Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Caps/Flyers: A History Of Carnage And Mayhem

Something about playing an old Patrick Division rival in the playoffs just feels right.

This will be the fourth time the Caps and Flyers have faced off in the postseason, with the Caps winning a pair of series (1984 and 1988) and the Flyers taking the 1989 match up.

And while the playoff history between these two teams has created some of the most memorable moments in either franchise's history, the games (be they regular or post-season) have usually had a common denominator - brutally physical play. Case in point, the Caps have only had more fighting majors against Boston and Atlanta since 1998-99 than they have had against Philly, proving that you can take the Caps out of the Patrick Division, but you can't take the Patrick Division out of the Caps.

Psst... Riley... He's left-handed

Given that the Flyers plan to ramp up the physical play for the 2008 edition of the rivalry (to the delight of Pierre McGuire and others), I thought I'd take a moment and recap some of the pugilistic highlights of the teams' shared history (and if you like YouTubes of hockey fights - and who doesn't? - this is the post for you):
The Flyers were fourth in the NHL in fighting majors during the regular season (led by Cote, who was second in the League in fights). And while the Caps were 23rd overall, they're certainly not afraid to defend themselves (seven current Caps dropped the gloves in 2007-08). Which is good... because if history is any indicator, they'll likely need to.

It's good to be back among old friends, no?

Big ups to Hockeyfights.com and Flyers History for making this post worthwhile.

35 comments:

kb said...

Over/under on number of shifts before Scott Hartnell takes a run at Backstrom or Semin or Bradley or Fedorov or Laich or Fleischmann or Ovechkin. +/- 3.

FAUX RUMORS said...

1) Ahhh, the ole Patrick Division! Sorry, the same rivalries just have not developed in the SE. Seems the most intense games(Saturday not withstanding) are still when Philly, Pitt or the NYR come to town.
2) Nothing improves attendance like winning, but playing hated rivals regularly doesn't hurt either!
3) BTW, the old division names made the NHL unique among the team sports. The geographic names might help the non fan know where teams hail from, but the old Norris/Smyth/Adams, etc just had a nice feel.

Marco said...

Scott "The Vagina from Regina" Hartnell? Look at who he's fought this year. It takes a big man to fight Richard Zednik. LOL.

JP said...

It's not Hartnell that concerns me so much as Downie. He's the real piece of... work.

Nice nickname, though.

Alex R said...

Open topic:

Please understand that the Washington Capital's skill, which includes hard work, will take them past the Flyers. And if it does not, then it will be obvious that God has intervened.

Stop worrying about the Flyers and enjoy the ride.

TG said...

Some of those score sheets are amazing. There was a double game misconduct (no idea how that happens). A "gross misconduct", but he didn't get a game misconduct to go along with that. You would think at some point they'd just start tossing people left and right instead of just giving them 10 minute misconduct penalties.

Ari said...

I can't believe you didn't mention Kelly Miller beating the crap out of 6'6" Kjell Samuelsson. That was a fine moment in Caps' history. Wonder if that's on youtube anywhere.

JP said...

@ Ari - Good call. Brain fart on my part. Here's the box score from that game.

~Mark said...

You've got to expect a Brash/Downie bout within the first 10 minutes (maybe 5) of game one. I expect Philly will want to come out and try to intimidate the Caps early, as they don't match up in the skill department. Boy, would I love to have Chris Clark back.

Chemmy said...

Leafs fan reporting for Capitals bandwagon duty!

Destroy the Flyers! No one likes Philadelphia!

Navin Vaswani said...

i'm with Chemmy as part of the Leafs fan battalion. it's all about ovie and the capitals now, baby.

PPP said...

Another Leaf fan reporting for Caps bandwagon duty.

Any house rules us Leaf fans should know about?

I can't wait to see Ovie flatten the Flyers!

JP said...

Welcome, Leafs fans - glad to have you aboard.

Any chance you can send Tomas Kaberle our way? He could probably fit in Sami Lepisto's sweater, no?

NS said...

Line combos from practice:

Ovechkin-Backstrom-Kozlov
Semin-Fedorov-Cooke
Fleischmann-Laich-Gordon-Fehr
Brashear-Steckel-Bradely-Laing


Morrisonn-Green
Poti-Jurcina
Erskine-Eminger
Schultz-Lepsito-Sloan


I like Gordon on that third line. I'm guessing Fehr will suit up instead of Flash as he can take hits better and seems to have better balance/intensity.

eh, not so sure I like Schultz-Lepisto.

PPP said...

jp - we would send Tomas but he might like the playoff hockey too much.

Basically, all we can commit to right now is some cheering but if you send something back Kaberle could be available this summer...

Junior said...

Another Leaf fan here as part of the PPP crowd,ready to cheer for Ovie and the boys. I'll be the guy wearing a Wendel Clark jersey under my Red, White and Blue #8.

I would say that we are prepared to make a fellow by the name of Wozniewski available to play defense for you, but you guys - we, I mean - want to beat the damn Flyers, not allow them to walk in on Huet completely unmolested, am I right?

Hazardous said...

I like that all of a sudden we have a bunch of toronto fans showing up.

Chemmy, you couldn't be any more correct. I'm not even sure philedelphians (is that even a word? Fuggit, who cares) like the flyers, but they're all too busy being obnoxious drunks and starting fistfights to know any better.

Oh if only this were like the video games. I'd send out a team full of brashears for game 1. Sure, they might lose, technically, but there'd be no more philly players left after that game.

PPP said...

Hazardous - We went through an adoption process and figured the Caps were the best fit.

I like your idea of a team of Brashears. I hate him a lot but man, I'd love to see him put Downie through the boards.

Chemmy said...

Yes, we democratically agreed that we like Alexander Ovechkin so here we are.

Plus we hate Philly.

FAUX RUMORS said...

1) @Mark: We have to disagree that Philly doesn't match up with the Caps in the skill department. Sure they don't have an Ovechkin (who else does)!, but even without Gagne they have a pretty good set of forwards, and few are softies.
2) A possible help for the Caps might be that Hatcher is back. He couldn't skate too swiftly in the old NHL!
3) As is always the key to any series, its all about special teams. The caps have to make the Flyers pay for their anticipated aggressive play!

Gordon said...

As a Boston fan, this series is interesting for me. The Caps have a few forwards who have more skill, but overall the Flyers are a pretty balanced team up front, with one big difference - they play with a lot more grit than almost anyone in the league. You can debate about the ethics all you want, but let's remember that the Ducks were viewed the same way when they made their Cup run. It always helps to have a Pronger or a Niedermayer or an Ovechkin on your squad, but teams can be more than the sum of their parts if it's the right chemistry.

You also can't argue with success, and the Caps, Flyers, Bruins, and Habs are all proof of that. Each team took a different path to where they are, but right now everyone's record is 0-0 and we're going to get to find out who does it best.

wittcap79 said...

Going back to the 97-98 season only ONE TEAM that has won the Cup was involved in more than 50 fights. And that was the 'Thug' Ducks. Why does everyone one bring it up? Do you have to play dirty and fight everyone to have grit??? Apparently not, cause those teams don't succeed in the playoffs according to history, where all of this 'grit' is needed. Maybe the term grit, should be changed to heart or passion, in which case I don't think any debate is in order as to which team has more of that.

Anonymous said...
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Gordon said...

I don't think "everyone" brings it up, but those that do, do so for a pretty simple reason: it's relevant. The Ducks proved it. Detroit proved it. New Jersey proved it. Those squads all did different things exceptionally well, but they all shared the common trait of having a nasty streak when needed. Nobody says 'grit' is defined by taking dumb penalties or thuggery, but it does involve a certain disdain for the more polite aspects of the game.

You cannot look at any of the teams that have won the cup in the last decade and say that they have not shared that quality, excepting MAYBE the Tampa Bay Lightning, who were taken to the limit by a physical, tough Flames team.

This is not to say the Flyers will win, merely to state that we are going to see a lot of different ways to play hockey in the coming weeks and it should be engaging at the least.

wittcap79 said...

@Gordon:
Understood. But everything I've been reading is how much Philly is gonna beat us up. Ohhhh the bloodshed! Can the Caps handle it? It's not like they're playing PowderPuff football out there. My point is that "grit" comes in many different forms...and the form that the Flyers and there fans seem to 'threaten' us with is the kind that doesn't win Stanley Cups.

Bizurke said...

Great post! I didn't even know the Caps had 25 comments worth of fans..... Just kiddin, good luck fellas.... I gotta agree with the experts and call this Caps in 6, but I'll be pulling for the Fly-guys and expecting lots of blood. Ugh, even a 1-year hiatus from playoff hockey is too much.

Anonymous said...

"I expect Philly will want to come out and try to intimidate the Caps early, as they don't match up in the skill department."

That's a laugh! The Flyers have 12 players with 30+ points and 7 with 20+ goals. OV's skill is unmatched, no doubt, but one man does not a team make.

The Caps are in the South East Division, arguably the weakest in the NHL. The wouldn't have even made the playoffs if they were in a tougher divison.

Flyers in 5.

TJ said...

@anonymous:

Remind me again what division two of the last 3 stanley cup winners play in?

Anonymous said...

@ tj

remind me, are either of those teams in the playoffs?

Anonymous said...

And while a few of you seem like true, informed fans (does NOT include the leafs fans, and I think everyone should be impressed with Ari), I wonder how many fake fans are going to try to heckle me when I'm wearing my orange and black on Sunday. For YEARS I've bought tickets from the box office within days of when the Flyers were in town...and suddenly it's a sea of red!!!! What were you, bottom 5 in attendance?

ESPN needs to get off DC's nuts and realize the Flyers win in 6.

PS even I feel bad for Olie.

JohnDewar said...

Great job on this. Brings back good memories of my youth, watching the old Patrick Division stuff.

By the way, Dan Kordic might be surprised to read that he is dead.

While Danny Kordic was in that fight, I think the deceased fighting member of the Kordic family you were looking for is John Kordic.

JP said...

@ JD - Actually, it is John Kordic in the fight. Dan Kordic never played for the Caps (he was a Flyer, though).

JohnDewar said...

Yikes, good call. Need more coffee.

Have a good weekend and enjoy the series!

Anonymous said...

HEX-tall...HEX-tall...HEX-tall...

I'm so looking forward to this game tonight...

Deathlok said...

I was hoping that the Flyers would beat Washington in the Conference Finals, but the PENS threw the last game.

Although a Flyers fan (despite what chemmy says), I do like Ovechkin. I was hoping that the CAPS would have matched up with the PENS so you could see how much better he is than Sis the Kid.
GO FLYERS!!