The Philadelphia Flyers’ 2-1 loss to the New Jersey Devils at the Wells Fargo Center on Tuesday from the perspective of three players, er… people.
3. Tom Kowal
That name might not be familiar to many Flyers or even hockey fans. The only reason I know it now is because he might’ve cost the home team points in the standings. Kowal was the referee who disallowed Scott Hartnell’s would-be game-tying goal with less than a minute to play in regulation.
Here’s the explanation via CSNPhilly.com’s Tim Panaccio:
League officials there were told by Kowal the goal was denied on the ice for contact with the goalie. When a goalie is “pushed into the net,” to quote Rule 78.5 (ix), the goal is not subject to the league overturning or even reviewing. Toronto made the correct call based on the information given.
Yes, but Hartnell was clearly pushed into goaltender Martin Brodeur by the Immortal One’s Devils cohort Anton Volchenkov. If that’s protected under the rules, Flyers defensemen should consider pushing opponents into their own netminder as a strategy. Sorry, Steve Mason.
But we digress. Profanity ensued. Jake Voracek aptly described the ref’s call as “f---ing incredible.”
Panotch mentions the Flyers could’ve avoided being screwed over by, among other things, converting on any one of their six power plays. That being said, the orange and black had incredible pressure on a few of those advantages, they just couldn’t get one to go.
As bad calls go, I don’t think this one ranks up there as one of the worst all-time. However, the Flyers dropped into the eighth and final playoff berth as a result of their inability to pick up any points, so it’s not exactly meaningless, either.
2. Nicklas Grossmann
We could easily hand this spot to Claude Giroux, who registered more time on ice than all skaters. We could even go ex-Flyer Jaromir Jagr for potting the game-winner. There’s something to be said for getting off the schnide though—particularly at Brodeur’s expense—which Grossmann did by scoring his first goal of the season.
Nick Grossmann with a goal that is as bad as Marty Brodeur has EVER allowed. #Flyers tie it.
— Anthony SanFilippo (@InsideTheFlyers) March 12, 2014
1. Marty Brodeur
Officially, Brodeur stopped 30 of 31 Flyers shots en route to career win No. 686—his 50th regular-season victory against Philadelphia. This guy is gonna keep on killin the orange and black forever.
>> Box Score [Yahoo!]