Bruce Arthur: With mayhem breaking out across the National Hockey League playoffs, it was only a matter of time before the fever reached Philadelphia. The Flyers and the Pittsburgh Penguins had spent two games playing crazy hockey, but it had to do with skating and scoring and comebacks and goals. That stayed. The fever joined in.
And it was the Penguins who melted down, perhaps irrevocably, in an 8-4 loss to Philadelphia that gave the Flyers a 3-0 series lead, in a series that has already featured about a dozen games’ worth of head-shaking moments.
None more than in the Pittsburgh camp. Dumb penalties, another short-handed goal allowed, team-wide defensive malfeasance, cheap shots, and goaltending so poor it would have embarrassed the Flyers to have employed it. Pittsburgh was supposed to be the epitome of class in the league, a franchise that valued discipline and, of late, railed against the gong-show aspect of hockey. Before the game, Pittsburgh coach Dan Bylsma said he had 20 players who were looking to be leaders.
Well, some of them led the collapse.
Photos: Bruce Bennett/Getty Images, Tim Shaffer/Reuters