Before the playoffs began, coach John Stevens stressed that the Philadelphia Flyers needed to play disciplined, patient hockey to be successful.
So far, they have done nothing of the sort, and find themselves in a 1-0 hole after a lopsided affair in Pittsburgh on Wednesday night.
To add insult to injury, the Flyers will now be down a man in Game Two, as Daniel Carcillo was suspended one game for an "incident" at the end of Game One.
John Stevens was also fined $10,000 for no apparent reason. Carcillo's parents have also been banned from practices, and when he returns he will have to run 100 laps as additional punishment.
The league is claiming that in said "incident," Carcillo butt-ended Penguin Maxim Talbot, sending Talbot to the ice in a crying heap.
In reality, the penalty should be awarded to Talbot for his embellishment, as it looked like Carcillo was simply trying to win a face-off and his momentum carried his stick into Talbot's face. There was no blood, and no penalty called...so was it really that bad?
Now, it's not as if the Flyers are losing a top caliber player...it's just Carcillo, whose presence on a playoff roster is debatable to begin with.
But it is disturbing to see the officials take such rash actions over such a simple play. There was no brawl, nor did there appear to be any intent to injure. So why the call?
For the most part, the officiating was fair in Game One. The fact that the Flyers took a dozen penalties shows that they really didn't care about winning the game. They played undisciplined, stupid hockey. However, this does not justify over-calling, or refereeing by result.
The league stated that they would not allow "message sending." If this is the case, why was nothing done when Bill Guerin took Braydon Coburn to the ice right off a face-off?
Officiating has been a thorn in the Flyers sides for years, and yet the team still hasn't figured out how to work around it or avoid it completely. They had better figure something out quickly, or this series is going to be very short.