A Penguins blog called Superstar Treatment, has creatively released a Maxime Talbot “Shhh” tee-shirt, immortalizing one of the more confusing and debated events in recent Flyers – Penguins history.
The description on the site reads , “Relive what was probably one of the best moments, and certainly one of the most unique, in Pens playoff history and show your support!”
But the only thing unique about what took place that day, is how both sides view it.
Many people speculated that Flyers’ forward Jeff Carter was battling injury after only scoring one goal in six playoff games. He led the Flyers with 46 goals during the regular season, but seemed to lack potency in the second season.
And it’s starting to make sense why.
According to a report from CSN, Carter played a majority of the playoffs with a separated his shoulder suffered in game 3 against the Penguins in Philadelphia. The injury may have hampered his offensive output for the rest of the series.
“Jeff kinda fell into the boards awkwardly and separated his shoulder,” General Manager Paul Holmgren said. “It won’t require surgery but it was enough of an injury it hampered him. He just can’t play right now. He needs to rest it.”
The injury was announced by Holmgren after Carter declined an invitation to join Team Canada in Switzerland for the IIHF World Championships.
At one point in the contest, the Flyers were booking their flight to Pittsburgh for game seven. But with four unanswered goals and more power play impotency from Philly, the Flyers dropped the game in front of a national audience, ending their season in devastating fashion, while the Penguins advance to face the winner of New Jersey – Carolina.
Down three games to one in the series, the Flyers battled back to force a game six at home. And all appeared well after goals from Danny Briere, Joffrey Lupul and Mike Knuble rocketed the Flyers to a 3-0 lead. But like a microcosm of the season as a whole, the Flyers showed inconsistency offensively and got sub-par goaltending to waste the game.
Early in the second period, Ruslan Fedotenko scored a garbage goal in front to get the Pens on the board at 3-1 and get the team moving. Shortly after, Pittsburgh defenseman Mark Eaton tapped in a rebound in mid air past Marty Biron to cut the lead to 3-2. On a similar play, just minutes later, Sidney Crosby smashed in another mid air rebound by Biron, to lock the score at three.
Stunned and bewildered, the Flyers came out in the third period with no momentum. And the Penguins countered. Sergei Gonchar took a drop pass from Evgeni Malkin at the blue line. The potent blue liner set up and ripped a slap shot past Biron, low stick side, giving the Pens the 4-3 lead. Biron had no screen on the play.
The Flyers did everything they could to lock the game back up, but it wasn’t enough to beat Marc-Andre Fleury, who made 22 saves and was clutch late in the game.
Mike Knuble, Marty Biron, Antero Niittymaki and Andrew Alberts are all pending UFA.
Midway through the 2008-09 season, it seemed as if Florida’s all-star defenseman and upcoming unrestricted free agent, Jay Bouwmeester, would leave the Panthers as soon as it was possible and not look back. But as the lockers got cleaned out in Sunrise, Bouwmeester talked about keeping his options open. Kinda.
With the Flyers holding the 3-2 lead going into the final period, the visiting Rangers, with nothing to play for, scored two unanswered third-period goals, to beat the Flyers, 4-3, and drop them to the fifth spot in the Eastern Conference behind the Pittsburgh Penguins.
The loss gives the Penguins home-ice advantage for the first two games of the opening round of the playoffs against the Flyers, which will begin on Wednesday.
All the Flyers needed was one point to clinch the fourth spot, but were unable to hang on due to goals by Blair Betts and Sean Avery. Philadelphia also gave up their first shorthanded goal of the season to Brandon Dubinsky, with 5:13 left in the first period. They were attempting to be the first time in three decades to go an entire season without giving up a shorty.
In an identical move that brought amateur defenseman David Sloane to the Flyers for a 24-hour period on Thursday, as a result of another Ryan Parent groin injury, General Manager Paul Holmgren has signed University of New Hampshire defenseman Jamie Fritsch to a try out contract, meaning he can play for the Flyers with no cap hit for 24-hours.
At 6-foot-2, 200 lbs, 24-year old Fritsch is a physical, defensive defenseman and a native of Maryland. Despite not scoring a lot of points, Fritsch is a plus-minus monster. In 33 games last season, he was a +17 in 37 games, while only contributing 10 points.
With injuries to Riley Cote and Ryan Parent, the inability to Cote on the LTIR leaves the Flyers with both player’s salaries stuck on the books. The predicament maxes the cap space, but leaves the Flyers still needing a body on the blue line. When the regular season ends, the salary cap becomes meaningless and the Flyers can bring up players anytime, with no penalty.
For most of March and all of April, it seemed as if the Flyers would be facing the Carolina Hurricanes in the opening round of the Stanley Cup playoffs. The only variable being who would have home ice. Well on the last game of the season for most teams in the Eastern Conference, Pittsburgh defeated the Montreal Canadiens, 3-1, to leap frog past the losing Hurricanes into the fifth spot, directly into the warpath of the Flyers.