Hits and Misses (Devils 3, Flyers 0)
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.
In this instance, Schenn does leave his feet, but it’s hard to tell if it’s as a result of the contact or if it was before the contact. I’ve slowed down the replay several times and it’s difficult to tell.
Also, there is no contact with Volchenkov’s head and the hit is more shoulder-to-shoulder, but if the league determines Schenn, in fact, launched himself off the ice intentionally, it could end up with a disciplinary result.
The good news for Schenn is, he does not have a history with the league, so this would be considered a first time offense.
But we’ll have to wait and see what discipline lord Brendan Shanahan has to say about it.
- Wayne Simmonds had a brief run-in with Devils goalie Martin Brodeur that set off a fracas near the Devils net.
Simmonds gave Brodeur a little shove after the goalie made a save and drew a whistle.
Brodeur took the shove, and turned it into stepping on a land mine with his embellishment.
That sent the Devils nuts, forcing two players to jump Simmonds, even after the linesman was engaged.
Yet somehow, the Flyers ended up shorthanded on the play.
Simmonds had some choice words about the incident after the game:
“He was playing well,” Simmonds said. “I didn’t hit him too hard. I just gave him a push and I think he over-exaggerated it. I was trying to get a little scrum going there and it worked.”
And on Brodeur’s flop:
“He’s one of the best goalie’s to ever play the game so he can do whatever he wants in this league,” Simmonds said.
Laughton didn’t get a lot of ice time playing on the fourth line and not playing on special teams, but every time he was on the ice he was noticeable – whether it was a good forecheck, or a nifty move with the puck, or finding open space for shots, or drawing penalties, Laughton was easily one of the best Flyers in this less-than-memorable game.
McGinn got off to a good start playing a regular shift in the first period and looking like a kid who belongs at this level. His ice time diminished though as the game spun out of control and he wasn’t nearly as noticeable over the final two periods. Nevertheless, he likely earned another start Thursday.
Claude Giroux played perhaps his most uncharacteristic game as a Flyer. He made a lot of passes that were off the mark, he let his frustrations get the better of him and took emotional penalties and lost focus. He will be better, no doubt, but for one night – he was way off his game.
- Everyone thought Ilya Bryzgalov was going to be the big question mark for the Flyers this season, but frankly, he’s been the most consistent player in the lineup. Not one of the 10 goals he has allowed this season have been “bad goals” in the sense that he was at fault. He may like to have another shot at a couple of them, but otherwise, he’s been really solid in net.
- Scott Hartnell was hit in the left foot by a slapshot from the point by Kimmo Timonen in the third period and struggled to the bench. He came back and played afterward, but after the game he was obviously still smarting as he walked gingerly to the bus. Knowing Hartnell, he’ll probably tough it out, but that wasn’t a good day at the office for the Flyers top power forward.
My Three Stars:
1. Martin Brodeur – He only had to make 24 saves, but he continues to be a thorn in the Flyers side. He is a hall-of-fame goalie not just because of his physical abilities, but because of his propensity to smother momentum when it crops up from the opposition. He did that Tuesday several times.
2. Ilya Kovalchuk – The Flyers might have wished he stayed in Russia. He looked good Tuesday, scoring a goal on a penalty shot and assisting on another. The Devils didn’t create a lot of offense, but when they did, Kovalchuk was usally in the middle of it.
3. David Clarkson – He scored a goal off of Ruslan Fedotenko’s skate, so that’s not a big deal, but he was a true antagonist against the Flyers, stirring up trouble with his mouth and his physical play. Guys like that are very valuable, even if his hit on Kimmo Timonen had an intended forearm to the chops as a follow through – as evidenced by his immediately stopping and looking around to see what Flyers might run at him after the hit.
Did You Know:
- Oppenents have now scored on 20-of-37 penalty shots against the Flyers all-time.
- Of Brodeur’s amazing 120 career shutouts, 10 have come against the Flyers – the most by any opposing goalie in franchise history.
- Sean Couturier continues to be a victim of circumstance and has now been on the ice for nine of the 11 goals against the Flyers. The two he missed – the kick-in goal by Cody Hodgson in Buffalo and the penalty shot by Kovalchuk
To contact Anthony SanFilippo, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or follow him on Twitter @AnthonySan37