Friday, October 31, 2014

Flyers Sign Veteran Defenseman

Moments after the Philadelphia Flyers lost to the Tampa Bay Lightning Thursday night, the team announced that they have signed veteran defenseman Carlo Colaiacovo. 

Colaiacovo, 6'1" 201lbs, has 401 games of NHL experience spread out over 12 years and 3 teams. He has registered 31 goals and 144 points during that span. 

With Braydon Coburn and Andrew MacDonald out an extended period of time, GM Ron Hextall wanted someone with NHL experience rather than keeping up a rookie such as Shayne Gostisbehere. 

The knock on Colaiacovo, who was once drafted in the first round by Toronto in 2001, is that he is too injury prone. The list of known injuries (many labeled upper or lower body) that kept him out extended periods of time during his career are: concussion (2006), knee surgery (2007), another head injury (2011), a sprained wrist (2012) and a shoulder injury (2013). 

Hopefully, Philadelphia will only need his services for 3 or 4 weeks to allow MacDonald and/or Coburn to get healthy. Until then, Colaiacovo will fill that void with his smooth skating and puck moving abilities. 

"I'm really happy and looking forward to this great opportunity," Colaiacovo told Josh Rimer of Sportsnet Canada. 

No details on the contract have been announced yet. 

Colaiacovo most likely won't be in the Flyers lineup when they face the Florida Panthers on Saturday night. He may be ready either Tuesday or Thursday based on how long it takes him to get into game shape. 

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Stamkos Nets Two as Lightning Beat Flyers

The Philadelphia Flyers lost to the Tampa Bay Lightning 4-3 tonight. 

Too many penalties ended up costing the Flyers the game tonight as they gave the Lightning 5 PowerPlay opportunities. Tampa Bay ended up cashing in on two of those including the game winner by Jason Garrison late in the 3rd period which gave the Lightning a 4-2 lead. 

The Flyers made a late push scoring in the final minute to cut the deficit to one, yet despite the furious effort to tie the game, Philadelphia fell short, losing their 5th in a row to the Lightning and 7th straight in Tampa Bay. 

Another slow start cost the Flyers and they surrendered the game's first goal for the eighth time in their first 10 games. Vladislav Namestnikov tipped in a shot from the point just 3:29 into the opening period. 

Four shots were all Philadelphia could muster in the 1st period; however, Wayne Simmonds found the back of the net with under 7 minutes to play on the Flyers second shot of the game giving them some much needed life. Brayden Schenn found Pierre Edouard Bellemare cutting to the net and Simmonds buried the rebound tying the game at 1, despite being heavily outplayed early on.

After a penalty free 1st period, the referees pulled out their whistles and called 9 minors in the 2nd period, 5 against the Flyers. And late in the period, with just 46 seconds remaining, sniper Steven Stamkos finally broke through on the PowerPlay with a high wrist shot over Ray Emery's shoulder. 

Ray Emery got the start for the fourth consecutive game tonight. The four goals against doesn't tell the whole story as Emery played fairly well keeping the game close early on; he stopped 28 shots on 32 attempts. 

Steven Stamkos was a force tonight taking shot after shot. Stamkos registered a game high 7 shots and picked up his second goal of the game 5:30 minutes into the final period. Jason Garrison made a perfect east to west pass right on the tape to Stamkos, who one-timed it from the circle giving Tampa Bay a 3-1 lead. 

Jake Voracek responded just 68 seconds later. Recent call up, Brandon Manning, who replaced Shayne Gostisbehere, got a shot from the point through traffic and Voracek pounced on the rebound cutting the deficit to one again. 

Philadelphia got into penalty trouble again late in the game and got called for a 'too man men on the ice' penalty. Pierre Edouard Bellemare was within 5 feet of the bench (which is the regulation in the rule book) when Michael Raffl took off, yet the call was still made. 

Tampa Bay scored on the ensuing PowerPlay increasing their lead to 2 with just 3:12 remaining. Stamkos found Garrison at the point and his shot beat Emery for the eventual game winner. 

The 'never say die' Flyers made a strong push to comeback despite only having a few minutes left on the clock. With Emery on the bench, Philadelphia peppered Tampa Bay with 6 shots in under 2 minutes. Michael Raffl finally found the back of the net in front after receiving a nice pass from Voracek. 

Ben Bishop, who stopped 24 shots on 27 attempts for the Lightning, made 3 saves in the final 15 seconds ending the Flyers comeback bid. The 4-3 loss gives Philadelphia an even 4-4-2 record for the brutal month that was October. 

"It's a tough loss," Voracek told CSNPhilly after the game. "But the game overall was better than the result." 

That's the attitude the Flyers need moving forward. The month of November will be a lighter schedule than October, which had the likes of Boston, Chicago, LA, Detroit, Pittsburgh, Tampa Bay, Anaheim, Dallas, Montreal and New Jersey. The Devils were the only team on that list who didn't make the playoffs last year. That list also comprised of the last 8 Stanley Cup winners. 

Game Notes:
  • Brandon Manning played his first game for the Flyers this season. It was the first time he saw NHL action since April 27, 2013. 
  • Manning picked up 1 assist, 1 shot on goal and was even in 14:09 minutes. 
  • The 5 PowerPlays given to Tampa Bay was the most the Flyers have surrendered in a game this season. 
  • Voracek has a 4 game multi-point streak. He has picked up 2 points in each of those 4 games. 
  • Michael Del Zotto led the Flyers in ice time for the 3rd straight game. Del Zotto logged 23:41 minutes tonight and is now averaging over 20 minutes per game. 
  • Simmonds snapped his 5 game pointless streak. 
  • Raffl now has 4 goals in his last 3 games.
  • The Flyers began their traditional fathers trip as several dads joined the team tonight. They will also travel to south Florida when the Flyers play the Panthers.   
Drop The Puck:
The Flyers will look to get back on the winning side when they face the Florida Panthers on Saturday night.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Flyers Call Up Manning

The Philadelphia Flyers recalled defenseman Brandon Manning from the Lehigh Valley Phantoms today. 

Manning will most likely serve as the 7th defenseman during the Flyers upcoming roadtrip. Manning, who has 5 points and a +2 rating in 6 games with the Phantoms, has been called up twice before with the Flyers in his career. In 2012, Manning played 4 games and 6 in 2013, picking up 2 assists in the latter call up.

The Flyers will face the Tampa Bay Lightning on Thursday and the Florida Panthers on Saturday. 

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Schenn's Controversial Overtime Goal Leads To Flyers Victory Over Defending Stanley Cup Champions

A controversial goal in overtime led to the Philadelphia Flyers victory over the Los Angeles Kings 3-2 tonight.

"Upon further review, the puck crossed the line before any contact. Good goal," are the words the referee exclaimed before emphatically pointing to center ice. The Flyers jumped out of the bench to mob Brayden Schenn who instantly became the hero of the night. 

Schenn found himself on a breakaway in overtime, after 60 minutes was not enough for an outcome in this contest. Schenn barreled down the ice with Jake Muzzin hot on his tail. Schenn let the shot go, Philadelphia's 43rd shot of the game, which appeared to be stopped initially by Kings goalie Jonathan Quick. Quick, however, drifted back into his net as Schenn was poking for a rebound and both he and the puck trickled back into the cage. 

"No goal, no goal," is what the referee yelled before going upstairs. The 'War Room' in Toronto got a good look at the play and correctly reversed the call on the ice, giving the Flyers their third victory in a row. 

"It was an exciting finish to an exciting game," Ray Emery told CSNPhilly afterwards. "It was a good home stretch for us, now we have to go on the road and win some." 

Emery, the third star of the game, was just as exciting to watch as the finish he referred to. In his third straight start, Emery stopped 38 shots on 40 attempts tonight. 

"He's got a lot of confidence right now and it's paying off for us," Claude Giroux complimented Emery. "He's a hard worker and he's pretty hot right now."

That hard work has paid off in a big way for the Flyers this season. Philadelphia has picked up points in every game Emery has started this season going 4-0-1. 

The Flyers got off to a great start tonight picking up 20 shots in the opening period. And for just the second time this season, the Flyers got on the board first. 

The red hot Michael Raffl found the loose puck, 5 minutes into the period, after Giroux's shot attempt and swatted it past Quick for his fifth goal of the season. 

While on the PowerPlay, the Flyers tried to extend their lead, however, things went horribly wrong. Matt Read's pass bounced over Michael Del Zotto's twig and Tyler Toffoli went down the ice unimpeded on a shorthanded breakaway and he beat Emery to the high glove side.

The Flyers responded late in the period to regain the lead with just 44 seconds on the clock when Jake Voracek found Chris VandeVelde in the slot. VandeVelde netted his first goal as a Flyer and first since March of 2012. 

After a scoreless 2nd period, ex-Flyer Mike Richards knotted the game at 2 apiece early in the 3rd. Richards was the fourth man in after the Kings' 3 on 2 led to a couple chances in front. Richards found the puck and scored his first goal of the season. 

The goaltending duel then pursued. Back and forth the teams went, trading chances to the very end but to no avail. Both goalies made 14 saves in the period forcing overtime. 

"It's always nice scoring against the team that drafted you," Brayden Schenn said after scoring the game winner in overtime. "But it's a good team win." 

Game Notes:
  • The Flyers have won three straight for the first time this season. 
  • The Kings were without their star Anze Kopitar, who sat out with an upper body injury. The news was so sudden that LA did not have time to call up any players, therefore, they played with only 19 players on their roster. 
  • Not once last season did Ray Emery start consecutive games. Tonight was his third start in a row. 
  • Jake Voracek, who was all over the ice tonight and was awarded the star of the game for his excellent play, picked up his 200th career assist tonight. After the game, Voracek said, "I think [the first period] was the best of our season." Voracek took 5 shots. 
  • Philadelphia outshot LA 43-40. The 83 combined shots were the most in any Flyers game this season. The 43 shots by Philadelphia was also their season high.
  • Both teams went 0-2 on the PowerPlay. 
  • Shayne Gostisbehere played his second NHL game tonight. He logged 12:40 minutes of ice time while taking 1 shot and blocking a shot. He was a -1. 
  • The Flyers are above a .500 record for the first time this season, 4-3-2. 
Drop The Puck:
The Flyers will look to extend their winning streak when they go on the road to face the Tampa Bay Lightning on Thursday. 

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Flyers Continue Dominance at Home over Detroit, Notch First Home Win

The Philadelphia Flyers defeated the Detroit Red Wings 4-2 tonight for their first home victory of the season. 

Voracek and Simmonds celebrating first home win
The Flyers survived a lopsided game which was evident early when the Red Wings held a 22-5 shot advantage after the first 30 minutes. Philadelphia was able to pull out a victory due to a strong final period, taking 9 shots and netting 3 goals, essentially stealing the game.

It took the Flyers over 10 minutes to get their first shot of the game and then another 13 minutes to get their first shot of the 2nd period. In the meantime, the Orange and Black's defense was very busy doing their best to fill the gap that Braydon Coburn and Andy MacDonald left; both are out for about a month with lower body injuries. Considering, the defense was very solid while Ray Emery was exceptional again. Emery made 35 saves on 37 attempts. 

Despite outplaying the Flyers in the first two periods, the Red Wings were only able to muster one goal. 15:33 into the opening period, Riley Sheahan was left alone on the rush when both Mark Streit and Claude Giroux covered the same man. 

Nicklas Grossmann turned the tide for the Flyers late in the 2nd stanza. Chris Vandevelde, from the corner, found a pinching Grossmann, and his first goal of the season evened out this hockey game. At 18:21, the tally was only the Flyers third shot of the period. 

Gostisbehere's first NHL game
The goal energized Philadelphia to start the 3rd period and they were able to take advantage. First, the Flyers were forced to kill a penalty, which they did with the help of Pierre Edouard Bellemare ragging the puck for close to 20 seconds. About 40 second after the kill, at 6:01 with the home crowd at their loudest, Michael Del Zotto, who has been improving his play every game, started a rush up the ice that resulted in Jake Voracek setting up Michael Raffl for the go-ahead goal. Raffl got behind the defense and went in all alone on Red Wings goalie Jonas Gustavsson, beating him low glove side. 

Yesterday, the Flyers called up defenseman Shayne Gostisbehere due to all the injuries on the back end. The highly anticipated prospect made his NHL debut tonight. In 12:27 minutes, Gostisbehere took 1 shot and was a -1. His -1 came on the tying goal in the 3rd. Just 42 seconds following Raffl's 3rd goal of the season, Gostisbehere was caught in the neutral zone and lost his stick. Both Matt Read and Blair Jones failed to clear the puck and as a result, Pavel Datsyuk was behind the defense and beat Emery one on one. Despite the goal against, Gostisbehere played a decent first game. He made some smart plays, good outlet passes and was always looking to shoot. 

"He's a gifted player," Ray Emery told CSNPhilly after the game referring to Gostisbehere. "I think guys around the room were excited when he got called up because we know what he's capable of."

After going 0-8 in their last 8 PowerPlay opportunities over the last 8 periods, which was the Flyers longest PowerPlay drought streak of the season, Philadelphia finally cashed in. On their 5th PowerPlay of the game, Brayden Schenn redirected Voracek's pass for the eventual game winner. 

Detroit peppered Emery with 9 shots in the last 8 minutes after Schenn's goal; however, Ray Emery stood tall preserving the Flyers 3-2 lead. 

Raffl put the lid on this game burying an empty netter with 31 seconds remaining for his second goal of the night, fourth of the season. 

The victory gives Philadelphia their first home win of the season and first back to back wins. The Flyers have now won 2 in a row, 3 of their last 4 and have gained points in 5 of their last 6 games. 

Game Notes:
  • The Flyers have won 9 straight at home against the Red Wings, which spans 17 years. 
  • Jan 25 1997 was the last time Detroit won a regular season game in Philadelphia.
  • Detroit heavily outshot Philadelphia 37-17. 
  • It was the largest shot deficit (20) of the season for the Flyers. 
  • 17 was also the lowest shot total for Philadelphia this season.
  • Tonight was Raffl's first career multi goal game and second career 3 point game.
  • Grossmann scored his first goal in 21 games, since March 2014, also blocked 6 shots and had 5 hits. 
  • Michael Del Zotto registered 2 assists, was a +2 and led the Flyers with 22:37 minutes. 
  • Shayne Gostisbehere in his first NHL game took 1 shot, was -1 and played 18 shifts amassing 12:27 minutes. "It's a lot faster than I was thinking," Gostisbehere said after the game. "It's awesome when your teams wins. And being in my first game, it couldn't end any better!"
Drop The Puck:
The Flyers will look for their first 3 game winning streak of the season when they host the defending Stanley Cup Champion Los Angeles Kings on Tuesday night.

Gostisbehere To Make NHL Debut

Highly touted and much anticipated defensive prospect Shayne Gostisbehere will make his NHL debut for the Philadelphia Flyers on Saturday night versus the Detroit Red Wings.

Gostisbehere hoisting the 2014 NCAA Championship trophy
News broke early on Friday that the Flyers will be without defensemen Braydon Coburn and Andy MacDonald both for about 4 weeks from lower body injuries, so it was apparent that Philadelphia would make a call up soon. 

Early word was that Mark Alt would be recalled due to the fact that his name plate mysteriously found its way into the Flyers practice locker room in Voorhees. Despite this fact, it wasn't Alt who ultimately got the call, instead it was the man they call Ghost, Shayne Gostisbehere. 

Gostisbehere, Flyers 2012 3rd round draft pick, played his last 3 years with the Union College Dutchmen amassing 82 points in 119 games. This included 3 points in the National Title Game helping lead Union to their first Frozen Four Championship, which took place in Philadelphia at the Wells Fargo Center. 

Gostisbehere, 5'11" 170lbs, has played 3 games with the Lehigh Valley Phantoms picking up 2 points. 

GM Ron Hextall clearly stated that he wanted to wait before calling up the speedy defenseman, however, circumstances change everything. "You come up with a plan that in a perfect world you can stick to, but you have to make adjustments based on circumstances," Hextall told David Strehle of the TheFourthPeriod. 

Shayne Gostisbehere will make his NHL debut Saturday at 7PM when the Flyers host the Detroit Red Wings. (His number is yet to be determined.) 

Friday, October 24, 2014

Flyers Suffer Huge Blow

It was reported today that the Philadelphia Flyers will be without both Braydon Coburn and Andrew MacDonald for about 4 weeks.

MacDonald will be out 4 weeks
Coburn has missed the last 6 games with a foot injury sustained in the first game of the season versus Boston when he blocked a shot off of that foot. He did, however, start skating this week and even took part in the pregame against Chicago, but then ruled himself out. After the game, he was seen wearing a walking boot once again. Coburn was then re-evaluated and will be out now for an extended period of time. Whether or not the setback occurred during the pregame skate is unknown.

MacDonald sustained his injury, also from blocking a shot, against Pittsburgh on Wednesday night. MacDonald, who is averaging 22:56 minutes per game this season, will also miss about 4 weeks due to his lower body injury.

Early reports say that the Flyers will call up second year pro, Mark Alt from the Lehigh Valley Phantoms of the AHL. Alt, 23, has 1 goal in 3 games with the Phantoms and had 26 points in 75 games last season. Alt, who played 3 years with the University of Minnesota before joining the Phantoms, is a big (6'3" 205lbs) defensive defenseman, yet is considered a fluid skater.

Mark Alt playing for the Phantoms
Zac Rinaldo also exited the Pittsburgh game early. According to GM Ron Hextall, Rinaldo has an upper body injury. He did not participate in practice today (Friday) and the extent to his injury is currently unknown.

The Flyers did get a little bit of good news when Vincent Lecavalier skated with the team today. Lecavalier has been out since October 11th with a lower body injury. It was initially stated that Lecavalier would miss 2 to 3 weeks.  Today is day 13. Lecavalier will not play on Saturday, but he could be eyeing a Tuesday or Thursday return.

UPDATE: 
The Philadelphia Flyers recall Shayne Gostisbehere from the LV Phantoms instead of Mark Alt. Gostisbehere will make his NHL debut on Saturday.  

More to follow...

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Flyers Rebound & Take Down Penguins

The Philadelphia Flyers defeated the Pittsburgh Penguins 5-3 tonight. 

Bellemare scores his 1st NHL goal
The Flyers improved to an incredible 10-1-1 all time record at the Penguins Consol Energy Center. Playing the Penguins was the perfect thing to get the Flyers out of their funk. Despite the obvious fact that Chicago was and is the better team yesterday, the Flyers still played an uncharacteristically poor game. Tonight, however, was the polar opposite. Philadelphia found their game again as they usually do when they face the Penguins. 

Prior to tonight, Philadelphia had won their previous 4 games against Pittsburgh and clearly played like they wanted a fifth. 

Pittsburgh got off to their usual quick start and outshot the Flyers 9-3 in the first 9 minutes and opened the scoring when Nick Spalding beat Ray Emery from the circle.  

Flyers quickly turned things around scoring twice in under 4 minutes. Mark Streit found the back of the net on a slap shot from the point before Pierre Edouard Bellemare notched his first career NHL goal. Bellemare went to the net off a rush up the ice and Sean Couturier, who had a 3 point night, set him up for the redirection. 

Pascal Dupuis knotted the game up for the Penguins midway through the 2nd when a shot from the point bounced off him then Andrew MacDonald and past Emery.  Despite the goal, Philadelphia played the better period out shooting Pittsburgh 17-6. 

Umberger celebrate first of the season
The Flyers strong play continued in the 3rd and they were finally rewarded scoring 2 goals in 2 minutes. Claude Giroux found a wide opened RJ Umberger in front for his first goal of the season. Exactly 2 minutes later, Couturier caught Evgeni Malkin sleeping and set up Matt Read who went in all alone beating Penguins goalie Marc Andre Fleury. 

The Penguins made it close with 3 minutes to play on a Marcel Goc goal; however, Couturier, would bury it into the empty net solidifying the Flyers second win of the season. 

"We talked about [yesterday] how we were not there to compete as a team," said Bellemare to NBCSports after the game. "Tonight I think we competed for each other and when you get all the guys working for each other you know the goals will come and you'll win the game." 

Philadelphia improves to 2-3-2 for 6 points on the season.

Game Notes:
Pens and Flyers honor the victims in Ottawa
  • Couturier scored 3 points in a game for just the second time in his career and first since December 4th 2013, when he scored 4 points. 
  • Umberger scored his first goal since returning to the Flyers. His last goal as a Flyer came on May 13 2008.
  • Umberger also had a Gordie Howe hat trick tonight, picking up a fight and an assist as well as his goal. 
  • 3 Flyers scored their first goal of year tonight (Bellemare, Umberger and Read).
  • Bellemare also led the Flyers in shots with 5.
  • Before the game, Pittsburgh chose to sing the Canadian national anthem despite the fact the both teams were American. This was to honor the people of Ottawa for the tragic events that happened this afternoon. The audience all sang along as the words were put on the jumbotron. Then during the American national anthem, the singer stopped in the middle letting the fans sing by themselves. Class act by Pittsburgh and all of our thoughts and prayers go out to all the victims and anyone involved. 

Drop The Puck:
The Flyers have off until Saturday when they come home to face the Detroit Red Wings. 

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Blackhawks Dominate Flyers Shutting Them Out

The Philadelphia Flyers lost to the Chicago Blackhawks 4-0 tonight. 

Tonight was the first game this season in which the Flyers were not at all competitive in. Despite losing 4 of their first 5 games, Philadelphia had been tied or within one goal late in the 3rd period in each of those 5 games. Tonight was very different though as Chicago dominated in every aspect of the game. 

The 1st period was most evident of this. At one point in the opening period, the Blackhawks outshot the Flyers 14-1 and scored 3 goals in the span of 2:06 minutes. Following the tallies, Chicago played solid defense keeping Philadelphia from getting good chances and Antti Raanta was very good stopping all 32 shots faced. 

Chicago's PowerPlay was better than Philadelphia's going 2 for 4 while their penalty kill shutdown the Flyers twice. 

And in the 3rd period, up by 3, instead of sitting on that lead, the Blackhawks extended it, scoring again on their PowerPlay. 

Brandon Saad opened the scoring tonight. After the nonexistent Flyers defense allowed 3 consecutive shots, Saad found the loose puck behind Steve Mason. 

Moments later, Michael Raffl was called for a penalty and Chicago scored again on the ensuing PowerPlay. Patrick Kane found the back of the net just 15 seconds after the penalty and 32 seconds after the Blackhawks first goal. 

Coach Craig Berube called timeout in an attempt to wake up his players and slow down the momentum. However, this did not work as Chicago scored 1:34 minutes later when Bryan Bickell scored on a 3 on 2 rush. 

Kane scored his second of the game again on the PowerPlay in the final period, thwarting any chance the Flyers may have had to get back into this game. 

Philadelphia falls to 1-3-2 on the season and will have a chance to redeem themselves immediately as they face their heated rival, the Pittsburgh Penguins tomorrow night. 

Game Notes:
  • Braydon Coburn, who injured his foot in the first game of the season from blocking a shot, took part in the pregame skate; however, was still a late game scratch. 
  • Jake Voracek (5), Wayne Simmonds (4) and Claude Giroux (4) all had their point streaks snapped. 
  • Tonight was the first time the Flyers were shutout in Chicago since 1976. 
  • The Blackhawks outshot the Flyers 43-32. It was the most shots the Flyers surrendered this season. 
  • Tonight was the first time the Flyers failed to score on the PowerPlay in their last 4 games and only the 2nd time this season they didn't capitalize on the man advantage. 
Drop The Puck:
The Flyers will look to pick themselves up, dust themselves off and start fresh against the Pittsburgh Penguins Wednesday night. 

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Flyers Finally Find First Victory in Dramatic Fashion

The Philadelphia Flyers defeated the Dallas Stars 6-5 in overtime tonight picking up their first win of the season. 

Flyers mob Giroux after he scores the GWG
The long awaited victory had to be put on hold tonight after 60 minutes wasn't enough. Tied at 5 apiece, the Flyers entered overtime for the third consecutive game. In the extra session, captain Claude Giroux gave Philadelphia their first win of the season. On the PowerPlay, Mark Streit setup Giroux, who one-timed the puck past Stars goalie Kari Lehtonen for the game winner. 

"We're happy to win the game, Claude Giroux told CSNPhilly after the contest. "It's an ugly win but we'll take it."

The 'ugly' win Giroux was referring to was allowing 5 in the game, including 2 goals late in the 2nd period and another late in the 3rd, forcing the Flyers to make multiple comebacks tonight, before finally giving themselves a chance to win it. 

The Flyers played a pretty solid opening period despite allowing the first goal against. Stars defenseman Trevor Daley scored the opening goal after a great passing play on the PowerPlay. But the Flyers responded scoring twice before the period was out. Sean Couturier and Brayden Schenn scored goals just 1:53 minutes apart. Couturier found a loose puck in front after RJ Umberger deflected Andy MacDonald's point shot, while Schenn deposited brother Luke's rebound. 

The 2nd period was a sloppier one that saw Dallas out score Philadelphia 3-0. Erik Cole scored the tying goal on a 2 on 1 after Luke Schenn was caught in the neutral zone. Later in the period, the Flyers were called on a phantom 'Too Many Men' penalty and Dallas cashed in again. Daley scored on a passing play very similar to his first PowerPlay tally. Just 56 seconds later, Streit, Giroux and Nick Schultz were all caught behind the net leaving Jamie Benn wide open in front to give the Stars a 2 goal lead with only 31 seconds remaining in the middle stanza. 

In the 3rd period, the Flyers came back to life. Andy MacDonald fueled the comeback with a blast from the point on the PowerPlay for his first of the season. Then Jake Voracek tied it up with just under 6 minutes to play, depositing Schultz's rebound. 

However, the Stars grabbed their lead back almost immediately. Only 40 seconds later, Jason Spezza jabbed at Ray Emery, who replaced Steve Mason at the start of the 3rd period, and the puck came loose of Emery's glove and into the net, forcing the Flyers to comeback once again. 

For the third time in this hockey game, the Flyers equalized. Michael Raffl got a fortuitous bounce when he centered the puck to Giroux. The puck never made it to Claude as it deflected off a Stars defenseman's skate and into the back of the net. 

Giroux scores the winner

Despite allowing 5 goals against, the Flyers deserved that point as the game went into overtime, but they were not satisfied. Philadelphia got 2 PowerPlays in the extra session. The first came with just seconds left in the 3rd period; however, the Flyers failed to capitalize. The next came when Trevor Daley hauled down Schenn preventing what would have been the game winner as Brayden stared down a wide open cage after a strange bounce. And it was on that PowerPlay that the Flyers would find their first win of the season coming from the hands of their captain. 

"Good character win," said coach Craig Berube summing up the game. "A team has to learn to quit chasing games so much. Going down 1 goal is not a huge deal, but going down 2 goals it makes it a lot tougher. That's the kind of stuff that we have to clean up." 

The huge victory gives the Flyers points now in 3 straight games leaving them with a 1-2-2 record on the season

Game Notes:
  • Philadelphia scored a PowerPlay goal for the 4th consecutive game.
  • The Flyers went 2-5 tonight on the PowerPlay. 
  • Philadelphia's 3 game streak of not allowing a PowerPlay goal against ended tonight as they gave up 2 versus Dallas (1 for 3). 
  • RJ Umberger picked up his first point (assist) since returning to the Flyers. 
  • Stars goalie Kari Lehtonen falls to 0-10-3 against the Flyers in his career. 
  • Jake Voracek has scored points in all 5 games this season. 
  • Claude Giroux and Wayne Simmonds are both on a 4 game point streak. 
  • Mark Streit picked up 2 assists, took 5 shots and led the Flyers in ice time with 26:26 minutes. 
  • Giroux led the Flyers with 6 shots tonight. Claude has taken 24 shots in his last 4 games. 
Drop The Puck:
The Flyers will look to put together their first winning streak of the season when they head to Chicago to face the Blackhawks.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Shootout Woes Continue as Flyers Fall to Ducks

The Philadelphia Flyers lost to the Anaheim Ducks 4-3 in a shootout tonight. 

Karlsson scores the winner in the SO
For the second consecutive game the Flyers went to a shootout. And for the seventh consecutive time, dating back to last season, they lost in the shootout. 

Philadelphia deserved a better fate as they outplayed Anaheim throughout most of the game. Unfortunately, they got off to a slow start again; they have surrendered the first goal of the game to their opponents in 3 of their first 4 games. 

Anaheim's Tim Jackman opened the scoring at 12:20 after Steve Mason whiffed in an attempt to clear a rebound. Then, just over 4 minutes later, immediately after a Ducks PowerPlay expired, Devante Smith Pelly tipped in a long shot from the point putting the Ducks up 2-0, forcing the Flyers to play comeback again. 

And comeback they did. Philadelphia showed up in the 2nd period, out shooting Anaheim 18-6. The Flyers hard work finally paid off when they were awarded with a 2 man advantage in the period. Claude Giroux setup Mark Streit for a blast off the post and in for his first tally of the season. 

Later in the period, on the PowerPlay once again, Wayne Simmonds somehow found the back of the net amidst a crazy scramble in front for his 5th goal of the season. 

However, one quick defensive lapse at the end of the period resulted in another Anaheim lead. Matt Beleskey wasn't picked up as he skated unnoticed through the slot and Ryan Getzlaf found him with just 16 second left in the period. 

Despite the late goal, the Flyers didn't lose much momentum and played a strong 3rd period. 

Jake Voracek knotted the game up at 3 apiece on a great individual play where he came from behind the net and roofed it on the backhand. 

After regulation was not enough, overtime was needed. Flyers continued to play well in OT but could not cash in and a shootout was needed. 

Claude Giroux was the lone Flyer to score, on a beautiful move, out of four (Voracek, Matt Read and Sean Couturier) while 2 of the 4 Ducks found the back of the net, Jakob Silfverberg and William Karlsson. 

Philadelphia did get a much deserved point; however, they are still winless in their first 4 games, 0-2-2. 

Game Notes:
  • Flyers went 2 for 4 on the PowerPlay. 
  • It was their 3rd straight game with a PowerPlay goal. 
  • Philadelphia is now 5 for 17 (29%) on the season on the PowerPlay. 
  • Flyers went 3 for 3 on the penalty. 
  • It is the 3rd straight game without giving up a goal on the man advantage. 
  • They are 9 for 10 on the penalty kill this season. 
  • Blair Jones played his first game as a Flyer tonight. He was a -1 with 3 hits in 6:27 minutes. 
  • Luke Schenn led the Flyers with 8 hits tonight. 
  • Giroux and Voracek led the Flyers with 7 shots each. 

Drop The Puck:
The Flyers have off until Saturday when they go to Dallas to face the Stars. 

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Flyers Blow Lead, Remain Winless

The Philadelphia Flyers lost to the Montreal Canadiens tonight 4-3 in a shootout.

The Flyers played very well in the first 2 periods building a 3 goal lead at the 2nd intermission, only to loose it. The Canadiens caught the Flyers snoozing in the 3rd and scored 3 goals in under 8 minutes. Instead of closing out the last 5 minutes, the Flyers were scrambling just to get a point. 

Montreal took 19 shots on Ray Emery in the 3rd and Andrei Markov, Tomas Plekanek and Alex Galchenyuk found the back of the net. 

Everything Philadelphia did well in the 1st and 2nd they did equally as bad in the 3rd period. 

Even worse, in overtime the Flyers were given a PowerPlay with the chance to make it all up. But instead they were only able to muster 1 shot and failed to end the game again, sending this one to a shootout. 

In the shootout, Emery stopped the first 3 Canadien shooters, and again the Flyers didn't capitalize, failing to score not 3 times but 4. And in the 4th attempt, Montreal's PA Parenteau scored the winner.  

After the game, multiple players stated that they stopped playing in the 3rd and when coach Berube was asked if it was more the great play by the Canadiens or poor play by the Flyers, Berube simply said, "Us."  

If the Flyers are going to be successful moving forward, they need to play a full 60 minutes, regardless of the score. Consistency was the main problem last season and the big question coming into the new one. And now it's clear, that consistency remains an issue. 

In the first 2 periods, the Flyers outshot the Canadiens 27-18 while outscoring them 3-0. Wayne Simmonds scored twice, one on the PowerPlay and one off an odd man rush. And Claude Giroux set up Michael Raffl for the other goal. So Philadelphia was clicking on all cylinders. They went 3 for 3 on the penalty kill, 1 for 4 on the PowerPlay, their big names showed up and Emery was perfect.

And that is, inexplicably, when the wheels fell off. 

The Flyers remain winless after 3 games for the 3rd consecutive season, but did at least pick up one point in the standings, 0-2-1. 

Game Notes:
  • Simmonds' 2 goals tonight gives him 4 on the season already. At this moment, Simmonds is tied for the league lead. 
  • The first line (Giroux, Jake Voracek and Raffl) combined for 11 shots. 
  • Simmonds led all players with 6 shots. 
  • Nick Schultz, playing for the injured Braydon Coburn, blocked 7 shots and logged 23:37 minutes. 
  • Andy MacDonald led all players in ice time with 28:01 minutes.
  • Vinny Lecavalier, Claude Giroux, Sean Couturier and Matt Read all failed to score in the shootout. 
Drop The Puck:
The Flyers will look to end their skid in Tuesday when they host the Anaheim Ducks. 

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Flyers Lose To Devils in Wild Home Opener

The Philadelphia Flyers lost to the New Jersey Devils 6-4 this evening. 

Down 3-0 in the 2nd period, the Flyers made a furious comeback late in the period scoring 3 goals in 4:16 minutes. Unfortunately, they did not pick up where they left off in the 3rd and the Devils scored 3 more goals to seal the deal. 

The Devils got off to a decent start to their season scoring once in the first from Michael Ryder and two more in the first 6 minutes of the 2nd to take a 3-0 lead. 

Philadelphia fell victim to multiple defensive breakdowns and a few bad bounces. Ryder's goal was a result of the defense backing up too much giving him all the room to move closer to Steve Mason to take a clean shot. New Jersey's second goal, from Adam Henrique, was a long shot that deflected off the skate of Luke Schenn. And the third was a result of a deflection from a distance from new Devils forward Mike Cammalleri. Patrick Elias scored the Devil's fourth goal standing all alone in front of Mason while Michael Del Zotto and Claude Giroux were caught out of position. Finally the fifth goal was scored when Luke Schenn failed to get his stick on the puck off a slow rush from Dainius Zubrus. 

In the end, Luke Schenn was an incredible -5, while Del Zotto was a -4. The pairing was out for 5 goals of the 6 goals scored. Mason on the other hand was just ok. 4 of the 5 goals were hard to blame, yet the fifth goal by Zubrus should have been stopped. 

The Flyers offense was very sporadic tonight. There were moments in this game where they were on fire, for instance, the second half of the second period they outshot the Devils 9-3 while out scoring them 3-0. Then other times they were out of sync, missing passes and losing battles. 

The PowerPlay was a positive for the Flyers tonight as they went 2-5. Claude Giroux scored a PowerPlay goal from his office, at the top of the circle. Wayne Simmonds scored one of his two goals tonight on the PowerPlay. Simmonds had just scored 56 seconds earlier on a patient play where he waited for a sliding Devil to fly by before ripping one past New Jersey goalie Cory Schneider. His PowerPlay goal came with just .5 seconds remaining in the 2nd period in front of the net after being set up nicely from Vincent Lecavalier. 

The resiliency of the Flyers was there, yet their consistency wasn't. After falling down 4-3 after the amazing 2nd period comeback, the Flyers responded almost immediately. Lecavalier responded just 15 seconds later opting to shoot on a 2 on 1. 

Again this is where the Flyers should have retained offensive momentum. Instead a timid defensive play from Schenn and poor goaltending from Mason gave the Devils their lead right back less then 3 minutes after Lecavalier's goal. 

This goal proved too much to comeback from. And despite taking 10 shots after the goal, the Flyers could not find the equalizer this time. 

Philadelphia falls to 0-2 for the third consecutive season. 

Game Notes:
  • Braydon Coburn missed the game with a lower body injury. The injury is most likely his foot from blocking a shot in yesterday's game versus the Bruins. 
  • Coburn was seen on crutches before the game and GM Ron Hextall said this isn't a 'day to day' injury. 
  • Wayne Simmonds, who was the 2nd star of the game, picked up 2 goals and an assist, while taking 4 shots. 
  • Claude Giroux had a very up and down game. He scored his first goal and assist of the season. He also took 7 shots on goal. However defensively, he was a -4 on the night. 
  • The Flyers outshot the Devils 39-26. 
  • Steve Mason allowed 5 goals on 25 shots.
  • Flyers went 3 for 3 on the penalty kill. 
Drop The Puck:
The Flyers will look to avoid going 0-3 for the third consecutive season when they host the Montreal Canadiens on Saturday night. 

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Late Goal Leads to Bruins Victory

The Philadelphia Flyers lost to the Boston Bruins 2-1 in the season opener tonight. 

After a long 5 months, the Flyers finally were back on the ice. Unfortunately, so were the Bruins. It was a tough draw for Philadelphia to face arguably the best team in the East in Boston for Game 1 of the season. The Bruins, last year, had the top record in the NHL at home, losing just 10 games. 

The game was mostly a defensive one and in that sense of the game, the Flyers played relatively well. Steve Mason was exceptional stopping 31 of 33 shots, keeping the Flyers alive all game. 

Tied at 1 apiece late in the 3rd, the Bruins cashed in on a bit of a fluky goal, according to coach Craig Berube. "It was kind of a fluky play, but they scored on it. You gotta find a way to win."

The Bruins shot from the point, with under 2 minutes to play in the final period, bounced off Chris Kelly and went up and over Mason landing behind him. Kelly found the puck before Mason and scored the game winning goal with just 1:51 minutes remaining. 

"In the first 2 periods, it was like we were scared to play the puck," Claude Giroux told CSNPhilly after the game. "We just didn't have the confidence with the puck." 

That was Philadelphia's main weakness tonight, puck possession. The Flyers could not keep control of the puck, which  made it very difficult to score. They were only able to muster up 20 shots on goal as a result. 

The Flyers lone goal came from Sean Couturier in front on a nice set up from Jake Voracek early in the 3rd. 

Special teams was another issue tonight that Philadelphia will have to address going forward. Boston's first goal came on their first PowerPlay, as a result of an undisciplined penalty by Zac Rinaldo. On the ensuing kill, both Braydon Coburn and Michael Raffl were out of position leaving Reilly Smith alone in the slot to score the game's first goal. 

On the other side, the Flyers went 0-3 on the PowerPlay, failing to get any really good chances, while giving up numerous shorthanded opportunities.

Philadelphia will get a chance to regroup and make things right immediately as they will play their home opening tomorrow night against the New Jersey Devils. 

Game Notes:
  • Zac Rinaldo led the Flyers in shots with 4, while the 1st line of Giroux, Voracek and Brayden Schenn combined for 2. 
  • Andrew MacDonald led all players in ice time with 21:51 minutes. 
  • Pierre Edouard Bellemare played his first game in the NHL with the Flyers tonight. Bellemare played 10:08 minutes, had 1 hit and was 50% on his faceoffs. 
  • Claude Giroux was a horrendous 19% on faceoffs tonight. He only won 4 of 21 draws. 
  • Sean Couturier, who scored a goal and took 3 shots, won 61% of his faceoffs. 
Drop The Puck:
The Flyers will open the season in Philadelphia tomorrow (Thursday) night when they host the New Jersey Devils. 

Monday, October 6, 2014

Camp Review + Season Preview

The wait is finally over!

The Philadelphia Flyers begin their season on Wednesday when they go on the road to face the Boston Bruins. Then immediately come back for their home opener on Thursday, when they host the New Jersey Devils.

So what will the Flyers roster look like?

Philadelphia brought over 50 players into camp at the start of September with the idea of finalizing their NHL roster at 22 or 23 players. Some players would be cut from the organization, others sent back to the juniors while the rest to their AHL affiliate, the Lehigh Valley Phantoms.

Several players brought their 'A' game giving the Flyers a very bright future, but who would actually make the final cut?

Preseason:

Philadelphia played 8 preseason games amassing a 3-3-2 record. Mark Streit, who recently has been awarded with the honor of carrying the 'alternate captain' this season (the other being Wayne Simmonds, after the Flyers lost both their 'A's' from last season, Scott Hartnell in a trade and Kimmo Timonen to injury), led the Flyers in all statistical categories with 2 goals, 6 assists and 8 points in 4 games. Jake Voracek had 5 points in 5 games while Matt Read had 4 points in 5 games. But of course all of them were already guaranteed a starting spot.

Standouts:
  • Blair Jones: acquired as a free agent in July, impressed many as he picked up 4 points in 5 games. Jones has played in 7 seasons splitting time between the NHL and AHL. Jones has picked up 17 points in 128 games in the NHL.
    • Result: Jones made the Flyers roster.
  • Jason Akeson: scored 2 goals and 2 assists in 6  preseason games. Akeson played very well last season when he was called up late and played in all 7 playoff games picking up 3 points. 
    • Result: Akeson made the Flyers roster.
  • Pierre-Edouard Bellemare: signed out of the Swedish Hockey League in June. Bellemare, who scored 20 goals and 35 points in 52 games last year, got injured early in the camp but still managed to look good. After returning from injury, Bellemare, a French native, looked comfortable playing on North American ice rink for the first time as he played responsibly and knows his position well.
    • Result: Bellemare made the Flyers roster.
  • Scott Laughton: Flyers 1st round pick in 2012 made a strong push to make the opening night roster with his terrific play. Laughton picked up 3 points in the 4 preseason games he played.
    • Result: Laughton was sent to the AHL and will start the season with the Phantoms.
  • Shayne Gostisbehere: Flyers 3rd round pick of 2012, looked great offensively. Gostisbehere picked up 2 goals and 3 points in 3 games. Gostisbehere still looked a little shaky on defense though, playing a high risk game. 
    • Result: Gostisbehere was sent to the AHL and will start the season with the Phantoms.
  • Samuel Morin: Flyers 1st round pick 2013, played well and appeared close to cracking the lineup. Morin impressed so much that he made it to the last round of cuts. 
    • Result: Morin was returned to his Canadian junior team due to the age rule in the CHL. 
      • (Travis Sanheim and Nicolas Aube-Kubel were also returned to juniors.)
  • Taylor Leier: Flyers 2012 4th round pick, was a pleasant surprise. Leier's offense was never in question but whether or not his talent would translate from juniors to pro level was in question. He appeared to answer that question immediately. Leier played on a line with Laughton and both excelled through camp. Leier's speed was evident and he scored 2 goals in 4 games making a strong push. 
    • Result: Leier was sent to the AHL and will start the season with the Phantoms.
Final NHL Roster:

After all cuts were made, the Philadelphia Flyers completed their roster with 22 (healthy) players:
  • Offense (in projected lines):
    • Claude Giroux centering Jake Voracek and Brayden Schenn
    • Sean Couturier centering Matt Read and Wayne Simmonds
    • Vincent Lecavalier centering Michael Raffl and RJ Umberger
    • Pierre-Edouard Bellemare centering Jason Akeson and Zac Rinaldo
      • Blair Jones as the extra forward
  • Defense:
    • Mark Streit and Nicklas Grossmann
    • Andrew MacDonald and Braydon Coburn
    • Luke Schenn and Michael Del Zotto
      • Nick Schultz as the extra defenseman
      • Kimmo Timonen (injured, but still on starting roster)
  • Goaltenders:
    • Steve Mason (starter)
    • Ray Emery

Final AHL roster:
  • Offense: 
    • Brandon Alderson, Nick Cousins, Austin Fyten, Andrew Gordon, Kevin Goumas, Brett Hextall, Scott Laughton, Taylor Leier, Darroll Powe, Jay Rosehill, Zack Stortini, Petr Straka and Chris Vandevelde.
  • Defense:
    • Mark Alt, Steven Delisle, Shayne Gostisbehere, Robert Hagg, Oliver Lauridsen, Brandon Manning and Jesper Pettersson.
  • Goaltenders:
    • Rob Zepp (starter)
    • Anthony Stolarz
Salary Cap:

The Flyers will start the season with Chris Pronger and Ryan White on long term injury reserve, while keeping Kimmo Timonen on the cap. This puts the Flyers payroll at $68,945,000 just $55,000 under the cap ceiling.

Injuries:
  • Claude Giroux got injured on the very first practice. Giroux was out for about 11 days with his lower body injury but returned to preseason action and will be ready for the opener
  • Pierre Edouard Bellemare got injured after playing in the first preseason game. The lower body injury only kept him out about a week before he returned for more preseason action and will be ready for the opener
  • Wayne Simmonds was injured last week with an apparent foot injury. Simmonds practiced on Monday and said afterwards, "First & foremost I felt fine out there. I got through the whole practice which is good." Simmonds is day to day, but hopeful for Wednesday. 
Opening Night:

The Philadelphia Flyers will open their season on the road on Wednesday night at 7:30 PM against the Boston Bruins. The Flyers will look to change their luck as they have lost 3 in a row and 7 of their last 9 against the Bruins. Philadelphia will also look to get of to a better start than last season where they went 1-7 in their first 8 games.

The Flyers are 5-5 in their last 10 season openers.

Upcoming Schedule:
  • Wednesday Oct 8th @ Boston
  • Thursday Oct 9th vs New Jersey
  • Saturday Oct 11th vs Montreal 
  • Tuesday Oct 14th vs Anaheim
  • Saturday Oct 18th @ Dallas

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Timonen NOT Retiring ... Yet

Philadelphia Flyers all-star defenseman Kimmo Timonen publicly spoke for the first time since being diagnosed with multiple blood clots over the summer.

Timonen and Hextall addressing the media
GM Ron Hextall started the press conference by saying that we don't have all the answers yet, but we want to announce that Timonen is not officially retiring.

Timonen reiterated that statement, but then said that realistically, "The chances of me playing again are slim, and that's a fact." 

Both Timonen and Hextall said that it will take months for his blood clots (which are still there) to dissipate, so best case scenario seemed like 4-5 months, if given a perfect clean bill of health.

Kimmo also admitted that a blood clot disorder runs in his family and that his mother and brothers have it as well.

"I was really looking forward to playing my last year. My desire to play is still there but we just have to wait. I feel good, I'm able to workout and run, but I have to avoid contact." Timonen said that he hasn't skated, nor will he for several months, because he is not in any rush.

Timonen seemed like he was in good spirits and even joked saying, "I told my wife that I can't clean or do the dishes either. Doctor's orders. But that didn't work out so well."

Timonen said that it did not hit him as to how serious this can be until a friend of his who is a doctor told him that, 'people die from this kind of clot.' "I will probably be on blood thinners for the rest of my life. If that is the case I won't be able to play hockey ever again. But we'll talk about it again in a few months."

When asked if he would be cleared over the summer, would he play next season, Timonen responded, "I haven't thought that far ahead."

Hextall admitted to getting to know Timonen much better as they worked through this tough situation and learned, "This guy wants to play hockey so badly. He could have just said he is finished. But he did not. It shows how much heart he has. I admire him and his passion."

Hextall continued, "The biggest thing we'll miss is his professionalism. Hopefully, later in the season we'll get him back."

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Flyers Annual Rookie Game vs Capitals

Rookies Thanking Fans After 3-0 Win
The Philadelphia Flyers rookie camp officially got underway on Friday the 12th at the Voorhees Skates Zone. On Tuesday, they played their annual game versus the Washington Capitals rookies. This year it was a home game (as last year's was played in the DC area).

Playing to a packed house of what looked like over a thousand fans crammed into the Skate Zone, the Flyers rookies played their hearts out.


Victory:
  • Philadelphia's rookies deservedly won 3-0 on a full team effort. 
  • Petr Straka, Nicolas Aube-Kubel (even though on ice it was somehow credited to Taylor Leier) and Kevin Goumas scored the goals.
  • Scott Laughton and Straka recorded assists.
  • Anthony Stolarz and Martin Ouellette shared the shutout. 
  • The team was perfect on the penalty kill. 

Goals:
  • Petr Straka, who was flying all game, took advantage of a Capitals turnover in the offensive zone and went in alone scoring on a nice forehand to back hand move. 
  • Nicolas Aube-Kubel's (2014 2nd round pick) goal came off a rebound on a nice wrap around attempt from Scott Laughton. 
  • Kevin Goumas (2014 free agent signing) buried his goal into the empty net to solidify the victory, assisted by Straka. 

Standout Stars:

Many of the Flyers played a very solid game today, while others excelled. 
  • The standout star (to me personally) had to be Travis Sanheim. The 2014 1st round pick was all over the ice. When he wasn't breaking up plays in the defensive zone, he was carrying the puck through the neutral zone trying to spark some offense. And while in the offensive zone, he was looking to get open and making good pinches. Sanheim, even though only 18 years old, looked like he belonged and was confident about his play. Flyers fans should be very excited about his future potential. 
Another standout was the entire second line. The 1st line of Nick Cousins, Petr Straka and Brandon Alderson were good but we have seen them before with the Phantoms and expected that. 
Scott Laughton
  • The 2nd line with Scott Laughton (2012 1st round pick), Nicolas Aube-Kubel (2014 2nd round pick) and Taylor Leier (2012 4th round pick) was terrific. As the game went on, they became more and more confident and seemed to jell very nicely creating one offensive chance after another. Leier brought quickness and speed, Aube-Kubel had great position and puck handling while Laughton did some dirty work on the boards and played setup guy using his great vision of the ice. It was fun to watch every time they stepped on the ice. Too bad we won't continue to see this line on the Phantoms this year due to Aube-Kubel having to go back to his Canadian junior team this year. 
  • In a dream defensive pairing, Samuel Morin (2013 1st round pick) played alongside Shayne Gostisbehere (2012 3rd round pick). This was great to see since this could be a realistic paring on the Flyers just a couple years from now. Both played their signature game yesterday show casing their talent to the fans and coaches watching from above. 
  • Samuel Morin
    • Morin's presence was felt as he made as many big hits as he could muster up, cleared the front of the net, defended his teammates (especially when Straka took a brutal crosscheck to the back) and even got into a fight. 
    • On the other side, Gostisbehere took advantage of his smooth skating and great puck handling to create several chances although he never got to take his signature slap shot (he broke his stick on his best opportunity). The man they call 'Ghost' still has some learning to do though at the next level. His 'high risk, high reward' play cost him a few times in the game. On one occasion, he lost the puck right in front of his goalie and was bailed out on a great save by Anthony Stolarz (more on him to come), he made a poor decision to attack the puck in the neutral zone which led directly to a 2 on 1 (broken up by Morin) and had least one bad pinch in the offensive zone. A lot of risks will come with playing this style, but Gostisbehere, who is like a sponge, will learn a lot from playing in the minors this season and will most definitely learn to polish up his game and play a bit more responsibly. Out of all the Flyers prospects, I think Gostisbehere has the highest ceiling. 
Unfortunately due to the same ruling on Aube-Kubel, Morin will not get to be paired up with Gostisbehere on the Phantoms because he will have to spend the next season back with his junior team (unless he makes the Flyers roster) because a player must be 20 years of age to play in the AHL and neither Aube-Kubel, 18, nor Morin, 19, qualify. 

In Net:
  • In goal, Anthony Stolarz (2012 2nd round pick) and Martin Ouellette (2014 free agent signing) split the game. 
  • Stolarz was good in the first and solid in the second making some huge saves early in the period. Stolarz uses his huge frame (6'6" 220 lbs) to smoother most angles and is quicker than most would think for being that big.  
  • Ouellette also looked good, but didn't have to do too much as the Flyers defense was solid down the stretch holding the Capitals to about 4 shots in the final period. 
  • By my (unofficial) count the goalies split 22 shots (Stolarz about 13, to Ouellette's 9). 
Lines:
  • Offense:
    1. Nick Cousins (52) centering Brandon Alderson (64) and Petr Straka (51)
    2. Scott Laughton (49) centering Nicolas Aube-Kubel (73) and Taylor Leier (58)
    3. Kevin Goumas (63) centering Matt Hatch (68) and Austin Fyten (77) 
    4. Nikita Jevpalovs (80) centering Radel Fazleev (75) and Louick Marcotte (79)
  • Defense:
    1. Robert Hagg (54) and Jesper Pettersson (59)
    2. Samuel Morin (50) and Shayne Gostisbehere (53)
    3. Travis Sanheim (71) and Maxim Lamarche (60)
  • Goalies:
    1. Anthony Stolarz (65)
    2. Martin Ouellette (70)

Final Thoughts/Highlights:

Overall the team looked great as a whole, worked hard and earned their 3-0 victory. I think coach Craig Berube and GM Ron Hextall should be very satisfied.

Highlights

The rookies will return when the the full team training camp opens on ice on Friday the 19th.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Timonen Injured, Flyers Respond By Signing Del Zotto

Sad news was given today by the Philadelphia Flyers organization regarding Kimmo Timonen:
Flyers defenseman Kimmo Timonen has been diagnosed with blood clots in his lower right leg and in both lungs. Kimmo is currently being treated for this disorder back in his home country of Finland. His return to play is yet to be determined.
Timonen, who has been in Finland since June, was feeling pain in his right leg for about three days blamed it on a pulled muscle. A friend of Timonen, who happens to be a doctor, noticed that it was not a muscle problem and recommended that Kimmo immediately go to the hospital. Once there, his doctors found multiple blood clots, in his lungs and leg. The doctors, who are in contact with the Flyers medical team said that Timonen, who was admitted yesterday, is in stable condition and should be released tomorrow on Wednesday the 6th. Following his release, Kimmo will be immobilized and not allowed to travel for about 3 weeks. After that, he will return to his home in Haddonfield, NJ where the Flyers doctors will evaluate him.

This is not the first time Timonen has suffered from a blood clot. Back in 2008, right before the playoffs, Timonen was diagnosed with a blood clot in his lower right left (near his ankle). Timonen missed some time, but returned later in the playoffs. According to WebMD, once you've had a blood clot, you are more susceptible to another one. So Timonen's future is now in question. But that's the last of the concerns right now.

Our thoughts and prayers are with Kimmo Timonen and his family right now. 

In the meantime, new GM Ron Hextall is trying to figure out how to fill this massive hole left as Timonen was arguably the Flyers best defenseman. And Hextall responded immediately.

The Philadelphia Flyers have announced that they are signed defenseman Michael Del Zotto to a 1 year deal worth $1.3 million.

Del Zotto, 6'0" 193lbs, spent last year split between the New York Rangers and the Nashville Predators. In 5 seasons in the NHL, Del Zotto has played 327 games picking up 27 goals and 126 points.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Flyers Stay Quiet on Free Agency Day, Resign Emery

Free Agency officially began today at noon and the Philadelphia Flyers were noticeably quiet today. The reason for that is the salary cap, which was raised to $69 million for next season. However, the Flyers already have $70+ million committed to 20 players, meaning they are $1.2 million over the cap already and 4 spots still to be filled (as Chris Pronger will be put on the Long Term Injured Reserve when the season begins).

Flyers resign Ray Emery
But the Flyers did get themselves a backup goalie. Philadelphia officially resigned G Ray Emery to a 1 year deal worth $1 million. Emery played 28 games with the Flyers last season accumulating a .903 save percentage and allowed 2.96 GAA.

Philadelphia also signed G Rob Zepp, who played for the Berlin Eisbaren over the last 7 seasons. Last year Zepp picked up 5 shutouts with a 2.74 GAA and .921 save percentage. Zepp along with Flyers prospect G Anthony Stolarz will be in net for the Lehigh Phantoms next season.

Update:
The Flyers just signed forward Blair Jones to a two-way contract. Jones, 27, has played 128 games in the NHL with the Tampa Bay Lightning and the Calgary Flames scoring 7 goals and 17 points.

CLICK HERE TO SEE ALL THE NHL SIGNINGS