So Comcast has set the media narrative, as we've seen it on Versus since the 2011 NHL Playoffs when the Tampa Bay Lightning kept surprising the big-shots of the NHL: Guy Boucher is the villain, the 1-3-1 system is evil and bad for the game of hockey. Last night, the Philadelphia Flyers "stood up" for the NHL by avoiding playing hockey at times in order to make a statement against the 1-3-1. The Flyers are heroes!
Right, and Mike Milbury was a great General Manager... And Pierre McGuire is a highly sought after "monster" of a commentator who fans universally adore.
Just like Sidney Crosby vs. Alex Ovechkin was a manufactured rivalry, the powers-that-be have decided to make a statement that the Tampa Bay Lightning are the bad guys, and must be stopped. Last night was their opportunity to reinforce the narrative with a national audience on a national cable network that is coincidentally owned by the same media entity that owns the Philadelphia Flyers hockey franchise.
While plenty of teams - both this season and last season - have been able to keep their offense going (in bucket loads, in some instances) while playing against the Lightning, the Flyers (who lead the league in goals scored) somehow couldn't handle the malicious 1-3-1, even while they knew full well that the Lightning were playing without two of their key defensemen in Victor Hedman and Mattias Ohlund. Some, Milbury for one, suggested Philly was standing up for hockey by stalling.
What kind of twisted logic is this? You toss the dice, you play the game your way against their way and you do the best you can. You don't congratulate a team, especially of the offensive caliber as Flyers, for turtling.
Now what if this same shit had transpired in a Flyers-Devils game? Or any other rivalry game for that matter? "The opposing system must be stopped" narrative would never surface. You'd more likely hear something more along the lines of, "what the bloody hell are you doing? Play hockey!"
But it's convenient that the Flyers were playing against the Bondian Villain in Guy Boucher. He and his evil, indomitable, just-over-.500, Bolts have to be stopped. For the greater good of marketing, the 1-3-1 must be stopped! Who better to do it than the benevolent Flyers?