The Philadelphia Flyers handled their in-state rivals with ease on Friday night, cruising to a 5-2 victory to move to 2-0 on the year. Jake Voracek picked up two assists in the win, which is the type of thing you'd expect to buoy his mood postgame. Yet, no, that was not the case.
Voracek bristled at a completely fair and not at all salacious question from Mike Sielski of the Philadelphia Inquirer, letting everyone know how he felt about the journalist.
"“Does it matter what I say, Mike? You’re gonna write f--ing sh-- every time so it doesn’t matter what you say. Yeah it feels different. I mean, we got four points out of these first two games. Uh, I wasn’t even gonna answer your question because you are such a weasel it’s not even funny. Next question.”"
You can move the contentious athlete-scribe relationship onto Zoom but you can't remove the sparks completely. Kevin Kinkead of Crossing Broad did a journalism by getting Sielski on the blower to ask just what the hell the backstory is here. Here's Sielski's best guess:
"“On Halloween of 2019 I went to Voorhees, where they practiced that day. I go to write a column. They had gotten off to a slow start that year and Alain Vigneault is talking and says he needs more from his veteran group of players. Voracek and James van Riemsdyk were laughing as he was talking. I go home and I’m hosting a party at our house, and we’ve got 60 people coming over for trick and treating. I’m on deadline and trying to write this column about what happened at practice. Flyers public relations got in touch because they thought I was writing that Voracek and van Riemsdyk were laughing AT Alain Vigneault, so I apologized and said that I could understand why they saw it that way. I went online and we fixed the column at that point, to clarify that I didn’t know specifically what they were talking about, and I said I’d be willing to smooth things over with Jake, that I would speak to him at practice or over the phone. Again, we went in and fixed the column and that was it.”"
This sounds like a rather small transgression. But things can grow from minute to significant over time. Take a grain of sand in a clam. Or the daily overwhelming sense of dread that reaches its peak by mid-afternoon these days. Or little inconsistencies in Keyser Soze's story.
At this point, the small victory is that the NHL is only playing 56 games this season instead of the regulation 84 — meaning there will be a few dozen fewer opportunities for postgame fireworks.