Even people who generally have no problem with fighting in hockey are panning what the Philadelphia Flyers did on Friday night, instigating a line brawl while losing to the Washington Capitals 7-0.
To refresh your memory, this one drew extra attention because it featured a goalie fight between the Flyers’ Ray Emery and the Capitals’ Braden Holtby, in which only Emery wanted to fight. "I basically said, ‘Protect yourself,’" Emery said. "He didn’t really have much of a choice."
"It’s not the Capitals’ fault that the Flyers are a veritable dumpster on fire rolling down a hill with a tire factory at the end of it. It’s because the Caps players on the ice were there, wearing different colored jerseys and the Flyers needed a spark. Since they certainly weren’t going to be able to get that spark by playing actual hockey, they used the only method they had left."
At the Flyers blog "Broad Street Hockey," a collection of photos was captioned succinctly: "You know every stereotype you’ve ever heard about the Flyers? Bunch of goons who can’t play? Well, it’s all true."
On Twitter, the critics included none other than "Wheel of Fortune" host Pat Sajak:
Love hockey, but Flyers are part of reason it remains a niche sport. Shameful tonight (including Philly radio team.)
Emery and the Flyers showed a different kind of fight Saturday night in New Jersey. Emery stopped all 14 shots he faced, leading the Flyers past the Devils 1-0 in perhaps last-place Philadelphia’s most complete effort of the season.
”A night like tonight, it’s not that hard to stay focused after a game like last night,” Emery said. ”You challenge yourself and you could see it in the whole team that we were embarrassed. We were gonna show how much we wanted to play tonight.”