While I can’t claim I like Ken Hitchcock, coach of the Philadelphia Flyers, I do respect how he operates. His goaltender, Robert Esche, was a little stinky to open the season, and hasn’t played since. Recently, when asked about Hitchcock, Esche stated “I don’t try getting in his head, that’s for sure. It’s an empty place.” A great way to get the starting job back from the rookie.
The Flyers are having all kinds of problems all over the ice, and the goaltending is no exception. While visiting the undefeated Buffalo Sabres, Hitchcock started Esche instead of the rookie, Niittymaki.
One word: “ugh”
Philly’s defence sucked hard, and Esche got shellacked for 6 goals in the second period. Normally after that kind of display, you get pulled. Not last night. Hitchcock left Esche in nets for the whole game, and Buffalo added another 3 goals in the third.
Ugly? Oh yeah.
Message sent? Hell yeah.
I’ll never understand why so many athletes today insist on using the media to make their displeasure known. It’ll never end well, and you’d think some folks might learn something from T.O., but I guess not. In any event, I’m sure the message was sent (which I respect), and I hope Hitchcock’s gamble with his goalie’s limited confidence pays off.
In other hockey news, Ottawa currently has the worst power play in the league with one goal in thirty attempts, and a net goals on the power play of -1. And boy, was Murray ever prescient telling Sens fans not to expect stellar goaltending this year (although I really don’t think that’s their problem). Go Sens, Go!!!! ha ha… I crack myself up.
Oh, and how ’bout them Leafs? Sundin’s 500th goal (a slapshot that popped the water bottle, in overtime, short-handed, at home, to complete the hat trick) was about as good as it gets. Also, when did Darcy Tucker stop whining and start playing hockey?