This was a night Evgeni Malkin will remember forever, and he should.
After all, he played his first game in the NHL and scored his first goal.
But it also might be a while before he forgets the way New Jersey goalie Martin Brodeur played in the Devils’ 2-1 victory against the Penguins before a standing-room crowd of 17,030 at Mellon Arena last night.
It had been almost 24 hours since Flyers chairman Ed Snider watched his team being pushed around like children by the Sabres, and he was feeling no better. Reached last night, Snider said that what happened yesterday was just “one small step.
“We have a lot more to do,” Snider said. “I’ve got to evaluate and analyze the entire situation. This is just a start. I need a complete understanding of exactly what’s going on. I have no idea what’s going to happen next and I don’t want to speculate as to what I’m going to do. But this is a start. I’ve got to evaluate this. I have ideas and theories, but I’m going to straighten this out.
Twelve different Sabres tallied 30 or more points last season, and eight players already have multiple goals this year. There’s a long way to go, but maybe this young club has arrived. It would be far ahead of schedule, but it couldn’t come too soon for a franchise that hasn’t been an NHL powerhouse for more than 20 years.