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Players React to All-Star Nod

Thursday, 01.12.2012 / 7:00 PM / 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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STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 p - BOS 82 54 19 9 261 177 117
2 y - PIT 82 51 24 7 249 207 109
3 x - TBL 82 46 27 9 240 215 101
4 x - MTL 82 46 28 8 215 204 100
5 x - NYR 82 45 31 6 218 193 96
6 x - PHI 82 42 30 10 236 235 94
7 x - CBJ 82 43 32 7 231 216 93
8 x - DET 82 39 28 15 222 230 93
9 WSH 82 38 30 14 235 240 90
10 NJD 82 35 29 18 197 208 88
11 OTT 82 37 31 14 236 265 88
12 TOR 82 38 36 8 231 256 84
13 CAR 82 36 35 11 207 230 83
14 NYI 82 34 37 11 225 267 79
15 FLA 82 29 45 8 196 268 66
16 BUF 82 21 51 10 157 248 52

STATS

2013-2014 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
C. Giroux 82 28 58 7 86
J. Voracek 82 23 39 11 62
W. Simmonds 82 29 31 -4 60
S. Hartnell 78 20 32 11 52
M. Streit 82 10 34 3 44
B. Schenn 82 20 21 0 41
M. Read 75 22 18 -4 40
S. Couturier 82 13 26 1 39
V. Lecavalier 69 20 17 -16 37
K. Timonen 77 6 29 5 35
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
S. Mason 33 18 7 .917 2.50
R. Emery 9 12 2 .903 2.96
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