Tuesday, March 11, 2008

A strong effort. A big win. But...

Full credit to the team for finding a way to pull it out tonight. It wasn't pretty, but for one night at least we got to watch hockey being played as if it meant something. If you sort of squinted and titled your head, it almost looked like a playoff game. And those are always fun to watch, even if you're cranky and miserable like me.

It won't be enough to get us anywhere near the playoffs, but it will buy us one more meaningful game. With this team, you take what you can get.

Good job, boys.

But while we're here...
If you want to just enjoy the win, skip the rest of this post. I won't mind. I won't even talk bad about you after you're gone. Click your back button now, and we'll see you again later in the week.

Still here? OK, good. I thought those puppies-and-sunshine losers would never leave.

If you get a chance, make sure to check the highlights for the replay of the third Philly goal -- Briere's tap-in off the two-one-one feed from Prospal. The play develops because Ian White gets caught up ice, leaving Prospal and Briere to break in on Colaiacovo. Jason Blake is trailing the play, trying to catch up with Briere who has a few strides on him.

Prospal holds the puck and waits out Colaiacovo, who goes into the pass-blocking slide. He doesn't cut off the whole passing lane, but he forces Prospal to hold onto the puck long enough that Briere has to slow down and Blake can catch him.

Except he doesn't, because Blake stops skating. Watch for the replay from behind the net -- you can clearly see Blake take one stride past the blueline and then glide the rest of way. He doesn't take a single stride until the puck is in the net. He gets close enough to meekly wave his stick at Briere as the pucks goes in, and that's it.

You're down 2-0 in a game that you absolutely must win. You're at home. You're outplaying the other team. You make $20 million. And with the season on the line, you can't be bothered to skate hard on the backcheck.

Blake didn't miss a shift the rest of the way, of course. If there's been a better example of what the current team is all about, I haven't seen it.

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