Caps ruin Laviolette's debut as Flyers coach
Tuesday, 08.16.2011 / 5:15 AM
Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior WriterPHILADELPHIA
-- New coach Peter Laviolette promises change is coming for the Philadelphia Flyers
. What he saw Saturday night is not the kind he is looking for.
The Ovechkin-less Washington Capitals
rung up an 8-2 win at Wachovia Center, wrecking Laviolette's debut behind the Flyers' bench.
Philadelphia couldn't overcome Daniel Carcillo's transgressions, which resulted in nine minutes of power-play time for the Capitals bridging the first and second periods. Washington scored three times during the long power play, essentially putting the game away.
Not helping matters was a sub-par effort from goaltender Ray Emery, who was pulled just over halfway through the game after stopping only 12 of 17 shots. Backup Brian Boucher didn't fare much better, giving up goals on two of the first four shots he faced.
The reeling Flyers, who somehow managed to outshoot the Capitals 36-30 and still get beat by six goals, have lost four in a row and seven of their last eight. They will get their first full practice with Laviolette on Sunday -- and it promises to be interesting.
"It starts with accountability to each other in this locker room. We've got to play for one another," Flyers defenseman Chris Pronger
said. "It starts with discipline penalty-wise, discipline in the system and the structure that the coaching staff put into place. Until we start understanding that, this is what you're going to get. It's not pretty and it's not fun. It's pretty darn embarrassing."
Capitals center Nicklas Backstrom
had five points and defenseman Mike Green
, playing in front of Team Canada Executive Director Steve Yzerman, finished with four. Tomas Fleischmann scored twice and Jose Theodore stopped 34 shots.
All that was nice, but the story of Saturday's game centers on Carcillo, who lost his cool 14:33 into the first period after getting hit cleanly by Matt Bradley near the penalty boxes.
Carcillo first cross-checked Bradley while he was on the ice, earning a two-minute minor penalty. He then instigated a fight with Bradley, good for another two minutes. Finally, before Bradley could get both gloves off, Carcillo cold-cocked him with a right hook to the face. That was good for a five-minute fighting major -- and on top of that he was issued a 10-minute misconduct and a game misconduct.
Bradley was not penalized, and the Capitals were awarded nine minutes of power play time. They struck three times and led 4-1 just 36 seconds into the second period -- then extended the lead to 7-1 by the end of the period.
Flyers captain Mike Richards said he spoke with Carcillo after the game and doesn't expect further transgressions.
"In the heat of the game sometimes emotions take over a little bit and I think (Carcillo) is well aware he made a mistake," Richards said. "I just talked to him and I think he learned from it. I don't think we'll be seeing that from him anymore."
Even though both Laviolette and Flyers GM Paul Holmgren thought Carcillo's punch was a result of Bradley also dropping his gloves -- a point the Caps' wing counters -- they both blamed Carcillo for being in the wrong.
"It shouldn't have happened," Holmgren said. "That's the bottom line. Yeah, (Bradley) hit him. It was a good hit. Danny gets hit and carries on, goes about his business and plays the game, we're not shorthanded for nine minutes."
Laviolette, who got the job after John Stevens was let go on Friday, was more frustrated with the initial cross-check.
"There ended up being a confrontation after the original two-minute penalty, which shouldn't have happened because if we're going to the box in an undisciplined manner we're not going to win hockey games," Laviolette said. "What happened after that it looked like the two guys looked at each other like they were going to fight and Danny got his gloves off quicker and popped him one, but Bradley's gloves were coming off as well it looked like to me. My whole point is it should have been avoided."
Carcillo said he felt bad for leaving his teammates out to dry on a nine-minute penalty kill, but he didn't see how he was in the wrong after the initial cross-check. He said he saw Bradley's gloves coming off, which is why he threw the punch.
"He dropped his gloves and I thought we were in a fight," said Carcillo, who said he expects to face some supplemental discipline from the League. "Once you see the gloves drop as a fighter, you don't wait to get punched. You punch and that's what I did."
Bradley, who didn't return but should be OK, said he did not drop his gloves yet even though he intended to engage Carcillo in a fight.
"Maybe it's my fault for not expecting that," Bradley said of the punch. "I was willing to fight him and didn't get going. Obviously I had my bell run and was a little woozy."
Washington cashed in twice on the power play before the end of the first on goals from Fleischmann and Green to stretch its lead to 3-1. Since the first penalty that was served was the fighting major, the Caps had five minutes to score as many goals as possible.
There was still 3:33 left on the power play at the start of the second, and Brooks Laich
made it 4-1 just 36 seconds into the period, knocking the power-play time down to two minutes because the goal wiped out the last 57 seconds on the first minor penalty.
Philadelphia killed off the second two-minute minor, but Carcillo's penalties resulted in three goals on six shots for Washington. The Flyers were cooked.
"Matt is one of the most popular players on the team, so when somebody takes liberties with him like that, I think the guys rallied around and said we want to make them play," Capitals coach Bruce Boudreau said. "We didn't want this to be for nothing."
Worse yet for the Flyers, they couldn't stop the bleeding once the penalties were over. Washington scored three more times in the second period on goals by Chris Clark, Backstrom and Green.
"If we would have killed that off I think it would have been a definite emotion builder on our part, but we didn't," Richards said. "That's the ballgame. We should have responded a lot better and I guess I'll hold the team accountable for that. I should have responded better. Now it's time to improve."
Contact Dan Rosen at firstname.lastname@example.org