NEW YORK – After the forgettable performance in Tampa last Sunday, the Flyers got a much-needed day off, away from hockey to unwind in the Big Apple.
Three players decided to check out a show, and got more than they could ever have imagined.
The show itself was entertaining, but what happened afterward was even more memorable.(Click "Full Story" for more...)
Some news, notes and observations from my couch after Sunday’s loss in Tampa:
At least with the first three losses there were bright spots. There were parts of those games where you looked at the Flyers and thought, “Well gee whiz, if they can just play like this for 60 minutes, they’ll be fine.”
You can’t say that after Sunday.
The Flyers had no juice, played with a lack of discipline, and were thwarted by the Tampa Bay Lightning blocking 26 shots during a 5-1 loss that dropped the Orange and Black to 2-4-0.
Considering the Flyers only got 25 shots on goalie Anders Lindback the fact that the Lightning blocked 26 is a pretty astonishing figure.
And while that is one sub plot to this game, the fact is, the Flyers continue to suffer from self-inflicted wounds.(Click "Full Story" for more...)
It’s a little different offering news, notes and observations of a Flyers game from my couch, but that’s where I’m stationed for the weekend before rejoining the team in New York Tuesday.
So, with that said, here’s a Cliff’s notes version of the usual recap I have on here since I didn’t have a chance to talk to the guys in the locker room afterward.
All the talk from this game will center on Matt Read, who registered his first career hat trick, and goalie Ilya Bryzgalov who made 29 saves and had a fifth straight strong start. And there’s no question they deserve the recognition. But I’ll get to them below in the three stars section.
For now, let’s focus on a few other aspects of the Flyers 7-1 win in Florida.
First, Wayne Simmonds continues to be a beast on the ice for the Flyers. He got his second goal of the season when Kimmo Timonen’s shot from the point on a 5-on-3 grazed off his body to get past starting Panthers goalie Jose Theodore.
But, the goal aside, Simmonds was skating harder and stronger than anyone on the ice and seemed to be everywhere. He added an assist and was one of six Flyers with a multiple-point game. In the absence of Scott Hartnell for the next six weeks, Simmonds has filled that void nicely.
He proved last season he can be a goal scorer, now he has a chance to flourish, playing with Claude Giroux. So far, so good for Simmonds, who has two goals this season, but has played well enough to have a few more.
Secondly, let’s look at Luke Schenn. The Flyers were criticized by many for trading James van Riemsdyk for Schenn because of all the negative press he got from the Toronto media. However, the Flyers viewed him as a top pair defenseman, and have thrust him into that role.
It took him a few games to get comfortable but his last two games have been really strong, and Saturday was definitely his best as a Flyer.
Schenn had a goal, an assist and led the team with 11 hits. Eleven hits. There are games in the NHL were an entire team doesn’t get 11 hits.
He’s still a little hesitant at times with the puck, but he has gotten visibly more comfortable in each game. So far, so good with Schenn for the Flyers.
For one night at least, it looked like a smart move.
McGinn had a lot of energy and showed some great hustle in his shifts. He was rewarded for his efforts with his first NHL goal on a nice redirect of a pass from Braydon Coburn.
McGinn looks more and more promising with each game and is going to force a tough decision on the Flyers brass when Zac Rinaldo is healthy as someone will have to be sent back to the Phantoms and/or waived outright. McGinn appears to be earning his roster spot, for now.
The adjustments to the Flyers schematic was evident in the Flyers win over New York Thursday, but credit coach Peter Laviolette with another savvy coaching move of resting many of his top players in the third period of a blowout victory.
With another game less than 24 hours away in Tampa Bay Sunday, Laviolette relied more on his third and fourth lines and second and third pairs of defensemen than in most games.
For example, Claude Giroux played just 17 minutes. Timonen was just under 18. But guys like Mike Knuble, who needed to get a regular shift to find his legs, got almost 15 minutes. Scott Laughton, who was supposed to be the fourth line center, he too got almost 15 minutes. Kurtis Foster was almost 16 minutes. Bruno Gervais, 19 minutes.
And all of the Flyers top players will have more energy for the game against Tampa.
My Three Stars:
1. Matt Read – how can it not be him. His first career hat trick – on three shots no less. Read has been physical. He has been the other winger that the Flyers had hoped they’d find for Giroux. A true sniper, Read is versatile and can play anywhere, but he may have found a home on Giroux’s left side.
2. Ilya Bryzgalov – At some point, people will stop calling him a liability and instead call him an asset to the Flyers. He lowered his GAA to 2.21 and raised his save percentage to .923. If there is reason for optimism for the Flyers moving forward, it starts in goal. Don’t be surprised to see Laviolette stick with him again in Tampa.
3. Luke Schenn – If the Flyers get more games like this from Schenn, they’ll be winners of the trade with Toronto. Eleven hits. It bore repeating one more time.
Did You Know:
Ruslan Fedotenko scored his first goal as a Flyer in just over 10 years. His last regular season goal came on April 14, 2002 vs. NYI. He also scored a playoff goal three days later on April 17, 2002 vs. Ottawa.
The Flyers scored outside of the second period of a game for the first time this season. All five of their goals in the four games before tonight had come in the second period.
The last Flyers hat trick against Florida was by Eric Lindros in 1995.
To contact Anthony SanFilippo, email firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter @AnthonySan37
The Flyers made a small roster move Saturday that could be the first in a series of dominoes that leads to bigger impacts on the team.
That leads to three important items:
(Click "Full Story" for more...)
The last three games for the Flyers have been overshadowed by three things:
Injuries, injuries and more injuries.
The latest is another big blow to the lineup as the Flyers have lost defenseman Andrej Meszaros for at least a month.
Meszaros was hit on the final shift of the second period and left the ice clutching his left arm. The news only got worse from there.
“He’s going to miss some time here,” general manager Paul Holmgren said. “Right now we’re hopeful it’s about a four-week rehabilitation of the injury. It’s a muscle injury in and around the [AC] joint and we just got to try to get it stronger and we believe he’s going to be out about a month.”(Click "Full Story" for more...)
Some days are more hectic than others.
For the Flyers, Thursday was a maelstrom.
We’ll try to cover all of it in this space.
It started with the injury to Scott Hartnell. It was obvious the last two days that Hartnell was in some serious pain and that his outlook wasn’t promising.
But when the news came down just how bad it was, it was like a funeral dirge was playing around the Flyers offices.
Hartnell will miss at least four weeks with a fractured first metatarsal in his left foot, suffered when he was hit by a Kimmo Timonen slapshot in the second period of Tuesday’s game in New Jersey.(Click "Full story" for more...)
Some news, notes and observations from the Flyers 3-0 loss to the New Jersey Devils:
- As if things couldn’t get any worse, it appears Brayden Schenn will have a hearing today regarding a hit he put on Anton Volchenkov in the second period of the game according to a report on Sportsnet.ca
Schenn had just come off the bench and was flying down the wing and nailed Volchenkov a nanosecond after he passed the puck.
The hit, for years, was deemed a clean hockey hit, and there was no penalty on the play.
But in the era of heightened concussion awareness, all big hits are getting reviewed.(Click "Full Story" for more...)
NEWARK, N.J. – Tye McGinn was so excited Sunday when he found out that there was a very real possibility that he could be making his NHL debut two nights later that he couldn’t keep it a secret from his family.
So he called his parents to spread the good news. That was followed by a phone call to his brother Jamie, a forward for the Colorado Avalanche.
Soon, he was getting congratulations sent to him on Twitter from a bevy of friends and fans.
That’s how quickly news spread.
“I was so excited, I never thought to tell anyone not to put it out on Twitter,” McGinn said. “How can I keep that from my family. I had to tell them.”
No doubt – and no fault to McGinn at all.(Click "Full Story" for more...)
The first in-season casualty has struck the Flyers.
Forward Zac Rinaldo will miss at least one week after suffering a laceration to his leg above his right knee and near his thigh after a first period collision with Buffalo defenseman Robyn Regehr.
When the two collided, Regehr’s skate cut Rinaldo, resulting in a gash that needed 20 stitches to close.
The Flyers recalled Tye McGinn from the Phantoms to replace Rinaldo in the lineup.(Click "Full Story" for more...)
Some news, notes and observations from the Flyers opening game 3-1 loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins:
- The Flyers game plan was to come out hitting, and hit hard. Primary target: Sidney Crosby. Anyone who got a chance to hit Crosby, did, but it wasn’t just that. Guys were hitting everyone on the Penguins. Maybe the Flyers struggled to find their speed in the first game of the season, but they sure got their licks in.
The Flyers were credited with 40 hits in the game. That’s one every 90 seconds. That’s a lot.
Leading the way for the Flyers with seven hits was Zac Rinaldo, who only played 8:54.