As fans exited the Wells Fargo centre on Tuesday night there was an unnerving sense of tension. Not only from the fans, but the players and the staff of the Philadelphia Flyers. A disallowed goal was the difference in the game against Calgary as the Flames won it in overtime. But the goal should never have been disallowed. There was just as much resentment towards the decision to not recognise that defenseman Nick Schultz was pushed into the goalie as there was to the decision to make the play Non Reviewable.
But should everyone be mad at that one call? I mean, a game is made up of three periods. After the goal was disallowed it was like a different team took to the ice. The one we saw triumph over the Rangers just a few days before. It took two periods, a two goal deficit and a disallowed equaliser before they got going. Del Zotto turned the puck over early on to hand the flames an opportunity on a silver platter before some more sloppy defending handed the Flames a two goal lead.
If they had played all three periods with that much eccentricity then there is no doubt in my mind that they would have won the game. The Flyers rallied with 15 shots and two goals in the third period. THAT is the type of hockey needed if the Flyers want to clinch a play-off spot.
So whilst the Flyers do pick up a point, it’s not really the two needed or the two they could have gained on Florida and Boston in the wild card. One point leaves them five behind an extremely tough Boston team..who they also have to play this weekend.
Best case scenario now would bring the Flyers to within three should they win on Saturday. It’s a situation that is adding more and more pressure onto the players who failed to make their 8th win in their last ten games last night. However it does seem a string of bad luck is following the team around at the moment. The Leafs game and the Flames game should have been wins without a doubt. If the same happens on Saturday, they may end up just short.
The pressure is on in Philadelphia, but can the players deliver when it matters most in one of the most important games of the season?