And he's embarrassing himself, the city and the franchise by doing so.
The Philadelphia Flyers of the 1970s were a tough and gritty bunch — any true Bruins fan would tell you that. Dave Schultz, Paul Holmgren, Gary Dornhoefer, even Bobby Clarke were (and likely still are) hated in these parts, but they epitomized what it meant to be a Flyers tough guy. Looking at these names and comparing them to the cast of characters who replaced the Mean Machine now 30-plus years later, could guys like Schultz and Holmgren, dare I say, earn the respect of B's fans based on their fair, honest fighting tactics?
It's possible, because guys like Carcillo are mere pretenders and can be categorized more as cheap-shot artists than instigators, more willing to drop a cross-check, a late slash or an excuse than the mitts. The Flyers and Bruins' rivalry has withstood the test of time from the '70s, but the Flyers of the last few years are taking things to a despicable level. In 2007, Patrice Bergeron was nearly decapitated by Randy Jones. A month later, Scott Hartnell crushed a kneeling Andrew Alberts from the blind side, plastering him head-first into the boards. Both Bruins suffered severe concussions and spent extended time on the sidelines.
The Flyers' goon is really outdoing himself in this Eastern Conference semifinal round.
In Game 1, he made headlines with his cowardly choke hold around Marc Savard's neck after a whistle. In Game 2, his emphatic dive-and-turtle on a shoulder-to-shoulder body check by Steve Begin would make a professional French soccer team cry, "That's a dive!" How's your face Dan? You were holding it like you got sniped between the eyes by a Zdeno Chara slapshot.
How many times do you think "The Hammer" took such a dive against the Bruins, especially in the playoffs?
And as for the alleged biting incident — where there are no bite marks and no video evidence — there's one conclusion: Carcillo needs to keep his hands clear of his opponent's mouth. Just because he's lacking pearly white incisors doesn't mean he can go grabbing for new ones.
"He pummeled my face, pulled on my teeth, so I guess that’s biting when a guy tries to pull your teeth out like [he did]," Savard told NESN.com's James Murphy after Boston's win. "I don’t know. I don’t see how that is biting. Yeah, I mean, he embellishes stuff. Obviously, under the pile, you try to pull out my front teeth, so if that’s a bite, then I don’t know what to say."
But it wasn't the first time in the last two months that Carcillo attacked an opponent's kisser. In late March, the 25-year-old Ontario native cross-checked New Jersey's David Clarkson twice — with the second blow coming right across the lips.
Carcillo, the 6-foot, 205-pound left winger with 207 penalty minutes this season, has really flexed his muscles against Savard thus far. That's Marc Savard, the 5-foot-10, 190-pound All-Star center with two professional hockey fights under his belt and a Grade 2 concussion fresh on his medical report.
Once a player steps on the ice, he's fair game — regardless of the extent of any recent injury. Players should never hide behind nor expect special treatment upon coming back from injuries. However, Savard's comeback was nothing more than blood in the water for the hungry Carcillo, and its an embarrassment to the historic Flyers franchise and the true hockey fans in the City of Brotherly Love.