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NHL Playoffs, Flyers v. Canadiens: Flyers get through mysterious skate issues

May 22, 2010, 9:45 PM EDT

Thankfully the Philadelphia Flyers won this game. If they had not,
then the uproar  would be incredible and there’s no telling what the
ramifications might be.

The Flyers were forced to continuously
deal skate-sharpening issues during the game today against the
Canadiens, as it was reported that some sort of sand-like substance was
wreaking havoc with the skate blades of a number of Flyers players
throughout the game. From Frank Seravalli of Philldelphia Daily News:

had skate issues, that’s for sure,” coach Peter Laviolette
said. “You know, we lost [Mike] Richards
three times, Kimmo [Timonen] two
times, and I don’t know.

“I’m not familiar with the rumors, but we certainly had some skate

Those “rumors”, first reported by NBC’s Pierre McGuire,
was that some some sort of substance had been spilled on the rubber mats
that players walk on from the locker room to the benches, which was
causing all sorts of problems with their skates not only being sharp but
having gouges nearly destroying the blades the blades as well.

Flyers didn’t exactly blame any sort of tampering or sabotage for the
sand ending up on the rubber mats, although according to Seravalli one
player did admit there was a substance on the mats that caused these

For those unfamiliar, any sort of sand or sand-like
substance is kryptonite for the sharpness of skates and for such a
highly skilled sport as hockey having your skates as sharp and in as
good condition as possible is tantamount for success on the ice. Yet the
Flyers lost players all throughout the game to have their skates
repaired, and likely had them ruined once more walking back out of the
locker room and to the bench as no one discovered the substance until
later in the game.

Eventually, towels were laid across the mats to
prevent further damage.

I don’t think I’ve ever heard of an issue like this affecting the on-ice play of a road team this seriously. I It’s unlikely that the ‘substance’ just randomly appeared on the mats and no one caught the problem, especially when the players had to repeatedly go back for skate repairs throughout the game.

I doubt anyone on the Canadiens or the
Canadiens staff did something to cause these issues, although I can
certainly imagine an overzealous and insanely loyal Bell Centre employee
‘spilling’ something on the mats and ‘forgetting’ to properly clean up
the mess.

  1. Blake - May 22, 2010 at 11:54 PM

    Ironic that the first Philly goal was allowed by a Montreal skate mishap

  2. noj - May 23, 2010 at 12:05 AM

    oh come on he beat two canadiens to goal not to mention halak, besides what’s his face was out of position anyway

  3. yaozer - May 23, 2010 at 12:12 AM

    blake, that was a world class move by giroux. with or without that skate strap loose, giroux would’ve likely skated around gorges and top shelfed halak as halak bit on the back hand fake. give credit where credit is due….

  4. Anonymous - May 23, 2010 at 12:37 AM

    suckas can’t compete.

  5. rufref - May 23, 2010 at 12:43 AM

    Flyers, best I ever saw was when Clark Gilles beat the c out of Dave Schultz in 75. That is what I think of the Flyers

  6. Phil Commander - May 23, 2010 at 2:04 AM

    Clark Gilles hit Schultz four times in a row…good shots but Schultz was still swinging when the refs broke them and Schultz wanted more. Gilles won that fight, but saying Schultz got the crayap beat out of him is seeing what you want to see.
    I see the flyers winning the cup…and yes, thats what I want to see!

  7. KissenButten - May 23, 2010 at 5:04 AM

    How about the 1977 game between Buffalo and Philly. That was the year that solidified my belief all Refs are paid off..

  8. grimjack - May 23, 2010 at 8:12 AM

    Canadians are down 3-1. Unlike the golden boys of Washington and Pittsburgh, the Flyers will get it done. Flyers win the cup in 6.

  9. grimjack - May 23, 2010 at 8:20 AM

    I find it so hysterical that people still hate the Flyers for the Broad Street Bullies period, conveniently forgeting the fact that all the other teams played the same way. It seems most people think the other teams skated around sipping champagne with their pinkies out, and only the Flyers fought. The Flyers simply were better at it in 74 and 75. They drafted Schultz, who was a 20 goal scorer, because St Louis beat the crap out of them in the previous years. And if Schultz didn’t kick your ass, you probably got beat on by Kelly or Dupont. And the entire league loved them for beating the Soviet team in 76. Quit your crying.

  10. BillReese - May 23, 2010 at 10:19 AM

    All the Flyers should have stuck out their tongues at the whole canadian bench. It was so weird their best scorrer did that last Thursday. I mean the guy who did that was just like a looser guy in football who makes one big tackle at the end of a game after his team had gotten their butts kicked for the whole game. I’ve seen that happen a number of times.. I mean it’s a joke when a guy celebrates a nothing moment in trouncing loss.
    Seems all the Habs top scorrers have nothing to be proud of.. 3 shutouts.. I mean can anyone really say this is a competitive series.. I think NOT..
    Habs are wimps, they’ll be gone soon. Thank God, because they disgust me, that guy is 100% right, they are the types to hold their pinkies out while sipping on drinks. I mean their fans are even worse, celebrating out into the streets, just like they won the stanley cup after winning “ONLY” one game against the Flyers.
    How many teams would dump sand on the mats to get a very cheap advantage??? Only teams that do that type thing are those who are not good enough to be there.
    BillReese (the REESEmister)

  11. deal with it - May 23, 2010 at 11:40 AM

    If you look at that play harder you’ll see that the strap came off, nothing to do with the blades, no excuse he got beat.

  12. rico - May 23, 2010 at 12:01 PM

    Get into the 21st century…

  13. John Galt - May 23, 2010 at 12:16 PM

    Why can the Flyers succeed where the Caps and Pens failed? Simple—the Flyers do not have that one super star that the Habs can concentrate on and shut down. OV? Shut down. Crosby? Shut down. Flyers play as a team; team defense, opportunistic offence and solid goal-tending. Habs cannot just sit back and stuff up the middle when the other team plays that same game to a much higher degree. In game 4 Flyers played right into the Habs trap and got smoked. I watched the last 15 minutes of the game yesterday and did not here the name Hal Gill once, Habs could not get a sniff of the net and Halak looked like a statue out there. It all points to a Hawks Flyers final. By the way if the Flyers somehow manage to win the cup, it will turn black instantly and disintegrate into ash, darkening the ice for all of eternity….

  14. MVP - May 23, 2010 at 1:14 PM

    The Flyers suck – are you kidding me – they barely even made the playoffs in the weaker conference. Carcillo is a disgrace to the league, and they are mediocre top to bottom. The Devils choked, the Bruins can’t score and choked, and the Habs are the team that actually beat 2 very good teams to get to where they are (and don’t ask me how, because they are mediocre just like the Flyers.)
    Saying that the Caps and Penguins only have one star that they rely on shows that you know nothing about what you speak. (And trust me, I can’t stand the Caps or the ‘Guins, but they are MUCH deeper teams than Philly is.)
    The Stanley Cup is being played for right now in the Western Conference between SJ & Chicago, because either of those teams will beat the crap out of the Flyers (or the Habs if they were to somehow come back, which they won’t.) In the West, the Flyers would have finished 7 points out of the playoffs…they (and others like Montreal) are merely recipients of the current rage in sports playoff systems where mediocrity is rewarded so that there is a “playoff race” down the stretch so people will watch.
    They lost as many games as they won this season – a .500 hockey club, and that is all they are. Don’t get all puffed up because they beat a few mediocre teams in the weak arm of the tournament. Basically, they suck.

  15. MVP - May 23, 2010 at 1:47 PM

    Yeah, Schultz was a great hockey player – give me a freaking break. Comparing Dave Schultz hockey abilities to Clark Gillies is preposterous. Schultz got 20 goals ONCE and had 79 for his career. Gillies scored over 30 six times and ended his career with over 300 goals. Dave Schultz was a bum.
    Schultz was only in the league because of expansion (dilution) and lax officiating because the NHL thought it needed that level of violence to equate to team success in order to sell their sport. Once they realized it made it look like roller derby or pro wrestling to the uninitiated public (whom they were attempting to woo), they enacted rules and enforced the ones they had to make it a true disadvantage to play that way.
    Even with more teams nowadays, Schultz and his schtick could never make the league today. I am sure a number of teams could find a use for Clark Gillies, or an enforcer with some true skills like Al Secord…both tough players with ability. Schultz was merely dirty.

  16. Flyntuck - May 23, 2010 at 2:44 PM

    I agree, I think the refs put the Sand in the hallway with a little help from the home team bench. They are all a bunch of brain frozen drunks. I thought they just had snow up there? In my option they should be disqualified. The Flyers are going to beat them any way. What were they thinking with there frozen brewed out Brains.

  17. MVP is a loser - May 23, 2010 at 6:21 PM

    Hey MVP
    quit cryin you baby
    and by the way. you suck

  18. Anonymous - May 23, 2010 at 7:03 PM

    Very intelligent analysis, and I am sure you are one of those people who can’t even skate but thinks they know something about hockey.
    I wasn’t crying about anything – just pointing out that the Flyers are mediocre (and will lose to the Black Hawks in 5), that Dave Schultz was a dirty hack, and not a very good hockey player, and now I can add pointing out that you are troglodyte to the list.

  19. MVP is a loser - May 23, 2010 at 7:30 PM

    since your first comment was absolutely incorrect, i can go with everything else is wrong as well. i skate, i play. been playing my whole life and still play to this date. although alot slower than i used to (although i might be quicker than the islanders). still a loser. i will add you to that list.

  20. MVP - May 23, 2010 at 7:46 PM

    Anytime you want to lace ’em up and let me crunch you through the boards (clean but hard) I am ready. Gee, it seems that if you played you would have more snap than you do. PS – I hated those old Islander teams, but they were damn good.
    And a team that loses as many games as it wins is just not a good team…and the Flyers are just not that good. If they were to somehow win the Cup they would be the poorest team that I have ever seen do it…but if they can somehow (and I doubt that they will) then it just points out the flaws in the NHL system that rewards a team that can’t win more games than they lose, and points out the worthlessness of the regular season.

  21. MVP is a loser - May 23, 2010 at 7:51 PM

    you write like you just sucked a lemon. relax, unclench your butt and go outside for a little while. maybe take your boyfriend out for a night on the town. i am sure you check everyone through the boards snappy.

  22. Orangeman - May 23, 2010 at 8:16 PM

    MVP you really don’t seem that intelligent. First of all most of the greatest minds in sports never played them at a high level. Vince Lombardi anyone, and by the Lord Stanley wasn’t much of a player either. It’s amazing what power and money can do for you.
    THe Flyers were picked to win the Cup before the season based on their depth of talent alone. They were plaqued by injury on every level and managed to work through it, make a run at the end for the playoffs and then made history in them. So if that is mediocre what is the whole Western conference. The number one seed in that conference can’t seem to win a thing ever. The Redwings are their only bright spot and they lost to who….. The Phoenix Coyotes.
    As for the Bullies, like Grimjack said. That was in retaliation because they were getting smeared in the playoffs. It does suck getting beat at your own game. Kind of what we are doing to the Habs right now!! Not to mention it was almost 40 years ago. That means you’re an old man. Grow up. Are you still mad at prohibition too?

  23. Orangeman - May 23, 2010 at 8:21 PM

    MVP what are the playoffs for anyway? Why don’t they just ask you who should get it? Playoffs exist because of character. (Do you need a definitioin?) That is what makes champions. Anyone can win when it doesn’t matter but the ones who can take there will and impose it on others are what we want. You are a poser and a whiner.

  24. MVP - May 23, 2010 at 8:36 PM

    A.) All I originally said was that Flyers are mediocre…that anyone is picked to win by a bunch of sports writers in any sport doesn’t mean crap. There were 7 teams in the West with over 100 points. The Flyers won and lost 41 games. (An overtime loss is still a loss.) MEDIOCRE.
    B.) All I pointed out was that Clark Gillies was a legitimate hockey talent compared to Dave Schultz. Six 30+ goal seasons vs one 20 goal season. Comparing Schultz to Gillies in hockey skills (or fighting for that matter) is like comparing Hanna Montana to Beethoven.
    C.) The Phoenix Coyotes had 19 more points (107) than the Flyers did and played in the tougher conference. So if they are no good what does that say about the Flyers? (Kinda hurts to fall on your own sword, doesn’t it?)
    D.) Lombardi never played in the NFL, but he played in HS and college (for Fordham.) He knew football from experience…
    E.) I will pit my “old man” athletic ability against yours any day; on the ice or in the weight room. (Just not on a basketball court – I can’t play hoops for crap.)
    F.) Sounds like your homophobic rant is a form of projection. Go ahead dude, come out of the closet, it’s OK – it’s the new millennium, we have to accept guys like you in this “PC” environment, so don’t lash out at heterosexuals, just accept yourself for the raging homo that you are and everything will be OK…
    G.) Philly is a lame-ass town anyway. I was there 2 weeks ago and couldn’t leave fast enough. Makes Camden look nice just so you can have Philly in your rear-view mirror…

  25. Orangeman - May 23, 2010 at 8:52 PM

    Right on but you didn’t respond to anything I said. Again the playoffs are there for a reason. From your logic they should just give the cup to the team with the most regular season wins. Every sport has playoffs because every smart person knows that cream rises to the top when the pressure is on. I watch all sports and there sytems are all pretty much the same for a reason. We all know that teams have ups and downs. Why do you think the playoffs are seven game series? Your just trying to prove your point with stats that don’t matter. All those teams you named are out, meaning they were not as good as the other team they were playing. Simple. The regular season is long gone and nobody cares about yesterday.
    And then your little deal at the end. You don’t even know me. I could be 280lb. Marine or a 100lb shrimp. That being said lay off the intimidation. You sound stupid already without it.
    The West being the tougher conference is really funny. Just the simple fact that the # 1 and 2 seed were left and the # 7 and 8 seed in the East shows the East is more competitive. Any idiot could figure that out. Not to mention look at the winners for the last ten years. It is a pretty even split for the cup winners so your wrong again.

  26. Orangeman - May 23, 2010 at 8:58 PM

    Not to mention you’re a wierdo. Your talking about us playing sports together. You sound like the kind of loser I would belittle from the moment I laid eyes on you. I don’t hang with dumb, ignorant old guys who love the good ole days. Not that this has anything to do with it but I figured since your trying to belittle people I’d hook you up.

  27. MVP - May 23, 2010 at 9:33 PM

    Hey shit-for-brains:
    Obviously there should be playoffs. But letting .500 teams in is rewarding mediocrity. (Do you even know what that word means? Perhaps you can have someone read to you from a dictionary.) With a 30 team league they should do the top 4 from each conference only, but they can’t because of MONEY. Even the NFL, which is the most over-hyped league out there, only lets 10 out of 34 teams into the post season.
    And as long as you are going to call people ignorant, it is correctly “you’re” (a conjunction of “you are”) in the context in which you were speaking. Here’s a sentence you can use to help you remember: “If YOU’RE going to post in English on the internet, you shouldn’t show YOUR ignorance by using incorrect English vocabulary.” I take it that third grade was a bit of a struggle for you?
    The homophobic crack was for the other guy, not you…but if you want to get all bent out of shape, by all means, be my guest.
    I don’t just talk about sports – I play them. Not well enough to have been a professional, but good enough to have played D-2 NCAA hockey, good enough to officiate for USA Hockey for years (still do), and good enough that I am not just a “jock sniffer” – someone who only talks about sports but never really played them, and only knows what the announcers tell him. If you want I will give you a job being my stick bitch…
    And your (note the correct use of that word) reference to Lord Stanley was so off-topic I wasn’t going to even mention it, but it is easily the poorest debate point made in all of this.
    Hey, let’s see if we can agree on one thing – does Mike Milbury suck on NBC or what? And BTW: Orangeman – are you a Syracuse guy?
    Now if you’ll excuse me I have to get back to work on a paper for school on peripheral arterial disease.

  28. Orangeman - May 23, 2010 at 9:51 PM

    You’re excused. My mistake but I am drunk so forgive me. Again your logic is flawed proved by the Habs and Flyers being in the East finals. They both obviosly deserved to be in contention or they would not have made it this far. I guess they didn’t really win those games. I guess the Flyers actually allowed goals in those shutouts. I am so confused I don’t know what to believe. LOL.
    Mike is a loser but so are you.
    I will pretend that that comment was directed to me. I like taking on men who think they are tough. The Stanley comment was to show playing a sport doesn’t make you an expert and not playing doesn’t exclude someone from being an expert. I know a ton of guys that play sports and suck at them so I am unimpressed. I am a Hall of Fame Quarterback. So there. See how stupid that is. So get back to your school work. Maybe you should have done that a long time ago. Sounds like this “stick bitch” could probably own you. Have fun in residency. I am about done and sounds like you’re not even close!!

  29. MVP - May 23, 2010 at 11:12 PM

    I’m actually in my rotations year, f*ck you very much.
    The Stanley comment didn’t prove anything – Stanley didn’t know shit about hockey, he just donated a trophy. In fact I believe it is a fact that he never even saw a hockey game in his life…but that may be an urban legend. In any event he knew nothing about the game that has his trophy.
    And the Flyers and Habs actually prove my point – in a short series of 7 games an inferior team can get hot and have a run of luck…that is the point of having a regular season, to weed out the mediocrity. And that is what the NHL doesn’t do.
    Although I have always been a big Chris Pronger fan…he’s an animal, and has been ever since he came up with the Whalers. And Blair Betts is underrated – wins face-offs and kills penalties…does things that don’t show up on the score sheet but help to win games.
    You couldn’t own me if you robbed Goldman-Sachs. And drunk is good for you…keeps you from having to deal with the reality that your favorite hockey team just isn’t that good.
    Watch Mr. Cheap-shot Danny Carcillo run for his mommy when he has to deal with a real physical presence like Dustin Byfuglien.
    Hawks in 5 dude. Get used to the idea.

  30. Orangeman - May 23, 2010 at 11:40 PM

    Arthur Stanley never played but saw that there should be a playoffs and a reward for the winning team. He founded the OHA and hockey in Great Britain. His sons started teams. He also saw the need for established guidlines for rules and officiating. That would be tough without knowing a little something about the game. Seems unlikely he never saw a hockey game don’t you think?
    My team has been bad in the past as well as great. They are a very good team right now. I live in Phoenix and deal with sports fans like you all the time. People who cannot give credit where it is do. As for Carcillo. Thanks for proving my point. He isn’t even dressing now because we got our injured players back. The idea that he is a whiner is hilarious. The fact that the Flyers played through all the injuries to get to where they are only proves their depth. The Flyers have never had a whiner other than Lindros. We got rid of him in spite of how good he was. Buf is a monster but i think Pronger will handle him no problem. If the Hawks win it good for them. I will say they were the better team and not make myself look like a whining baby.
    A short series of seven games? Do you know of a longer series?
    You are a horrible fan. Teams getting hot and winning championships is what it’s all about. Again I ask you. Why do we have playoffs from your point of view? Every major sport (except football which also plays far less regular season games) allows eight teams to the playoffs. You obviously know more than the powers that be. You seem to have a better idea. Thats probably why your arguing with me on the internet and they are running leagues netting astronomical amounts of money and commanding millions of loyal fans.
    All in all you seem alright. A little confused and bitter but good luck buddy.

  31. John Galt - May 23, 2010 at 11:47 PM

    What about the sand? Is the NHL going to take the word of the Habs coach that it was bad for both teams? I saw Hartnell fall flat on his face three times on one shift. This whole thing stinks really bad and with all the crappy calls and ignorant fans it is starting to look like the home of the Habs is pit full of cheaters and loudmouth,
    know-nothing fans.

  32. Orangeman - May 23, 2010 at 11:55 PM

    No kidding. They claim to be the class of the NHL, or sports for that matter, and this is despicable. No worries though my friend. We get to close it at home!

  33. Homer - May 24, 2010 at 10:29 AM

    Thanks for getting back to the topic (what a bore reading some of those long winded I’m-smarter-than-u rants)
    Despite the sand or whatever, that was one of the most enjoyable games ever—can u imagine if there were no skate issues??? :)

  34. FlyGUY - May 24, 2010 at 12:51 PM

    That wasn’t enjoyable at all. Aside from the sand the Habs played dirty as hell. Tripping, holding sticks, goalie slashes. Both of those Montreal home games were hard to watch. The Flyers played a great game and we won despite all that but it was far from pretty.
    You obviously weren’t that thankful to get back to topic or you wouldn’t have gone off it with your first sentence. Sometimes conversations take a turn and sometimes they turn to debates. If you don’t like it a sports forum is the last place for you.

  35. Flyers Hockey Girl - May 24, 2010 at 1:01 PM

    Okay… MVP… the one thing i keep seeing you mention is how they LET a .500 team into the playoff’s… its not the fact that they LET the flyers into the playoff’s they won fair and square. the last game they needed to win was against the flyers which they did in an OT goal. and if anyone doesnt think they deserve to be in the playoffs take a look from their last game. their skates were F*ed up because of that sand nonsence and still shut the game out. unfair play and the Flyers still had enough skill to take yet another win.
    Mind you the blackhawks arent the best team in the league with the best past time either… heck the last time they won a stanley cup was 49 years ago. i know that the flyers are going to take it all but there will be a lot of blood shed from both teams on the way to getting it.

  36. Flyers Hockey Girl - May 24, 2010 at 1:07 PM

    oops… typing error.. Ment to write the Rangers…

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