It hasn’t been the best week in the highlight reels for the Philadelphia Flyers.
Last Thursday, it was Nashville Predators’ goaltender Carter Hutton making the NHL’s potential save of the year at the expense of the Flyers.
Last night, it was Carolina Hurricanes forward Nathan Gerbe scoring perhaps the NHL’s goal of the year, once again at the expense of the Orange and Black
During the second period of the Flyers’ lifeless, 3-2 loss to the Hurricanes last night in South Philly, Gerbe had a clear breakaway on Flyers’ netminder Steve Mason after Luke Schenn – who was traded for a U.S. Olympian who is on pace for 33 goals this season – mishandled the puck at his offensive blue line.
Unimpeded by any Flyers defenders, Gerbe put the puck and his stick between his legs to get Mason off his angle and beat Mason with a gorgeous between-the-legs goal to put the ‘Canes up 2-0.
Seriously, that was as pretty as it gets.
Let’s get this out of the way now: In no way, shape or form was this showboating by Gerbe.
It was a beautiful move that is becoming more and more common in today’s game. Remember the Sharks' Tomas Hertl at the beginning of the season on former Flyer and then Ranger Marty Biron?
Biron actually retired a few days after that but I think Mason, who just signed a contract extension, won’t have to worry about that anytime soon.
Not only was Gerbe’s move beautiful, it was incredibly effective. Mason had no idea that was coming or what had just hit him.
Plus, the Hurricanes were only up 1-0 at the time in what was an important Metropolitan Division game for them as they try to climb back into the playoff race. Do you really think Gerbe would be showboating at that time in an important game? Please.
As for the game itself, it was much of the same of what we’ve all seen from the Flyers lately.
They fell behind 2-0 after sleepwalking through the first 40 minutes or so. They managed to tie it up in the third period but eventually fell victim to one of their defensive lapses as the ‘Canes grabbed a loose puck in front of the crease and Jiri Tlusty beat Mason late in the final stanza for the game-winning tally.
The Flyers will look to rebound tonight when they visit Columbus, Ohio for a date with the Blue jackets.
The Jackets come in red-hot and winners of seven in a row.
The teams split their first two meetings of the season. But the big difference between tonight and those first two meetings is that Philadelphia will finally have to play against its former netminder, reigning Vezina Trophy winner and No.1 goaltender in your hearts, Sergei Bobrovsky.
Bob missed the previous two games against the Flyers with a groin injury.
But the best part of all is that you’ll be able to watch it tonight with me and the rest of the 700 Level crew at Smith’s in Rittenhouse Square!