Scott will most likely ended up in this league based on that reason alone.
How do you fix this mess? I’m not sure. With Ed Snider around, I’m not sure if Paul Holmgren will be leaving anytime soon. Homer, take a page out of Bobby Clarke’s book and maybe step down. A whole overhaul needs to take place.
In closing, on behalf of this Flyers fan to the rest of hockey fans across the globe, I apologize for the stupid actions in last night’s game. I will be sitting with a paperbag over my head for the rest of the season.