CHICAGO – The Windy City is a special place for Ray Emery.
Not because he won a Stanley Cup here with the Blackhawks last summer, although that was pretty cool.
Not because he had a phenomenal record of 17-1 with a 1.94 goals against average and was a groin injury away from being the go-to guy for the Cup run, even though those numbers were impressive.
Instead, it had meaning long before that.
Chicago is near and dear to Emery and has been since July 27, 2011.(Click "Full Story" for more...)
OTTAWA – The last time Jeff Reese suited up to play goalie wasn’t as long ago as you think.
“Three weeks ago I put on the pads for the extra guys, but those were my own pads – and it wasn’t a full team skate,” Reese said.
Which made Monday morning so much different.
With Ray Emery needing the morning off to get a new passport, the Flyers goalie coach filled in as the second goalie at the morning skate. Afterward, sitting in a pool of sweat, Reese was laughing about his performance.
“That was tough,” he said. “Especially with [Emery’s] pads. During the power play, I was just standing on the goal line hoping it hit me.”(Click "Full Story" for more...)
DETROIT – The second half of the morning skate today was a lot like the second half of practice yesterday, which was a lot like the second half of the morning skate in Minnesota…
…and the practice before that… and the morning skate before that… etc.
Welcome to the world of a Craig Berube coached team. Things are pretty cut and dry. The way you practice, the things you practice, the meetings after practice – they’re all the same.(Click "Full Story" for more...)
ST. PAUL, Minn. – It was a good day to be a Flyers prospect Monday.
Team Canada announced their final list of camp invitees for the World Junior Championships and two Flyers prospects were on the short list.
ST. PAUL, Minn. – When Vinny Lecavlier scored the lone goal in the Flyers shootout victory in Nashville the other night, he skated into the zone methodically, almost too slowly, before roofing a shot over Marek Marazec’s glove and into the net.
The assumption was that it was a savvy, veteran move by a savvy, veteran player against a rookie goalie – lulling him to sleep before snapping off a quick wrister.
It was a good story at the time, but now we need to let the facts get in the way of it.(Click "Full Story" for more...)
NASHVILLE – It’s not very often that I like to toot my own horn, but I did write this blog one month ago, when the Flyers were 3-7-0, suggesting fans not panic and give up on the team just yet, and that by the time we made it to Nashville they would be 12-11-2 and in the playoff conversation.
Well, they are 11-12-2 and in the playoff conversation (they owe me one, because I definitely didn’t see that loss in Florida coming).
So, with my new found success in long-range prognostication, I figured, let’s give it another roll here and see if the Flyers can’t better their position by the end of the 2013 calendar year.
And I got to be honest, I don’t like what I see.(Click "Full Story" for more...)
TAMPA – Since the Flyers signed Michael Raffl to a free agent contract back in May, I’ve been touting him on this blog as a legit prospect who would not only make the team out of camp but have an impact on the season.
Technically, he didn’t make the team out of camp, missing the first five games while in the AHL, nor has he had a real impact yet.
So if you say today that I was wrong, then I must say that I am guilty as charged.
If you are willing to give it more time to see if, in fact, Raffl can still have a decent impact on the team this season, then I will say the verdict is still out on my assessment of him – and it should be.(Click "Full Story" for more...)
SUNRISE, Fla. – When the Flyers arrive in Tampa tomorrow in preparation for their game Wednesday night against the Lightning, all the attention will be on the homecoming for Vinny Lecavalier.
Amidst all that hullaballoo, it’s a good bet that Steve Downie will steal off down the hallway to go chat with Lightning captain Martin St. Louis.
After all, it was St. Louis who Downie credits as the guy who showed him how to mature and play the right way in hockey.
“As you get older and learn the game you mature as a player,” Downie said. “When I came up with Philly, it was a tough lineup to break into but I played the role even though I didn’t get much ice. When I got traded to Tampa I was given more of an opportunity and I got to play with some great players.
“Marty helped me out a lot. When you get the opportunity to be around great players, you can’t help but get better.”(Click "Full Story" for more...)
PHILADELPHIA – There have been a lot of buzzwords around the Flyers during this run of good play that has made the rounds.
Skating. Yep, that’s important.
Play without the puck. The key to good defense, gotcha.
Accountability – Players have jobs and roles and they are being held responsible for them, which brings a certain amount of pride in your work because you are doing what you’re told.
Repetition – Have you been to a Craig Berube practice? It plays like shampoo directions: Rinse, wash, repeat.
Consistency – Ahh, there’s an interesting one. Let’s delve into this one shall we?(Click "Full Story" for more..)
Well, they didn’t like not being in the lineup – that’s a given. But aside from that there was one other thing that was really unpleasant.
“You have to work harder than everyone else just to get back in,” said Gustafsson, referring to the intense skating workouts that scratched players go through as they spend a good 30 minutes longer on the ice after practices than the guys in the lineup. “You don’t want to have to do that too long.”
No, you don’t, which is why Gustafsson and Schenn talked about their lot, sitting in the press box in Carolina earlier this month.(Click "Full Story" for more...)