NEW YORK – Peter Laviolette was in the mood to talk this morning – and he had a lot to say.
It wasn’t anything particularly inflammatory. Nor was it anything particularly earth-shattering.
But it was particularly interesting through-and-through.
Some of his most thoughtful comments came regarding the amount of penalties that are called in games involving the Flyers.
“I think we just got to come to the realization that our penalty kill needs to be real good,” Laviolette said. “I think we should spend more time working on the penalty kill than evaluating the penalties. Trust me, it’s not like we don’t go in there and say, ‘Don’t be disciplined,’ and it’s not that I don’t think the players are being disciplined, I do. I just think that in our games we have to kill penalties… and we get [ a lot of] power plays too. I don’t know what it is… Really.”
The Flyers have been shorthanded 96 times this season, tied for second-most in the NHL. Conversely, they have also been on the power play 96 times – also second-most in the league.
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There is no doubt that the Flyers have had their share of injuries in this shortened season.
Whether it was Danny Briere missing the start of the year with a fractured forearm suffered in Germany, or it was Scott Hartnell going down with a fractured foot in the third game of the year, or Wayne Simmonds missing a week with a concussion, the Flyers have had a lot of hills to traverse on the injury front.
But each time, the recovery period seemed to expedite at a faster rate than what was originally anticipated.
Briere went from a month to two weeks. Hartnell went from a possible eight weeks to a little more than four.
So would it be a surprise if Matt Read made it back to the ice after suffering torn rib muscles on Feb. 20 sooner rather than later?
The way things have gone this year, it shouldn’t.(Click "Full Story" for more...)
PHILADELPHIA -- If you’re looking for Harry Zolnierczyk at the 36th Flyers Wives Fight for Lives carnival tomorrow and you don’t see him, he may have had to step out to take a phone call.
That call is coming at some point – with Zolnierczyk talking with NHL director of player safety Brendan Shanahan after a nasty hit left defenseman Mike Lundin not knowing which direction was up.
Zolnierczyk leveled Lundin at 9:13 of the first period and was assessed a major for charging and a game misconduct. Lundin never returned to the game after being knocked woozy.
Replays show that Zolnierczyk stayed low and had good form heading into his hit, but he may have left his feet and made contact with Lundin’s head, which is a no-no in the NHL anymore.
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It’s not often that Peter Laviolette lets his hair down in public – metaphorically speaking – but Thursday, the first day the Flyers have really had a chance to breathe in weeks thanks to a brutal schedule, Laviolette decided to have a little fun with the media.
With the Skate Zone pretty quiet as many Flyers used it as an off day, Laviolette was front and center as the go-to speaker for the scribes.
What followed was one of his longest interviews of the season – nearly 11 minutes in length, and it was chock full of witty responses and comical moments.
While I won’t put the entire interview here, I will put some of its funnier snippets, because it’s nice to see the funny side of Lavy every once in a while.
He did get a point across to – about the positivity in the locker room – but he had some fun while doing it.
So, here goes:(Click "Full Story" for more...)
PHILADELPHIA – Matt Read was on the ice with his teammates Wednesday at their morning practice, one week after suffering torn rib cage muscles in Pittsburgh.
That’s the good news.
The bad news is everything hurts. He can’t do a lot and is still considered a long-term injury, out for another month or more.
“It’s pretty painful,” Read said. “But I don’t know, I guess it could be a lot worse, you know?”
We get it.
The timing couldn’t be worse for Read who was the Flyers leading goal scorer at the time of his injury.
Now, he’s going to take it slow and easy, and hope to be back for the final month of the season.(Click "Full Story" for more...)
Anyone want to coax Peter Forsberg out of retirement?
All kidding aside, the Flyers bolstered their lineup with the addition of Gagne via a trade with the Los Angeles Kings that only cost the Flyers a conditional fourth round pick in the 2013 draft.
The Los Angeles Times is reporting that the pick becomes a third rounder if the Flyers make the playoffs.
Gagne, who turns 33 Friday, had fallen out of favor of Los Angeles coach Darryl Sutter because he didn’t fit the more physical bruising style that Sutter wants to employee, said he was contemplating asking for a trade when the call came that he was being sent back to Philadelphia.(Click "Full Story" for more...)
VOORHEES, N.J. – It’s nice to know that the rest of the hockey world is taking notice of Jake Voracek too.
He’s been a rock star in Philadelphia this season, leading the Flyers in scoring (7-15-22) and moving into the top 10 (t-9th) in the NHL.
And because he did something last week that hadn’t been done by a Flyer in eight years – specifically score 11 points in four consecutive games – he was recognized by the league as the NHL’s first star of the week.
As a matter of fact, Voracek, whose career-high in points is 50 – in an 81-game season, is on pace for 53 points – in a 48 game season.
That’s, what you call, a breakout season.(Click "Full Story" for more...)
PHILADELPHIA – The final numbers were nothing staggering.
There were 23 shifts, 14:54 of ice time, four penalty minutes, five shots, one hit and one takeaway.
But for Scott Hartnell it was a start. And it came far sooner than expected.
Hartnell returned to the Flyers lineup one month after suffering a fractured left foot and having surgery to repair it.
It was a surprise announcement by the Flyers, who had originally declared Hartnell out 4-8 weeks, trimmed it to 4-6 weeks, then narrowed it to five weeks with a declaration Wednesday that he was 7-10 days away.
That was trumped again by Thursday’s announcement that Hartnell was upgraded to 5-7 days away, which turned into today.
Below are some comments from Hartnell as well as his coach and teammates about his return to the ice:(Click "Full Story" for more...)
UPDATE: So much for the conditioning assignment for Tom Sestito.
Sestito suffered a lower body injury in the second period of the Phantoms game and did not return. He was having trouble walking after the game.
Flyers general manager said Sestito would be re-evaluated tomorrow.
PHILADELPHIA – When the Adirondack Phantoms take to the Wells Fargo Center ice tonight for a game against the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins, there’ll be a new face in the lineup.
The Flyers have sent Tom Sestito to the Phantoms for a conditioning assignment, which begins tonight.
The assignment may last just one game, as Sestito is expected to be available for the Flyers for tomorrow’s game against Winnipeg.
Sestito, 25, has two goals this season for the Flyers – both coming in a 2-1 win against Tampa Bay – and has played in seven games for the big club accruing 12 penalty minutes. He is also a plus-1.
There’ll be a lot of familiar names in the lineup for the Phantoms tonight for the expected sold out Philadelphia crowd.
Up front, fans should recognize a bevy of forwards as well.
Backup goalie Scott Munroe dressed for the Flyers for several games, but never played for the team.
Cal Heeter will get the start in goal for Adirondack.
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PHILADELPHIA – The Flyers were hoping for the best. Instead, they got the worst.
Just when it seemed the team was getting healthy and close to being at full force, Matt Read took a crunching hit from Penguins forward Chris Kunitz in the first period of yesterday’s game.
The result of that injury? Read has torn rib cage muscles.
He will be out of the lineup for six weeks.
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