That should have been it. That seemingly inevitable one-timer into the wide open side of the net turned untimely stick break should have resulted in no more than an extremely symbolic failed opportunity. Against literally any other other team in the NHL, 'Retro Night' would have been a harrowing call back to the Devils' teams of the early 80's. That's not even hyperbole. Before last night the Devils' had lost TEN(!) straight games which included fruitless efforts against the Colorado Avalanche and the Arizona Coyotes. For those of you paying attention to the bottom of the standings (i.e. the draft lottery) at home, those are the only two teams in the entire league with worse records than New Jersey, and New Jersey just got done out-sucking both of them in back-to-back games. So when I say that sequence of events wouldn't take place against a franchise other than the Flyers I am speaking as someone with a strong command of recent history.
If Philadelphia wasn't Philadelphia I would almost feel bad for Philadelphia because what the New Jersey Devils did to the Flyers last night was complete and total emasculation, and that goal was just the microcosm of it. The 'Broad Street Bullies' didn't just get taken for their lunch money, they hardly even put up a fight. They didn't just play down to their competition they somehow soared past a team that was already in free-fall.
How do you suffer a 6-2 bludgeoning at the hands of a team that - prior to last night - had the same amount of goals in the month of March as Brad Marchand? I can't even wrap my head around the fact that this already truly unbelievable stat became even more unbelievable...
As if getting totally outplayed by a team whose interest in winning is fleeting at best wasn't painful enough, Taylor Hall summoned the skillset of Peter Forsberg to literally and figuratively add insult to injury. Stiff-arming Shayne Gostisbehere through the ice before dancing Steve Mason's groin into another zip code while casually sliding the puck past him with one hand? Providing the insurance of a two goal lead while also putting a rival's health insurance to use? If that doesn't prove that the Flyers are immune to the dire state of the Devils' - no matter how many AHL players and waiver wire pickups they are rostering - then this hilarious little tidbit right here will...