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You'll Never Believe This But RJ Umberger Scored A Goal AND The Flyers Won


Flyers 5, Sabres 1 | (24-20-9)

I, and the rest of Flyers fans, have given RJ Umberger plenty of shit this year. Coming into last night, he hadn’t scored a goal in 50 games. It had been over a full calendar year since he found twine. And all the shit that he’s been taking from Flyers fans is much deserved. He’s old, he’s overpaid and he doesn’t make the Flyers a better team. With that being said, he earned that one last night. After being scratched for 5 straight games, Bumberger was brought back into the lineup against Buffalo and opened the flood gates early in the 2nd period.

First off, A+ assist from Sam Gagner there. He’s so good with the puck on his stick, it’s just that his confidence-level is on par with a slightly overweight girl who gets picked on in high school. Second off, I didn’t get a chance to watch the game live last night. Had to watch it after teh fact. But this was game #53 for the Flyers. I watched 52 of them live and the ONE game I don’t, RJ Umberger scores. So here’s what I’m thinking right now. I might have to stop watching the Flyers until February 29th. Because RJ Umberger scores in 100% of the games that I don’t watch live. Maybe he’ll score enough from now until Feb 29 that some idiot team will send some picks over to Hextall for him at the deadline. Wishful thinking, but I’m for the people like that.

PECO Penalty Kill

In the last 6 minutes of the 1st period, the Flyers took 3 penalties. That is bad and that is not good. They had 8 on the whole night, 4 of which came from Radko Gudas and we’ll talk more about that later. But yeah, 6 times the Flyers were forced to go on the penalty kill without Sean Couturier in the lineup. And 6 times, they killed off the penalty with relative ease. That’s fucking huge. If just one of those Buffalo power plays at the end of the 1st period end with a goal, it changes the complexion of the entire game. But the penalty killers were disciplined the whole night, they cleared the zone whenever they had the opportunity to, and Steve Mason played out of his mind last night. 5 straight starts for Mason and the last few games haven’t been easy. That’s what you need to see out of him. A 41-save performance last night shows me that Mason has the mental capacity to put a couple of shit games behind him and pull out a win when the team needs one the most. That’s my starting goaltender.


Ladies And Gentlemen, The Nick Cousins Era Has Officially Begun

Flyers up 4-0 in the first. Buffalo scores to make it 4-1 and maybe show a little tiny sign of life, and then Nick Cousins goes out there and scores 30 seconds later. Great response from the rookie. Not quite sure how well Cousins fits into the Flyers future plans but if he can bump out to the wing, I think he’ll work just fine on the 3rd line for years to come. Leier – Laughton – Cousins? Just think about it for a minute or two.

It’s Time To Talk About Radko Gudas Again

Fuck this hit. Fuck it to the moon. Listen, I love that Radko Gudas plays a physical and aggressive game. I’ll never get mad at him for that. But there are ways to be physical and aggressive without being an absolute asshole about it. And this was an asshole hit last night. Did Dan Catenacci have his head down coming through the neutral zone? Technically, yes. But that’s not a hit that Gudas has to make. It’s not a time that Gudas has to make that hit and it sure as hell isn’t a spot on the ice where he has to make that hit. It’s bush league, it’s bullshit and I have to imagine a suspension comes from it. As of now, there’s no hearing scheduled but you can’t hit a guy in the head like that. He was in a vulnerable position and Gudas continues to fuck over his teammates with stupid penalties after stupid penalties. Again, I like his style of play. I like the thought of what he brings to the table. But it’s hits like this that make you think that maybe he’ll never figure it out.

Oh, and I had no problem with his hit on Foligno earlier in the game. That’s the type of play that happens and you can just say “well that’s just what happens when Radko plays aggressive”. The hit on Catenacci though? Not a chance.

The Other Guys

– Shayne Gostisbehere extended his point streak to 10 games with the assist on Wayne Simmonds’ goal. That now ties him with Renberg for the longest point streak for a rookie in Flyers history. He also has the longest active point streak in the NHL. No big deal or anything.

– Simmonds got on the board but it looked like the top line was getting crushed in the possession battle all night. Great to see the 2nd and 3rd line step in the pick up the slack but against a team like Buffalo, it would have been nice for the 1st line to have themselves a night.

– Michael Raffl had a real solid night. Wasn’t exactly dominant possession wise but he was flying around all over the place and it’s nice to be reminded that he’s actually still on the roster every now and then.

– Again, Mason was a stud last night. That’s all there really is to say about that.