I'll start by wishing everyone a happy Easter. Hope it was a time of great reflection and celebration!
But onto our weekly series, Sunday Night Fights. So long, regular season! Hello, playoff hockey! Another great regular season under the belt and hopefully an even greater playoff season to come. The season ended last week, and it's always nice to end things with a BANG! If you have been keeping up with this series, I have left the last couple of posts with some nice bonus footage. What a joy it is to get some continuation action from some of the bonus footage, especially heading into the playoffs. So let's rewind, shall we...
April 1st. Philadelphia Flyers visited the Pittsburgh Penguins. Flyers just scored in the 3rd period, pushing their lead to 6-3 with a little less than two minutes left in an already highly-contested game. Penguins coach, Dan Bylsma, sent out his 4th line (aka the "Checking Line" aka the "Goonies" aka the "we're down by 3 goals so let's make this game even more interesting" line). And more interesting it certainly was. First-year Penguins Center Joe Vitale made sure he got to meet 13-year veteran Flyers Center Daniel Briere.
I don't think Vitale will be getting Briere's autograph anytime soon. Actually, I don't think anyone will be -- Briere was sidelined for the remainder of the season with an upper back contusion. Ouch. Let's also note Vitale took out Defenseman Nicklas Grossmann earlier in the game.
Fast forward to yesterday when the two teams met again, and let's just say the Philadelphia Flyers didn't quite forget about the hit. But Mr. Vitale just don't care. He don't give a... roll the tape!
I'm not sure why the Flyers sent out Harry Zolnierczyk, but only throwing one punch to someone who took out two of your players doesn't seem quite fulfilling. Well, lesson learned. Don't mess with Joe Vitale. He just don't care.
So with that, cheers to the regular season! Let the playoffs begin!
Can't leave bonus footage the last two weeks and leave y'all hanging this week, so enjoy some classic Jody Shelley.
You ready for some playoff hockey?
Photos and video courtesy of hockeyfights.com, youtube.com, timesonline.com, & examiner.com