“We want blood.”
Unfortunately for the Flyers fans, they did not get any blood, but they may have a player suspended.
Zac Rinaldo cross-checked Penguins Zbynek Michalek, and as Michalek tried to stand, Rinaldo viciously punched him in the face without provocation. The unnecessary, nasty play by Rinaldo may earn him the first Flyer suspension of this series. But if the on-the-ice antics weren’t enough, the fans booed when the Penguins player finally rose from the ice.
That is uncalled for.
Regardless of how much you hate the team you play against, seeing a player injured is horrible. I was in the Mellon Arena when Matt Cooke elbowed Marc Savard a few seasons ago. The agony of waiting to see if he was alright was excruciating. The arena was silent as fans both of Boston and Pittsburgh watched as Savard was taken off on a stretcher. He has not returned since.
But hearing the Philadelphia fans booing when a player gets up from a clearly vicious hit is ridiculous. It is not only a testament to the fans, but to the NHL of what the fans in Philadelphia believe in.
Illegal hits are illegal. They can cause injury, they can even, in extreme cases, cause death. In no situation is it OK to boo when I player gets up after a hit.
But that wasn’t all that happened during the game. Have a watch at what happens after Jordan Staal scores a goal.
Frustration will happen when your team is down by six, or more, goals in one game. But that does not give fans the go-ahead to act the way they did. The lack of class by Philadelphia both on the ice and off is disgusting. But I’m sure if there is a Game 6, it will be seen again.