Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Flyers-Sens... A Little In-Game Blogging

Want to get in to watch FOUR NHL preseason games tonight? This is the link you want to use.

So this is my first shot at NHL t.v. And with a few bumps and bruises I was able to get in. The link from the Flyers site was dead for a while. So I scooted over to hfboards where I was tipped to this link. Lineups to come. Actually this is the best I could up with. Toughness lineups are:

Senators - Bois, McGratton, Carkner, and Neil.

Flyers - Cote, Richards, Grenier, and Eager.

Apparently there should be some brewhaha action tonight after Ben Eager sticked Brian McGratton in the stomach last year. Both teams are icing tough lineups as well. So we could see some fireworks. This game is coming to you live from the John Labbat Center

Thus far, I am impressed with the quality of nhl.tv. I am viewing in a midsize mode. I tried the full screen but the picture was fuzzy.

Before I get going, I am a Caps fan. So if I get some of the spellings on these names wrong, please accept my most sincere apologies! That and I got started late because I wasn't sure if nhl.tv would work.

First period:

Pretty quiet game with 13:30 left in the first.

Fight - Cote comes in after Carkner levels Downey. Downey had his back to the ice and got popped pretty good. Cote gets in quickly and throws a quick left and Carkner counters with a few lefts that send Cote to the ice. Quick fight. Win to Carkner.

Sens goal - Neil with a shot from the right faceoff dot and Zubov cleans up the big rebound.

Fight - Brian McGratton and Martin Grenier, the big boys, drop right off the face off. Both lock out with the lefts and proceed to throw multiple rights that come up short. McGratton starts to wear Grenier down and sneaks in a few rights. Grenier counters with a short nice left before the refs jump in. McGratts controlled the fight and gets the win.

Fight - Eager throws a cheapie from behind on a Sen and in come Danny Bois. They drop the gloves immediately and Eager throws a couple of ineffective lefts that don't land. Eager loses his balance and down they go. Edge to Eager, although he lost his balance.

Gauthier crushes Neil into the end glass shortly after. It looked like he was going to get a penalty; but the refs surprisingly let it go. Pretty chippy game early on. Neil may be a little gun shy after exchanging blows with his teammate, Jeremy Yablonski, in training camp a few days ago.

Getting reports that nhl.tv is dropping out for some in the middle of the game. This is a great feature. Let's hope the NHL gets the logistics worked out real soon.

Hartnell clips Neil with a highstick. Boy does Chris Neil have a target on his back. And this isn't even the Sabres!

Apparently Carkner has gone to the dressing room. He might have hurt that paw on Cote's jaw earlier in the first.

Sens Goal - Mezeros makes it 2-0 with a blast from the point that finds the 5 hole.

Brain Boucher gets to watch the game from behind the end glass. Not only that, he gets to sign autographs too. Apparently the cameraman got the nod for the last spot on the Flyers bench. Apparently Boucher will see the ice in the third.

Sens - Nick Foligno cleans up his own rebound from the side of the net to make it 3-0. Foligno also drew the interference penalty that led to this power play and his first NHL goal.

Refs call a hooking penalty with 6 seconds left in the first. Zero tolerance again in the new NHL... ugh.

After the first, it is 3-0 Sens on the scoreboard. And 2-1 Sens in the fight column.

1st period intermission find... scraps from last night's Flyers/Devils game:

Cote vs. Asham
Smith vs. Clarkson (joined in progress)
Boulerice/Janssen Round 2
Eager/Rupp (shakey camera)
Cote/Clarkson (not much, but Cote gets 17 mins, Clarkson gets nothing)

Second period:

Martin Gerber has been sharp in goal stopping all 19 shots he has seen thus far.

Flyers lead in shots 19-17. So it's not as if they aren't putting up an effort.

Pretty quiet early in the second period as well. Neil gets rubbed out again... what's new?

Cote went looking for McGratton, but Brian skates away.

Danny Bois sits for two minutes after a hook. Flyers on their second PP opportunity.

Umberger promptly highsticks Corvo on the PP to send it to 4 on 4.

Update - Matt Carkner did hurt his left hand and has not returned in the second.

Thank God for helmets. Dennis Gauthier just took a slapshot to the lid, just above the face shield. He got up after shaking the cobwebs.

Penalty to Brian Lee for interfering with Hartnell. The penalty parade has officially begun! 4 on 3 hockey... enjoy! The Flyers pepper Gerber with multiple shots but can't find the back of the net. Gerber makes another brilliant save with 8 minutes left in the first... this kid looks fabulous between the pipes.

Neil is getting smacked around as he takes another hit, this time from Jones. Chris Neil has thick skin. I wouldn't be surprised if he finds Scottie Hartnell at some point, maybe Brad Richards.

You gotta love how the Rogers commentator says Danny Bois first NHL first last year was against Georges Laraque... whoops... it was the other black heavyweight (Donald Brashear)!

Steve Downie gets stood up by Luke Richardson and then decides to throw some weight at Foligno... he gets a stick in the face by Foligno and the Flyers go to their fourth PP.

Martin Gerber stones the Flyers once again at the end of the second. It sounds as though he will hit the showers after the second. A great night by Gerber... I can't find stats right now; but well over 20 saves and a big goose egg on the scoreboard.

Third period:

Commentators say the Flyers have outhit the Sens 9-6 through the second. Who's keeping these stats? I can count more hits than that off the top of my head!

Bois and Eager got matching minors for a meaningless scuffle at the end of the second.

Strike Martin Gerber hitting the locker room. He's still in goal for the Sens. Boucher takes over for the Flyers.

Question - just how old is Luke Richardson? My God he has been in the league a long time. Does the guy drop the mits anymore? I know he used to. The last fight I can remember Luke being in was against Matthew Barnaby a few years ago.

Steve Downie wanted the puck and got a little overaggresive, sending a Sen flying into Gerber as they battled to get to a loose puck. Downie sits for two for interference.

Lupol promptly goes off for a hook. 5 on 3 for nearly two minutes for the Sens. Let's see if they can add some insurance.

NHL.tv note... the audio comes in behind the picture sometimes. I won't complain too much... the picture is pretty good and................ it's free.

The Sens muster a few good scoring opportunites, but can't get one past Boucher. Back to full strength with 13 minutes to go.

More interference (man I love the soft calls) from the Flyers... this time Ruzcinka. Sens back to another PP. On a out-game blogging note, I read the Boogaard picked up the first five-minute major for interference... on a hit that he missed! "Brilliant" new rule. And who better to test it on than the Boogeyman?

Goal - Patrick Eaves picks up a loose puck and beats Boucher glove hand to make it 4-0. A nice kick pass by Foligno for the assist.

Okay I lied... the audio is really starting to annoy me now. I'll log off and on at a commercial and see what happens.

Interference on the Sens... Brian Lee. Yawn. I guess we'll ride the remaining ten minutes out on the PP. When will the NHL learn that fans would rather see 5 on 5 hockey? There are enough rules in place that promote scoring opportunities. Truly, do we need a PP-fest? It makes for dreadfully boring hockey.

Steve Downie has been getting a lot of PP time. I wouldn't make much out of it as I have seen Brian McGrattan on the Sens' PP unit a time or two.

Neil cranks Umberger into the end boards... a nice hit.

Update - audio still is behind the picture after signing off and on. Ugh.

3:37 left and a trip by Mr. McGrattan as he adds to his PIM total for the night. Pretty pointless penalty on his part. Sometimes I wonder if tough guys try to pad their PIM totals with obvious penalties like this. Psst Brian, tripping isn't tough.

Last count 49 shots to 39 shots in favor of the Flyers. Martin Gerber now makes his 50th save in a potential shutout game. Very impresive as he fights for a backup job in Ottawa.

A final hook, I think, by Joe Corvo will end this game on a PP for the Flyers. Fitting.

A 52 save shutout for Martin Gerber tonight!

No final thoughts tonight folks. It's preseason! Truly, how much can you get from these games? Gerber looked great. The Flyers are a tough squad and I would love to see Cote and Boulerice (he put two beatings on Cam Jannsen last night) stick on a fourth line for them.

Stars of the Game:
Gerber - First star
Eaves - Second star
Foligno - Third star

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