Flyers, Penguins Add New Meaning to “Keystone Clash”

Posted: April 3, 2012 in Flyers

The Flyers-Penguins rivalry has become even more fierce than ever following Sunday’s game at the CONSOL Energy Center in Pittsburgh.

The Flyers defeated the Penguins 6-4 and, as a result, are now a point behind the Penguins for fourth place in the Eastern Conference.

Things boiled over late in the third period when Penguins centre Joe Vitale hit Flyers center Danny Briere with a questionable body check, in retaliation for Braydon Schenn’s cross-check of Sidney Crosby earlier in the game. A scrum ensued immediately after involving everyone on the ice. Flyers head coach Peter Laviolette was seen standing on the end of the Flyers bench screaming at the Penguins bench, livid at Pens coach Dan Bylsma who put Vitale on the ice late in the third period when he delivered the hit on Briere, after he hadn’t played in over 10 minutes (a move Laviolette would later call “gutless”).

News then came earlier today that Danny Briere would be out indefinitely with a lower back injury stemming from Vitale’s hit. Also out for 7-10 days is Flyers defenseman Niklas Grossmann with an injury suffered following a knee on knee collision with Vitale.

And just to add more fuel to the fire (as if it were needed) Pittsburgh radio host Mark Madden suggested on the radio that someone shoot down the Flyers plane. Madden would also tweet that the NHL should scratch the 1974 and 1975 Flyers Stanley Cup Championship teams off of the cup.

Let me make one thing clear: I HATE, HATE the Pittsburgh Penguins with a fiery burning passion (anyone who knows me knows that), but I would NEVER ever wish death on any of them, not even Sidney Crosby. To hate someone is one thing, but to wish death on someone is another thing altogether. To call these comments idiotic is an understatement. This is quite possibly one of the stupidest, most ridiculous things I have ever heard. (What is even more idiotic is that people actually support Madden’s comments). You would have to be a real piece of crap to say something like that, especially over a hockey game.

The fact that, this past off-season, the entire Lokomitiv Yaroslavl team of Russia’s Kontinental Hockey League (KHL), save for one player, perished in a plane crash en route to a game in Minsk, Belarus makes his comments even more heartless.

Madden then went on to tweet that the NHL should scrape the Flyers names from their 1974 and 1975 championship off of the cup, claiming that they were not the best team and that they “bastardized the game to the extreme”.

News Flash: The team that wins the Stanley Cup is not always the best team in the league. That is one thing that makes the playoffs exciting, you never know who is going to win until it is all over. In fact just two years ago, the Flyers (the 7th seed in the Eastern Conference) took on the Montreal Canadiens (the 8th seed in the Eastern Conference) in the Conference finals.

As Easter Sunday approaches, the Flyers and Penguins will face off at the CONSOL Energy Center in Pittsburgh. This game could possibly determine home-ice advantage in the first round (which is looking more and more like it will be the Flyers and the Penguins against each other).

When the playoffs begin, once thing will be certain: The words “fierce” and “hated” will take on a whole new meaning

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