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Flyers beat Rangers, Wayne Simmonds beats on Brandon Mashinter (video)

Oct 25, 2013, 7:00 AM EDT

Wayne Simmonds, Brandon Mashinter

No matter how bad the Flyers’ season is going, you’ll always take a scrappy win over the New York Rangers—even and especially when the Rangers aren’t very good either.

Orange & Black’s 2-1 victory over the Rags at the Wells Fargo Center on Thursday was in many ways a throwback. The rivals brawled—a lot—and even though there was absolutely nothing on the line and both teams are bad at the moment, they played desperate like two teams with three wins between them should.

Make that four wins between them, and Philadelphia no longer has the fewest points in the NHL (sorry Buffalo). Matt Read and Braydon Coburn supplied the goals, while Steve Mason stopped 30 of 31 shots—is the 25-year-old, former-Calder-Trophy-winning goaltender the most underrated story in Philadelphia right now?

Huge win for the Flyers coming out of a week-long break, but it’s going to take a lot more than that to get people back on board. Fans always love to see some character and emotion though, and both of those features finally arrived in bulk when Wayne Simmonds went to town on Rangers forward Brandon Mashinter during the second period.

Mashinter essentially made the mistake of putting his hands on the wrong person, because that was about all it took to make Simmer pull the poor kid into his arena. After getting bullied for a few seconds, Mashinter finally decides to stand up for himself, the end result being one we bloggers know all too well (right Enrico?).

The fight is a classic in part because the officials don’t jump in too soon. Simmonds takes his time and even drops to a knee at one point, but he’s simply being a predator, patiently waiting for the perfect moment to strike. When he pounces, his victim has no chance.

Enjoy them while they last. Fighting won’t be a part of professional hockey forever.

Simmonds’ fight was definitely the highlight of the night, but the near-decapitation of Max Talbot less than two minutes later sucked a lot of that energy right out of the building. Journeyman winger Benoit Pouliot’s shove from behind sent Talbot staggering to the dressing room, and he might’ve been lucky to be moving at all after a face-first collision with the boards.

Amazingly, Talbot would actually return in the third period with his nose heavily bandaged. Maybe—and this might be a long shot—that kind of toughness is what the Flyers need right now. The Flyers talked about it a little bit after the game.

More than fights and tough guys, Philly needs wins right now, and they finally picked up one of those as well. Don’t completely discount what these extra-curricular activities can do for the attitude in the dressing room right now though. Beating the Rangers 2-1 may not be pretty, but efforts like these can occasionally turn a team’s fortunes around.

>> Flyers come through in third to defeat Rangers [CSN]

  1. Trent Klatt - Oct 25, 2013 at 8:02 AM

    New drinking game: Every time they show Voracek grimacing in pain on the bench

    • AD - Oct 25, 2013 at 8:45 AM

      The drinking game I’ve been playing, which gets me bombed 10 minutes into the first period, is take a sip whenever JJ says “Shot goes wide of the net”.. BOMBED!

  2. stb5048 - Oct 25, 2013 at 8:42 AM

    I’m a Flyers fan and I didn’t think that Pouliot’s hit was that hard or malicious, it was just unlucky. I don’t think he tried to shove him into the boards, he just gave him a nudge (pretty far away from the boards, it looks like they were jockeying for position), Talbot lost his balance, and his momentum carried him into the boards. If you look closer, Pouliot was actually trying to grab him to keep him from crashing into the boards after he realized what was going to happen.

    • BenE. - Oct 25, 2013 at 9:06 AM

      Agreed 100

    • richie - Oct 25, 2013 at 10:19 AM

      Is there really anyone out there that thinks differently? In real time you might think it was intentional, but on replay it’s obvious that it wasn’t. The judgment call on the ice was the right call, because the officials have to assess what they saw without replay, but there shouldn’t be any more discipline for this.

  3. BenE. - Oct 25, 2013 at 9:10 AM

    “Enjoy them while they last. Fighting won’t be a part of professional hockey forever.”

    Ha, way to throw a grenade into the middle of your story. What does this mean? Is this your opinion that fighting has no place, or that it will eventually be phased out by the NHL? The hit on Talbot, while not intentional, is proof that the NHL will be making a grave mistake if they get rid of fighting — either by an outright ban or continuing to curb it like they have been for several years. We are already seeing a MASSIVE uptick in concussions and dangerous hits, and it’s largely in part to a lack of honesty in the game. Too many players are fearless of retribution now because the rat patrols are afraid to get 17 minutes of penalties and possible game misconducts. The more restrictions and ridiculous rules the NHL tacks on to fighting (this year, visor and helmet rules), the less fights we’ll see, and hits like this will continue to exponentially rise.

    • Andrew Kulp - Oct 25, 2013 at 10:30 AM

      “Is this your opinion that fighting has no place…”

      The only opinion that was expressed is right there, that one day fighting will no longer be a part of pro hockey. Regardless of whether it should or shouldn’t, given the influx of rule changes in all sports geared toward making the games safer (with the primary goal being to avoid future litigation), it’s naive to think there isn’t somebody sitting in a board room right now scheming to take fighting out of the NHL.

    • mike - Oct 25, 2013 at 12:19 PM

      “The hit on Talbot, while not intentional, is proof that the NHL will be making a grave mistake if they get rid of fighting — either by an outright ban or continuing to curb it like they have been for several years.”

      But there is fighting in hockey, and the hit still happened. The hit proves that fighting in hockey doesn’t prevent hits like that. Hits like that will occur with fighting and without. There have been dirty hits in hockey since the day somebody strapped on a pair of skates and picked up a stick. There will always be dirty hits in hockey. Players like Patrick Kaletta and Ulf Samuelson will always exist.

      The uptick in concussions is because of better diagnosis and treatment. And because of the path blazed by Eric Lindros and others who made fans realize it benefits the players, fans and game for better treatment of concussions. It benefits the whole league if Sidney Crosby can play 15-20 years. Nobody wants to see his career end after 5 years in the league.

      If you want to decrease concussions, put the red line back into effect.

      • BenE. - Oct 25, 2013 at 2:45 PM

        It’s a combination of everything. The speed of the game, players suited up like Volvos, and rules that deter sticking up for teammates.

      • MJS - Oct 25, 2013 at 2:55 PM

        Ben, do you have any data that backs that claim up that the newer rules that deter fighting have led to more dangerous/illegal hits? (serious question…not trying to be a dick, just wasn’t sure if there was anything out there about it)

      • mike - Oct 25, 2013 at 3:25 PM

        The NHL really needs to start taking roster spots for when a player gets suspended. The next time Patrick Kaletta gets a 10-game suspension, the Sabres should lose a roster spot for those ten games. They will have to dress one less player for the next ten games, instead of calling up somebody from the AHL. Teams will think twice about signing the cheap-shot artists.

      • BenE. - Oct 25, 2013 at 3:28 PM

        I wish I did, MJS. As it is, it’s a theory I have, based on what I’ve seen over the years. The guy above me is correct that dangerous hits and cheap shots have always happened. But I swear dangerous hits have been occurring more frequently in recent years. Hell, Shanahan has been very busy already, and we’re not even a month into the season.

        If my theory is wrong, the the worst case scenario is fighting doesn’t deter dangerous hits. But banning fighting will certainly do nothing to solve the issue of concussions, given that the overwhelming majority of concussions occur from body checks, not fighting (now that is an available stat).

      • MJS - Oct 25, 2013 at 4:05 PM

        Yeah the reason I ask is that three recent big ones (Scott, Kaleta, and Lapierre) all resulted in fighting so clearly there was no fighting rule stopping anyone there.

        I guess you have to look at the timing, intent, and who’s throwing the hit too. Retribution for the Talbot hit wouldn’t have made any sense here because we got a 5 min PP out of it (ok maybe it does make sense right now because our PP is awful). Read and Coots prob wouldn’t have done anything (no NHL fights between the two, but both have seemed a little scrappier than normal). L Schenn was the only one on the ice that would, but it just didn’t make sense there.

        100% agree that getting rid of fighting will do nothing to solve the concussion issue, especially because it seems like there is 1 concussion due to fighting for every 30 or so due to some other aspect of the game. I really, really hope they don’t get rid of it. It’s still an exciting aspect to the game.

        Mike–that’s a great idea. They would definitely have to tailor that towards the more malicious hits, rather than every suspension though. There have been some questionable suspensions handed out by Shanahan.

  4. Scott B - Oct 25, 2013 at 11:09 AM

    Total agreement that upon replay it definetely wasnt intentional, just a bad place to lose your balance when a guy is already driving you into the boards.

    Please Mason, stay consistent all year. Loving this guy. No drama, saves pucks, athletic as hell.

    No lets just hope, they can win another when they don’t have 6 days rest.


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