James O'Brien

Untamed: Wild fight out of early rut to beat Stars in Game 3


The Minnesota Wild could have wallowed in self-pity early in Game 3.

Patrick Sharp scored two quick goals to give the Dallas Stars a 2-0 lead in the first period, leaving many to wonder if the Wild would roll over and fall behind in the series by 3-0.

This Minnesota bunch keeps showing that it is tough to keep down,* especially when the odds go long. The Wild dominated much of Game 3 (scoring four unanswered goals at one point), ultimately flipping a 2-0 deficit to a 5-3 win.

With that, the Stars’ series lead shrinks to 2-1.

Again, this wasn’t out of sheer luck. The Wild limited the Stars to just 17 shots on goal, really dominating the affair after Sharp scored those two goals.

One intriguing development is the possible wake-up call for Jason Pominville. He scored two goals and an assist to end a six-game scoring drought with aplomb. If Minnesota can gain offense from a variety of forwards, this series gets that much more interesting.

Speaking of future contests, it’s more than reasonable to wonder how much the Stars need Tyler Seguin back in the mix … and how close he really is to returning.

Really, it just stacks on top of an array of other questions after Game 3 made this first-round feud a lot more fascinating.

* – The Wild could have come unhinged when a challenged 4-3 goal gave the Stars a shot late in the third.

They stood tall against the Stars instead, and now they’re very much in this series.

Disgust, embarrassment: Fallout from Bellemare hit, Flyers fans’ actions


From the hit itself to the controversial reaction from Flyers fans, the third period of the Caps – Flyers Game 3 generated a lot of drama on Monday night.

This isn’t by any means a comprehensive breakdown – that would be pretty tough to pull off – but hopefully it’s thorough enough to give you a taste for what’s being said.

First, in the video above: Jeremy Roenick was fixated on the hit that really got the ball rolling. As you can see, he believes that the NHL should throw the book at Pierre-Edouard Bellemare for that check from behind on Dmitry Orlov.

It sounds like the league will at least discuss supplemental discipline:

Let’s face it, though; the biggest fireworks came with the crowd reaction that followed.

A refresher on what happened (more here): fans threw wristbands after game misconducts were being handed out, prompting the PA announcer to ask them to stop.

… It didn’t really work, even with the threat of delay of game penalties against the Flyers.

This much seems true:

It might be more interesting to hear how parties involved felt. Well, for one thing, Philly residents and/or fans seem unhappy to be associated with the wristband-throwers:

(People on social media indicated that Wayne Simmonds and Dave Hakstol showed signs of being upset about the reactions.)

Remarkably, at least one Flyer shrugged his shoulders at the whole outrage:

From the Capitals side, it’s no surprise that there was disapproval.

Jason Chimera found some silver lining:

Hey, at least there’s that.

PHT will keep an eye out for details on that hit and, if applicable, any ways the league may respond to that ugly scene.

Bullied: Capitals push Flyers to brink via Game 3 blowout


Things started off really well for the Philadelphia Flyers in Game 3.

They honored late owner Ed Snider in a truly classy, touching fashion. The Flyers then managed a precious, early lead when they made it 1-0 against the Washington Capitals less than a minute into the contest.

The first shoe dropped when the Capitals’ power play really started to take over Game 3. After that, basically an entire department store of shoes dropped and the Flyers were humiliated on their way to a 6-1 defeat and 3-0 series score.

The 6-1 margin could probably be described as a “Name your own score.” The third period really went out of control as a questionable hit made Flyers fans restless. White wristbands were hurled onto the ice, resulting in multiple penalties against their own team. The Capitals ultimately made it a blowout by punching in a few of those opportunities.

(Read this post for more on the ugliness.)

Ultimately, the Capitals are up 3-0 for the first time. They’re generally making history left and right, even after their fantastic regular season.

Meanwhile, the Flyers stare down the possibility of being swept. If Game 4 follows this trend, they’d likely lose most of the goodwill they generated from their improbable run to the playoffs.

There’s a long list of things that need to go differently, but special teams stick out like a sore thumb:

Flyers PA asks fans to ‘have some class’ after littering ice with wristbands


Falling behind 3-0 in their series against the Washington Capitals after an embarrassing Game 3 defeat was bad enough for the Philadelphia Flyers.

It might have been an even uglier night for certain members of the Flyers’ fan base.

Following a questionable hit that inspired game misconduct penalties and a significant power play advantage for the already-well-ahead Capitals, Flyers fans were quite upset. They showed the displeasure by throwing white wristbands to the ice (wristbands that were used in part to celebrate Ed Snider’s legacy earlier that night).

Watch the hit that served as the catalyst for that nastiness in the video above this post.

That scene served as a huge drop-off from the beginning:

… To the Flyers’ PA guy Lou Nolan pleading with fans to stop throwing wristbands onto the ice (while the Flyers received penalties for that behavior).

Let’s just say that it was a bad look for Flyers fans:

Oof, rough night.


Capitals make some history in putting Philly on the brink

How Capitals, Flyers and fans felt about that scene

Getting physical: Orpik, Gostisbehere shaken up by hits

Philadelphia Flyers' Shayne Gostisbehere skates off the ice after losing an NHL hockey game against the Anaheim Ducks, 4-1, Tuesday, Feb. 9, 2016, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

The Philadelphia Flyers and Washington Capitals may have each lost a defenseman during Game 3.

At minimum, they face situations to watch after hits hurt Shayne Gostisbehere and Brooks Orpik respectively.

In the case of “Ghost,” he was shaken up by a check that drew an interference penalty on Daniel Winnik.


Check it out in GIF form:

The good news for the Flyers is that Gostisbehere returned to action during that same second period.

That said, we’ve seen plenty of instances in which a player returned quickly after a possible injury … only to miss time after the adrenaline wears off or something gets aggravated.


A hard (if maybe routine?) check by Ryan White left Orpik in a pretty bad way, with the Capitals announcing that the rugged defenseman is questionable to return.


Again, watch it via GIF:

At this very moment, it seems like Gostisbehere may have dodged a bullet while Orpik might not be so lucky. We’ll get a better idea later on.