Last night in a game between the Philadelphia Flyers and the Washington Capitals, NHL fans experienced there third major brawl of the season. (Two regular season games and one preseason). The game itself was a blowout. The Capitals were up 7-0 on the Flyers when the brawl broke out. The brawl was started by the Flyers Wayne Simmons of who was hitting everyone on the hit. Tom Wilson of the Capitals didn’t take Simmons actions to kindly and dropped the gloves.
The shocking part of this brawl was that Ray Emery the Flyers goalie skated down the ice and attacked Braden Holtby. When Emery was asked about the fight he stated about Holtby, “He didn’t really have much of a choice”. Emery would pepper Holtby with punches. The Emery/Holtby fight has been described as the NHL version of assault.
Emery has not been shy during his career about mixing it up when it comes to fights, however, this fight was different. This fight might be the frustrations of the Flyers and specially Emery boiling over. Last season Emery was in the conversation for Venza trophy. This year he is having an awful season. Last season Emery posted impressive numbers in 21 games played. He was 17-1 with a save percentage of 92.2% and a 1.94 goals against. Emery’s play during the regular season had made such impression on fans and members of the media. When Corey Crawford struggled in the Stanley Cup Finals. Many fans and members of the media were shouting for the Blackhawks to replace Crawford. Crawford had allowed five goals; four on his glove side in game four of Stanley Cup Finals. The Blackhawks would stay with Crawford and win the Stanley Cup.
Emery would leave the Blackhawks for the opportunity to become a starting goal tender. The Philadelphia Flyers would giveEmery his chance to become a starting goalie in the NHL again. The Flyers had just parts ways with Ilya Bryzgalov. Bryzgalov would go in 19-17 with a 90% save percentage and 2.79 goals allowed last season. Emery this season has learned that maybe the Blackhawks defense had something to do with his impressive numbers last season. The Blackhawks defense last season was ranked 2nd in goals against last season. This season Emery and the Flyers defense have struggled. Emery is 0-2 in three games with a save percentage of 84.6% and 5.07 goals against. The Flyers defense is ranked 13th in goals against.
Emery is learning that the Flyers defense is not as good as the Blackhawks. He is also finding out that the Flyers offense is not scoring many goals either. They are ranked 29th out of 30 in goals scored. Ray Emery let all the frustrations of this season out on poor Braden Holtby. Emery and Flyers need to focus less on hitting their opponents and more on outscoring them. In sports winning solves all problems. Right now Emery and the Flyers are not doing much winning.