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POSTED ON Sunday, 01.12.2014 / 11:44 PM
By Anthony SanFilippo - Philadelphia Flyers Inside Reporter / Flyers Inside Out

NEW YORK – It’s become a chronic occurrence for the Flyers. Sometimes from their own volition, others from reputation. Regardless, it’s something that eats away at coach Craig Berube.

The Flyers take too many penalties.

They took six in the first two periods against the Rangers that led to five power play chances for the Blue shirts, who just so happen to have the sixth-best power play in the league, and while it wasn’t the primary reason for a 4-1 loss at Madison Square Garden, it was certainly on everyone’s mind after the game.

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POSTED ON Sunday, 01.12.2014 / 1:01 PM
By Anthony SanFilippo - Philadelphia Flyers Inside Reporter / Flyers Inside Out

NEW YORK – It’s been a season of fits and starts for Steve Downie.

Coming off of a lost season where he missed the entire lockout-shortened campaign for the Colorado Avalanche due to a torn ACL, Downie got off to a fast start with the upstart Avs under the guidance of coach Patrick Roy.

But Downie, who is in the final year of his contract before hitting free agency, was considered an expendable piece for Colorado who was in need of a veteran locker room presence and penalty killer. So they shipped Downie back to Philadelphia – where his career started – in exchange for Max Talbot.

Upon arriving to Philadelphia, Downie was quickly taken out of the lineup as he was inserted into it, suffering a concussion in the second period of his first game with the Flyers during a fight with Washington’s Aaron Volpatti.

Downie missed some time, but worked his way back and eventually was put on a line with Sean Couturier and Matt Read, and the trio was rolling.

The points were accumulating. Read and Couturier were scoring and Downie was setting them up. The trade looked like a boon for the Flyers.

But then Downie got hurt again...

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POSTED ON Saturday, 01.11.2014 / 5:29 PM
By Anthony SanFilippo - Philadelphia Flyers Inside Reporter / Flyers Inside Out

PHILADELPHIA – Yes, Wayne Simmonds scored again on the power play. It was his sixth power play goal in the last 10 games.

And yes, the power play, at times, looked good in creating opportunities. And yes, Tampa goalie Anders Lindback, while fortunate on a few occasions, did make 35 saves to earn the win over the Flyers.

That said, the Flyers had a golden opportunity to change the momentum of the game with a two-man advantage for 1:46 in the first period – and couldn’t score.

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POSTED ON Thursday, 01.09.2014 / 3:42 PM
By Anthony SanFilippo - Philadelphia Flyers Inside Reporter / Flyers Inside Out

PHILADELPHIA – The timing couldn’t have been more perfect.

I woke up this morning and read Greg Wyshynski’s Puck Daddy blog on Yahoo where his staff basically had a mid-season vote for all the major NHL awards.

For the most part, I thought Greg and Co. did a fine job. Except, I was a bit perplexed that out of six writers, only one was savvy enough to even consider Craig Berube as a candidate for the Jack Adams Award as Coach of the Year so far. That was contributing writer Jen Neale and she had Berube listed fifth.

Then, earlier this afternoon, I had a brief Twitter exchange with Mike Sielski of the Philadelphia Inquirer(and a couple fans too) once again discussing the Flyers philosophy (neither of us dared use the word “culture.”)

Nevertheless, it was Sielski who was center stage in the media when Berube was hired, suggesting that the Flyers should have gone in a different direction then the same old Flyers way.

All the while, I had been working on this blog post – which made for a juicy bit of irony.

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POSTED ON Thursday, 01.09.2014 / 12:06 AM
By Anthony SanFilippo - Philadelphia Flyers Inside Reporter / Flyers Inside Out

PHILADELPHIA – It’s almost like Craig Berube is a sage.

He said he wants Zac Rinaldo to shoot more and get to the net and generate more scoring chances.

It seems like a crazy notion. After all, that’s not what Rinaldo’s role is on the Flyers. But, O.K., we’ll go with it.

A few days later Rinaldo ends up leading the Flyers in shots and scores his first goal of the season, snapping a 53-game skid en route to a 3-1 win over Montreal.

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POSTED ON Saturday, 01.04.2014 / 3:43 PM
By Anthony SanFilippo - Philadelphia Flyers Inside Reporter / Flyers Inside Out

GLENDALE, Ariz. – When Matt Read went out of the lineup in Calgary with an upper body injury after the first period, Zac Rinaldo was called into third line duty.

When the same thing happened to Michael Raffl in Denver, Steve Downie moved up to the top line and Rinaldo jumped into his spot on that third unit with Sean Couturier and Vincent Lecavalier.

Rinaldo is often the guy the Flyers turn to as the X-factor in times when the bench is shorthanded. It’s no question that he is a physical presence, and just the notion of him skating hard into the zone has forced some defensemen to dish the puck to early in anticipation of a check that will never come, resulting in a turnover.

It’s his forte. Separate the puck from the defenseman, whether by force – or even the threat of it.

But, the Flyers wanted his game to grow in other areas too so Rinaldo didn’t become just a one-trick pony.

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POSTED ON Thursday, 01.02.2014 / 10:28 AM
By Anthony SanFilippo - Philadelphia Flyers Inside Reporter / Flyers Inside Out

DENVER – There are two things that have coincided with the way the Flyers have been playing this month – they have been scoring more goals and allowing more goals.

And yet, while it can be said that the once taut Craig Berube defense-first system has been loosened a bit, the Flyers still found a way to better their position in the standings.

While November was technically a better month as the Flyers accrued 20 of a possible 30 points, they did have seven games at home out of 15 while December, when they compiled 18 of a possible 28 points, they were only on home ice four times in 14 outings.

And yet, while the two months have produced similar outcomes in the win/loss columns, they couldn’t be more differing.

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POSTED ON Monday, 12.30.2013 / 11:05 PM
By Anthony SanFilippo - Philadelphia Flyers Inside Reporter / Flyers Inside Out

VANCOUVER – The Flyers will likely have six players named to their respective countries Olympic teams in the next week or so as the participating nations will begin announcing their final squads.

However, one Flyer didn’t really want to wait to share the news.

Michael Raffl, who has burst onto the scene as a gem of a free agent signing by the team last offseason, was thrilled to share that he has already been told he will be representing Team Austria in the Olympics in six weeks in Sochi, Russia.

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POSTED ON Friday, 12.27.2013 / 3:54 PM
By Anthony SanFilippo - Philadelphia Flyers Inside Reporter / Flyers Inside Out

VOORHEES, N.J. – Some people thought the Christmas break was too short. Some felt it was just right. Regardless, the Flyers returned to skate zone for a quick, yet up-tempo practice before embarking on yet another lengthy road trip that kicks off tomorrow in Edmonton.

At nine days, it’ll be the second-longest road trip of the season piggy-backing off a 13 day trip earlier this month.

(Technically it’s a six-game, 11-day trip if you include the game in Newark against the Devils at the end of it, but the Flyers will return home two days earlier and practice at Skate Zone before heading up the New Jersey Turnpike).

And it’s probably the most crucial nine days of the season.

The Flyers come out of the Christmas break in a playoff position in the mediocre Metropolitan Division, but it’s a fluid spot, and they know it.

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POSTED ON Monday, 12.23.2013 / 3:49 PM
By Anthony SanFilippo - Philadelphia Flyers Inside Reporter / Flyers Inside Out

PHILADELPHIA – Here’s a quick insight into the world of a hockey writer looking for something to write about two days before Christmas:

I opened my email this morning to the following short message from a Flyers fan. Her name is Alex:

Hi! Since the beginning of the year, it seems like each time Claude Giroux plays less than 21 minutes a game, he gets more points on the scoreboard. I can't watch every game because I live in Quebec, but I think this is interesting thing to watch and analyze.

Thanks and continue your good job!

It was one of those, “Hmmm…” moments that brought about a series of questions:

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SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 MTL 61 40 16 5 167 135 85
2 NYR 60 38 16 6 190 148 82
3 NYI 62 40 20 2 200 173 82
4 TBL 62 37 19 6 203 167 80
5 DET 60 34 15 11 176 156 79
6 PIT 61 35 17 9 176 152 79
7 WSH 62 33 19 10 184 156 76
8 BOS 60 29 22 9 158 158 67
9 FLA 61 26 22 13 145 172 65
10 PHI 62 26 25 11 164 181 63
11 OTT 59 26 23 10 167 161 62
12 NJD 61 25 27 9 137 161 59
13 CBJ 60 26 30 4 157 189 56
14 TOR 61 25 31 5 170 185 55
15 CAR 59 22 30 7 134 159 51
16 BUF 62 19 38 5 120 207 43

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
J. Voracek 62 19 45 4 64
C. Giroux 61 18 41 2 59
W. Simmonds 62 24 18 -2 42
M. Streit 62 8 32 -4 40
B. Schenn 62 12 23 -3 35
S. Couturier 62 12 14 -2 26
M. Del Zotto 50 7 17 -7 24
M. Read 62 5 18 -9 23
M. Raffl 47 13 3 4 16
V. Lecavalier 44 7 9 -9 16
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
S. Mason 11 13 7 .925 2.26
R. Emery 10 10 4 .893 3.15
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