During the Chicago Blackhawks-San Jose Sharks live chat, I brought up the possibility that the Philadelphia Flyers’ traditional physical (some might say dirty?) style could make life miserable for the Montreal Canadiens. That certainly seemed to be the case in Game 1 as the Flyers bludgeoned and bruised the Habs on their way to a brutal 6-0 beating.
Some put a little more positive spin on it (pointing out how much of a difference Chris Pronger made), but Jack Todd of the Montreal Gazette thinks that the officiating might be (at least partially) to blame for the Habs’ struggles.
After outlasting the mighty Washington Capitals, and sending Sidney Crosby and his vintage whine back to Cole Harbour, the Canadiens deserve something better than to be run over by a team given carte blanche to play hockey the way Bobby Clarke did.
See Valeri Kharlamov, Bobby? Go break his ankle.
That’s Flyers hockey. Always has been, always will be. That’s the way they played it last night, tumbling over Halak to the point where you almost wished for the return of the toe-in-the-crease rule.
No doubt about it, officiating could make an impact on this series. The Canadiens have an efficient powerplay while the Flyers are renowned in the hockey world for their “bullying.”
It’s pretty silly to look past just how much the Flyers outplayed Montreal, though. Referees aren’t going to save Jaroslav Halak and his team. Simply put, you can’t expect to lose the puck possession battles over and over again and get away with it each time.
What do you think? Did the Habs get hosed? Will the powerplay tide turn once the series switches to Montreal or just when a different officiating crew calls the game? Let us know in the comments.