Welcome to the Official Site of the Philadelphia Flyers Join the Flyer Wire List Official Facebook of the Philadelphia Flyers Official Twitter of the Philadelphia Flyers Official Instagram of the Philadelphia Flyers Official LinkedIn of the Philadelphia Flyers
 

Players Feeling the Buzz as Flyers Prepare for Home Opener

Friday, 10.12.2007 / 4:13 PM ET / News
By Kevin Kurz  - philadelphiaflyers.com
X
Share with your Friends


Players Feeling the Buzz as Flyers Prepare for Home Opener
Philadelphia to face New York in first game at Wachovia Center on Saturday

Mike Knuble and Jason Smith comment after Friday's practice: Video


(Voorhees, NJ) – After winning games in two of the toughest buildings in the league (at least last season), the Flyers will turn their attention to establishing a strong presence at home when they host the New York Islanders at the Wachovia Center in their first game of the season in Philadelphia on Saturday night (7:00 p.m., Comcast SportsNet).

A thrilling 3-2 win in Calgary to open the season and an 8-2 thrashing of the Vancouver Canucks sandwiched a 5-3 loss in Edmonton in which the Flyers were in the game for the duration. The successful trip has created a buzz around the team, and the players can feel it already.

“There are things to be excited about, not only our start but the new players we have,” said Knuble after Friday’s practice at the Virtua Center Flyers Skate Zone. “Guys like Danny [Briere] should electrify our building, so it should be fun.”

“Our fans have been great, they’ve been excited about the direction of the team in the summer and we’re excited to be able to come out and play in front of our fans,” added John Stevens. “We feel very good to be coming home to them after the road trip. Now we just going to make sure we re-energize for the first home game.”

Jason Smith, the new captain of the club, is among several newcomers that will get to skate on home ice for the first time in a regular season game. While the team is off to a good start on the road, the Flyers want to make sure that opposing teams don’t feel comfortable playing at the Wachovia Center.
The line of Danny Briere, Simon Gagne and Mike Knuble has combined for 17 points in three games. (Getty Images)


“It’s important for us to establish ourselves as a team at home that is going to play hard every night and be a team that teams don’t want to come into our building and play,” said Smith. “If we do that, we’re going to win a lot of hockey games. We’ve talked about it from Day One of Training Camp.”

“The way we played on the road is a very good sign about how we want to be a team that doesn’t back down from anything, that takes on a challenge on the road,” said Martin Biron, who is expected to get his fourth straight start in net. “The identity we want to have is being a tough team at home; even tougher than we are on the road.”

Besides being the first game at home, Saturday will also be the first of eight meetings with the New York Islanders and first game for the club in the Atlantic Division. The Islanders are off to a decent start, posting a 3-2-0 record through five games. They lost 8-1 in Toronto on Thursday.

“The Islanders are a team we’re going to have to battle a lot this year, and it’s going to be definitely important for us to forget about the trip in itself, but look at this game as a [continuation] of what we’ve been doing while we were on the West Coast,” said Biron.

Balanced Scoring Key for Stevens

Through the first two games of the season, the line of Simon Gagne, Danny Briere and Mike Knuble accounted for five of the team’s six goals. On Wednesday, though, seven different Flyers scored in the 8-2 rout of the Canucks.

Third-year Flyers Mike Richards and Jeff Carter have two goals apiece on the young season, while Joffrey Lupul and R.J. Umberger tallied their first goals of the year. It will be imperative that they and others on the club contribute in the scoring column to take the load off of the top line, and Stevens thinks they can.

“You have a lot of players that can provide secondary scoring up and down our lineup,” said Stevens. “As a group, we all want to be defensively responsible and we all want to be on the attack. We should be able to score by secondary committee.”

Of course, with the immediate success of the “KGB line,” it would be hard for anyone to keep pace. The trio has already combined for 17 points, led by Briere’s four goals and three assists.

“It’s great on paper with all the goals Danny, Simon, and I have scored, so it’s gone well,” said Knuble. “But I think as a line, you always want to feel better and you always want to get better.”

Jones Impresses Stevens on Defense

Among the many standout players in Wednesday’s game was defenseman Randy Jones, who registered two assists and was a +3 on the night. Jones had an up-and-down season last year as the team struggled, but looks like he is primed to become a regular on the blue line this year.

“He’s one of those guys that didn’t progress as much to the point as we wanted, but he deserves a lot of credit. He worked hard in the summer,” said Stevens. “His attitude from Day One has been all business. He has a lot of confidence with the puck and has shown an ability to play on the power play now, and his ability to defend has gotten much more consistent.

“He’s played very well for us.”

FLYERS NOTES
Scottie Upshall skated by himself for the first time on Friday since sustaining a broken wrist. He still is not able to shoot the puck, however. … Defenseman Nate Guenin was reassigned to the Phantoms on Friday. … Forward Jesse Boulerice was suspended by the league for 25 games for his hit on Ryan Kesler in Wednesday’s game.

SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 p - NYR 82 53 22 7 248 187 113
2 y - MTL 82 50 22 10 214 184 110
3 x - TBL 82 50 24 8 259 206 108
4 x - WSH 82 45 26 11 237 199 101
5 x - NYI 82 47 28 7 245 224 101
6 x - DET 82 43 25 14 231 211 100
7 x - OTT 82 43 26 13 232 208 99
8 x - PIT 82 43 27 12 217 204 98
9 BOS 82 41 27 14 209 201 96
10 FLA 82 38 29 15 198 213 91
11 CBJ 82 42 35 5 227 248 89
12 PHI 82 33 31 18 212 223 84
13 NJD 82 32 36 14 176 209 78
14 CAR 82 30 41 11 183 219 71
15 TOR 82 30 44 8 206 257 68
16 BUF 82 23 51 8 153 269 54

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
J. Voracek 82 22 59 1 81
C. Giroux 81 25 48 -3 73
M. Streit 81 9 43 -8 52
W. Simmonds 75 28 22 -5 50
B. Schenn 82 18 29 -5 47
S. Couturier 82 15 22 4 37
M. Del Zotto 64 10 22 -5 32
M. Read 80 8 22 -4 30
M. Raffl 67 21 7 6 28
V. Lecavalier 57 8 12 -7 20
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
S. Mason 18 18 11 .928 2.25
R. Emery 10 11 7 .894 3.06
Privacy Policy | AdChoices | California Privacy Rights | Contact Us | Advertise Employment| NHL.com Terms of Use

Philadelphiaflyers.com is the official Web site of the Philadelphia Flyers. Philadelphia Flyers and philadelphiaflyers.com are trademarks of Philadelphia Flyers, L.P. NHL, the NHL Shield, the word mark and image of the Stanley Cup and NHL Conference logos are registered trademarks of the National Hockey League. All NHL logos and marks and NHL team logos and marks as well as all other proprietary materials depicted herein are the property of the NHL and the respective NHL teams and may not be reproduced without the prior written consent of NHL Enterprises, L.P. Copyright © 1999-2015 Philadelphia Flyers, L.P. and the National Hockey League. All Rights Reserved.