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.(Click "Full Story" for more...)
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:(Click "Full Story" for more...)
VOORHEES, N.J. – Only nine players in the history of hockey have amassed more than 3,000 penalty minutes in their career.
Flyers coach Craig Berube is one of them.
So, to hear him lament his team’s propensity for taking too many penalties is one of the more interesting dichotomies you’ll find in professional sports.
Best friends and roommates on the road for five seasons in Columbus, Umberger knew every little thing about Mason, and vice versa.
So when Umberger got together for dinner with his old friend last night – the first time the two had seen each other since Mason was traded from Columbus to Philadelphia last April – he was relieved to see him in such good spirits.(Click "Full Story" for more...)
PHILADELPHIA – It was a subtle move, but one coach Craig Berube had been thinking about for some time.
Raffl, Claude Giroux and Jake Voracek have thrived as a unit in those games, combining for 11 points.
Raffl has had a bit of a breakout, benefitting from playing with top-end talent.
Giroux has been good for awhile now, averaging a point per game in the past 17 contests.
But Voracek is the one that has really made the line tick of late.(Click "Full Story" fo rmore...)
CHICAGO – It was a long flight from Dallas to Ottawa, which gave Zac Rinaldo a lot of time to think.
He was coming off a game in Detroit where he didn’t get a lot of ice time followed by a four second cameo in Dallas that was enough to leave his team shorthanded for seven minutes as he was being ejected from the game.
His actions in Dallas – jumping Stars pesky pest Antoine Roussel as both came off the bench for their first shift of the game – was not the smartest of choices by Rinaldo.
As a matter of fact, his coach, Craig Berube, was quite blunt when describing the decision to land a couple of blows to Roussel’s head while he laying on the ice.
“Stupid,” Berube said.(Click "Full Story" for more...)
CHICAGO – The Windy City is a special place for Ray Emery.
Not because he won a Stanley Cup here with the Blackhawks last summer, although that was pretty cool.
Not because he had a phenomenal record of 17-1 with a 1.94 goals against average and was a groin injury away from being the go-to guy for the Cup run, even though those numbers were impressive.
Instead, it had meaning long before that.
Chicago is near and dear to Emery and has been since July 27, 2011.(Click "Full Story" for more...)
OTTAWA – The last time Jeff Reese suited up to play goalie wasn’t as long ago as you think.
“Three weeks ago I put on the pads for the extra guys, but those were my own pads – and it wasn’t a full team skate,” Reese said.
Which made Monday morning so much different.
With Ray Emery needing the morning off to get a new passport, the Flyers goalie coach filled in as the second goalie at the morning skate. Afterward, sitting in a pool of sweat, Reese was laughing about his performance.
“That was tough,” he said. “Especially with [Emery’s] pads. During the power play, I was just standing on the goal line hoping it hit me.”(Click "Full Story" for more...)
DETROIT – The second half of the morning skate today was a lot like the second half of practice yesterday, which was a lot like the second half of the morning skate in Minnesota…
…and the practice before that… and the morning skate before that… etc.
Welcome to the world of a Craig Berube coached team. Things are pretty cut and dry. The way you practice, the things you practice, the meetings after practice – they’re all the same.(Click "Full Story" for more...)
ST. PAUL, Minn. – It was a good day to be a Flyers prospect Monday.
Team Canada announced their final list of camp invitees for the World Junior Championships and two Flyers prospects were on the short list.