Hagg uses his head to block Weber and inspire Flyers

Robert Hagg

Diving down to block a Shea Weber slap shot is sort of like trying to run across I-95 at rush hour.

Something bad is bound to happen.

In this particular instance, Flyers defenseman Robert Hagg inadvertently used his helmet to stop the puck in Tuesday’s game against the Canadiens.

And while the blast momentarily left the Swede stunned, he was not seriously injured and was able to continue to play.

Do you think the Flyers’ bench got a little charged up after watching their teammate make the ultimate sacrifice?

Just ask fellow defenseman Phil Myers, who had a bird’s-eye view of the play in Tuesday’s  2-0 win at Scotiabank Arena in Toronto.

“He’s paying the price up there, it’s really firing up the boys with something like that,’’ said Myers. “You know, it takes a lot of guts to do that. He loves paying the price for the boys.

“It fires us up, so it gives us a lot of energy on the bench. We’re really glad he’s OK.’’

Hagg’s block was one of 13 executed by the Flyers, who now have kept the Canadiens off the scoreboard for a somewhat amazing 129 minutes, 25 seconds.

Hart also sang Hagg’s praises.

“We got a lot of good blocked shots,’’ Hart said. “Especially the one with ‘Hagger’ there. Really committing there, scary moment. Glad he’s OK.’’

Coach Alain Vigneault appreciated the effort, especially the play by Hagg. As well as goalie Carter Hart played, he did have a lot of help.

“In front of him (Hart), also there’s a lot of effort going on, both to be in the right position and obviously to block shots,’’ Vigneault said.

“There were a couple very desperate plays on our part from guys that got in the way and that’s a big part of finding ways to win. Those defensive plays are as important as the offensive part.’’

Hagg leads the Flyers in hits and blocked shots on a nightly basis so this sort of thing is nothing new to him.

“I didn’t think at all,’’ he said. “Just trying to be in the shooter lane. I got lucky. It hit me in the equipment.’’

With luck like that, Hagg and the Flyers just might be on to something.

>Quick turnaround

The Flyers will try to eliminate the Canadiens on Wednesday night but it won’t be easy.

Montreal is down 3-1 but the Flyers have only scored five goals in the series so it’s not like they’re setting the world on fire themselves.

“At this time of the year, you have to play well,’’ Vigneault said. “You have to play that 200-foot game. You have to be committed. Our players are right now. We’ve got another game tomorrow. We need to rest up, get focused for that, come to play and to compete. That’s what we’re going to focus on here in the next 24 hours.’’

It will be the first time the Flyers have played back-to-back games  since arriving in Toronto.

>Raffl a good fit vs. Montreal

Michael Raffl, who played on the top line and performed like he deserved the promotion, seems to save his best work for skilled teams like Montreal.

“I don’t know,’’ he said. “It’s an extremely hard grind, they defend very hard and well. So you get a couple bumps and bruises after every single game but this is what it comes down to in playoffs.

“It’s the whole group that’s committed. Everybody helps each other out. It’s a very good feeling being on the Flyers right now.’’

About Wayne Fish 1117 Articles
Wayne Fish has been covering the Flyers since 1976, a stint which includes 18 Stanley Cup Finals, four Winter Olympics and numerous other international events.

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