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Players React to All-Star Nod

Thursday, 01.12.2012 / 7:00 PM ET / News
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Players React to All-Star Nod
Claude Giroux texted Matt Read that he would be joining him at the 2012 NHL All-Star Game in Ottawa.

Sean Couturier was paying extra special attention to the Internet and smart phones that his teammates were on following the morning skate.

And Kimmo Timonen, well any thoughts of his spending some well earned R & R on a beach in St. Thomas were quickly erased, not by the NHL, but by his son Samuel who doesn’t want to miss out on the experience.

“I talked to him this afternoon and he was really excited. Those kind of moments are big for me too,” said Timonen. “I’ve been there a few times and it’s always a great weekend. My family’s coming over [from Finland] and I’m looking forward to it.”

All four are officially NHL All-Stars, and deservedly so after the first half of the season in the books.

Claude Giroux is in the midst of another breakout year in all-offensive categories: goals (18), assists (30) and points (48) to lead the Flyers in scoring and hover around the NHL-scoring lead all season long. He currently stands in a tie for second with Toronto’s Phil Kessel and is two points behind Canucks’ Henrik Sedin, prior to tonight’s game in Long Island.

The game will have an even more special meaning to Giroux than his first, just one year ago in Raleigh. It is the place where he spent all of his teenage life and life in Major Juniors with the Gatineau Olympiques.

“All my family and friends will be there and it’s going to be an exciting weekend for sure,” said Giroux.” I played my junior [hockey] just over the river there and I’m pretty comfortable. The fans are pretty passionate too so hopefully it’s going to be a good week.”

Perhaps no one is more pleased than Flyers bench boss, Peter Laviolette.

“It’s really nice to see a guy like Kimmo get recognized. Not only is he having a great year, he’s well deserving [of it] not only this year, but in year’s past.”

Timonen leads the Flyers defense with 25 points, 24 of them assists, and among all NHL defensemen he ranks third overall in helpers.

Both Sean Couturier and Matt Read are a part of 12 rookies around the NHL that will participate in the Skills Competition and the NHL Fantasy Draft. Yup, that’s back again after a successful first go-around last season.

“I never knew what was going to happen this summer,” said Read. “I tried to be NHL-ready and be in the lineup, get the chance to participate and try to make the Philadelphia Flyers a better team. It’s something that I’m looking forward to and very shocked I’m still going.”

Read is currently tied for the NHL lead in goals among all rookies with 13 tallies, and is tied for fourth overall in points (25)

Said Laviolette, “We’ve used these guys in roles all year; we count on them; we trust them and not only do we recognize their talent, it looks like others do as well, so it’s a nice honor.”

Couturier has hit a bit of a hot streak recently, posting goals in two straight games and this is without passing up any of his other duties, the most important of which is the team’s penalty killing unit.

The 19-year-old has cleared over 100 minutes of time-on-ice while the team is down shorthanded, averaging nearly three minutes per game (2:45), none of which is counted towards the last minutes of regulation when the team is protecting a lead.

All-Star Weekend begins Thursday, Jan. 26 with the Fantasy Draft, while the Skills Competition is on Saturday, Jan. 28 and the official game kicking off on Sunday, Jan. 29 from Scotiabank Place in Ottawa.

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EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 p - WSH 82 56 18 8 252 193 120
2 x - PIT 82 48 26 8 245 203 104
3 y - FLA 82 47 26 9 239 203 103
4 x - NYR 82 46 27 9 236 217 101
5 x - NYI 82 45 27 10 232 216 100
6 x - TBL 82 46 31 5 227 201 97
7 x - PHI 82 41 27 14 214 218 96
8 x - DET 82 41 30 11 211 224 93
9 BOS 82 42 31 9 240 230 93
10 CAR 82 35 31 16 198 226 86
11 OTT 82 38 35 9 236 247 85
12 NJD 82 38 36 8 184 208 84
13 MTL 82 38 38 6 221 236 82
14 BUF 82 35 36 11 201 222 81
15 CBJ 82 34 40 8 219 252 76
16 TOR 82 29 42 11 198 246 69

STATS

2015-2016 PLAYOFFS
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
S. Gostisbehere 6 1 1 0 2
B. Schenn 6 0 2 2 2
W. Simmonds 6 0 2 -1 2
S. Gagner 6 0 2 1 2
J. Voracek 6 1 0 -1 1
M. Raffl 6 1 0 0 1
R. White 6 1 0 0 1
C. VandeVelde 6 1 0 -1 1
A. MacDonald 6 1 0 0 1
B. Manning 6 0 1 -2 1
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
M. Neuvirth 2 1 0 .981 0.67
S. Mason 0 3 0 .852 4.09
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