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Flyers say brawl helped bring them together

Nov 4, 2013, 2:14 PM EDT

Ray Emery Getty Images

On Friday night, while most were condemning the Philadelphia Flyers for starting a brawling during a 7-0 loss to Washington, there were at least two onlookers sticking up for the embattled team’s actions.

“This is good. This is life here.” said former Flyers defenseman Chris Therien, now the radio color analyst, during the broadcast on 97.5 The Fanatic.

“Where the hell has this been most of the night?” added play-by-play man Tim Saunders after Flyers goalie Ray Emery skated down the ice to “dummy” Capitals netminder Braden Holtby, as Therien put it.

To listen to the call, click here.

Following the game, Therien took to Twitter to defend himself against a group of critics that even included celebrity hockey fan Pat Sajak.

“I never said it was the right thing to do but it’s a hockey thing to do,” Therien wrote. “You’re down huge in your own building. You try your damdest to instill a spark in your team. That’s all Ray did. Whether you liked it or not, he was doing what he thought was right for his team then and moving forward. If you don’t get it, then go watch Ice Capades. That’s it.”

It still wasn’t the most popular opinion. But three days, and a 1-0 win over New Jersey, later and — hey, would you look at that? — Flyers players are saying the brawl did, indeed, give them a spark.

“You can definitely build from that. It’s team bonding,” forward Vinny Lecavalier said, per “You see your teammates going at it and they played a great game that next game and did other things to play as a team. Hopefully, it will snowball and we’ll start a streak here and get going.”

“People are all over Razor for doing that,” said forward Scott Hartnell. “But look what he did. He played solid for us and got us a shutout (versus the Devils). We were excited. Even though the crowd booed us the whole game, it felt like a win after that little scrum. We love it, fans love it here in Philly. It’s part of our heritage. We definitely fed off it. We gotta keep doing it. We can’t win one and lose two every time. It’s got to continue.”

The Flyers are in Carolina Tuesday before returning home for a rematch with New Jersey on Thursday. Whether the positive momentum “will snowball” remains to be seen; it’s hard to believe all the team needed was a violence-fueled shot of energy to turn things around.

But as veteran d-man Hal Gill put it, “You take whatever you can get.”

Related: Bettman on Emery fight: ‘I don’t think anybody liked it, liked what it looked like’

  1. 1337ryan - Nov 4, 2013 at 2:26 PM

    This is one of those fights that the “get-fighting-out-of-hockey” people will point to because Emery really had no reason to skate to Holtby and start a beating (it wasn’t even a fight and Holtby should be ashamed of himself). I like fights in hockey. There’s usually a story or reason behind it. Not here.

    • hockey412 - Nov 4, 2013 at 2:34 PM

      Stupidity is ALWAYS a reason to fight. Holtby had no reason, nor desire (nor ability) to fight Emery. Something tells me he’s not too ashamed of a 7-0 shutout.

      The sad part is that Emery most likely earned himself a starting gig and an 8 year, $80M contract with a NMC.

      • 1337ryan - Nov 4, 2013 at 2:48 PM

        Oh, I totally understand Holtby not wanting/needing to fight, but at some point you need to stick up for yourself and fight back when you’re getting absolutely humiliated.

      • elvispocomo - Nov 4, 2013 at 3:18 PM

        @ryan: The Flyers should look at their performance with the gloves on for a good place to start fighting back, or else they’ll get humiliated more as the season goes on.

      • 1337ryan - Nov 4, 2013 at 3:31 PM

        I’m not defending the Flyers at all. They’re terrible and I don’t like them. Definitely not Emery for being a thug that was just angry he’s a crappy goalie. Just commenting on Holtby letting that happen to him. Maybe I’m the oddball for thinking I would try and fight back a little if I’m attacked. Maybe turtle at the beginning, but when I notice no one is going to help me I would think about doing something.

      • hockey412 - Nov 4, 2013 at 4:07 PM

        Eh, can’t disagree. I think he might have been hoping for a little help from the ref. Little did he know the ref was too busy waving teammates away from him with those big handheld airport traffic control lights to even be thinking about jumping in.

  2. stcrowe - Nov 4, 2013 at 2:26 PM

    Yes, that really makes up for losing 7-0. As Ed Snider said, “That’s our culture!”

  3. skr213 - Nov 4, 2013 at 2:37 PM

    If Philly fans and players are stupid enough to think that one dumb brawl (that injures two of your own players) is enough to make up for years of bad GM’ing, then I feel worse for them than I did before. (and no I am NOT a guy who wants to take fighting out of hockey)

  4. tobie1003 - Nov 4, 2013 at 2:38 PM

    I can’t believe Philly thinks this helps them right the ship. You best a team that is just as bad as you are. Congrats on being the laughing stock of the nhl. Hope you rot in hell

    • ibieiniid - Nov 4, 2013 at 2:47 PM

      ^^^ here’s a guy taking hockey a little bit too seriously.

      • drone501 - Nov 4, 2013 at 5:38 PM

        your goalie beat up a lightweight goalie, two of your forwards got the hell beat out of them, one to the hospital, the other has his face rearranged, how does that pull this team together.?

      • stinkpretty1 - Nov 4, 2013 at 10:26 PM

        Not a fan of the Flyers (Snider) or Baseball BUT i do love and respect tradition. Vinny Lecav, Snider and Hartnell are all right.

        The NHL now is always changing, no doubt about it. Rivalries, traditions, Jerseys, Rules etc. At least baseball holds it together with these points.

        Most hockey fans love the retro memorabilia, logos, jerseys, 24 Stanley Cup Rings, Maurice Richard, but no post 2005 lockout Rules.

        All im trying to say is, when everyone does something they can all relate too, it brings them together. Let their organization respond to the questions from the reporters. If they had their choice, they wouldn’t talk to the media.

    • xflyersx - Nov 4, 2013 at 2:58 PM

      Seriously, go get laid bud

      • babykaby - Nov 4, 2013 at 7:34 PM

        You probably don’t even know what that means.

  5. upper90cheese - Nov 4, 2013 at 2:51 PM

    The Flyers were getting owned on their home ice. Washington was running up the score. Emery instigated a fight and showed the fans and his teamates that he cares and wants to turn this thing around. Next game he registers a shutout and the Flyers get a badly needed victory.

    I think its better than getting beat 7-0 and just quietly taking it. Show some emotion for your fans who spent hard earned money on a ticket.

    The league front office, Colin Campbell in particular, despises the Flyers. They are the most penalized team year after year no matter how they play. Might as well make the PIMs count.

    Good job Razor!

    • hockey412 - Nov 4, 2013 at 3:05 PM

      And Downie and Vinnie – don’t forget to give them their share for helping the team!

    • elvispocomo - Nov 4, 2013 at 3:28 PM

      The league despises the the Flyers? Sure, they’ve been top of the league (or near) in penalty minutes but they’re also top in the league (ore near) in fighting majors, misconducts and game misconducts as a large portion of that. That has more to do with it than getting a lot of questionable minor penalties, although they’re up there in that regard as well.

      There’s a difference between physical and disciplined. The Flyers are a much less penalized team when they fight less and do less stupid things that result in misconducts. Who knows, they might even be a better team overall if they could separate themselves from the violence of the Broad Street Bullies and focus more on offence, defence and team play.

    • 2qswing - Nov 4, 2013 at 3:44 PM

      “I think its better than getting beat 7-0 and just quietly taking it.”
      or uh maybe uhh … score a goal.

      Friday I was flipping between this game and Jackets/Pens. The Jackets were also outmatched, down 4-0 quickly, pulled the goalie. The difference? they acted like professional NHL players and played their a$$es off for the rest of the game, eventually losing 4-2. They didn’t goon it up. As I said before only in Flyer land can you let in 4goals on 15 shots, game misconduct, goon it up with the opposing goaltender and get third star.
      Saunders, maybe you are better off calling the Charlestown Chief games in the Federal league.

    • babykaby - Nov 4, 2013 at 7:47 PM

      Wow. Flyers get a shut out against a team that is having a tough time scoring in NJ. Wow, so that proves a spark has been lit? The Flyers start a melee against a so-called “soft” Capitals team who is beating them 7-0, Caps put two of your players on the injured list (one in the hospital for a stay), and the goalie that got beaten by your boxer-trained thug goalie is standing there laughing afterwards, while your thug is shown the door. Wow. I’d say Caps won all the way around. There are a number of teams in the nhl that are having problems this season, but there is only one team that has no honor and deserves no respect, it doesn’t surprise me at al that they are located in Philly. Nothing more than a group of thugs.

    • slobberface - Nov 4, 2013 at 7:51 PM

      Yeah, good job getting goalie fights banned. I love a good goalie fight. Remember Osgood and Roy, that was awesome. But now this goalie who is a borderline NHLer and could only get a job in Philly has the league talking about 10 game suspensions for goalie fights. Is this worth never seeing a goalie fight again?

      The league hates the Flyers? You understand Snider has as much influence over Bettman as any owner, right?

  6. pitpenguinsrulez - Nov 4, 2013 at 2:58 PM

    “Team Bonding” yeah more like “Goon Bonding” while out in Love Park with Berube and company

    • ibieiniid - Nov 4, 2013 at 3:08 PM

      feel like you tried real hard to make that some sort of insult, but we woulda gotten the point had you just said “goons.”

    • broadstreetbeatdown - Nov 4, 2013 at 9:13 PM

      Is that where you’ve been hanging out again?

  7. mclovinhockey - Nov 4, 2013 at 3:17 PM

    Question! Did the franchise play it’s best defensive game in years after this without 2 of its 3 first liners??

    Clearly it did something.

    I was not a fan of the fight, but it worked.

    As for saying “years of bad GMing”… What? This year the GM grabbed the top free agent in each field, last year he went all the same. Between Bob and Mason deals he gave up a goalie who has yet to prove he can play well after 55 games, for a better (better GAA and sv% this year) goalie plus got 2 top prospects in that deal.
    JVR for Schenn was a bad deal for Philly but JVR was also a 3rd liner in Philly. The Richards and Carter deals were both good for Philly and LA.. Not the jackets though.
    He did not sign Bryz, that was the owners fault. Before that he was considered one of the leagues best GMs. So years of bad GMing is an ignorant statement.

    Just needs better coaching.

    • 2qswing - Nov 4, 2013 at 4:06 PM

      ^^^ must be a relative of Paul Homgren. Those other 18,000 people chanting fire Holmgren are all nuts right?
      We Jacket fans are just fine with JJ and a first round pick for do nothing Carter. If you think Mason for Bob tilts your way, well I just don’t know what to say. You even managed to justify JVR for Schenn.

      How about getting another NHL caliber defenceman to add to the two you already have, one of which is pushing 40. might cut down on the 4 or 5 odd-man-breaks you see every night. Nice discipline

      • narfmoo12 - Nov 4, 2013 at 4:22 PM

        Hey.. how’s Bobrovsky doing this year? 2.72/.910 … Mason is 2.42/.922

        Everyone was all about Bob last year when he won the Vezina in a lockout shortened season. Let’s see how he does this year over a full season. I’d bet his GAA ends up north of 2.50 and his save % is south of .915.

      • broadstreetsbaddest88 - Nov 4, 2013 at 10:39 PM

        How do you justify that you won in the carter deal. We got jake voracek and nick cousins whose been tearing it up in juniors an ahl and jakes had more points since carter since then. Not to mention we got stolarz our future goalie in the bob trade plus two other picks that can out weigh the deal in the future. Bob played 20 good games if that and won a vezina. Where did that get ya? Certainly not the playoffs and sucks this year. You’ll never see them numbers again from him. Mason has been amazing since then and he only cost us a 3rd and leighton who you no longer have.

  8. tobie1003 - Nov 4, 2013 at 3:38 PM

    I’m not a guy who wants fighting out of hockey, but I don’t understand why you flyer fans are so excited about your team getting in a fight and it turning your teams fortunes around. It IS hockey, you are suppose to win games , not fights.

    • ibieiniid - Nov 4, 2013 at 3:50 PM

      first off, who are these “flyer fans” you’re referring to. there’s only 1 comment that gave them any sort of praise or showed any sort of excitement and they simply said “Good job Razor!” It was a poorly-timed, forced fight that doesn’t really have a place in the game of hockey. we get it. are we suddenly not fans anymore? it’s been just about the only positive we’ve had to go on as fans this year, even if it was just coincidence we shut out the Devs the day after. we aren’t pumped about it (although I do like to see that actor Holtby get punched a bit…. but not in the back of the head), but we’re supporting the team, looking for any positive for them to build on…. because it sure as hell isn’t goals/wins right now. let it be and quit wishing athletes to be burned in hell because you don’t know where to separate sports and real life.

      • ibieiniid - Nov 4, 2013 at 3:50 PM

        question mark on the first sentence, and anywhere else i missed it*

      • ibieiniid - Nov 4, 2013 at 3:52 PM

        oh, and my lack of a “second off.” I hate when other people do that.

      • 2qswing - Nov 4, 2013 at 4:15 PM

        ^ well said

    • 2qswing - Nov 5, 2013 at 8:48 AM


      First of all I have met Steve Mason twice at team ticket holder events. Even met his dad. He’s a great kid and I am pulling for him. There is talent there, no question. If there was ever a situation crying out for a change of scenery it was Mason. That said … no goaltender can hold up with your undisciplined defense and forwards. Philly is where goalies go to die.

      Carter deal. All I’m saying is that I gladly take Jack Johnson and a first round pick for the Jeff Carter that showed up in Columbus. Lazy slug for about 20 games. I hated losing Jake.
      So you see, unlike you I do not have to rip the players who left (except Carter) in order to make my point. In fact I wish them well. Bob will be just fine. And frankly even if he slips, if we don’t start scoring more than 2 goals a game it wont matter. As a Flyers fan I’m sure that is something you can relate to. Hopefully Horton can help with his return. Enjoy your goalie fights.

  9. vbcaps - Nov 4, 2013 at 4:01 PM

    Bring together? The brawl Sent your newly traded player (downie) to the hospital and #40 missing time with facial injuries…

  10. antmel30 - Nov 4, 2013 at 4:07 PM

    Pittpensrule was that the type of bonding Crosby led then in gm 3 of playoffs against flyers with asham. I kind of remember letang doing something to timmonen that was pretty close to what emery did. I guess that’s fine thought again pens fans show how clueless and hypocritical they have become. I guess that’s what happens when your fan base starts in 08. I know a 1975 will come in sooner or later but 75 or not Dave whilst a goon has more rings then Crosby and malkin I laughter at that alone.

    • curioustraveler13 - Nov 4, 2013 at 4:18 PM

      Dave Whilst also has more rings then giroux. So does anyone else who has ever won the stanley cup though.

      • ibieiniid - Nov 4, 2013 at 4:24 PM

        ^^^ feigning knowledge of a guy named Dave Whilst. just pointing that out.

      • curioustraveler13 - Nov 4, 2013 at 4:30 PM

        I have no idea who dave whilst is. However I am not ashamed of that. If he says hes some goon who won the cup more times then croby and malkin, I am just pointing out that hes won it more times the giroux too.

      • curioustraveler13 - Nov 4, 2013 at 4:33 PM

        ahhh i see the correction to shultz now! Same logic still applies. Dave Shultz has more cups then giroux!

      • broadstreetbeatdown - Nov 4, 2013 at 9:18 PM

        Ha ha ha. Owned!! Who’s Dave Whilst? proves what everyone here says about Pens fans. Life long Pens fan here…since 2006

    • drone501 - Nov 4, 2013 at 5:41 PM

      you what, idiot?

  11. antmel30 - Nov 4, 2013 at 4:10 PM

    Lol I phone Dave Shultz sorry for typos

    • ibieiniid - Nov 4, 2013 at 4:10 PM

      take your gloves off, it’s not that cold.

  12. sjsharks66 - Nov 4, 2013 at 4:20 PM

    “You can really build from that” how is Downie’s brain and Vinny’s face feeling? This is why the Flyers are failures.

    • ibieiniid - Nov 4, 2013 at 4:36 PM

      OHHHHHH S***! you are curioustraveler, curioustraveler is you. sjsharks66 is so you can pretend you’re still a Sharks fan. curioustraveler is so you can agree with yourself on Flyers threads. makes so much sense.

      • curioustraveler13 - Nov 4, 2013 at 4:47 PM

        haha i do enjoy watching the sharks play hockey, but sadly like every other post who have ever written, you are wrong.

    • broadstreetbeatdown - Nov 4, 2013 at 9:44 PM

      LOL at a Sharks fan. You have how many cups? Have you ever been to the SCF? Don’t hurt your brain too hard thinking about that.

  13. kicksave1980 - Nov 4, 2013 at 4:42 PM

    I’m not a Flyers fan, and I can definitely understand the points that some of you are making. I can see both sides to this. I also understand what some of the Flyers mean when they say that something like this brings a team together. Yeah, they got crushed in the game, but they went out there and (stupidly) did something rather than rolling over. Eventually a team says ‘enough’ and takes matters into their own hands. So, as stupid as it seems to the majority of people out there, when they go into the locker room together after something like that, do you think they feel ashamed? Absolutely not. And most people who think otherwise likely have no idea what the culture of a team unit is.

    I’m not saying that what the Flyers did the other night was right. I’m saying I understand how it can have the ability to bring them together, regardless of how stupid the reason is.

  14. mattyo99 - Nov 4, 2013 at 4:57 PM

    So many pussies on here, so little time. Whaaa😩😭!! Fighting is bad.,whaaa! STFU! Every team has been guilty at one time or another,see: penguins 2012playoffs

    • zilla2108 - Nov 4, 2013 at 6:17 PM

      So there are people complaining and bit##ng about what emery did, and the brawl. You know what its hockey this has happened before and has been going on for years.There was nothing wrong at it was a brawl it happens in hockey get over it!!!!!!! No one says anything when there is brawls in baseball or in football when there is a big hit or scuffle on the sidelines because of a hit, dirty or clean. If you don’t like fighting then don’t watch it and go watch the ballet!!!!!!!!

  15. babykaby - Nov 4, 2013 at 7:11 PM

    Emery should have beat up on one of his own teammates if he wanted to light a spark. Why wait to try to “energize” your team so late in the game when there is not enough time to come back. The only thing thug Emery wanted was attention. He doesn’t deserve to wear a hockey jersey, give him a hoodie.

  16. swadehoo - Nov 4, 2013 at 7:36 PM

    I was about to call Sajak out, but he had a point. If his tweets are referred to in an article, then yes, this is definitely a niche sport.

  17. jimeejohnson - Nov 4, 2013 at 8:39 PM

    Gang rape helps bring evil scumbags together.

  18. buysamadrink - Nov 4, 2013 at 9:00 PM

    Hmm. Last I checked, I saw columns for wins, losses and OTL’s. I didn’t see one for moral victories…

    • 19to77 - Nov 4, 2013 at 11:03 PM

      Plus, I’m pretty sure they can’t even claim a moral victory. I mean, when the line brawl they start ends with two of their players on IR and the opposing goalie laughing at theirs as he gets thrown from the game, what possible “victory” is there?

  19. mcphillthy - Nov 4, 2013 at 9:48 PM

    I hope they don’t make that happen anytime soon. I would like to see emery beat up a few more goalies before he isn’t allowed anymore. I love emery and I love me flyers. He’s a back up anywy and we suck. Let him beat some heads in.
    Be honest… That was the only exciting part of that game.

  20. colby7 - Nov 4, 2013 at 10:03 PM

    I give Emery props, most people forget he came back from a serious injury to go undeafeted last year, get his name on the cup, and now come into Philly and secure a pay day by acting like a clown.

    2 words.. Job Security. If he did that on 29 other teams he would be on waivers tomorrow, in Philly they are probabaly making a short film to honor it.

    • ziplock10 - Nov 5, 2013 at 6:11 AM

      Once again, all the Broad Street Bullies nostalgia has fogged what actually happened.

      After going down 5-0, Volpatti checked and got into a fight with Downie. Downie actually asked V to stop hitting him because he was injured. If Z was an imbred like Emery, he just would have continued until he was unconscious, which he was close to that.

      The rest is history. With Holtby on all fours getting punched repeatable on the back of his head, the ref/linesman/who gives a crap, waved off Caps from stopping the fight. I guess suspensions for instigating whatever.

      Emery is to be commended for trying to have another goal wiped away by shaking his mask off.

  21. Brian Donohue - Nov 5, 2013 at 8:11 AM

    I thought it was a perfectly lovely fight, very musical in fact:

  22. michiganhockey11 - Nov 5, 2013 at 9:16 AM

    I love the tweet that Luongo put out yesterday that LBS posted.

    “If I ever see Ray Emery coming down the ice to fight me, I’m getting the F outta dodge!”

  23. joey4id - Nov 5, 2013 at 12:17 PM

    Great! Let the Flyers take the game back to the 70s. NHL needs this like a hole in the head. According to Burke fights are intended to pólice the game, not build team unity.

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