The last time these two met was on February 26th, where they battled hard to a 1-1 tie. Overshadowing the result, however, was an incident that took place in the third period. After getting tangled up with Philadelphia’s Mark Recchi, and crashing into the boards as a result, Ottawa’s Martin Havlat gave the Flyer veteran a two-handed slash to the face. Havlat was suspended for two games, and fined $36,585.36 for the infraction, but it has not been forgotten by the Flyers.
Here are some excerpts from a Globe and Mail article by David Naylor, written the day after the contest:
“[Havlat]is a reckless player and some day, somebody is going to make him eat his lunch,” Flyers head coach Ken Hitchcock said. “He is going to get it some day and it’s going to be harsh.”
Recchi, who had a small cut near his upper lip after the game, said the hit from Havlat was unlike anything he’d experienced in his long National Hockey League career.
”Never,” he said. “In 16 years, never. I’ve had hits like that across the arm and hands, but not at the head. But he’s known for it. . . . I just hope he protects himself if he’s going to do that, because someone is going to take it into their own hands.”
As Samuel L. Jackson says so famously in Jurassic Park, “Hold on to your butts”.
Expect the Ottawa lineup to look something like this:
Smolinksi - Bondra - Alfredsson
Schaefer - Fisher - Neil
Vermette - Van Allen - Ray
Phillips - Chara
Redden - Rachunek
Simpson - Pothier
- While it’s possible tonight’s game will go without incident, this is a rivalry that’s been brewing for two years now. The Sens have bounced the Flyers in each of the last two Stanley Cup Playoff’s, and the hatred appears as if it could be at a fever pitch.
- In a game that has the makings of a powder keg, don’t be surprised if the star players take a back seat. Head coaches Jacques Martin and Ken Hitchcock know fully well that the playoffs are right around the corner, and probably won’t be eager to put their key guys in jeopardy. This one could be decided by the bottom six.
- Ottawa is coming off a 4-3 loss to the Buffalo Sabres, and haven’t strung together consecutive wins since February 21st and 22nd (Calgary, Pittsburgh). They need to start padding the win column going into the postseason, or their matchup and home ice situations could be less than favourable.
- No Jeremy Roenick for the Flyers, no Radek Bonk for Ottawa, tonight.
- The season series is currently 1-0-1 in favour of the Senators. These two will meet one more time after tonight’s contest, on April 2nd.
Senators’ Last 10: 5-2-1-2
Flyers’ Last 10: 4-4-1-1
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