PHILADELPHIA – The NHL handed out its three stars of the month of October and not surprisingly, there wasn’t a Flyer on the list.
Really, not anyone even deserved consideration after a 3-8-0 start, the slowest start in franchise history through 11 games.
Frankly, it’s hard to come up with three stars of the month of October on the team, never mind league-wide candidacy.
If I had to, I’d name Sean Couturier No. 3 for his fine work as a shutdown center against the top lines of the opposition, his excellent work on a Top 10 penalty kill, and his vastly improved faceoff abilities.
Vinny Lecavalier would be No. 2 for his influx of offense on a team that has really struggled to find any.
As for No. 1, well that’s a bit of a no brainer. Because the Flyers might not have a win this season were it not for Steve Mason – and it’s a shame that he’s flown under the radar nationally.
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VOORHEES, N.J. – In need of a shakeup, the Flyers traded one gritty forward for another – who is all too familiar with the Flyers organization.
The Flyers traded Max Talbot to the Colorado Avalanche Thursday in exchange for Steve Downie. Downie was originally a Flyers draft pick, selected in the first round of the 2005 NHL entry draft.(Click "Full Story" for more...)
For once, the Flyers may be able to overcome a bad start.
Don’t say any of this in the locker room, because the Flyers have done a nice job of late narrowing their focus to only worry about the task at hand and not look ahead at what’s coming down the road, but as someone who has nothing better to do than sit here and look at hockey schedules while waiting for puck drop, I can safely say now that the Flyers may not be in as bad a shape as everyone thought as recently as six days ago.
Sure, a couple of wins can maybe cloud your vision with blinding optimism – and it’s certainly possible that when the stretch of games I’m about to talk about are over the Flyers find themselves worse off than being just five points out of a playoff spot (as they currently are with a couple games in hand).
But, it’s just as possible, if not more likely, that what I’m about to lay out in front of you will happen, and all the worries of that 1-7-0 start will have dissipated.(Click "Full Story" for more...)
VOORHEES, N.J. – So, Andrej Meszaros will be back in the lineup for the Flyers tomorrow against the high-powered Anaheim Ducks (nee: Mighty).
Head coach Craig Berube said he wanted to get Meszaros back into the lineup after sitting out the past five games.
Meszaros will replace Erik Gustafsson in the lineup. Gustafsson had a rough night on defense against the New York Islanders, one of the few Flyers who wasn’t clicking on all cylinders.
Many will view this as a demotion for Gustafsson, but I’m told it’s not that, but more a chance to get Meszaros feeling good about himself again.(Click "Full Story" for more...)
There was certainly a lot of good feeling and merriment following the Flyers win on Long Island Saturday.
But rather than selfishly keeping it to themselves, the Flyers did something unique and special Sunday.
Oh, they practiced. When you are climbing out of an early season hole as the Flyers are doing, you can’t afford to let a good day of work slip by, but they weren’t at one of their usual haunts, namely the Voorhees Skate Zone or the Wells Fargo Center.
Instead, the Flyers took their practice on the road – sorta – and took to the ice in the Kensington section of Philadelphia at the Scanlon Ice rink, one of the refurbished hockey homes of the Ed Snider Youth Hockey Foundation.
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VOORHEES, N.J. – There is certainly a furor brewing out there about the Flyers decision to send Tye McGinn back down to the Phantoms Friday.
Local hockey scribes and frustrated fans alike took to social media to lament/criticize/both this decision by the Flyers.
On the surface, it’s certainly understandable. After all, McGinn does lead the team in goals with three and for the life of me I can’t remember the last time in the NHL that a team sent their leading goal scorer to the minors.
So, there is that.
But, it should be noted that this decision goes well beyond the fact that McGinn scored three goals in two games last week.(Click "Full Story" for more...)
PHILADELPHIA – Vinny Lecavalier didn’t want to be the one who said it… so he let his coach do the talking.
Widely expected to return to the lineup after dealing with a dreaded lower-body-injury for the past two weeks, Lecavalier, barring tripping over a door jamb on his way into the Wells Fargo Center later this afternoon, will be back for the Flyers after a three game absence.
“It’s looking like that,” Berube said. “He looked good. He’s skating well and moving well.”(Click "Full Story" for more...)
VOORHEES, N.J. – One of the items that has seemingly slid to the back burner of the observer’s conscience that coach Craig Berube said he wanted to bring to the Flyers is the notion of accountability.
Berube insisted that was going to be his approach as coach – holding his players accountable for their own play.
He hasn’t been shy in criticizing players when they are subpar.
His message is starting to get through.
Take Kimmo TImonen for example.
The veteran defenseman has been demoted off of the Flyers top power play unit for the first time since he was brought here in 2007.(Click "Full Story" for more...)
PHILADELPHIA – Flyers Fans need a jolt of optimism.
I understand it’s hard right now, what with the team losing six of the first seven games, scoring just 10 goals and switching coaches already.
But it’s that last part that I want to focus on for a minute here.
Let’s go back to the last time the Flyers made a coaching change. The circumstances were definitely different, but not as different as you might think.
It was the 2009-10 season when John Stevens was fired and replaced by Peter Laviolette.(Click "Full Story" for more...)
PHILADELPHIA – When things aren’t going well for a team, they always try to search for positives.
A lot of times, it’s all they have to cling to as they try to muddle their way through what is impeding them from being victorious more often than not.
Sometimes, it’s cut and dry that they are a bad team. Sometimes there’s a lot more to it than that.
For the Flyers, five games into a season that has already seen a coaching change and with it a system switch that results in adapting to a different philosophy, it is still way too early to tell what’s what.(Click "Full Story" for more...)