Sign in with your NHL account:
  • Submit
  • Or
  • Sign in with Google
Welcome to the Official Site of the Philadelphia Flyers Official Facebook of the Philadelphia Flyers Official Twitter of the Philadelphia Flyers Official Instagram of the Philadelphia Flyers Official LinkedIn of the Philadelphia Flyers
 

Rookies in name only

Flyers core of rookies are not playing like first-year NHL'ers

Tuesday, 04.17.2012 / 4:51 PM / News
X
Share with your Friends


Rookies in name only
One reason the Flyers lead the Pittsburgh Penguins in the first round is first-year rookie skaters like Eric Wellwood Brayden Schenn Matt Read and Zac Rinaldo

VOORHEES, N.J. -- Rookies have been part of the solution for the Philadelphia Flyers since the start of training camp.

It's why they're not a problem now.

Philadelphia has used at least five rookies in all three games of the series against Pittsburgh (six rookies played in Game 1), and some of them deserve credit for being major factors in why the Flyers are up 3-0 in the series heading into Game 4 Wednesday at Wells Fargo Center (7:30 p.m. ET, NBCSN, TSN).

"When you're getting put in key situations throughout the season, toward the end of the year you don't have to feel so tense when you step out there," Brayden Schenn said. "Everyone feels comfortable and we're just trying to do our jobs, make the most of it."

Schenn has five points, including the game-tying goal and two assists in Game 1, when the Flyers had to claw back from a 3-0 deficit to win 4-3 in overtime.

Sean Couturier had a hat trick plus an assist in Philadelphia's 8-5 win in Game 2, but he's getting more attention for the work he's done in shutting down Art Ross Trophy winner Evgeni Malkin, who has no goals and one even-strength point in the series.

Matt Read scored twice in Game 3 to help the Flyers win 8-4.

And although he doesn't have a point yet, Eric Wellwood saw his minutes rise to over 16 in Game 3 because of the confidence coach Peter Laviolette has in him.

"He has a lot of confidence in all of us and he throws us in every situation," Wellwood told NHL.com. "He mentioned before the playoffs that he was going to play us like he played us during the regular season, and that's what he has been doing. You gain confidence from your coach when he's playing you, and [when] your teammates are encouraging and have trust in you, as well."

These Flyers rookies, including Zac Rinaldo and the injured Marc-Andre Bourdon (upper body), are oozing with confidence for good reason.

They've watched the Penguins unravel in part because of how well the rookies have performed and how composed they've remained in the intense chamber of emotions of this rivalry series.

"I thought it would be maybe a step below what it is right now, but maybe it's just a rival, the playoffs, playing the Penguins, in-state," Read told NHL.com. "This is great hockey and I love to play it."

Couturier has thrown Malkin off his game, so much so that the Penguins superstar center has tried on more than one occasion to throw punches at the 19-year-old rookie.

"If he's punching me back I must be doing something good," Couturier said. "I just try to focus on what I have to do. If I can get him to go to the box, good."

Schenn has gotten under the skin of Sidney Crosby. He's also used his size (6-foot-1, 190 pounds) to play an imposing physical game.

Paul Martin took the brunt of it in the first period Sunday when Schenn hit him hard and received a charging minor for it. Schenn also was on the receiving end of a high cross-check and a subsequent punch to the back of the head from the Pens' Arron Asham.

"The players grow into their roles and you find out where else you can utilize them in their team concept and your identity," Laviolette said. "I talked with Brayden [on Tuesday], and I think he's doing a terrific job of using his speed, his skill and his physical presence."

Read has been using his offensive instincts to create space for scoring chances. Veteran Jaromir Jagr found him on the power play in the second period by threading a pretty circle-to-circle pass. Read, who was set up in the left circle, blasted a one-timer past Marc-Andre Fleury to put the Flyers up 5-3.

It was Read's second goal of the game.

"It's confidence," Read said. "Everyone, all of our young guys, our rookies have been given roles throughout the year. The coaching staff puts you on the ice in certain situations, and you learn how to play in those situations and how to deal with those situations and how to succeed. Every rookie has been given a role and it's great to see everyone succeeding and doing well. Having confidence out there helps so much, and it stems from the regular season. It's just continued here in the playoffs."

Laviolette credited general manager Paul Holmgren and his scouts for finding these players and bringing them into the organization. He then credited the players for running with the opportunity right from the beginning.

His confidence in them is a result of the growth they've shown throughout the season.

All that's growing now is that confidence.

"Back then they were truly rookies," Laviolette said, referring to the early part of the regular season. "They were getting their first tastes of practices, NHL rinks, systems, coaches, the travel, the grind of the NHL. From there I think they've grown. Sometimes you can look at it and say, 'Well, they can wear down at the end (of the season).' In this circumstance it seems like they've grown into the players that they are, which is really necessary for our success."

SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 TBL 48 30 14 4 156 127 64
2 NYI 46 31 14 1 151 129 63
3 DET 47 27 11 9 139 119 63
4 MTL 45 29 13 3 123 106 61
5 PIT 46 26 12 8 138 117 60
6 NYR 44 27 13 4 134 106 58
7 WSH 46 24 13 9 137 120 57
8 BOS 48 25 16 7 126 121 57
9 FLA 44 20 14 10 107 122 50
10 OTT 46 19 18 9 126 128 47
11 TOR 48 22 23 3 142 150 47
12 PHI 48 19 22 7 130 146 45
13 CBJ 45 20 22 3 113 142 43
14 NJD 47 17 22 8 107 134 42
15 CAR 46 16 25 5 98 120 37
16 BUF 47 14 30 3 89 167 31

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
J. Voracek 48 17 39 10 56
C. Giroux 47 16 35 6 51
M. Streit 48 7 27 -2 34
B. Schenn 48 10 19 -4 29
W. Simmonds 48 16 12 -5 28
S. Couturier 48 10 11 0 21
M. Read 48 3 15 -8 18
M. Raffl 40 12 3 6 15
V. Lecavalier 34 7 7 -9 14
M. Del Zotto 36 3 11 -6 14
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
S. Mason 8 12 6 .920 2.46
R. Emery 8 9 1 .890 3.27
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.