Last night, Islanders defenseman Steve Staios tagged Philly’s Max Talbot with a huge check, drawing the ire of both Talbot and Flyers head coach Peter Laviolette.
Today, CSN Philadelphia’s Tim Panaccio is wondering why the Flyers didn’t respond.
Staios wasn’t penalized on the play and sources say he’ll receive no supplementary discipline from the league. In short, he appears to be getting off scot-free (Staios was reportedly grinning on the bench after the hit), not exactly what you’d expect from the rough-and-tumble Flyers.
Panaccio notes the non-response was alarming, but thinks is has to do with who wasn’t in the lineup (namely, enforcers Zac Rinaldo and Jody Shelley) rather than who was.
“Rinaldo is not a heavyweight like Shelley, but for all intents and purposes, he’s been the Flyers’ main enforcer this season with 11 fights, by default,” Panaccio explained. “Laviolette was not available on Friday to explain whether he was disappointed in the lack of response from his own team or whether he needs to play Rinaldo every game, regardless.”
Not having Rinaldo available is an explanation, though not a strong one. The Philly lineup featured enough capable fighters — Wayne Simmonds has scrapped five times this year, Scott Hartnell averages six bouts a season — and it’s not like Staios, an average-sized 38-year-old, is a gold-glover.
But Staios is pretty old-school, familiar with “the code” and probably would’ve taken on any comer in response to the hit. Of course, even if the Flyers on the ice at the time were Talbot, Sean Couturier, Matt Read, Braydon Coburn and Kimmo Timonen —
though Staios did play three more shifts in the third period. (Correction: He didn’t play another shift.)