Tonight is the 10th anniversary of one of the most memorable games in Flyers history in my mind.
Here is a copy of the story I wrote that night, back when I was just a freelance writer for ComcastSportsNet.com, which is now CSNPhilly.com
What a night.
Feisty Flyers Beat Up Senators
Anthony J. SanFilippo
Martin Havlat has no one to blame but himself.(Click "Full Story" for more...)
PHILADELPHIA – There were a lot of rumors, a lot of rumblings, names, packages, debates… you know, the typical trade deadline fare.
That was it for the Flyers.
From their perspective, it was an upgrade of the third pairing on defense that also brought financial savings and at an affordable price.
It also was an opportunity to improve the team without parting with any of the prospects that have re-filled the organizational cupboard in recent years and set up the Flyers to be in a good spot with cap space and assets heading into the offseason.(Click "Full Story" for more...)
The first move for the Flyers at the trade deadline was to acquire New York Islanders defenseman Andrew MacDonald in exchange for a third round pick in the 2014 draft, a second round pick in the 2015 draft and Phantoms forward Matt Mangene.
The immediate reaction on social media was split. Some people thought it was a great move. Others thought it was not-so-great.
In the grand scheme of things, it’s probably somewhere in between and one that will require time to determine an ultimate evaluation.
What’s to like about the deal?(Click "Full Story" for more...)
The first time I heard the saying “Hard work beats skill when skill doesn’t work hard” I was sitting in the press box at the Spectrum.
The guy who said it was sitting next to me, watching his team practice with the assistant coaches below.
It was John Stevens, then head coach of the Philadelphia Phantoms, now an assistant on the Los Angeles Kings.
He wasn’t happy with the way his team had played in the previous few games and wanted to watch them practice from somewhere other than on the ice.(Click "Full Story" for more...)
PHILADELPHIA – Not to drag up demons from the past – especially after a huge 4-2 win over the New York Rangers Saturday - but if I had to list the 10 worst losses of the year by the Flyers chronologically they would be as follows:
Nov. 1 vs. Washington, lost 7-0
Nov 7. Vs. New Jersey, lost 3-0
Dec. 7 at Dallas, lost 5-1
Dec. 11 at Chicago, lost 7-2
Dec. 21 at Columbus, lost 6-3
Jan. 11 vs. Tampa Bay, lost 6-3
Jan. 12 at New York Rangers, lost 4-1
Jan. 23 at Columbus, lost 5-2
Jan. 25 vs. Boston, lost 6-1
Feb. 27 vs. San Jose, lost 7-3
Why mention them? Why bring those games up in which the Flyers collectively lost 56-16?
Because here’s what they did the very next game after each:(Click "Full Story" for more...)
PHILADELPHIA – The Flyers have the longest active winning streak in the NHL – and they want to keep it that way.
However, doing it against the San Jose Sharks is going to be a tall order, especially without Kimmo Timonen, who will rest tonight and return to the lineup Saturday against the New York Rangers after a long trek back and forth to Sochi where he won a bronze medal with team Finland.
Erik Gustafsson returns to the lineup...
(Click "Full Story" for more..)
I try to stay out of the hockey prediction business, I really do.
It’s mostly because I invariably make a fool of myself when my predictions are wrong (which is often the case) and when I’m right, it’s usually shrugged off as, “he should be right, he works in the sport.”
Yet, I can’t tell you how often I throw out predictions privately, whether it’s in the office to my co-workers here at the Flyers, or to my family at home, or my friends at the bar on the rare off night.
Yet, as much as I try, I can’t help but always go back to my sooth-saying ways.
I chalk it up to some kind of narcissistic defect where I feel the need to make bold prognostications just to get a rise out of people.
Or maybe I’m just like Joe Carroll in “The Following” in the fact that “I am inevitable.”
So, without further ado, here are my predictions for how the Olympic Men’s hockey tournament will play out now that I watched parts of 16-of-18 preliminary games (yes, I could have found better uses for my time, I know.)
(Click "Full Story" for more...)
It was riveting - from opening puck drop to the shootout that went five rounds longer than usual. And even though a shootout was hardly the way to decide a game of this magnitude, the way it turned out was a story line all on its own.
It was USA vs. Russia. It lived up to the hype. And if the Americans win a gold medal, T.J. Oshie of the St. Louis Blues will be remembered as an American Olympic hero.
Oshie took six turns in the shootout – you read that right. International l rules allow for players to repeat as shooters in the breakaway competition as often as necessary. And he beat Russian goalie (and former Flyer) Sergei Bobrovsky (Columbus) four times to ensure a thrilling 3-2 win for Team USA.(Click "Full Story" for more...)
The Swedish team is beat up, missing their captain Henrik Zetterberg and offensively gifted talents Henrik Sedin and Johan Franzen.
And yet, they became the first of four teams to clinch a bye to the Quarterfinals.
That’s because 41-year old Daniel Alfredsson banged home a loose puck with less than eight minutes to play to give Tre Kronor a 1-0 win over an upstart Swiss squad that doesn’t give you much in the way of room.(Click "Full Story" for more...)
While being snowed in and stuck on your couch in the Philadelphia area kind of stinks, having 12 hours of Olympic hockey at your disposal kind of softens the blow.
In case you were too busy sleeping in, shoveling out from under another 10 inches of snow, or both, I was able to tune in for all four games (what a way to spend a birthday) and here is a recap with a Flyers angle to each game, if there was one.
The marquee game for most of us was Team USA completely dismantling Slovakia 7-1 in what was the most impressive performance by any team in their opening game.
(Click "Full Story" for more...)