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Pens-Flyers Postgame: Flyers falling



The Trib’s Terrific Trio:


Key stat: 1 fight – vs. FLYERS RW AARON ASHAM at 5:17 of the first period

Rossi: And the legend of Rupp grows among Pittsburgh hockey fans.


Key stat: 1 fight – vs. FLYERS LW RILEY COTE at 5:23 of the first period

Rossi: He’s playing a lot better than his reputation as an enforcer would suggest; but on tonight Godard served the Penguins exactly the way he should have – by bringing the two-fisted heat.


Key stat: 1 fight- vs. FLYERS LW DAN CARCILLO at 5:33 of the first period

Rossi: Said a Penguins official in the press box after watching the third flight in 16 seconds: “It never fails to amaze me. No matter how many times I see these teams play it never fails to amaze me.” That pretty much sums up the Flyers’ misguided approach to trying to intimidate the Penguins.

“I don’t have any thoughts about it.” HC DAN BYLSMA on Carcillo’s reaction to scoring in the first period

Rossi: OK, so allow me to take heat for praising a Flyer. (Be kind, kids.) Give Carcillo props for owning the villain role like he does. A fighter scores to pull his struggling club within 2-1 against a bitter rival on the road – yeah, having some fun with that is fine by me. (Hey, who amongst Penguins fans had a problem with C/W MAX TALBOT’S ‘shhh’ in Game 6 of an EQF series last spring?)


Word from the Philadelphia hockey press is that a loss by the Flyers at home Thursday against the Penguins could lead to “a major shakeup.” Considering the Flyers already have replaced their coach, that can only mean roster moves.

For what it’s worth over a dozen scouts attended the game Tuesday night, and that is consistent with how many scouts have been seen at recent Flyers games.

“They smell blood in the water,” a Flyers reporter said.

So do the Flyers players. Take a look at these post-game quotes from Tuesday:


— “It seems like everyone is reluctant to do the right things. … Maybe it comes within the guts of the game and the heart of the game, and right now we’re not playing with enough (guts and) heart to have success.”


— “We were just flat. It seemed like there was nothing… nothing there.”

— “We’re going to have to change it around here quick because they (team management) is not going to put up with this stuff.”


— “If we had a handle on it, we’d have the answers. I don’t quite understand it myself.

— “The answers are going to have to come from us on the ice. Nobody is going to help us do it. The focus has to come from in here.”


— “It’s tough to explain. I don’t have an explanation to offer. I’d be lying if I tried to make up stuff right now. There’s nobody who really came out (the right way).”

— “I don’t think that it’s that we’re not getting it (the message from the organization). We’re smart enough. We know what’s at stake. We know what’s going on. If you don’t understand after a coach gets fired you’re never going to understand. We understand but it’s just not clicking. I don’t think that it’s that we don’t want it to. It’s just not happening. Trying to find a reason why… I wish I knew. We’re all in the same situation trying to figure out why. We have a lot of guys that want to take the lead, but things are not clicking.”

— “I hope it doesn’t happen (a trade). Nobody wants to see that. We’re with the guys in this locker room more than we are with our families. You don’t want to se anybody get traded and lose some friendships, but we know it might happen if we keep playing this way. We don’t want that. Nobody wants that.”

PENGUINS D BROOKS ORPIK said Tuesday night he expects the Flyers to treat Thursday night like a desperation game. Of course, they said they were treating Tuesday night like that.

It is worth noting only because the Flyers believed, as did many in the hockey world, believed they were a legitimate threat to unseat the Penguins as the reigning East power: Philadelphia trails Pittsburgh by 16 points in the standings — 12 if you award the Flyers four points because the Penguins have two games in hand.

Given the way the Flyers are talking, perhaps awarding them any points is a mistake.

— BY ROB ROSSI (12/3/2009)

YINZ TELL US: Thoughts and questions are always welcome. Send emails to Emails without writers’ full name and current hometown will not be read.




Author: Rob Rossi

Rob Rossi is the lead sports columnist for the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. He has been called many names, but “Rossi” is the one to which he most often responds. He joined the Trib in November 2002 and was promoted to the columnist role in July 2014. Previously, he had covered the NHL’s Penguins (2006-14) and MLB’s Pirates (2006), while also working on beats associated with the NFL’s Steelers (2005-06) and the NCAA’s Pitt (2004-06). He has won national and local awards for his coverage of youth concussions and athletes’ charities. Also, he is a member of the Professional Hockey Writers’ Association executive committee and the Pittsburgh chapter chair. Raised in Crafton and Green Tree and a graduate of West Virginia University, he has covered a Super Bowl, All-Star Games in baseball and hockey, the NCAA basketball tournament and over 100 Stanley Cup playoff games, including the Cup Final twice. Oh, and his sports reporting has led him to brief chats with Mick Jagger and Bruce Springsteen; so that’s pretty cool. He is a regular contributor on TV with WPXI, Root Sports Pittsburgh and TSN. Also, he is the authorized biographer of Penguins star Evgeni Malkin.

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