As soon as I walked into the doors of the Wells Fargo Center, I headed directly to section 102 to stand against the tunnel to see my hockey hero once again. I waited there anxiously for about 45 minutes until pre-game warmups began. The crowd surrounding the visitors tunnel was the same or larger than the one surrounding that of the Flyers. I got my high five that I waited 3/4 of an hour for and I patted Richie on the back then took 94 pictures of him during warmups.
Walking around the concourse, I was heckled and received several boos from fellow Flyers fans, but that was expected. I was there to support Mike Richards and the Flyers. It wasn’t easy to do as he was booed every time he touched the puck. I was unhappy with how hard the fans were on him and I was even more pissed off with the little recognition he received. I felt that the “Thanks Richie” blah blah blah on the scoreboard screen wasn’t enough. Yes, he had his ups and downs, but the man deserved more than a 3 second long standing ovation and then getting booed for the rest of the game. For those of you who booed him, remember that you won’t see him in Philly again till the 2013-2014 season (unless we play them in the Stanley Cup before than).
Enough with my obsession over Mike Richards and more about the game. On the first shift of the game, Zac Rinaldo made his presence known with a HUGE hit on Drew Doughty. Of course, a fight was the result of this collision and a Flyers power play when I believe it was Dustin Penner was given the 2 and the 10. Danny Briere scored his first goal of the season and gave the Flyers the lead. This changed quickly when Justin Williams (NOTE: Another former Flyer) knotted up the game at 1 going into the 2nd. The second period was filled with a ton of chances for the Flyers, but Jonathan Quick was tremendous in net.
Justin Williams scored his second of the game in the third and the Flyers again took way to many penalties. Mike Richards gave the Flyers an early Christmas by taking a penalty which lead to Matt Carle’s goal that sent this game to OT. Before that happened though, with about 20 seconds left in regulation, a tripping penalty was assessed to James van Riemsdyk was drawn by Simon Gagne (NOTE: Another former Flyer). Mike Richards winded up at the 4-3 penalty was about to end in OT, faked the shot, passed to Jack Johnson, and he scored. All 3 former Flyers had something to do with the Flyers’ first loss of the season in Mike Richard’s brutal and unwelcoming return to Philadelphia. The Flyers take the ice again on Tuesday, October 18 at the Scotiabank Place as they take on the Ottawa Senators and plan to improve to 4-0-1.