Thursday, September 17, 2009

'Old Time Hockey' Promised Tonight!

Two teams I despise are playing tonight - The Toronto Maple Leafs and The Philadelphia Flyers, but if you are a fan of 'old-time hockey' (think Broad Street Bullies, 70's and bench clearings), if you watch tonight's game you are GUARANTEED a pre-season brawl like no other.  7pm EST.

With the publicly lauded Brian-Burke-Brawler-Bully-Leaf-Machine revamping now in place in Toronto and Philadelphia's rebuilding of it's blue(collar)line with the addition of 'The Wall' Chris Pronger, sparks will fly when the first puck drops.  Last night against the Boston Bruins vs. Toronto Leafs there were four fights and plenty to prove by the recently acquired veterans and the newbie prospects attempting to impress the Burke-ism Philosophy.  Old-time hockey still remains a vital part of what the fans want in the NHL -- and both teams tonight will not disappoint.

Pension Plan Puppets in response to Toronto's new appetite to fight, states it nicely:

And if you think there's a chance this is going unnoticed by the Flyers, think again. Is there a reason Matt Clackson made this trip? Are you naive enough to think that it was just a coincidence last night when Riley Cote, Dan Carcillo, and Arron Asham all sat out last nights game in Detroit?

There are going to be fights tonight, and there are going to be lots of them. Get ready.

So New York Rangers this game tonight, because it will certainly demonstrate how our Blueshirts need a little more than just a veteran defenceman and someone to center Gaborik on the first line.  Colton.....Colton......Where Art Thou, Colton?

Some fun facts about The Philadelphia Flyers that the Toronto Maple Leafs need to keep in mind:

Philadelphia was the NHL's most penalized team last season, averaging 17.5 minutes per game in the box, but it didn't really hurt the Flyers because they had the sixth-best penalty-killing unit in the league. They were so good that the Flyers managed to score a league-high 16 short-handed goals. And Philadelphia's other special team wasn't too shabby either, with the power-play unit ranking sixth in the league as well.

No one calls the Flyers the "Broad Street Bullies" anymore, but some of the numbers suggest it might still be appropriate. And that's even without cheap shots from Pronger. Philadelphia's lineup will include Daniel Carcillo, who led the NHL with 254 penalty minutes last season; Arron Asham, who had 155 minutes; and Ian Laperriere, who led the Colorado Avalanche with 163 minutes. Don't forget Riley Cote, either. He averaged less than five minutes of ice time but led the Flyers in fighting majors with 22, the fourth-highest total in the league.

May the best fighters win tonight!


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