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On The Fly!
Official PR Blog of your Philadelphia Flyers
The Philadelphia Flyers Public Relations staff will be keeping this official blog on the website. All you need to know: daily updates, multimedia and behind-the-scenes information that you can only find here! For all other official Flyers news and press releases - click here
On The Fly archives:
2007-08 Season
2008-09 Season
2009-10 Season

2010-11: Sept. 2010 // Oct. 2010 // Nov. 2010


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December 31
9:21 p.m. PACIFIC TIME

2010 IS OVER
The New Year’s Eve game at Anaheim was certainly one to forget.

“I didn’t like the way we played,” said Flyers head coach Peter Laviolette. “The second period was flat for us. It started flat and that’s why I used the timeout there and we remained flat.”

But a 5-2 loss at Anaheim ends a year that for all Flyers fans is one to remember.

“It was a tough game. I think we got off to a slow start and were standing around puck-watching,” said Jeff Carter, who now has a three-game goal-scoring streak.

Despite the loss, the Flyers sit in a very good position. They own a 23-10-5 record for 51 points, which puts them in second place in the Atlantic Division and fourth in the Eastern Conference, although they rank second in total points. They are tied for third overall in the NHL with Vancouver.

The end of the 2009-10 season brought the most exciting and closest regular season finish in team history when they needed (and delivered) a shootout victory over their long-time rival, the New York Rangers, just to qualify for the playoffs.

Once in, you know the story from there.

A dominating series against the no. 2 seed New Jersey Devils that took just five games; a historic comeback from a 0-3 series AND Game 7 comeback to beat the Boston Bruins; a five-game series against the Montreal Canadiens that gave the team the Prince of Wales Trophy and first trip to the Stanley Cup Final in 13 years.

Following a heart-breaking six-game loss in the Stanley Cup Final, the Flyers added depth defensively with Sean O’Donnell and Andrej Meszaros .

They tweaked the offense by signing highly-skilled Russian forward Nikolay Zherdev, who currently has 13 goals, and tough guy Jody Shelley.

In net, they signed Michael Leighton with a two-year contract extension after he went 16-5-2 with a 2.48 GAA and .918 save percentage in the regular season and 8-3 in the playoffs with a 2.46 GAA and .916 save percentage to help them reach the Final.

A 22-year-old Russian goaltender turned heads at training camp and earned his way onto the roster, shocking everyone again by being named the team’s starter in Pittsburgh for the season opener.

Whatever the lineup is, Laviolette and his Flyers squad close out the year and begins the second half of the 2011 season with one goal in mind. Win two more games than last year and bring the Flyers organization, fans and the entire city the Stanley Cup.

That mission will kick into high gear when the team will head to Detroit on Sunday to take on yet another top team in the League when they battle the Red Wings in a 5 p.m. ET start.

* * *
12:17 a.m. PACIFIC TIME

A NEW LOOK

  Laviolette // Leighton // Richards & Briere

Flyers head coach Peter Laviolette blew up his team last night. After dropping the last two games by a combined total of 11-2 who could blame him.

All three lines were shuffled as the Flyers led the game off with Jeff Carter centering Ville Leino and Andreas Nodl. Danny Briere played with Mike Richards and James van Riemsdyk while Claude Giroux centered Nikolay Zherdev and Scott Hartnell.

The result was a 7-4 victory and considering the previous two games, it was a much-needed victory.

“You look at the last couple games and sometimes the bottom falls out,” said Laviolette. “I thought with those small deficits, to come back and be tied at the end of the first period I thought that was really important. I thought we were playing hard and got some bad bounces on the goals.”

With a big win, usually comes a big player and Mike Richards was exactly that. The Flyers captain put up four points on the board with a pair of goals and assists. This in a time when the last two games they had only scored two goals combined.

“Personally it was probably the worst two games I’ve played in a while, the last couple,” said Richards. “I just wanted to play and as a team I think we’ve talked about just getting back on the fore-check and moving our feet a little bit more and just getting the puck to the net.  I thought we did that tonight.”
 
“The first period is obviously important for us to start, but we don’t let it phase us,” said Richards. We battled back and just kept playing.  I thought our fore-check was great today, which has not been there the last five or so games so it was nice to see.”

The win puts the Flyers back in second place in the Eastern Conference and third overall in the NHL with 51 points and a record of 23-9-5.

They will complete the second half of their home-and-home series when they face off against the Anaheim Ducks on New Year’s Eve in a 5 p.m. PT (8 p.m. ET) start.

LEIGHTON GETS A W
Early this morning Flyers head coach Peter Laviolette confirmed that Michael Leighton will get the start in net against the Kings. The start was Leighton's first since the preseason and first true test since Game Six of the Stanley Cup Final.

After a slow start, Leighton once again shook off the rust to turn in a solid performance.

“I think when you’re out for a long period of time and you’re coming off of surgery and you step back in the National Hockey League, you’ve got a lot of work, you have to feel your way around a bit,” said Laviolette. “I would say anybody’s got to do that, but then it makes it tough on a goaltender. You get through it and get some work and get a win.”

In total, Leighton made 32 saves, including a few point-blank opportunities and fought off three of five Kings’ power plays. He stopped all 10 shots the Kings threw at him the third period.

“I wasn’t too nervous,” said Leighton. “I was just more excited to get out there.  It backfired a little bit and the first goal was pretty weak.  I definitely felt better the third period.  Jeff Reese came in and told me I’ve got to start fighting for pucks more and the puck gets back to the point and try to find it.  I just found I wasn’t seeing the puck coming in.  I really worked in the third and it seemed to help.”



December 30

11:31 a.m. PACIFIC TIME

Flyers head coach Peter Laviolette confirmed that Michael Leighton will get the start in net tonight vs. Los Angeles. This will be Leighton's first start of the 2010-11 season.


December 29

6:10 p.m. PACIFIC TIME

50/50
Flyers general manager Paul Holmgren updated the condition of defenseman Kimmo Timonen last night as a lower body injury.

Timonen is believed to have suffered the injury in Tuesday’s game at Vancouver which saw him take just 23 shifts, aside from his average 24-26, and 18:10 of playing time, where usually he would see around 22-23 minutes of time-on-ice.

He did not take part in on-ice practice today at the LA Kings practice facility in El Segundo, but did speak to the media.

“I should be all right for tomorrow. I’ll take the morning skate and we’ll see how it feels,” said Timonen. “I would say it’s a 50/50 chance… It’s nothing really bad, but it’s one of those things where I have to step on the ice tomorrow and see.”

  Laviolette // Shelley // Timonen

The Flyers have also recalled defenseman Erik Gustafsson from their American Hockey League affiliate, the Adirondack Phantoms, on emergency conditions.

This is the first NHL recall for the native of Kvissleby, Sweden, who signed with the Flyers this past March after three seasons at Northern Michigan University.

The 22-year-old Gustafsson leads all AHL defensemen in scoring with 26 points (4G,26A) in 33 games.  He is tied for second among all AHL rookies in overall scoring, and his 22 assists lead all AHL rookies and rank seventh overall in the AHL.

“He’s pretty smooth and makes good decisions with the puck,” said Flyers head coach Peter Laviolette of Gustafsson.

SHELLEY HEARING
Jody Shelley was called to the NHL carpet for disciplinary action for the second time this season.

This time, Shelley was given a match penalty with 7:31 left in the third period in an altercation with Canucks defenseman, and former Flyer, Andrew Alberts.

Under the rules for receiving a match penalty, the NHL requires a mandatory discipline hearing for possible supplementary discipline with the League’s Hockey Operations within 24 hours of the incident.

The result was a two-game suspension which will cause him to miss Thursday’s game at Los Angeles and Friday’s game at Anaheim.  He is eligible to return on Sunday, Jan. 2 at Detroit.

“They have their reasons and I respect their decision. I honestly do,” said Shelley. “I’m just disappointed really. I really am.

“I thought I was getting into a fight. When you think you’re getting into a fight you have to eat one or throw one, so I thought I was in a fight so I threw a quick one, it wasn’t a big one.”

The suspension is Shelley’s fifth of his NHL career and second this season, after he received a two-game ban for his hit from behind on Bruins’ Adam McQuaid on Dec. 11.

* * *
3:16 a.m. PACIFIC TIME

CARRYOVER EFFECT

Tuesday’s game against the Canucks didn’t fall victim to what everyone had expected – a long, seven-day layover. Just by looking at the score, one would assume that was the case, which caused the Flyers to take a 6-2 loss at Vancouver.

But in fact, the team fell victim to the carryover effect. A carry over from perhaps the worst performance of the year, a 5-0 loss at home against the Florida Panthers on Dec. 20.

“There’s definitely a carry over,” said Flyers head coach Peter Laviolette. “It’s more about effort for me. They were quicker. They were more aggressive. They out hit us. Face-offs are a telltale sign for me who’s on their toes and who’s not. I’m not just talking about our center men, I’m talking about execution and battles won and lost.”

  Laviolette // Richards // Boucher

The first period did seem like the length of time had an effect.

The Canucks pelted goaltender Brian Boucher with 22 shots in the first period, it is the most shots allowed by the Flyers in over two years (Dec. 20, 2008 vs. Washington – 25 shots in a 7-1 Flyers win).

Boucher was later replaced 5:21 into the second period by Sergei Bobrovsky, who yielded two goals on 21 shots. Boucher stopped 24 of 28 prior to being pulled.

By no means is it fair to compare Florida to the Canucks. Vancouver after all, has now won three straight contests and has not lost in regulation since Dec. 5, a 3-2 loss against the St. Louis Blues. Since that point, Vancouver has gone 8-0-2 and has accumulated at least a point in the standings in 13 of their last 15 games.

Their record now sits at 22-8-5 for 49 points and an impressive 13-3-2 mark on home ice.

“The way their playing right now, there’s not a lot of room for error,” said Flyers defenseman Sean O’Donnell. “It was going to be a tough win anyways. We didn’t do ourselves any favors with turnovers and mistakes they made, but give them credit. They earned the two points tonight.”

The Flyers meanwhile, see their record drop to 22-9-5 and with 49 points now sit three points behind the Penguins for first overall and tied for second with the Washington Capitals.

The Flyers road trip doesn’t get any easier from here. On Thursday, the Flyers will go against the Los Angeles Kings and then on the back end of games on back-to-back nights, the Anaheim Ducks on New Year’s Eve Friday and the Detroit Red Wings the day after New Year’s (Jan. 2).

TIMONEN INJURED
The Flyers were dealt another blow in Tuesday’s loss to the Canucks as All-Star defenseman Kimmo Timonen went down with a lower body injury that saw him play very limited ice time in the third period.

An update is expected following the team’s practice in Los Angeles on Wednesday.


December 27
4:42 p.m. PACIFIC TIME

As the Flyers set to take on the Vancouver Canucks in the first of their five-game road trip, one thing Flyers fans will hear plenty about is the Orange and Black’s long winning streak here in British Columbia.

The Flyers are undefeated in their last 14 games at Vancouver, going 10-0-4 dating back to 1989, which was a 5-3 loss on Jan. 17.

Pretty neat, but a somewhat meaningless streak. The Flyers play the Canucks in Vancouver just once a season, and in most cases once every other season.

“I wouldn’t have known that unless you said it,” said Flyers head coach Peter Laviolette. “I’m not sure how that plays into a conversation or manage or coach that to get better results because of that. Sometimes statistic pop up and you hear of them and say ‘that’s an interesting stat’… whether we’ve had success in a building or not had success, this group is together for the first time this year and I think the results usually come from the play on the ice.”

Laviolette // Giroux // Meszaros

If there were ever a scenario where that streak would end and the Flyers would be a little extra cautious would be now.

Andrej Meszaros played his junior hockey with the Vancouver Giants of the Western Hockey League.
“The way that we’re approaching [Tuesday’s game] is that we’re playing one of the top teams in the West,” added Laviolette. “I don’t know if it’s a measuring stick or not. For me, Vancouver’s had a heck of a year. They’ve had good goaltending, good defense, they play a very aggressive game and [have] all the right ingredients to be successful.”

The last regulation loss Vancouver suffered was on Dec. 5 against the Buffalo Sabres by a 3-2 margin. Since then, the Canucks have gone 7-0-2, and have won three straight on home ice and have gone 6-1-1 in their last eight games at Rogers Arena.

The Canucks have not lost a game by more than a goal in their last 15 tilts, since Nov. 20, when they dropped a 7-1 contest to the Blackhawks.

MESZAROS HONORED
Flyers defenseman Andrej Meszaros had to skip his afternoon nap on Monday.

He was the honored guest at the Vancouver Giants-Kamloops Blazers of the Western Hockey League, where he dropped the ceremonial puck.

“It’s great. I onluy played here one year but I had fun here,” said Meszaros. “This is where my North American career started so I was fortunate to be here and it was a great year.”

Meszaros is being inducted into the Giants’ Ring of Honour. He has played more NHL games than any other Vancouver Giants player in their history and the first 500 fans through the doors received a Meszaros bobblehead.

He spent just one season with the Giants, recording 41 points (11G,30A) in 59 games and four points (1G,3A) in six playoff games.



December 26

3:17 p.m. PACIFIC TIME

Flyers head coach Peter Laviolette wanted to get his team out early to the West Coast.

“You know they’ve been off long enough. They need to practice and we might as well do it out here and get used to the time change and get settled in here.”

Thus the team departed bright and early at 8 a.m. to begin their season-long five-game road trip that will see them take on the Vancouver Canucks (Tuesday), Los Angeles Kings (Thursday), Anaheim Ducks (Friday), Detroit Red Wings (Jan. 2) and the New Jersey Devils (Jan. 6) in a span of 10 days.

Sunday’s practice was their first since nearly one week ago and lasted a full hour at Rogers Arena in Vancouver.
Laviolette gets his team back on the ice for the first time in five days.

It was something that Laviolette thought was absolutely necessary to continue their success, particularly on the road.

“It was pretty good I thought. The guys skated pretty hard. We tried to get in a lot of skating. Get the legs underneath us - I think that’s important. Between the skating and competitiveness, you lose that over days off, so I think it’s important to get back to both of those things right away.”

Who could blame him, after all the Flyers have been road warriors so far this season, going 10-2-3 and earning points in 13 of the 15 games away from the Wells Fargo Center.

The Flyers have also won their last four road games and are unbeaten in regulation in their last seven on the road, going 6-0-1.

Each road game certainly hasn’t been a cake-walk for the Orange & Black however, four of the seven games have been decided by one goal with three of those contests going past regulation play.

And then there is that nagging feeling to make amends for a 5-0 loss to the Florida Panthers just prior to their break.

“Well, its one thing to go out and battle a team and give them everything you got and not end up on the right side. You still may not be happy with the results, but at least you were competitive. We weren’t very competitive that game, so I think the opportunity to get back on the ice and do some work , we look forward to get back into a game.”

The Flyers will practice again on Monday before they take on the Canucks on Tuesday at 10 p.m. ET on CSN or 610 WIP radio.


December 20

10:47 p.m.

TIME FOR A BREAK

After playing 10 games in a 20-day span, the Flyers are due for a break. And a break is exactly what they’ll be getting starting Tuesday.

Monday was a different story. It was a game that they would rather forget.

In short, it was an ugly loss.

A 5-0 shut out at the hands of the Panthers snapped their five-game winning streak. It is also the third time they have been shut out this season.

  Laviolette // Richards // O'Donnell

“I’m not sure getting shut out in your building is a good thing,” said Flyers head coach Peter Laviolette. “I’m failing to see the silver lining right now, we’re going into a break.  You know, I thought Florida played a good game emotionally.  They were first on the puck on faceoffs, first on the fore check, first on loose pucks, first in open ice.  Our level wasn’t where it needed to be.”

“I think you can never settle for a loss, especially on a way like that,” said Flyers captain Mike Richards. “You want to go into the break feeling good about yourself and this is going to leave a bitter taste in your mouth. It’s tough obviously.  But, we are going to have some time to get some rest, recover, heal up some bumps and bruises that we’ve had.  We have a pretty critical stretch after Christmas so maybe this is going to kick our ass into gear a little bit maybe.”

The game had a dangerous feel to it, considering the schedule the Flyers have recently went through, playing first place teams and division rivals and coming through with hard-fought victories.

Of course Monday lies in the final game before a long holiday break against an opponent not very high in the standings.

“We didn’t bring it tonight,” said Sean O’Donnell. “There’s a fine line in this league between winning and not winning. When you don’t give that extra, whatever it is, you’re not going to win. After the first period, Lavi [Laviolette] said we’re getting exactly what we deserve tonight and we deserved to lose 5-0, and that’s what happened.”

To give credit where credit is due, the Panthers executed a perfect game plan that saw them play penalty free hockey and play a trap that held the Flyers to just 16 shots through the first two periods and a total of 26 shots for the entire game.

“There was a lesson you can learn from here,” said Kimmo Timonen. “You have to prepare for every game.  It doesn’t matter what the situation is.  Is there a break coming, is there no break coming.  It doesn’t matter how we have been playing.  We have been playing pretty well but it doesn’t matter going into the game and obviously we weren’t ready today.”

If there is a reason to be positive it’s that the Flyers have responded to ugly losses favorably.

The Flyers head into a nice long holiday break (seven days to be exact) owners of a 7-2-1 record thus far in the month of December.

Their last shutout, a 3-0 loss at the hands of the Bruins on Dec. 1 and immediately after the Flyers went unbeaten in regulation in their next eight games, going 7-0-1.

Another bright spot is that the Flyers have been road warriors thus far, going 10-2-3 away from Philly and are winners of their last four.

Following the seven-day break, the Flyers will make way for Disney on Ice at the Wells Fargo Center and hit the road for their season-high 10-day, five-game road trip which begins in Vancouver on Tuesday, Dec. 28


December 19
2:01 p.m.

FANTASY SUNDAY

Let’s start off this week’s Fantasy Sunday report with the most obvious of statistics: The Flyers sit in first place in the entire National Hockey League with a record of 22-7-5 and 49 points.

The Flyers own the most wins in the NHL (22) and have the least amount of losses in regulation in the NHL (7).

The Flyers’ 49 points puts them in first place in the NHL by a margin of five points with the next closest team being their intra-state rival Pittsburgh Penguins with 44 points and a record of 21-10-2.

  Laviolette

Obviously it is too soon to be talking playoff position, but the Flyers are 11 points head of the eighth-seeded Boston Bruins and 15 points ahead of the ninth-seed Carolina Hurricanes.

The Flyers have scored 117 goals through 34 games, which is second overall only to the Colorado Avalanche who have scored 118. The Flyers are also second overall in goals-per-game with 3.41.

The Flyers are one of three teams in the NHL who have five players on their roster who have scored 10 or more goals so far this season.

Equally impressive has been the goals allowed by the Flyers. The Flyers have allowed just 79 goals (not including shootout goals) and have a combined goals-against average of 2.32, which ranks third overall in the NHL behind the Boston Bruins (2.00) and Montreal Canadiens (2.16).

A side effect of the statistics mentioned above are the team’s incredible plus/minus numbers.
Along with Danny Briere, Sean O'Donnell & Andrej Meszaros are the Top 2 leaders in the NHL in plus/minus rating.

Out of the Top 5 players in the National Hockey League in plus/minus, the Flyers own three spots.

Andrej Meszaros leads the entire NHL with a plus-22 rating, while Danny Briere and Sean O’Donnell are tied for second place with a plus-18 mark.

The Flyers have five players that make up the Top 12 in the NHL and seven skaters that make up the Top 16 players in the League in plus-minus.

Scott Hartnell (+16 – T-7th), Ville Leino (+15 – T-9th), Matt Carle (+14 – T-13th) and Mike Richards (+13 – T-16th) make up the other Flyers on that list.

Danny Briere & Claude Giroux are tied for the team lead in goals with 16 which also ranks tied for seventh in the NHL.

Giroux’s six power-play goals are tied for sixth in the NHL, while his three shorthanded tallies are tied for the NHL lead.

Jeff Carter’s four game-winning-goals are tied for fifth in the NHL and his 144 shots taken are second overall, only trailing the Caps’ Alex Ovechkin.

Between the pipes, the tandem of Sergei Bobrovsky & Brian Boucher are among the very best in the NHL.

Bobrovsky is tied for third among all goaltenders in the League with 15 wins and a record of 15-4-3 and ninth with a 2.32 goals-against average.

Boucher has been the primary backstopper on the Flyers’ five-game winning streak and over his last seven starts has gone 6-0-1 with a 1.66 GAA and a .943 save percentage.

Boucher is now ranked sixth in the NHL with a 2.11 GAA and owns a 7-3-2 record in 12 appearances.

For a FULL statistics report generated by the NHL, click on the following link. FULL NHL STATISTICS


December 18
6:12 p.m.

E-Z DOES IT

One could say Nikolay Zherdev is finally starting to feel comfortable with North American Hockey.

After playing lights out in the preseason where he recorded five goals in six games, fans expected Zherdev to pick up right where he left off with his last NHL season, which ironically was with the New York Rangers back in 2008-09.

However the KHL is a much different type of game, and now that he is seeing good minutes and has been around Peter Laviolette’s system, Zherdev is certainly coming into his own.

“I think he’s played really well, especially the last few games,” said Flyers head coach Peter Laviolette.  “He continues to score goals and work on his game. I always think its difficult when you come in and you haven’t been here. There’s a growing process between teammates, coaches, and the organization. It’s a lot more difficult when you’re the new guy in. We’re starting to spread it out a little bit, give him some power play time. I like his line with [Jeff] Carter and James [van Riemsdyk].”

Laviolette // Zherdev // Boucher // Leino

Zherdev scored the Flyers’ first and fourth goals in Saturday’s 4-1 win over his former team, the Rangers. Zherdev also saw 16:04 of ice time, the largest amount of ice time he has seen in his 31 games thus far.

“The skill level is probably the best on the team. I think he is finally getting the system,” said Flyers captain Mike Richards. “I think it’s a difficult system to pick up and come in and play.  Not only the system that he has to worry about; it’s North American style of hockey too.  A little bit of struggles, maybe at first, but he’s playing really well lately.  He is doing a lot of good things, and he is definitely a threat every time he is on the ice.”

Zherdev now has goals in three straight games (4G) and four of his last five contests (5G) and has climbed into a tie for third on the team in goals with 13 tallies in 31 games.

“I came out of the penalty box and saw the pass coming to me and just took off,” said Zherdev on his breakaway goal midway through the second period. “It was a great pass and [I] just went for it.”
 
“[I] just did my best,” added Zherdev. “[I] worked my hardest and tried to earn the time [I’m] getting right now… All of this is part of the system, so [I] am doing whatever the coach is telling everyone to do.”

FIVE ALIVE
The Flyers have now won five in a row, seven of their last eight and have gone eight games without a regulation loss. They have grabbed 15 of a possible 18 points through nine games in December.

“Well it’s getting better, and that’s what we need to do throughout the year,” said Richards of a total 60-minute effort on the ice. “We’ve had games where we are giving up leads in the third.  It was nice to see tonight that we locked it down and didn’t give them a whole lot.  When we did, the power play stepped up and did a good job of getting that goal and kind of relieved some pressure.  We stayed out of the penalty box, for the most part, except for maybe in the first period.  It was a good game by us, nothing fancy, just kept it simple and got some nice goals.”

That streak has placed them a top the Atlantic Division, Eastern Conference and NHL standings with a 22-7-5 record for 49 points.

* * *
11:22 a.m.

SURGERY SUCCESSFUL

Chris Pronger underwent surgery on Friday to his first metatarsal in his right foot.

Today Pronger spoke to the media via conference call prior to Saturday’s tilt with the Rangers:

Q: Can you tell us a little about what they had to do and how you’re feeling?
“I’m feeling all right.  I was moving my foot right after they did the surgery; they put a couple screws in the bone to help strengthen it and hopefully allow it to heal faster and give it, as I said, the strength it’s going to need to recover hopefully in a timely fashion.”

Q: Chris, can you tell us how it happened? You blocked a shot. Who took the shot and did you think it was broken right away?
“I don’t know who took it.  It might have been [Brian] Gionta, I’m not positive.  I kind of remember the play.  It was in the midst of my three and a half minute shift toward the end of the second period and I think it was maybe five minutes left in the period.  I think it was half way through that shift;  I happened to be on one knee in front and the shot came and just hit me in the right spot on my foot, right on my laces on the lace holes; and I think, probably it broke because I wasn’t standing on my skate or applying any pressure on my foot.  You know, it just hit me in the right spot and for whatever reason this is what happened.”

Q: You’ve been blocking shots for a long time in your career.  Have you ever had anything similar to this, like this happen before?  If so, what’s the recovery like for you?

Kimmo Timonen and Chris Pronger are the top two shot blockers on the Flyers.
“I had, not to this extent, but a similar injury like this in Anaheim but to my other foot almost in the small spot on a very similar play.  It wasn’t a very hard shot, it was right off the draw, a little wrist shot.  I went to block the shot, I picked up my skate and opened my foot and it hit me almost on the exact same spot as this one and that broke my foot as well. It hits you in the right spot on your boot.”

Q: How long did you miss with that broken foot?
“It was obviously a little bit different, I didn’t need screws or anything like that.  Maybe three and a half weeks.  It was a different break; this one I think was a worse break so the timeframe is obviously different.”

Q: Were there other options; I know when [Flyers General Manager] Paul [Holmgren] talked to us he wanted to explore other options to see if surgery was necessary.  Were there a couple different options for you?

“Well I needed to meet with the foot specialist and see what he thought.  I went in Thursday morning and got a CT scan and a proper x-ray.  He was in surgery all day so he didn’t get a chance to see it until later that evening and kind of went though it and had his thoughts and made his notes.  We spoke Friday morning to kind of go over it and talk about the break and what he thought would be necessary in order to keep it, not only strong, but allow it the best possible chance to heal properly and to get my back on the ice.”

Q: Jeff Carter had a similar injury last year in the playoffs.  He said he came back after four and a half weeks and he wasn’t close to being 100%.  Based on that would you err on the side of caution and drag it out to six weeks or seven weeks to make sure you’re 100%?

“I don’t know everybody’s different.  His injury, while you may think it’s similar because it’s to the foot, it’s different. He had a plate put in and I had a couple screws. It may sound like it’s not that big of a deal but sometimes it can be.  I think it’s a little too easy to compare this, that and the other thing.  You’ve got to remember, this happened in the middle of a playoff run which changes the dynamics and dimension of injuries and what you’re willing to put yourself through to get back.  Obviously, with the timeframe of the year and where we’re at, we’ve got the luxury of the All-Star break coming up right on the heels of when I could possibly return.  There’s a lot of different variables coming in, we’ll just see how it heals and how it progresses.”

Q: Did you weigh the fact that you only have 11 games in the next month as a good sign? Had this been April would you have played through it depending on where you were in the standings?

“Well like I said it depends on a lot of different things.  [Carter’s] situation was a little different because we were in the middle of the playoffs. You do what you can to help your team win and you come back.  Obviously four and half weeks you’re not 100%.  I don’t really know the extent of his foot injury, what he broke and what they had to fix.  Everybody’s going to be different, everybody’s body heals differently.  We’ll wait and see and see where…I’ve got to get checked up again on January 5th and then again two weeks after that to see how it’s healing and see how it’s calcifying.. I don’t think there’s any easy way for me to tell you when I’ll be back and how it’s going to heal.  I don’t have a crystal ball, so it’s kind of a wait-and-see approach.  We kind of take it with each kind of, I guess analysis, and each appointment after that.”

Q: Have you broken that foot before?
“Not that spot, no.”

Q: Have you broken it in another spot before?
“I don’t know, to be honest with you because sometimes, you know if you break the outside of your foot or you break your toe or something you just put it in an ice bucket and you keep playing.  To be honest with you, I don’t know.  I haven’t broken it over there where it’s…obviously when you start with your big toe and that ball of your foot and that side of your feet are such a big part of skating, walking and power movements. The outside of your foot is a lot easier to break and get away with.  Most other break would come on my left foot but I wouldn’t be surprised if I went back and looked at medical records and to see that maybe I did break it or maybe it was broken and we didn’t do anything about it, I don’t know.  I couldn’t give you a proper answer on that. ”

Q: Considering the defensive staff that you have on this team, are you pretty confident that the guys that are there can step up their minutes and play some decent hockey?

“I am.  I think this is one of the exact reasons and instances why we made the moves we did in the offseason – to have more depth through our defense corps.  When Homer [Holmgren] made these moves he talked about our top four defenseman missed a total of two or four games, something silly that most teams don’t go through.  It was just a matter of time; one of us was going to get hurt at some point.  It’s a long stretch on last year and a lot of minutes and luck.  We got lucky last year.  We got guys that were a little banged up but they were able to play through.  At some point you’re going to get injuries where you’re not going to be able to play through them.  This was one of those cases.  I think you’ve seen now, with the depth on our backend, for the most part we’re rolling three sets of [defense].  I might be the high guy with like 22 or 23 minutes and the low guy might be at 17 or 18 minutes.  We’re getting a pretty good roll of the bench and that only helps you when you get guys into situations and keeps them sharp.  This is an opportunity for Oskars [Bartulis] to get into the lineup and play and get back into the rhythm of playing.  He’s obviously sat out a long time and it’s not easy.”

Q: How big are your feet?
“They’re big enough.  How’s that for an answer?” (laughs)


December 17
4:44 p.m.

DEAL WITH IT

Word came down today just how serious defenseman Chris Pronger’s injury was.

Flyers GM Paul Holmgren informed the media that he is expected to be sidelined for the next 4-6 weeks as a result from surgery today to repair a broken bone in his right foot, specifically his 1st metatarsal.

Holmgren // Laviolette // Meszaros // Bartulis

Pronger is believed to have suffered the injury during the second period of the Flyers at Montreal game on Wednesday. He did not return to play the final period in the club’s 5-3 win.

Pronger works with Athletic Trainer/Strength & Conditioning Coach Jim McCrossin to rehab from his previous injury - knee surgery on July 27, which kept him out of the first two games of the season.

The news leaves little doubt that this is a huge and devastating loss to the defensive core, however the Flyers now know what they must do and that is simply to deal with it.

“It is what it is and other guys will have to pick up the slack,” said Holmgren. “All of our players are asked to block shots from time to time and this is just one of those things. Injuries in our sport are pretty much a frequent occurrence and I think we’ve been fortunate enough up until this point of being relatively injury free and it’s like I said - We’ll deal with it.”

Pronger is in a three-way tie for the team lead among defensemen in scoring with 15 points (4G,11A) and is second in ice-time at 22:20 per game.

“He’s a big part of our team and we’re going to miss him, but it’s a part of our game, it happens,” said Kimmo Timonen. “Like I said, now we have to move on. He’s not here and we can’t worry about it.”
 
“It’s a tough break for Prongs. It seemed like he was playing pretty well. It’s tough to lose a guy like that because he’s one of the top defensemen in the League,” said Flyers head coach Peter Laviolette. “But it’s an opportunity for Oskars to get in there and play some games and get back in the lineup. It’s tough sitting out game-after-game.”

In steps 23-year-old Latvian defenseman Oskars Bartulis, who has been out of the line up since he last played on Nov. 1 vs. Carolina after being the odd defenseman out for the last 21 games.

“Of course it’s going to be tough because I haven’t played in such a long time, but you need to just play your game,” said Bartulis. “Now it’s time to play, so [I’m just going to] keep it simple and that’s the way it’s going to go.”

Although the 6-2, 195-pound Bartulis has played just three games this season, he is not without experience.

In the Flyers’ run to the Stanley Cup Final last year, Bartulis appeared in 53 regular season games and seven playoff games including five of the six games in the Stanley Cup Final vs. Chicago.
Oskars Bartulis

“When you’re coming in everyday and you’re not part of it and you’re sitting out waiting for your opportunity to get back in, I’m sure he’s excited and motivated to get back in there and play some games,” added Laviolette.

“Of course you want to play. Every hockey players wants that,” added Bartulis. “That’s my situation right now, if somebody gets hurt I’m playing… but of course you need to show you can play and be in this line up, so I need to prove myself and show I can play here.”

Another shift that was seen at today’s practice was the pairing of Andrej Meszaros and Matt Carle. With Pronger out of the line up, Meszaros, who is the NHL leader in plus-minus with a plus-21 rating, is expected to see a lot of minutes paired up with Matt Carle.

“It’s not that different because me and Matty [Carle] are playing together on the power play so it’s not that big of a deal,” said Meszaros, whose partner, Sean O’Donnell, up until this point is second in the NHL in plus-minus at plus-18. “It doesn’t really matter to me who I play with, I just want to be solid do my thing and help the team win a game.”

Likewise, in his three games this season Bartulis and O’Donnell were paired together and are familiar with each other.

Whatever the case may be, Pronger’s absence means everyone will see more minutes, which is sometimes an overlooked aspect of the team’s depth at defense.

Andrej Meszaros and Braydon Coburn averaged over 24 minutes of ice time two seasons ago, while Coburn had over 25 minutes of time-on-ice during the playoffs this past year. Matt Carle averaged nearly 26 minutes during last year’s post season and over 23 minutes last regular season.

As of right now, no Flyer is close to the 23 minutes per game mark, the closest being Timonen at 22:27, while the rest of the unit is hovering around the 19-20 minute frame. Over the next 4-6 weeks however, that is certainly likely to change.


December 16
2:36 a.m.

James van Riemsdyk posted two goals, including the game winner, while his new line mates (at least for the last two games) Jeff Carter and Nikolay Zherdev also played key roles in the Flyers’ 5-3 win over Montreal on Wednesday.

Carter posted three points, recording a goal and two helpers, while Zherdev recorded a two-point night with a goal and an assist. All together the line produced four of the five goals on the night and a total of seven points between the three players.

Laviolette // JVR // Giroux

“They were terrific from start to finish,” said Flyers head coach Peter Laviolette. “I thought that that line had plenty of jump. Carter was flying, Z [Zherdev] was flying, JVR looked like he had great legs under him. They generated a lot of speed. I thought they dominated a lot of their shifts.”
Sergei Bobrovsky earned his 15th win of the season tonight vs. Montreal.

The line first formed when Laviolette moved Giroux up to play with Mike Richards against Sidney Crosby and the Pittsburgh Penguins.

van Riemsdyk is on a little mini-streak of his own. He has now registered points in each of his last three games (3G,1A), while Carter has eight points (2G,6A) in his last seven games.

“The puck seemed to be following around our line tonight,” said van Riemsdyk. “We were able to get some key opportunities and able to bury some of them so that’s huge.”

With everyone talking about the Penguins and their streak to the top, equally impressive have been the Flyers’ march, which now sees them have a three point lead atop the NHL.

The Flyers have now earned points in seven straight games, going 6-0-1 since Dec. 4, including winning four straight games. Four of the seven contests have been decided by one goal.

In fact, the Flyers have lost just once in regulation since Nov. 20, a 5-4 victory at Washington. They now own an 8-1-3 record since then, which included playing the Capitals, Pittsburgh Penguins and Montreal and Boston on two separate occasions, having secured 13 of a possible 16 points through eight games in December.   

The past three games have certainly had another thing in common – a playoff feel to it.

The Flyers’ 2-1 victory in Boston on Dec. 11 came down to the wire, while the battle for the no. 1 position the NHL with their chief rival, the Pittsburgh Penguins last night was as hard fought of a game as you’ll find in December.

The score of Wednesday’s win over Montreal certainly doesn’t tell an accurate story. Leading 3-1 in the third period, the Habs pushed the Flyers and came back to tie it up at 3-3 before van Riemsdyk found the loose puck for his second of the night. A goal by Giroux within the last minutes of the game sealed it for Philly.

“I thought Montreal pressed all game,” said Laviolette. “They skated really well. They pressed the puck really well. I thought the third period they caught up to us. I don’t think that we were at our best for tonight, but we kept at it, we kept working and we didn’t give in and were able to get a win.”
 
The Flyers will face another big test on Saturday when they face off against the New York Rangers in a 1 p.m. matinee. They conclude their slate of games before the Christmas holiday on Monday against the Florida Panthers. Following the holiday break the Flyers will go on their annual West Coast road trip through New Year’s Day.


December 15
1:59 a.m.

The Flyers wanted this one. They wanted this for so many reasons.

“It was a playoff atmosphere in here tonight,” said Scott Hartnell, who had a goal and an assist, which included the game-winner. “We were fired up and the fans were fired up.  You could just kind of feel the intensity out there.  We played a solid game.  We didn’t get discouraged by the power play goals and were able to get a big power play goal at the end to win.”

For starters, and perhaps most importantly, the win places them in sole possession of the top spot in hockey. The Flyers improved their record to 20-7-5 for 45 points, one ahead of tonight’s opponent the Pittsburgh Penguins.

  Laviolette // Hartnell // Pronger // Boucher

“We talk about trying to get to the top spot, trying to be the best in the league, and tonight was one of those opportunities where we could do it ourselves and didn’t have to have help from anybody else, said Flyers head coach Peter Laviolette.

“Well I think we played really well for a long period of time.  There are always games you wish you had back or could have done something different, but for the most part I think the guys have been pretty consistent with what they are doing. “

What’s perhaps even more impressive is that the Flyers took on a team that stood in their way for the number one spot and entered tonight’s game with a incredible streak of 12 straight wins.

Tonight’s 3-2 victory snapped that streak and took away that title from the Penguins.
Danny Briere and Claude Giroux have combined for six goals and seven points in four games against Pittsburgh this season.

“Yeah, it feels good,” said Brian Boucher. “That was our goal today, was to grab first place and we did it against a team that’s been real good, so we’re pretty pleased with that.”

Boucher made his third straight start in net for the Flyers and is now 5-0-1 in his last six starts with a 1.76 GAA and a .940 save percentage.

Claude Giroux continued his steady play against the Penguins. Through the first four games of the series he is averaging a goal per game, while Danny Briere has two goals and an assist in the series.

The Flyers now own a 3-1-0 record against the Pens this year, and in a little twist of irony, all three Flyers victories have come by one goal and by the score of 3-2. In fact, This is the first game in four meetings between the Flyers and Penguins this year that has seen the home team win.

“It was a big test for us, a challenge to see where we were at obviously,” said Chris Pronger, who saw more ice time than any other player on the ice tonight at 26:17, including almost four more minutes of ice time than any other Flyer.

“I don’t think we can put too much into it. We’ve got to continue to look at the bigger picture, understand they’ve got a good hockey team over there. We’re at home, we have the last line change, everything is stacked in our favor and we took advantage of it. Again, as I said it’s mid December, we’ve got a long way to go yet.”

Pronger echoed his coaches sentiments postgame because with all that was accomplished tonight, Peter Laviolette was quick to point out that it is only December and their top seed can vanish pretty quickly as they face a hungry Montreal Canadiens team in less than 24 hours.

“Pittsburgh is playing really well, they played really hard again tonight and to get a win is nice.  It puts you where you want to be, but you can enjoy it for about three minutes and move on to start thinking about Montreal, it’s going to be a tough game.”


December 14

6:33 p.m.

Prior to the Flyers-Penguins game tongiht, Flyers general manager Paul Holmgren informed us that defenseman Matt Walker will undergo surgery on Thursday for a cam impingement in his hip and also a little bit of a labral debridement.

  Holmgren Update

The surgery is expected to sideline Walker approximately 4-6 weeks.

A cam impingement specifically deals with the ball-and-socket joint to the hip. If the head is not shaped normally, the abnormal part of the head can jam in the socket when the hip is bent.


December 13

4:57 p.m.

BATTLEGROUND PA

On Tuesday Flyers fans will be given a rare treat that will not only see their chief rival Pittsburgh Penguins come to town, but come into Philadelphia as the top team in the NHL with the top player in the NHL.

Sure the Flyers have played in this scenario once already this year with the Washington Capitals, but that was early in the season, and it was in Washington and it wasn’t’ an intra-state hated rivalry as this is.


The Flyers sit in second place across the board: the Atlantic Division, the Eastern Conference and entire NHL standings with a 19-7-5 record and 43 points.

The Penguins come into Phila. riding an impressive 12-game winning streak which has vaulted them to the NHL’s top spot with an overall record of 21-8-2 and 44 points.

Richards // Carter // Shelly

“It’s always to get up for these games,” said Flyers captain Mike Richards. “Especially with what they’ve done and what we’ve done recently [with regards] to success and battling for position in the standings. Even though it’s early, we know how critical the points are.”

Head-to-head is another story.

The Flyers own a 2-1-0 record against the Penguins so far this season, winning both meetings by a 3-2 decision, including their last meeting on Oct. 29.

“Yeah it’s like I said, you look at the way they’ve been playing, it’s a good test for us and I think the guys have been looking at the calendar for a while, last game [vs. Boston] and Tuesday’s game, so it’ll be a good one,” said Jeff Carter.

In the only game at the Wells Fargo Center however, the Pens took a 5-1 victory out of Philadelphia.

Sergei Bobrovsky has made all three starts, going 2-1-0 with a 2.67 goals-against average against the Pens, however with Brian Boucher having gone 4-0-1 in his last five starts with a 1.71 GAA and .951 save percentage, Flyers head coach Peter Laviolette has not yet made a decision of who will be in between the pipes.

Claude Giroux has been the Flyers top performer against Pittsburgh, recording three goals in three games, while Danny Briere has two tallies against the Pens this season.

Of course when the Penguins come to town it means the number one player in the NHL and the number one booed player in Philadelphia makes his appearance as well – Sidney Crosby.

How could he blame Flyers fans though. After all, lifetime Crosby averages almost an improbable two points per game against the Orange and Black, posting 60 points (26G,34A) in 35 contests.

“I’ve always said he was a great player,” said Richards of Crosby. “You can’t be too aggressive because he’s so strong on his skates that he just pushes off you. I think it’s just slowing him down and realizing that you can’t rush him because he always makes those plays and finds the open guys. Even though he’s the best player out there you have to be aware of the other people because he makes everyone else out there better.”

The Penguins game marks the first of games on back-to-back nights. Immediately following the game Philadelphia will fly to Montreal to take on the Canadiens on Wednesday night in a 7:30 start time on TCN and 1210 WPHT radio.

* * *
10:34 a.m.

GONE FOR A PAIR
Following a Monday morning call with the NHL's Colin Campbell, Jody Shelley received word that he will be suspended for the next two games (Tues. vs. Pittsburgh & Wed. at Montreal).

Shelley received the suspension for his incident on Saturday at Boston. At 5:08 of the second period Shelley was chasing down a delayed icing call with Bruins' defenseman Adam McQuaid, who slammed into the boards awkwardly.

Shelley received a five minute major and a game misconduct for checking from behind.


Shelley postgame


December 12

3:19 p.m.

SUPER STATS SUNDAY

Before Tuesday’s highly anticipated battle that will see the no. 1 Pittsburgh Penguins come into Philadelphia to battle the no. 2 Flyers, we’ll use today to update you on some of the impressive stats the team has been putting up and maybe help make your fantasy hockey decisions a little easier this week.

First, being the most obvious. The Flyers sit in second place in the Atlantic Division, Eastern Conference and the entire NHL with a 19-7-5 record for 43 points (one point shy of the Pens – 21-8-2).

The Flyers rank first overall in number of goals scored (105) and are second in goals for/goals against differential (+29). They rank third in the NHL in goals-per game at 3.36, while fourth overall in goals-allowed per game, coming in one full fewer goals at 2.36.

The Flyers are tied for the NHL lead in shorthanded goals (6), while Claude Giroux is tied for the NHL lead with three shorthanded tallies. Both Giroux and Mike Richards are also in the lead for shorthanded points (6).

The goaltending tandem of Brian Boucher & Sergei Bobrovsky have combined for a 2.32 goals-against average, which ranks fourth overall in the NHL.

Bobrovsky’s 14 wins are tied for third among all goaltenders, while the hot play of Brian Boucher has given him a 3-1-0 record over four games with a 1.20 GAA and an amazing .960 save percentage in that stretch.

Back on the blueline, the pairing of Andrej Meszaros and Sean O’Donnell are at the very top of the NHL’s plus/minus leaderboard. Meszaros is tied for the NHL lead at plus-18, while O’Donnell ranks fourth with a plus-17 rating.

In fact, of the top 14 plus/minus leaders in the NHL, the Flyers have five players in that group, including four in the top 10. (Danny Briere +15, Scott Hartnell +15, Ville Leino +14)

Notice anything about the remaining three players on the plus/minus leaderboard? They all play on the same line.

The Hartnell-Briere-Leino line is the one thing Flyers head coach Peter Laviolette said would be set in stone to start out the season with and they certainly have not disappointed.

Briere leads all Flyers and is tied for fifth overall in the NHL with 16 goals through 31 games. Briere is on pace to shatter his career-high in goals, which is 32 (2001-02 & 2006-07).

With Hartnell (7G,13A) and Ville Leino (7G,16A) on his wing, the line has produced 67 points thus far.

Leading the entire team in scoring is captain Mike Richards, who is nearly at a point per game pace with 30 points in 31 contests. He has 11 goals and his 19 assists also lead all Flyers.

Jeff Carter is tied for fourth in the NHL in game-winning-goals (4) and is tied for second overall in shots (130).

While the Flyers’ individual stats are impressive enough, collectively they brag perhaps the best depth in the entire League and it goes without saying one of the deepest Flyers team in years.

The Flyers are one of only two other teams to currently have six players who have 20 or more points so far (San Jose with 7 players, Detroit with 6 players).

They are tied for the NHL lead with three other teams (all in the Western Conference) with four players who have scored 10 or more goals this season (Anaheim, Colorado & Detroit).

The Flyers also lead all NHL teams with an impressive seven players who own a plus/minus rating of plus-10 or better on their roster (Meszaros, O’Donnell, Briere, Hartnell, Leino, Richards & Matt Carle). Only two other teams have close to that; the Boston Bruins with five players and the Pittsburgh Penguins who have six players above that mark.

LEIGHTON PLAYS A PAIR
Michael Leighton continued his rehab assignment in Adirondack this weekend playing back-to-back games on Friday and Saturday.

Leighton earned his first win in his third start with the Phantoms by stopping 29 of 31 shots to earn a 5-2 victory over the Syracuse Crunch on Friday.

In his second start in as many nights, Leighton allowed just two goals on 30 shots to take a 2-1 loss at the hands of the Portland Pirates on Saturday.

Leighton was granted an extension on his conditioning stint with the Flyers’ AHL affiliate on Dec. 6. A decision on his conditioning status is expected this coming week.

December 10

5:56 p.m.

WALKER ASSIGNED TO ADIRONDACK
The Philadelphia Flyers announced today that they have loaned 6-4, 215-lb defenseman Matt Walker to their American Hockey League affiliate, the Adirondack Phantoms, for conditioning purposes, according to general manager Paul Holmgren.  Walker is expected to be in action for the Phantoms tonight when they visit the Syracuse Crunch.

Walker, 30 (4/7/1980), has not appeared in a regular season game for the Flyers this season.  He underwent surgery on October 20 to repair a torn labrum and bony impingement in his right hip.  Walker appeared in four preseason games this year, scoring one goal and posting 10 PIM along with a minus-2 rating.  He was acquired from the Tampa Bay Lightning along with a fourth-round pick in exchange for Simon Gagne on July 19, 2010. 

Recently, Walker and his wife Kate were the proud parents of a 6-lbs, 8-oz, baby girl named Georgia Isabel Walker, born on Thursday at Pennsylvania Hospital at 5:32 a.m. She is their first child. Everyone is doing fine. 

* * *
1:13 a.m.

NOT THIS TIME
“We’ll get back out there and try to right a wrong.”

Those were the words from Flyers head coach Peter Laviolette before their game against the Maples Leafs and the “wrong” he was referring to was obviously losing a 4-1 lead to the San Jose Sharks on Wednesday.

Righting that wrong was exactly the chance they got on Thursday against the Maple Leafs.

“I thought we played a good game for the most part,” said Laviolette. “We were pretty good defensively [and] pretty good on the attack. We came out skating right away and I’m real happy with the way we responded in the first period.”

The Flyers once again held a 4-1 lead midway through the third period, but this time they tightened up their defense, stayed aggressive on the forecheck and perhaps most importantly - stayed out of the penalty box.

“We didn’t play a very sound second period,” said Chris Pronger. “We got a couple goals, but it was a little loose, we made a bunch of defensive mistakes and they could have easily gotten more than the one that they got, so we needed to straighten ourselves out that’s for sure.”

The result was a 4-1 victory, and one that does put the Flyers back on track. They have now won three of their last four games, earning points in all four contests, however perhaps a more important stat along those lines is that the Flyers have earned at least one point in the standings in nine of their last 10 games, going 6-1-3.

The two points gained improves their record to 18-7-5 and with 41 points sit in second place in the Atlantic Division, Eastern Conference and the entire National Hockey League standings.

  Laviolette // Boucher // Briere // Pronger

DANNY B. GETS THREE

Danny Briere picked up his second three-point night of the year, both of which he produced a pair of goals and an assist.

"There was a good forecheck going on the first goal,” said Briere. “We had three guys surrounding the puck. Scott Hartnell made a great play back to defense, D-to-D.  On that shot, Meszaros missed the net and it was kind of a lucky bounce.  The puck found it's way back door for me for an easy empty-net goal."

"On the second goal Jody Shelley did a great job taking the hit in our zone to let the play continue and for us to get a break with a two on one, me and Meszaros.  He (Meszaros) made a great play with the pass over to me.  I kind of faked the pass and it was just a quick shot, five-hole."

Briere leads the team with 16 goals, which after the night of games in the NHL concluded, ranks 5th in the entire NHL.

He now has at least a goal in three of his last four games and five tallies in his last eight contests.

Ville Leino has points in each of his last three games, including goals in two straight.

He’s been comfortable there for quite some time,” said Laviolette of Briere playing in the middle. “That line has been a dangerous line for us. At times it seems to bounce around from line-to-line on who’s hot and who’s going, but that line has been fairly consistant throughout the playoffs and the start of this year.”

STEADY AS HE GOES
Brian Boucher was once again called upon to come up with a big win in hostile territory.

“[He’s been] Excellent,” said Laviolette before the game. “Everytime he’s been in net he’s done a good job and he’s given us an opportunity to win. We just have to put some runs up on the board.”

Boucher once again delivered, stopping 31 of 32 shots, and this time his teammates did indeed put runs up on the board.

“I thought that he completely controlled the game out there,” added Laviolette. “I thought he was probably the best player on the ice. The way he handled the puck with rebounds, it just seemed like he was in complete charge, so I was happy to see him get us back on track.”

“I felt really good,” said Boucher. “You know you get off to a good start. I had somce puck handles and got into the game and just carried it over from there.”

Faced with a tough task of not seeing action in nearly two weeks, Boucher hasn’t made that an issue.

“It’s one of those things where if you know what your role is you prepare, you look at the schedule and see where there may be a chance to play you just prepare to get ready for those games and it’s something I think I’ve been able to do here in the latter part of my career and its really not an issue.”

After tonight’s win, Boucher is 4-3-2 with a 2.40 goals-against average and .911 save percentage.


December 9

1:48 a.m.

A GAME OF INCHES
The Flyers were approximately one inch away from avoiding a collapse and coming away with two points.

Mike Richards shot in the final seconds of overtime deflected off of Dany Heatley and past Antero Niittymaki to give the Flyers’ a 5-4 overtime victory over the Sharks… or so they thought.

Even Heatley and Niittymaki, who smashed his stick over the crossbar of his goal, thought the goal was good.

Video replay showed differently.

Laviolette // Pronger // Briere // Giroux

“No, I didn’t know,” said Niittymaki. “I heard the horn but it was kind of late, always. I mean I don’t know. I broke my stick so that’s a sign that I thought it was a goal.  It’s one of those games that the puck was bouncing around, that goal and another goal, I’m pretty happy we won the game.”

In super slow-motion, the puck is shown virtually inches away from the goal line.

“I don’t think it crossed the line before,” said Briere. “I think there was no time left; I think it was 0 as it was on the line.  So one of those bad breaks. What are you going to do?  It was close.  I should…caught a break there but it didn’t happen.  We found a way to lose it in the shootout.”

The end results was a a 5-4 shootout loss at the hands of the Sharks, who now own a 10-0-2 record in their last 12 games against the Flyers a streak that has seen San Jose come away with a win or tie in every meeting since 2000.

Losing a three-goal lead in the final 13 minutes of play to lose the contest was a direct results of committing four penalties to give the Sharks plenty of power-play time to catch up.

“It’s always upsetting to blow a 4-1 lead,” said Flyers head coach Peter Laviolette. “It doesn’t happen very often and when it does it stings.  The reason why we blew the 4-1 lead was because of the penalties.  In 5-on-5 I doubt we gave up half a dozen chances all night. We knew they had a dangerous power play in it coming into it, 6th in the league.  They’re dangerous and we gave them the opportunity to jump back in.”

The Sharks scored just one goal on the man advantage, going 1-for-5, but began their rally with a goal just seconds after a power-lay expired. Prior to tonight’s game ranked sixth in the NHL at 22.5 percent.

“We’ve got to stay out of the box,” said Chris Pronger. “We’ve got to keep skating.  We had full control of the game; we were dominating every aspect of the game up until…we let our, I don’t know if we let our minds wander or whatever.  We got lackadaisical and started letting them, started playing a little river hockey, and they’ve got players that can put the puck in the net.”

The loss to San Jose kicked off games on back-to-back nights for the Flyers, who will also play three games in a four day span.

Up next the Flyers will get to rebound quickly when they face off against a dangerous Toronto Maple Leafs team on Thursday at the Air Canada Centre, before traveling to Boston to take on the Bruins on Saturday.

QUICKIES:
* The Flyers are now 1-3 in shootouts this season and are 17-30 all-time. Tonight was the Flyers’ second shootout all-time against San Jose.  They are 0-2 with both losses coming here at the Wells Fargo Center.  I was the first time the Flyers had faced Antero Niittymaki in a shootout.  Niittymaki was 7-11 in 18 shootout appearances for the Flyers during his career with the club. 
 
* The Flyers have gone three in a row without a regulation loss and have just one regulation loss in their last nine games (5-1-3). 
 
* The Flyers’ first goal represented the 100th career point for Claude Giroux and the 300th career point for Jeff Carter.  Carter becomes the 25th player in franchise history to accrue 300 points in a Flyers uniform.


December 7
5:09 p.m.

DANNY B. GOOD

Although Danny Briere will be the first to admit that he is not one to look ahead or even look at his own stats, to the casual fan you might not realize that Briere is leading the Flyers squad in goals so far this season with 14.

“It’s a little early and I don’t want to get ahead of myself, but I feel good,” said Briere of his season thus far. “There’s been some ups and downs… but playing with those two guys [Ville Leino & Scott Hartnell], it just seems that every night I get the feeling that I’ll get some good opportunities to score and I have to be ready to bury them when they come.”

And lately those opportunities have been coming.

Briere has goals in two straight games and three of his last four, while recording at least a point in five of his last seven contests (4G,2A).

Holmgren // Laviolette // Briere

Even with that type of production, Briere isn’t entirely happy with his or his line’s recent performance.

“I don’t quite like our line as much lately. It hasn’t been as effective as it was early in the season, the last five or six games.”

“We hung on to that line because we believed and still believe that they’re capable of doing a lot of damage on any given night,” said Flyers head coach Peter Laviolette. “Coming to the rink and feeling that you’re in a place where you belong… I think he’s really comfortable right now and because of that he’s getting production. Confidence can really work for you or against you.”

A big reason Briere has been as productive as ever, including last year’s record-setting playoff run to the Final, is Laviolette’s puck pursuit system.

Briere set a Flyers all-time single playoff season scoring record by recording 30 points (12G,18A) in just 23 games to lead all players in the playoffs and the Flyers to their first Stanley Cup Final berth in 13 years.

Briere’s 14 goals through 25 games this season place him in a tie for fifth overall in the NHL among all goal scorers and also put him on pace for what would be his first career 40-goal season. His career high is 32 goals in a season (Phoenix: 2001-02 & Buffalo: 2006-07).

When first coming to the Flyers, Briere took time to adapt to a system under John Stevens that was defense minded first, while Laviolette’s aggressive forecheck and skating system play more into the strengths of Briere’s game: scoring.

“I came from a system in Buffalo where it was ‘go, go, go and very offensive’, to a system with John Stevens where it was very passive and trapping,” added Briere. “I was just never able to find chemistry with anybody.

“It was frustrating at times, but last year it was starting to get a little better. I played the wing, so it was a little different and that was an adjustment as well, but once the playoffs rolled around our line just started clicking. It’s a lot more fun when you come to the rink everyday and you have the feeling that something good is going to happen with your line every time you jump on the ice.”

UNDER THE WEATHER
Ville Leino was not at skate zone this morning and did not participate in practice because he is feeling a little under the weather.

“He has a little bit of cramps and a little bit of a fever, but nothing serious,” said Flyers GM Paul Holmgren. “I don’t suspect it will be anything that will hold him out [of the lineup].”

* * *
1:50 p.m.

WEEK 3 RESULTS
Early reports from Week 3 of All-Star voting is in and the results are as follows:

Chris Pronger is fifth overall in All-Star balloting with 194,602. He is second overall among defensemen, to which there is a new leader, Kris Letang of the Pittsburgh Penguins who is a write-in candidate with 210,807 votes, which is also good enough for second overall, behind teammate Sidney Crosby who has garnered 319,809 votes.

Carey Price, who is also a write-in candidate is third overall and continues to lead all goaltenders with 209,025, while Sergei Bobrovsky continues sitting in second place among all goaltenders, however is approximately 40,000 votes shy of Price.

Among all forwards, Claude Giroux is the top write-in vote getter with 147,993 ballots cast. He ranks ninth overall at his position, while Flyers captain Mike Richards sits in seventh place among all forwards (votes unknown at this point)

The below is a full list & ranking of each Flyer and their results thus far:

Chris Pronger: 194,602 (2nd among all defensemen)
Sergei Bobrovsky: 169,680 (2nd among all goalies; 3rd among all write-in votes)
Kimmo Timonen: 156,461 (5th among all defensemen)
Mike Richards: 151,354 (7th among all forwards)
Claude Giroux: 147,993 (1st among all write-in forwards; 9th overall among forwards)
Danny Briere: 132,826 (11th among all forwards)
Jeff Carter: 80,336 (18th among all forwards)


December 6

2:55 p.m.

Flyers GM Paul Holmgren announced today that Michael Leighton will stay on long-term IR and that they have filed for an extension for his conditioning assignment with the National Hockey League to have him stay with their AHL affiliate, the Adirondack Phantoms for two more games.

"In my opinion he still needs more work," said Holmgren via conference call. "Right now we’re in the process of, or we already have this morning, filed for an extension for his conditioning assignment, as per the CBA [Collective Bargaining Agreement] we can file. Hopefully they’ll grant us another two games.  We should hear by today or tomorrow.”

If granted, the two-game extension would have Leighton see action in Adirondack’s upcoming games this weekend (Fri., Dec. 10 at Syracuse & Sat., in Glens Falls against Portland).

On Nov. 30, Leighton was loaned to the Phantoms for a six-day conditioning assignment and saw action for two games over this past weekend, which were back-to-back contests less than 24-hours apart.

Goaltending coach Jeff Reese and Michael Leighton going over drills at practice.

“I think Michael needs to play,” said Holmgren. “Rather than sticking him in with the Flyers, it’s a better option for us right now.  He’s a big guy and he hasn’t really played a full game since September.  I think, to get him a couple more games it’s going to be better for him and better for us.”

Prior to this weekend’s game Leighton hasn’t seen game action in over two months. He appeared in two preseason games for a total of 99 minutes, where he posted a 1-0-0 record and a 3.64 goals-against average and .898 save percentage.

Beyond that Leighton hasn’t seen action since the first week of June.

“It was good for me to just get out and play some games,” said Leighton. “I got a good four days of practice in, which I think for me, was the biggest thing just to get out and get a whole hour, hour and a half practice and get a full net to myself.” 

He took two losses with the Phantoms,: a 3-2 loss to the AHL-leading Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins on Saturday night where he stopped 23 of 26 shots and a 4-2 loss to Albany where he made 23 saves on 27 shots.

“The weekend for me, it was obviously disappointing,” said Leighton. “We had two losses.  But, on the other hand, it felt good to get back and play some games.  I’m happy with the way things went.  I felt pretty good.  It was just a matter of getting back into games and playing again.”

Playing again, Holmgren and Leighton seem to be in total agreement with, means getting back to 100 percent health.

“On one hand I’m saying he needs to play more games, which is what we’re trying to do,” added Holmgren. “We’re trying to get the league to accommodate us to get him to play for games in the American League.  The backside of what I’m saying is because of what he went through with his injury, like right now he’s healthy, his back is, but he does have some issues with his leg and I’m a little leery of doing anything, whatever else might entail and not leave ourselves covered.”

Leighton’s issue is not his back, for which he underwent surgery on Oct. 11 for, rather his lower leg/foot, where he feels a bit of numbness and weakness.

Leighton posted an 8-3-0 record with a 2.46 GAA in the playoffs last season to help the Flyers reach the Stanley Cup Final.
This isn’t anything that Leighton is concerned about and has been assured by doctors that it will take time for the nerve to regenerate, and that it’s just a matter of time to fully heal.

“It’s something that… it’s not just numbness, its just strength,” said Leighton. “The doctor did say that the nerve has to regenerate itself.  It just takes time.  It’s been longer than I expected, and the doc wasn’t quite sure how long it could take.  I played two games with it, and I felt pretty good.  It’s just certain movements and it doesn’t feel right.  So we are just going to give it an extra week, which is going to be next Saturday. I think that will be good for me.”

Once the day for Leighton comes to return to the Flyers a common misconception is that one goalie will have to be taken off the roster and the team cannot carry three goalies.

This isn’t necessarily true and in fact, is something that Holmgren said is most likely to happen.

“Well, it’s a nice problem to have,” said Holmgren. “With the way it all played out for Sergei [Bobrovsky], he got opportunities and he obviously seized the opportunities.  That’s good for him.  And now we’re in a situation where it looks like we’re going to carry three goalies, at least for the foreseeable future, and that’s, you know, it’s not ideal but it is what it is. We certainly have no intention of sending Sergei down right now because we can, he doesn’t need waivers or anything.  We’re not thinking like that.”

The Flyers had a complete off day from practice on Monday and will resume skating on Tuesday to get ready for the San Jose Sharks on Wednesday, which is the second of four ‘Banner Nights’ for the Flyers.

The Flyers will be honoring Hall of Fame goaltender Bernie Parent in a pregame ceremony in which they will present his #1 banner that hung in the rafters of the Spectrum.

All fans in attendance will receive a replica banner of Parent’s retired #1. GREAT Seats are available by clicking HERE!

December 5

6:44 p.m.

You’d never know it by looking at their record against the Islanders, but look closer and the stats will show you a win on Long Island doesn’t come easy.

Today’s game at Nassau Coliseum was no exception.

The Flyers earned a 3-2 victory over the Islanders. It was their second consecutive one-goal victory at Long Island (2-1, on Nov. 6), however out of the last seven meetings in Uniondale, six have been decided by one goal.

Laviolette // Briere // Nodl // Bobrovsky

“I thought our first period was good,” said Danny Briere. “We didn’t give them anything. We bottled them up and gave them three or four shots. It could have been a lot more than 1-0, we had lots of chances but the second period that’s when we didn’t play well. We didn’t come out with the same energy we did in the first and we let them hang around.”

Sunday’s win was the third in a row against the Islanders (all this season) and the 18th in the last 19 meetings.  The Flyers have won 21 of 23 games over the Islanders over the past three seasons plus this year (since 2007-08). 

That streak was certainly in danger with the Islanders scoring two goals 36 seconds apart to take the lead in the final period.

“It was a wake up call. I was mad and they should’ve been mad too,” said Flyers head coach Peter Laviolette, who called a time out after two quick goals gave the Islanders a third period lead.

Danny Briere leads the Flyers in goals (14).

“We came out flat and let them come back in the game. I thought after the second goal we started to press and started to play our game again, but it was one of those games where it was 1-0 and it can put you to sleep… and it put us to sleep.”

The win also puts the Flyers back in the top spot in the National Hockey League. The Flyers record currently sits at 17-7-4 and they are tied with the Pittsburgh Penguins (18-8-2) and Washington Capitals (18-8-2) with 38 points.

NODL GROWING STRONGER
Peter Laviolette was quick to praise the play of sophomore forward Andreas Nodl.

“He’s pretty hot right now,” said Laviolette. “He’s playing terrific hockey for us. He’s strong offensively and defensively.”

Nodl’s good position play led to the key goal in the Flyers turnaround in this game.

Andrej Meszaros, who picked up his first two-point game as a Flyer with two assists, fired a puck at the net while on the power play and, providing a good screen, Nodl picked up the rebound and snapped it top shelf over Islanders’ goaltender Dwayne Roloson to tie the game up at 2-2.

“Coach took a timeout and yelled at us for good reason,” said Nodl. “Then we started working and skating and shooting. If we do that we’re a tough team to beat and if we don’t we’re not a very good hockey team.”

The goal was Nodl’s seventh on the season and first career power-play goal. He has scored in two straight games and now has 12 points (7G,5A) in 19 games this season, as well as owning a plus-10 rating.

In his previous 48 games over the span of two partial seasons in 2008-09 & 2009-10, Nodl combined for just one goal and five points.

* * *
12:43 p.m.

Michael Leighton saw his first action in over two months on Saturday night with the Adirondack Phantoms.

Leighton stopped 26 of 29 shots in just over 58 minutes of play as the Phantoms took a 3-2 loss at the hands of the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins, the Pittsburgh Penguins farm team, who own the best record in the American Hockey League at 20-4-0-0.

The 29-year-old Leighton is on loan to the Phantoms on a six-day conditioning assignment while rehabbing from back surgery on Oct. 11.

The Phantoms will return to Philadelphia and play a regular season game against the WBS Penguins at the Wells Fargo Center on January 21, 2011. Great seats are available for this game by calling OR clicking HERE for the best price out there.


December 3

4:50 p.m.

WE’VE SPLIT UP
The media were caught with an unexpected surprise today when they arrived at practice this morning at the Virtua Center Flyers Skate Zone in Voorhees, NJ.

The Flyers used both sheets of ice today and split their squads up for practice, most notably to work on the power-play unit.

“We’ve slipped the last three games,” said Flyers head coach Peter Laviolette. “We’ve got three losses in the column and that’s what happens. If you want to stay at the top [of the standings] you have to win consistently.”

The Flyers (15-7-4 – 34 pts) have dropped in the standings due to the recent surge of the Pittsburgh Penguins (17-8-2 – 36 pts), who have taken over the top spot in the Atlantic Division by going on a streak of 10-0-1 in their last 11 games, but have played one more game than the Flyers.

The units that were out there had a bit of a different look, which consisted of Mike Richards working with Ville Leino and Jeff Carter on the wings, while another unit saw Danny Briere centering Claude Giroux and Scott Hartnell, which if fans remember was a very hot unit that played in last year’s playoffs.

“It’s not a big adjustment,” said Briere. “It’s the same kind of set up as me and Jeff [Carter] on the half-wall. Now it’s me and Claude [Giroux] and Jeff has moved to the other unit… He’s [Laviolette] just trying to find ways to get it clicking again.”

Another interesting note, especially considering the incident that just occurred, is that the 5-on-3 work being done saw Chris Pronger in front of the net in a screening position.

  Laviolette // Pronger // Briere

“They are different set ups. There’s no pressure on 5-on-3,” said Laviolette on why Pronger is preferably used in front on a two-man advantage rather than a regular 5-on-4, but didn’t necessarily rule it out.

“There’s lots of time to move the puck around once you get it in the zone, typically there’s not a lot of pressure. He’s very good at what he does in front of the net.”

Fans no doubt remember the infraction called on Pronger for supposedly waving his arm in front of Calgary goaltender Mikka Kiprusoff and getting called for a penalty instead of Richards scoring the game-winning-goal in the Flyers’ shootout loss to the Flames on Black Friday.

“We’ll see. We’ve been working on it the past couple days so hopefully the practice will pay off in the games,” said Pronger.

“All the things that we’ve been working on; traffic, puck-movement, pucks at the net… When we were scoring goals on the power play we were moving it around, moving our feet and moving the puck and allowing the puck to do the work for us and lately we’ve been pretty static and stale.”

Barring a perfect penalty-free game from the Devils, the Flyers will get to test their new units on Saturday when they enter the first of games on back-to-back days which being at 1 p.m.


December 2
4:39 p.m.

CONCERNED, NOT ALARMED

The Flyers have dropped three straight contests, albeit two of the three have come in shootouts where they’ve gained a point, but regardless the three-game skid is something that Flyers head coach is concerned about, but certainly not pushing the panic button on.

“I think there’s always concern because we’ve lost games now,” said Laviolette.  “There’s three games in the books where we haven’t won, so that’s a concern for me. If you’re asking me whether or not we’ll score goals… We will score goals, and a lot of them. We have good talent in here and we play an aggressive style and the puck will go in the net.”

  Laviolette // Richards // Bobrovsky Named NHL Rookie of the Month

Over the course of their three games, the Flyers have tallied just three goals, and within the last eight games, have gone 2-for-37 (5.4 pct) on the man advantage.

“I think your power-play is a reflection of your 5-on-5 play,” said Laviolette. “A lot of times when [things] are going well, 5-on-5 and the power play is going well, I think that works hand in hand.”

As with any high-powered offense the cause for concern isn’t necessarily the results, but the lack of opportunity, and going along the lines of his coach, Flyers captain Mike Richards isn’t worried at all.

“It’s not going to come like that all the time,” said Richards. “I think in Minnesota (a 6-1 Flyers win) you could see some of the goals were off fortunate bounces and you’re not going to get that all the time.

“I’d be more concerned if we weren’t getting the opportunities, the chances and the shots on goal, but the positive thing is that we’re getting those and eventually with the talent that we have and the scoring that we have it’s going to go in.”

If looking at the past is any gauge for Flyers fans then all signs point to getting out of this mini-slump very shortly.

This is the second three-game winless streak of the season for the Flyers (Oct. 14-21 being the other). Following that span, the Flyers went on to win seven of their next eight games, which also included a six-game winning streak.

Continuing on that play, the Flyers later on went on a streak in which they not only went unbeaten in regulation in 10 games (9-0-1), but averaged 4.4 goals per game in that stretch.

“You can always go through these isolated incidents throughout the course of a year where your power-play doesn’t click, or your penalty kill doesn’t click or you let up 4-on-4 goals or they score late in the game to tie things up,” added Laviolette. “There’s always these isolated [incidents]… and right now we’re in one where the puck’s not finding the back of the net. We will find the back of the net, I’m confident in that.”

* * *
1:12 p.m.

BOBS TOPS IN NOVEMBER
The NHL announced that goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky has been named the NHL’s Rookie of the Month for November.

Bobrovsky, 22, registered a 7-1-2 record with a 2.02 goals-against average and .931 save percentage in 11 starts.
Fans are writing-in for Sergei Bobrovsky to make this year's All-Star Team. VOTE NOW!

During the month, he allowed two goals or fewer in eight appearances, plus a season-high 36 saves in a 3-2 overtime loss at Washington on Nov. 7. He allowed just one goal in victories over the New York Rangers (4-1, Nov. 4), New York Islanders (2-1, Nov. 6), Carolina Hurricanes (8-1, Nov. 11), Ottawa Senators (5-1, Nov. 15) and Minnesota Wild (6-1, Nov. 24).

Despite last night’s loss to the Bruins,  to which Bobrovsky is credited for allowing just two of the three goals, he is tied for third among NHL goaltenders in wins (12) and ranks sixth in goals-against average (2.18) and save percentage (.926).

As of Tuesday, Nov. 29, Bobrovsky ranked second among all NHL goaltenders in All-Star voting with 116,725 votes as a write-in candidate.

In a bit of interesting fact, last year James van Riemsdyk took home Rookie of the Month honors in November.

December 1
11:01 p.m.

It seems that not only did the Boston Bruins have something to prove against the Flyers, but goaltender Tim Thomas did as well.

Thomas stopped all 41 shots the Flyers threw at him, including a handful of point-blank chances from the Flyers and even a penalty shot awarded to Scott Hartnell late in the second period.

“He’s done it all year,” said Flyers head coach Peter Laviolette. “I said that before, someone asked me if it surprises me and the answer is no, you know he’s done this. He had an up and down year last year but prior to that he was solid, and got the Vezina Trophy and now he’s back to that point. He’s playing very well for them; you know we couldn’t slide anything by him. You know we did have some good opportunities, but he made big saves when he needed to.”

  Laviolette // Pronger // Hartnell

To put in historical terms, the Flyers have been shutout twice this season when putting up 40+ shots on net. Prior to this season, the last time the Flyers had that many shots in a shutout loss was January 26, 1989, when Clint Malarchuk of the Washington Capitals turned aside 42 Flyers shots in a 1-0 win at the Spectrum.

The penalty shot, by the way, was the 42nd in franchise history. The Flyers are 16-for-42 on penalty shots in their history.  It was the first since Danny Briere on Feb. 13, 2010 at Montreal, which he scored and the first at the Wells Fargo Center since Mike Richards vs. Carolina on Jan. 23, 2010, which he was unsuccessful.

Much hype surrounded Wednesday’s meeting with Boston, considering it was the first meeting since Game Seven of last year’s Eastern Conference Semifinal in which the Flyers completed their epic two-time 0-3 comeback to win the series.

Thomas however was not the goaltender between the pipes, Tuukka Rask instead got the nod during the playoffs.

“It’s frustrating when you have so many chances and rebounds, two-on-ones, and everything. He’s there to make the save every time,” said Hartnell. I don’t know how many shutouts he has this year but I think it’s four, or five, or six, or something like that now. It’s only twenty-something games in. They’re playing well in front of him and I wouldn’t say we weren’t hungry enough around the net but we just couldn’t buy a goal.”

Andreas Nodl and James van Riemsdyk crashing the net against Tim Thomas.

Although hard to imagine, there are plenty of positives to take out of this loss for the Flyers.

The Flyers fired 41 shots at Thomas, hitting double digits in all three periods, and for the most part stayed out of the penalty box for most of the night, giving Boston only two power plays.

“My take on the game was that Boston played an extremely hard fought game, they fought for the ice,” said Laviolette. “I don’t think that we backed down, didn’t compete, or show up.  We made a couple mistakes in the first period, one on the penalty kill and one off the rush.  They ended up in the net and that was the difference.  We continued to put pucks at the net and do think we had some good opportunities, we could have scored.  It was one of those hard fought games and we came out on the short end of the stick so nobody feels good about it.  It was a big game for us and it’s extremely disappointing not to walk away with a win or points, but they played hard.”

The Flyers will have two days off before they take on the New Jersey Devils at home in a 1 p.m. matinee at the Wells Fargo Center. They will then travel to Long Island, NY to take on the Islanders in another afternoon face off at 1 p.m.


November 30

11:27 p.m.

Second week voting results are in and it seems that the Flyers are in some close races.

Most notably, Chris Pronger is second among all defensemen and is just 93 votes shy of the leader, Chicago Blackhawks' Duncan Keith. According to the NHL release, Keith has 137,642 votes, while Pronger sits at 137,549 votes.

Kimmo Timonen is sitting fifth among all NHL defensemen with 110,599 votes.

Another Flyers sitting in second is 22-year-old rookie goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky who is not even on the ballot, and must be a "write-in" vote by fans. Bobrovsky is second to Canadians' goaltender Carey Price, who has 145,726 votes.

Bobrovsky trails Price by approximately 29,000 votes. It should be mentioned that BOTH Price and Bobrovsky are write-in candidates are were left off the original ballot by the NHL.

Speaking of write-in candidates, Claude Giroux leads all NHL forwards considered “write-in” players with 103,620 votes, which ranks ninth overall among forwards. Mike Richards leads Flyers forwards with 107,322 votes, coming in seventh overall, while Danny Briere (93,652 – 12th) and Jeff Carter (61,464 – 17th) round out Flyers forward voting.

There are still over FOUR weeks left for All-Star voting with the final ballots being counted on Jan. 3, 2011.

Here is a complete list of the Flyers and where they stand:

FLYERS ALL-STAR VOTING
D - Chris Pronger (137,549)
G - *Sergei Bobrovsky (write-ins: 116,725)
D - Kimmo Timonen (110,599)
F - Mike Richards (107,322)
F - *Claude Giroux (write-ins: 103,620)
F - Danny Briere (93,652)
F - Jeff Carter (61,464)
F - *Ville Leino (write-ins: 5,302)


SCHEDULE

HOME
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PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 MTL 23 16 6 1 61 57 33
2 PIT 20 14 4 2 72 46 30
3 NYI 21 15 6 0 69 57 30
4 TBL 22 14 6 2 77 60 30
5 DET 21 11 5 5 59 52 27
6 BOS 23 13 9 1 59 57 27
7 TOR 21 11 8 2 67 63 24
8 OTT 21 10 7 4 58 56 24
9 NYR 20 9 7 4 57 58 22
10 WSH 20 9 8 3 56 54 21
11 NJD 22 9 10 3 53 63 21
12 FLA 19 7 6 6 41 51 20
13 PHI 20 8 9 3 57 61 19
14 CAR 20 6 11 3 48 62 15
15 CBJ 21 6 13 2 51 76 14
16 BUF 21 6 13 2 36 70 14

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
J. Voracek 20 7 22 7 29
C. Giroux 20 6 18 8 24
B. Schenn 20 7 8 7 15
W. Simmonds 20 8 6 5 14
M. Streit 20 4 9 5 13
S. Couturier 20 4 4 -2 8
M. Read 20 2 6 -2 8
M. Del Zotto 19 2 6 1 8
M. Raffl 12 6 1 2 7
V. Lecavalier 13 2 4 -1 6
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
S. Mason 4 6 2 .923 2.61
R. Emery 4 3 1 .897 3.22
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