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On The Fly archives:
2010-11 Season: Sept. 2010 // Oct. 2010
||2010-11 Media Guide
HELP US!!!!! WEEK TWO RESULTS TOMORROW! VOTE HERE
Vote in Danny Briere, Jeff Carter, Chris Pronger, Kimmo Timonen and Captain Mike Richards by texting the player last name to 81812. Vote now and vote often!
ALL-STAR VIDEO: BRIERE // CARTER // NHL All-Access Pronger & Bobrovsky
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)
After a full day away from the rink yesterday, the Flyers resumed practice at the Virtua Center Flyers Skate Zone and began preparations to take on the Boston Bruins (more on that match up later).
“The rest… I think is good and necessary,” said Flyers head coach Peter Laviolette. “Today we came back and I thought the guys worked really hard. It was a good practice. We worked on a few things we needed to work on. Tomorrow when we get our guys back in a full line up, we’ll work on some other things as well, but today was just a good day to go back out and do some work.”
The lack of full line up Laviolette was referring to were the absence of Claude Giroux and Mike Richards who both had the day off for maintenance.
FLYERS TV: Laviolette // Carcillo // Briere
“Well he did work us hard,” said Danny Briere. “At the same time, yesterday was a nice day off. It just seems we’ve been playing so many games in a short span of time so yesterday was a good day to recharge the batteries.”
The team just finished a stretch of games that saw them play four games in six days and overall 10 games in 17 days.
The Flyers went 6-2-2 and earning 14 out of 20 points in the standings during that span, which included six teams with above .500 records in the standings as well as Montreal twice, who leads the Northeast Division and the Washington Capitals, who lead the NHL.
Despite the good record, the team’s power play has falters as of late and many of the players notice that its best to cut off some bad habits that develop as soon as you recognize them.
“There’s always some bad habits that creep up into your game as you go along and we haven’t had a lot of practice time lately because we were playing so much, “ added Briere. “So it’s nice to have a day off and kind of get away for a day and reenergize, but there’s lots of work to be done.”
“A lot of times when you’re playing that many games in that many nights the practices are either off or shortened up to 20-30 minutes,” said Laviolette. “So today we could get in some conditioning and work. I thought it was good.”
The team currently sits in first place in the Atlantic Division with a 15-6-4 record and 34 points through 25 games. They are two points behind the Washington Capitals (17-6-2) who have 36 points in their 25 games for first place in the Eastern Conference as well as second overall in the NHL.
The schedule certainly doesn’t get any easier in the near future. After their tilt with the Bruins on Wednesday, the Flyers will face off against the New Jersey Devils on Saturday, which will begin another string of four games in six days and even a five games in eight-day span.
CARCILLO SKATING AGAIN
Dan Carcillo is looking to hit somebody, anybody… anybody that is with an opponent’s jersey.
Carcillo skated today for the first time with all of his teammates, but has not yet been cleared for contact.
It’s been two weeks to the day that he suffered a sprained left knee against the Ottawa Senators on Nov. 15, which has been projected to leave him out of the line up for the next three weeks.
“He’s just getting back into it,” said Laviolette. “That was his first day and he’ll need some time.”
Time is what Carcillo would like to happen very quickly so he can rejoin his teammates during the next stretch of games next week.
“I feel ok. A little slow, but you try and stay in shape as best as you can, but it’s hard without skating, but I feel ok and after this week I should be in game shape,” said Carcillo. I haven’t been cleared for contact, but I think hopefully sometime this week it will happen.”
At 3:52 into the overtime session the sellout crowd of 19,872 at the Wells Fargo Center celebrated.
As did the bench and five Flyers on the ice, including Chris Pronger who though he just tipped in the game-winning-goal to give the Flyers their fourth straight win.
In actuality what happened was that a few seconds after the puck went in the net past Flames’ goaltender Mikka Kiprusoff the officials waived off the goal and called an unsportsmanlike penalty against Pronger, claiming that he distracted Kiprusoff by waving his glove.
The penalty is unofficially called the “Sean Avery” penalty referring to his now famous antics in a playoff game back on April 13, 2008 against the Devils where he directly faced Martin Brodeur and blocked Brodeur’s view with his glove.
FLYERS TV: Laviolette // Pronger // Richards // JVR
Pronger, who didn’t receive an explanation, however didn’t turn his back to the play and sees it differently.
“The puck went into the net, exactly,” said Pronger. “It went in the net. That was five seconds before the puck went into the net. I wasn’t turned around at him, waving in his face. I was right here with my arm out; put my arm back on my stick; the puck went into the net.”
Per League policy no statement was made by the officials, however both Flyers captain Mike Richards and head coach Peter Laviolette were given an explanation on the ice.
“I didn’t think it was a great explanation,” said Richards. “But, he said it was a penalty, the new one they put in place there. I don’t know, when [Pronger] is facing me, it’s tough to call that, I think, especially on the power play. You have people moving in and out every game. But, what was done is done. Like I said, we probably didn’t play well enough to deserve to win that hockey game.”
“I know why there is a rule that got put in place for that but Chris Pronger is looking out at the shot, like it was going to be called or should have been called right away and not three or four seconds afterwards," said Laviolette. "After he put his hand up for a second, I’m not sure if he was motioning for something or if it was intentional, but it was up for one second, he put it back down, there was a battle in front of the net that ensued after that, a slash by their goaltender on the back of the legs; things were going on.
“And then eventually a puck came in and that didn’t have anything to do with anything. If you’re going to call that, then I guess you call it right away in my opinion but certainly not the intent of the rule to when Sean Avery was doing it a few years back.”
The Flames, who have dropped 10 of their previous 12 games, going 2-8-2 prior to today’s game, will take the two points.
"It's the right call," said Kiprusoff. "Maybe the referee called it a little late, but he saw it. That's why he called it. I think everybody saw it. He did it before the shot, but that's the rule. If you do it, that's automatically two minutes."
Regardless the facts are that the Flyers will have to move on quickly with a game against Atlantic Division rival New Jersey at 1 p.m. tomorrow in Newark.
HAPPY (AMERICAN) THANKSGIVING
With all due respect to our Canadian born Flyers, who celebrate Thanksgiving on the second Monday of October (Oct. 11 this year in case you were wondering), today the American born Flyers take center stage and will no doubt stuff their faces with Turkey and all the fixins’.
Among the U.S Citizens celebrating Thanksgivings this year are Matt Carle (Anchorage, AK), James van Riemsdyk (Middletown, NJ), Brian Boucher (Woonsocket, RI), assistant coach Joe Mullen (New York, NY), head coach Peter Laviolette (Franklin, MA) and general manger Paul Holmgren (St. Paul, MN).
Speaking of the head coach, I’m sure everyone out there would be wondering why practice on Thanksgiving holiday, but as Laviolette states, his decision was swayed by his own squad.
“Well, there is a 1 p.m. game tomorrow and we traveled last night. If you stay away you stiffen up and lose your focus a little bit,” said Laviolette. “To their credit, the players wanted to come in as well. It is about winning a hockey game tomorrow. Holidays are great and all but we have a big game tomorrow that we want to win. Usually when you get out and break a sweat and have a meeting it is better preparation, better structure for the day."
Now let’s not give the wrong impression here, the mood was very light today around the rink with plenty of kids and family members around to spend the day with them. Not to mention, it was about getting on the ice for a brief skate, even if it was around 15-20 minutes or so.
With Thanksgiving well underway, let’s hear directly from our American guys on what exactly this holiday means to them:
James van Riemsdyk
"Thanksgiving is obviously a day to give thanks for all the fortunate things in life. I plan on having my family and friends come over and cram themselves into my small apartment, have a good meal and watch some football."
"Thanksgiving is a special holiday. It is a time that you can reflect on your life and what you are thankful for. It is a nice day to relax with family and friends. I have some friends who are here. As a hockey player you get kind of used to spending Thanksgiving away from your family. I usually call home and talk to my parents and brothers and wish them a Happy Thanksgiving. I'm going to have a hefty meal with turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, gravy and the works. Brian Boucher was kind enough to invite us over to his house where I will pack myself on his couch and watch some football. It will be a pretty relaxing day."
"Thanksgiving is a time to reflect and be thankful for what you have. I plan on spending Thanksgiving with family. My wife's family is all coming down and I think Matt Carle and Jody Shelley are going to come over. We're going to have some turkey and watch some football and have a good time."
"Thanksgiving is just that, to give thanks. I'm thankful for what I was fortunate enough to have through hockey and life. I look forward to seeing my family and friends today and have a good time. I am driving up to my mom's house in Wayne, NJ and celebrate with my wife and daughter, my mother and brothers and sister and their families."
The Flyers depth proved itself once again receiving goals from six different players in a 6-1 rout of the Minnesota Wild on the road to keep the top spot in the NHL.
FLYERS TV: Laviolette // Briere // Bobrovsky
James van Riemsdyk, Jeff Carter, Danny Briere, Andreas Nodl, Danny Briere, Ville Leino and Jody Shelley all tallied for the Flyers who now own a 15-6-2 record and 32 points.
“We’re not a team that relies on one guy or two guys,” said Briere. “We also don’t have an Ovechkin or Crosby on our team, but if you look down the lineup, I think that we can throw many waves at you that can be dangerous and I think that’s why its tough for teams to match up against us.”
“The guys worked really hard tonight,” said Flyers head coach Peter Laviolette. “I think there’s confidence in what we’re doing and that’s what we carried over from last year. [We have] Good players with good heart and good character.”
Leino, Briere and Nodl each recorded two-point nights and the line of Hartnell-Briere-Leino has now recorded a goal in eight of their last nine games, while Nodl posted his first career multi-point game tonight and has nine points (5G,4A) in his last ten games.
“It all starts on the defensive side of the puck, especially in Lavy’s system, “ said Nodl. “If you’re not defensively responsible he’s not going to play you. When I play with [Mike] Richards, we’re going to play against the top players, so I try to do my part and play solid defensively. We’re going to create our chances offensively but we have to take care of our own end and it seems like now the puck is going my way and it feels good.”
The Flyers increased their NHL-best goal differential to plus-28 (84 GF, 56 GA). The next closest is Boston at a plus-19. The 84 GF are most in the lead, seven better than Washington’s 77.
Sergei Bobrovsky strengthened his case to be a write-in player at the NHL All-Star Game in Raleigh, N.C at the end of January.
The 22-year-old rookie stopped 15 of 16 shots, including several point blank chances and a mini-breakaway in the game to earn his 12th win of the season, which is tied for second in the entire NHL.
Bobrovsky also ranks second (as of Tues., Nov. 22) among ALL NHL goaltenders with 58,101 in All-Star voting, all of which are considered “write-in” votes. Should Bobrovsky keep playing the way he has, he should be a shoe-in to make the team, however he needs YOUR HELP to get there. Fans can vote as many times as the wish by clicking HERE
Bobrovsky currently owns a 12-3-1 record with a 2.21 goals-against average and .925 save percentage in 17 starts.
JVR MORE RELAXED
It might be the understatement of the year, but recording the game-winning-goal against the Canadiens on Monday may have been the biggest lift in confidence this season for the 21-year-old sophomore forward.
"Yes, definitely,” said van Riemsdyk. “The first goal definitely took a huge weight off my shoulder and now I feel like I can just go out there and play my game now."
JVR now has goals in each of his last two games and has a total of nine points (2G,7A) in 19 games played this season.
FIRST POLLS ARE IN
After one week of All-Star voting the NHL released its results and while the Flyers are one of few teams with five players on the official ballot, two Flyers in particular are among the leaders of write-in votes.
Flyers leading goal scorer Claude Giroux and 22-year-old rookie goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky are at the top of the voters list that can specifically “write-in” a player not selected on the ballot.
Bobrovsky ranks second among all NHL goaltenders with 58,101 votes, trailing only Montreal’s Carey Price who has the lead with 71,199 votes.
Mike Richards leads all Flyers forwards with 59,808 ballots cast and currently ranks sixth among all NHL forwards, while Claude Giroux is second on the Flyers with 54,215 votes, all of which are write-ins, and ranks 11th among the forwards.
Rounding out the forward list for Philadelphia are Danny Briere (52,365 – 12th), Jeff Carter (38,116 – 17th).
On the blueline, Chris Pronger is the overall leader among the Flyers with 78,003 votes, which is third among all D-men and Kimmo Timonen with 61,951, ranking fifth in the NHL on defense.
Sidney Crosby tops all NHL players with 118,755 votes with Alex Ovechkin (80,169) and Jonathan Toews (79,953) trailing in second and third place respectively.
For the fourth straight NHL® All-Star Game, the balloting process is entirely digital, offering sports’ most tech-savvy fans the ability to vote as often as they like via mobile devices and online at NHL.com/vote and Facebook (facebook.com/NHL).
The Flyers scored three unanswered goals for a come back win over the Montreal Canadiens, which snapped a three-game regular season losing streak against the Canadiens, dating back to Feb. 13, 2010, a 6-2 Flyers.
It also propelled the Flyers into first place in the entire National Hockey League.
“It was a big game for us, we put a lot of emphasis on this game because of not having been successful in Montreal and because we have an opportunity to move into first in the league,” said Flyers head coach Peter Laviolette. “Players really just went to work in the last 40 minutes and I’m really happy with what they did on the ice.”
The Flyers currently own a 14-6-2 record for 30 points. It is the same amount of points as Washington, however by rule of the tie breaker, sit a top the NHL.
FLYERS TV: Laviolette // Boucher // Richards & JVR
The Flyers’ three unanswered goals marked the first time this season, the Flyers won a game in which they trailed after two periods. They had been 0-4-1 when trailing after two so far this season. Additionally the Canadiens had been 11-0-1 when scoring the first goal of the night.
It took 164 minutes, but Ville Leino snapped a scoreless streak against the Habs that kicked off a Flyers comeback win in front of a sellout at the Wells Fargo Center.
Leino’s goal was also a part of the second period that saw the Flyers out shoot the Canadiens 21-5, after being out shot 15-9 in the first period, and was the beginning of a second and third period that Laviolette thought was the best he had seen all year.
“It was kind of a sleepy first period for us and I thought that, to the credit of the players, they went out there and they played just a terrific 40 minutes, I mean terrific,” said Laviolette. “They never stopped playing and believing that they could win that game.
JVR NETS GAME WINNER
James van Riemsdyk knew it was going to happen sooner or later, so did the coaching staff and all of his teammates.
“Well, I think a lot of times confidence plays into it,” said Flyers head coach Peter Laviolette. “Prior to these last couple games, prior to tonight anyway, he’s come in off the rush, he’s hit the post a few times, he’s close.
“I said after last game, just watching him in his first couple shifts, I really liked the way he played them and I moved him up right away with Richie [Mike Richards]. That’s a big goal to give us a lead like that in the third when you’re pressing.”
van Riemsdyk’s goal at 7:42 of the third period broke a 2-2 tie and capped off a 3-2 Flyers win against the Montreal Canadiens.
“Yeah, I think every guy on the bench was [happier] than him. Well maybe not,” said Claude Giroux, who scored his team leading 12th goal of the season.
“He came out on that shift, and he beat PK [Subban] on the battle. That’s his game, anytime he wins the battle he gets pretty dangerous. That shift proved that.”
It was JVR’s first goal of the season and snapped a 22-game regular season scoreless streak.
“Yeah, it feels great,” said van Riemsdyk. “In a game like this, with a goal. [Richards] and [Coburn] both made a great play. All I had to do was put it in the net.”
* * *
WELLWOOD BACK IN PHILLY
Today, Flyers GM Paul Holmgren announced that they have recalled 5’11”, 179-pound left wing Eric Wellwood from their American Hockey League affiliate, the Adirondack Phantoms.
This is the second call up to the Flyers for the 20-year-old Wellwood after being originally recalled on November 1, when he also made his NHL debut against Carolina.
During his stay, Wellwood, appeared in three games for the Flyers, picking up his first NHL point (assist) on Nov. 6 at the New York Islanders.
Wellwood has five goals and three assists for eight points in 17 games for the Phantoms this season.
The First Time Since…
Sure Monday’s game will have increased firework because of the brief war of words between Flyers captain Mike Richards, we’ll just have to wait to see how that unfolds.
But for now, fans might remember the last time the Flyers played the Canadiens on home ice. Although it’s kind of hard to forget seeing that it’s one of the most famous moments in Flyers history.
May 24, 181 days ago from Monday, the Flyers faced off with the Canadiens in Game Five of the Eastern Conference Finals eventually eliminating them in a 4-2 victory and advancing to the Stanley Cup Final.
You know the story from there, but before the Habs take to the ice for warm ups tomorrow, here is your chance to relive all the moments captured from that night. (Photo Gallery)
Jeff Carter on-ice interview on VERSUS
Chris Pronger on-ice interview on VERSUS
Mike Richards on VERSUS
Carter & Richards on Podium
Danny Briere on Podium
Claude Giroux in Locker Room
Peter Laviolette at Podium
History Will Be Made
Prince of Wales Trophy
To the casual fan, as highly entertaining as last night’s 8-7 offensive explosion was, it didn’t end up in the favor of Flyers fans as well as the Flyers themselves.
“It was just a different night. A weird night,” said Flyers head coach Peter Laviolette. “When you go back and look at it there were probably a total of 35 scoring chances between the two teams, quality scoring chances and 15 of them went into the net.”
|Nik Zherdev posted a three-point night with a pair of goals and an assist as the Flyers tallied seven in total.|
“When you go back and look at it, there were games where we went out and do what we needed to do and we got up 6-1, 7-1 and played the third period that wasn’t our best and nothing happened,” added Laviolette of the previous games during the Flyers winning streak.
“But we came out last night with pretty good intentions and started the right way. They came down they score and it just went back and forth.”
Regardless, last night is something that Laviolette (and the players themselves) wanted to make sure doesn’t happen again and points to the small things that require more focus and discipline.
“I guess if I were going to pin-point in on one thing, I guess it would be to agree to what they [the players] are saying. Our attention to detail on things that we know how to do, that we were supposed to do, we didn’t do properly. And because of that something gets sloppy, some route gets missed, some breakout pattern gets missed.”
Going along with breakdowns and patterns missed leads to penalties, and something that shouldn’t go overlooked from last night game was the amount of penalties taken.
The Flyers gave the Lightning nearly 13 full minutes on the man advantage including: 53 seconds of 5-on-3 time that led to one of their three power-play goals.
“Discipline again factored into the game last night. Those are the things that seem to haunt us, the small things that add up to a tough night defensively.
“Again, a majority of their chances came on the power play so if we go to the box the way we did again last night, we’ll shoot ourselves in the foot and we’ll have to kill penalties against a very good Washington group, and you find yourself getting into trouble that way.”
The Flyers will face off against the Capitals for the second time in as many weeks and were on the losing end of their last meeting on Nov. 7, a 3-2 overtime decision at the Verizon Center.
Laviolette sees this as an important test to see how his team bounces back from such an unusual game.
“It’s everybody. It’s tough to go after Bob [Bobrovsky] or Boosh [Boucher],” said Laviolette. “They’re our last line of defense and we have to be better in front of them.
“In general about our team though, it was one of those games that was hard to sleep on. A lot of head scratching. You watch things that aren’t right and you look for a response. I think a response is always important after something you’re not sure of.”
The Wells Fargo center temporarily transformed into the OK Corral in Tombstone, Arizona on Thursday night.
However, the Flyers ended up on the wrong side of the battle with the Lightning tonight as Tampa Bay took home an 8-7 victory.
It was a game that for the most part, not too many players get to experience.
“I don’t know, it’s certainly been a while. I don’t know if I have been, not that type of score.”
“It’s one of them. There are a few but this is certainly… I can’t remember being apart of a game where there were 9 goals scored in the 1st period. That was definitely a first for me. I’m just disappointed, that we weren’t able to regroup after the 1st period and stop the bleeding. Both teams seemed to be in the same funk and a funk in the second. But then in the 3rd period, they played better and that’s where we missed our chance.”
|Andrej Meszaros scored his first goal as a Flyer in last night's 8-7 loss to Tampa Bay.|
“Not like that. I mean, that was a weird game. We felt like we had full control in the first 10 minutes. [Then we] let them in they got two quick ones [goals] then kept going like that all night. It was strange.”
“Yeah, I mean, lots of goals. We were up 7-5 and then all of a sudden, next shift, it’s 7-6 and then the shifts are going and going and it didn’t seemed like it was going to stop. Unfortunately, they got one more goal and they won the game.”
“It was a crazy game. Tough to get a handle on it on both ends. Unfortunately we came out of it on the bad end, but, just a crazy game. Probably the weirdest game I’ve played in, in my career.”
“Yeah when you’re up like that, we came out with the right intentions to start the game. We’re up two to nothing, the shots are like six or seven to nothing, were in there end pressing. You know when your up like that you expect to continue to close the deal and it didn’t happen tonight, I guess again and again.”
Now there are too many statistics to go into a full game recap. For that CLICK HERE.
In the meantime, here are just some of the facts & figures from tonight’s game.
* Tonight tied a franchise record for most goals scored by the Flyers in a loss. The last time was a 9-7 loss to Hartford on February 25, 1984.
* Last time the Flyers and their opponent combined for 15 goals was Feb. 21, 1994, an 8-7 win vs. Montreal.
* Fifteen different Flyers had at least a point in tonight’s game. The last time that happened was February 23, 1988 in an 11-6 win at Detroit, when 15 different players also had at least a point.
* Steven Stamkos’s hat trick was the first by an opposing player in the Wells Fargo Center since October 28, 2006 (Sidney Crosby, PIT). It was the first by any player against the Flyers since November 20, 2009 (Alex Kovalev, OTT).
* The four goals allowed by the Flyers in the first period is the most they’ve allowed in any period this year. In the first period of games to this point, they had only allowed more than one goal on one occasion, when they allowed two on Oct. 21 vs. Anaheim. They have held their opponent scoreless in the first period in nine of 20 games this season.
* The nine goals scored between the two teams in the first period tied a Flyers franchise record for most combined goals in a period. It had been done four times before, but not since 1984.
- vs. NYI, 2nd period March 21, 1973 (Flyers 8, NYI 1)
- vs. Atlanta, 2nd period, January 11, 1974 (Flyers 5, ATL 4)
- vs. Washington, 2nd period, January 15, 1980 (Flyers 6, WSH 3)
- vs. Hartford, 1st period, February 25, 1984 (HFD 5, Flyers 4)
* Philadelphia’s four goals in the first 15:34 of the game marked the fastest four goals scored by the club since November 15, 2006 at Anaheim, when it scored four goals in the first 15:22.
* Sean O’Donnell was +3 and is now +15 on the season. At the moment, he leads the entire NHL. Loui Eriksson of Dallas is +12.
Sticks Away Today
Following a 3-0 shutout loss at the hands of the Montreal Canadiens, you would think that Flyers head coach Peter Laviolette would insist on having his team practice before facing the Tampa Bay Lightning on Thursday.
Well after a streak of going 9-1-1 in their last 11 games and the fact that the team did not land back in Philadelphia until 2 a.m. due to passing through customs and bad weather conditions both here and in Montreal, the team was given a complete day off from coming to the rink.
That’s not to say that the team is coming off of a bad performance at the Bell Centre last night. There were times of inconsistent play, but the sharp play of Carey Price turned out to be the difference.
The Flyers fired 41 shots at Price, including 20 in the second period, but could not find the back of the net.
|Sergei Bobrovsky has made the last 11 starts in net for the Flyers.|
“I think everybody is frustrated and disappointed with the loss last night,” said Laviolette. “But we have this game coming up against Tampa Bay and we didn’t have the success we were looking for against them last time. Again, I haven’t seen any of the players to deliver any messages, but I think we should focus more on Tampa Bay, seeing as they took points out of our building.”
Turning to the next opponent quickly is something Laviolette would like to make clear when they gather for their morning gameday skate.
The Lightning have one of the most potent offenses in the NHL that features Steven Stamkos, the League’s leading goal scorer with 15 tallies, including seven power-play goals which is also tops in the NHL. Stamkos is also tied for the overall scoring lead with 28 points.
The Flyers dropped their first meeting of the year on October 14 by a score of 3-2, but knew the victory was very much within their reach.
“It was a competitive game for two periods and then I thought our third period, we dipped a little bit on what we needed to do,” said Laviolette. “They have skill. They have one of the top goal scorers in the League and we’re going to have to focus on generating more offense than we did last time, so those are some of the areas that we need to get better.”
* * *
The Flyers kept a lot of the things the same against Montreal last night. The shots were high, the defense blocked their fair share of shots and players crashed the net on more than a few occasions.
But in their 3-0 loss to the Habs it was who was in net that was the difference maker.
FLYERS TV: Laviolette // Pronger & Powe
Carey Price stopped all the shots that the Flyers threw at him, 41 shots in total including 20 in the second alone in which the Flyers controlled a good amount of the action.
“I thought we owned that second period,” said Flyers head coach Peter Laviolette. “That second period we dominated. I thought the ice was tilted, we were down in their end the whole time. They came down in a rush, but I don’t know if that was a turning point. We wanted to come out in the third with the same zip as we had in the second and it didn’t happen.”
The loss ends the Flyers bid to gain points in the standings for the 11th straight contest, marking the first loss in regulation since their 2-1 loss at Columbus on Oct. 25 and their first loss by more than one goal since a 5-1 loss vs. Pittsburgh on Oct. 16.
Ironically it was the Canadiens that handed the Flyers their last shutout loss in the regular season, with a 1-0 loss at the hands of Jaroslav Halak in Philadelphia on April 2.
|Darroll Powe has six points (3G,3A) in 19 games thus far.|
The game started to pick up pace in the second period and entering the third period had a playoff type feel to it.
The Canadiens certainly had the emotion of a playoff game and had good reason to exact revenge.
It was the teams first meeting since the Flyers eliminated the Habs in Game Five of the Eastern Conference Final on May 24, a series that the Flyers shut out Montreal in three of the five contests.
POWE’S IMPACT FELT
Center Darroll Powe played perhaps his most physical game of the season thus far. He recorded just under 16 minutes of ice time and four hits in the game. Two such hits caused a stir with the Montreal bench.
Powe was called for a questionable elbowing penalty on Montreal defenseman Josh Georges in the second period and followed it up with a hit on forward Jeff Halpern, who was dazed and had to be helped off the ice afterwards.
“I felt like I was in on the forecheck and I feel like I caught him right on the shoulder, but that’s not for me to decide,” said Powe. “Halpern, I felt like I caught him on the shoulder as well. It was in an awkward position and hopefully he’s doing all right.”
Consequently, Powe squared off shortly thereafter with Maxim Lapierre and got the better of Lapierre in short bout.
“Lapierre asked me off the draw. I think it was because of that Halpern hit, so I felt like I would give him that one.”
The Flyers return home to face off against the Tampa Bay Lightning on Thursday (7 pm, CSN-HD, 610 WIP).
* * *
Prior to tonight’s game at the Bell Centre in Montreal, Flyers GM Paul Holmgren updated us on the injury status of forward Dan Carcillo.
“Dan Carcillo has a sprained left knee and will be out approximately three weeks.”
Carcillo had an MRI today after he suffered the injury in the second period of last night’s 5-1 win against Ottawa. He left the bench and did not return for the remainder of the second and third period.
In other news, goaltender Michael Leighton saw Dr. Vaccaro today as part of his regular check up.
“Michael is doing very well and is on schedule,” added Holmgren.
Expected to be sidelined 6-8 weeks after having surgery on Oct. 11, Leighton is scheduled to return at the earliest on Nov. 22 or soon there after.
Turning points are everywhere in professional sports. They can win games and they can lose games.
In yet another dominating victory by the Flyers over the Senators, Flyers captain Mike Richards provided the turning point in a contest that for the most part was close.
FLYERS TV: Holmgren // Laviolette // Briere // Giroux
“Tonight when he scored, that was a big goal, and because you’re in a game, it’s tight, and you think maybe you’re probably going to have to kill not only that penalty, but maybe one or two more,” said Flyers head coach Peter Laviolette. “So it’s a three to one game, it’s still in question that it’s going to be a tighter finish than we would probably like. He grabs that, he was out there for a bit, pulls away from the guy, and was under pressure with somebody coming in from the back side of him. That was a huge goal. For me that’s where the game went, and we got separated.
Among the many Flyers riding hot streaks Richards is certainly right at the top, recording six points in his last three games, including five goals during that stretch.
The Flyers have now gone 10 games without a regulation loss. It’s their longest streak without a regulation loss since Dec. 17, 2005 – Jan. 6, 2006, when the club went 9-0-2 over an 11-game stretch.
“We are starting to get a lot of the bounces,” said Richards. “In the beginning of the year, there was a lot of posts and pucks just seemed to be slipping off sticks. You are going to have that in a year, where you can’t seem to find a balance then you have stretches where pucks just end up on the sticks so that’s a big part in it.”
Over the course of their last 10 games Richards has recorded points in nine of those contests, recording 13 points (7G,6A) in that stretch.
Perhaps the biggest turning point of them all just happened to be the worst loss of the Flyers season – an uninspired 2-1 loss at Columbus on Oct. 25.
“Columbus certainly wasn’t a good game, we know that, the players acknowledged that too that we’re a better team than Columbus, we just played flat that night,” added Laviolette. “ You can go back, we started okay, played hard and came out 2-0-1. We had a good camp, camp was good. I don’t know if there’s been a turnaround, I think it has been a steady progression.”
Since that time one player in particular has solidified the notion that this is in fact his breakout season.
Claude Giroux is averaging over a point per game and leads the squad with 21 points through 18 games, ranking seventh in the NHL.
“We’re trying to show up every game, if it’s the conference or the division, it doesn’t really matter to us. Two points is pretty big for us. We’re just trying to be consistent, show up every night. It’s a long season. Even in practices we’re still out working hard, working on stuff and still trying to get better. Hopefully we can keep going.”
Giroux has recording three straight multi-point games, posting seven points (3G,4A) in that span and over the last 10 games has recorded 17 points (7G,10A) including seven of which he has recorded at least two points or more.
Dan Carcillo suffered an injury to his left knee during last night’s game and did not return.
Flyers GM Paul Holmgren gave the following statement.
“Right now, we think it’s an MCL sprain, but we are going to have a further exam tomorrow, probably an MRI and we will have a better update tomorrow. We are probably looking at least 2 weeks.”
FLYERS TV: Laviolette
The Stat Pack
‘On The Fly’ has covered what’s been going on around the locker room, the storyline of the day and a look at what’s ahead from the team side of things.
That in mind, and of course the fact that the Flyers are 8-0-1 and have picked up 17 out of a possible 18 points in the standings during this stretch, here are a look at some of the stats & statistics that the Orange & Black have so far this season:
**Please note, all statistics are as of Sunday morning**
The Flyers are one of three teams (Atlanta & San Jose) in the NHL that have seven players (Giroux - 18, Richards - 16, Carter - 15, Leino - 15, Briere - 12, Hartnell - 12 & Timonen – 10), who have 10 points or more.
The Flyers are 2nd in the NHL in goals scored (58), trailing only the Capitals who have 60.
The Flyers are 1st in the NHL in blocked shots (294), averaging just over 17 blocks per game.
The Flyers power play ranks 8th overall at 21.9 percent (16-for-73) and ranks 6th on home ice at 23.5 percent (12-for-51).
Shorthanded, the Flyers are even better. The PK is 7th in the NHL at 86.8 percent (72-for-83) and 5th in the NHL at home (88.4 percent, 38-for-43).
What’s the even more dangerous number on the penalty kill is the Flyers offense. The Flyers are tied for the NHL lead, with Washington, in shorthanded goals (4), while Claude Giroux leads all NHL players in shorthanded goals (3) and shorthanded points (4).
THESE GUYS ARE GOOD
Speaking of #28, Giroux leads the Flyers in both goals (9) and points (18), ranking tied for 8th and 12th respectively.
Giroux also is tied for the NHL lead in game-winning-goals (3) and tied for 5th in power-play goals (4). He also has posted at least a point in seven of his last nine games, including six games where he has recorded two points.
Mike Richards has registered at least a point in eight of his last nine games, posting an even five goals and five assists in that span.
Ville Leino leads the Flyers in assists (12) and has recorded at least a point in seven of his last eight games for nine points (1G,8A).
Defensively, Kimmo Timonen leads the Flyers in scoring with 10 points (1G,9A), time-on-ice (22:40) and blocked shots (43). Timonen is tied for second in the entire NHL in the shot blocking category.
|Sergei Bobrovsky talks to the media post game with a translator.|
Rookie goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky is tied for the NHL lead with his 10 wins and during this streak he is 8-0-1 with a 1.76 goals-against average and .944 save percentage to lead all goaltenders over the last two and a half weeks.
- He ranks 7th in the NHL with 370 saves
- He is tied for 5th in the NHL in save percentage at .932
- He is 7th in the NHL in goals-against-average at 2.08
- He leads, or is at least tied for the lead, among all rookie goaltenders
The Flyers give full credit to their recent hot streak to one thing – hard work.
“Well, when you play good defense you create turnovers and that has to be a key for us down the road,” said Flyers head coach Peter Laviolette. “If you look at teams who have won the Stanley Cup the previous years, it’s all about defense and it has to start from defense. If we do that, we’re a good team. When we skate and work hard we’re a good team.”
The Flyers remain unbeaten in regulation in their last nine games, going 8-0-1 and finding the back of the net for a total of 39 goals at an average of 4.33 goals-per-game, including four games in which they have scored five or more times.
FLYERS TV: Laviolette // Carter, Giroux & Timonen
Hard work also means shots. The Flyers recorded 39 shots through the game’s first two periods, which is their highest shot total of the season through 40 minutes of play. The 42 total shots tied the team’s season high, set Oct. 21 vs. Anaheim.
The hard work is coming from everyone.
The defense is highlighted by the hot play of Kimmo Timonen, who has turned into an assist machine by registering assists in each of his last three games (four in total) and at least one assist in seven of his last eight contests for a total of nine assists and 10 points.
Mike Richards posted two goals tonight and has recorded at least a point in eight of his last nine games, recording 10 points (5G,5A) in that span.
“Yeah we’re getting some bounces now,” said Richards. “It’s nice to see that we are capitalizing on a lot of our chances. It’s funny how hockey goes. Sometimes it’s the hardest thing in the world to score a goal, and sometimes it’s just going in. Obviously, it’s great when they are going in, but we have to keep working and try to create our opportunities and not have any let downs.”
On the forward side of things, Claude Giroux continues to lead the team, recording two goals in tonight’s contests, giving him 13 points (6G,7A) during this period including six multi-point games.
In net, Sergei Bobrovsky stopped 34 of 36 shots in the victory, which is his 10th of the season.
Bobrovsky recorded his 10th win of the season in his 13th appearance. That’s the fastest a Flyers goaltender has gotten to 10 wins since Bob Froese won 10 of his first 13 appearances in the 1984-85 season.
All in all, the Flyers have seven players who have registered at least 10 points through the team’s 17 games thus far.
NODL LEAVES GAME
Flyers forward Andreas Nodl left tonight’s game in the second period after taking a shot off of his foot.
He did not return to the game and afterwards Flyers GM Paul Holmgren gave an update to his status.
“He took a shot off his big toe, x-rays are negative, but by the time they got the skate off and it had been x-rayed it swelled up a little bit and he couldn’t get his skate back on,” said Holmgren. “He wanted to come back and play, but we’ll know more tomorrow. Obviously swelling will be an issue, but I would say 50-50 he’ll play on Monday.”
Nodl had definitely been finding a home on a line with Mike Richards. He has a four-game scoring streak, not counting a pair of games that he did not appear in. He has points in six of his last seven games.
In 48 career games before this season, Nodl posted a goal and four assists for five points; he now has three goals and three assists in for six points in only nine games this season.
Despite an 8-1 blowout over the Carolina Hurricanes and even a streak in which they are 7-0-1 in their last eight games, the Flyers are still remaining cautious to not get too high.
And that message is a point driven home by the coach and the leadership group in the locker room.
“It’s been a daily thing here. Lavy [Laviolette] makes sure that the mindset is right every game day and he’s really good at that,” said Jody Shelley. “I think the leadership in here, the older guys, guys like Pronger, Hartnell, Richards… There’s a mindset on a game day that… it was fun, sure it was a good win, we got away with a couple wins during that winning streak, but there’s a lot of improve on. We still know that.”
The message from Laviolette is simple. It is a season-long grind and although they want to reach the same place they ended up last season, they are looking for a better path.
FLYERS TV: Laviolette // O'Donnell & Shelley
“You talk about where you need to get to. I still think that we need to be tighter defensively,” said Flyers head coach Peter Laviolette. “I think that we can be faster offensively. I think that we can eliminate some of the mistakes that we’re making.”
One pleasant surprise that probably has been overlooked this season has been the steady play of the Flyers third defensive pairing of Sean O’Donnell and Andrej Meszaros.
|Danny Briere was All-Star Game MVP in 2007 after posting five points (1G,4A).|
In case you haven’t noticed, O’Donnell is tied for second among all NHL defenseman in plus-minus rating, and fourth overall in the NHL at plus-10.
His partner is tied for ninth overall and tied for fifth among d-men with a plus-9 rating.
“I think they’ve played very well since they’ve been here,” added Laviolette. “I think we said that all along, that they’re a good pair and that they can play against anybody and I think that’s a pretty fair indication on how their season has been going.”
BALLOTS ANNOUNCED/VOTING BEGINS MONDAY
The NHL today announced who specifically will be on the ballot for each team and the Flyers are right up among the highest number of players on the ballot.
Danny Briere, Jeff Carter, Chris Pronger, Mike Richards and Kimmo Timonen are the five Flyers that will appear on the ballot – one shy of the Chicago Blackhawks six players.
Danny Briere (2007), Jeff Carter (2009) and Mike Richards (2008) have all made one NHL All-Star Game appearance, while Timonen has appeared three times (2004, 2007, 2008) and Pronger has made five appearances in the mid-season showcase (1999, 2000, 2002, 2004, 2008).
All-Star Weekend is the League's mid-season spectacular. It will take place Saturday, January 29 and Sunday, January 30 and will include Honda NHL SuperSkills and the 58th edition of the All-Star Game at RBC Center in Raleigh, N.C.
Right where they left off…
If the Flyers didn’t look like they had a little extra jump in their practice yesterday at the RBC Center after a complete two-days off from their team bonding trip, then they certainly had it in last night’s 8-1 victory over the Hurricanes.
The Flyers jumped all over Carolina, continuing their dominance of the franchise, having now run their record to 14-0-3 in their last 17 meetings.
In fact, the Hurricanes haven’t won a game in regulation against the Flyers since a 2-1 victory on Dec. 19, 2006.
It might not be fair to just pick on Carolina though. The Flyers have now gone 7-0-1 in their last eight games, with their only blemish a 3-2 overtime loss at Washington on Nov. 7, but most importantly the streak marks the eighth straight game the Flyers have picked up a point.
“I think there’s a pretty good balance on our team,” said Flyers head coach Peter Laviolette. “We can generate offense on our back end, with all the different lines involved, I think it’s easier. It takes the pressure off one line or one person.”
FLYERS TV: Laviolette // Carter & Briere // Bobrovsky
Among the biggest factor contributing to the Flyers success is the power play.
Once thought dead in the water at the beginning of the season, the Flyers capitalized on both power-play attempts they had, going 2-for-2.
The have gone 11-34 (32.3 percent) on the man advantage over their eight game streak in which they are unbeaten in regulation.
They have also scored at least one power play goal in six of their last eight games, including two or more in four of those contests.
|Sergei Bobrovsky earned his ninth victory of the season by making 35 saves on 36 shots.|
“At the end, when we still weren’t scoring I told you, you could see it coming,” said Laviolette. “In practice you could see it coming, guys were getting into a rhythm. The games were coming and we just weren’t scoring goals and then we started scoring goals.”
They currently sit at 21.3 percent (10-for-47) and sitting a little better than the middle of the pack in 11th place in the NHL.
HATS OFF TO YOU…
Jeff Carter may have been the only one to know it. After scoring the game’s second and fourth goal, the officials reviewed Andrej Meszaros’ goal (the third Flyers goal) and changed it to Carter’s after seeing that he in fact tipped it past Ward.
The goal gave Carter a natural hat trick and unfortunately denied Meszaros his first goal as a Flyer.
“It was nice to get a couple days off and get away from the game; spend some time with the guys and have fun,” said Carter of his team putting up eight goals in their first game back since their team bonding exercise.
“We’re just kind of focusing on keeping it simple,” said Carter. “[We’re] getting pucks off the top and walking it against the wall and shooting. You know they’re garbage goals, but they’re going in.”
The goal gives Carter his second career hat trick, his first coming on Apr. 3, 2009 vs. Toronto Maple Leafs.
The Flyers will look to keep their point streak alive when they return home to the Wells Fargo Center on Saturday and face off against the Florida Panthers. Good seats are still available – CLICK HERE for the best seats in the house.
Leighton, Walker skate with the team
FLYERS TV: Laviolette // Walker & Leighton
Two days of team bonding, rest and relaxation brought another positive note to the Flyers.
For the first time since their respective surgeries, goaltender Michael Leighton and defenseman Matt Walker returned to the ice and took part in practice with their teammates.
“Yeah. It’s limited right now,” said Flyers head coach Peter Laviolette of how good it was to have the two guys skate with the team. “There’s a process you have to go through to get guys back. First there’s not much going on, then there’s stuff [that goes on] behind the door here, and then eventually you see them on the ice and then eventually you see them practice with the team.”
Leighton has been skating apart from the team since Oct. 30 after he underwent surgery on his back (specifically called a partial discectomy) and would be out of action six-to-eight weeks.
“You know it felt good to get out there to get some shots,” said Leighton. “The progress is pretty much the same as it was last week, but the back’s feeling good.”
|Goaltending coach Jeff Reese and Michael Leighton going over drills at practice.|
Walker underwent surgery on his right hip on Oct. 20 and is on track after being expected to be on the sideline for 10-12 weeks following the surgery.
Walker is recovering from a boney impingement and torn labrum in his hip. He suffered the injury during a fight he had with Devils' Pierre-Luc Letourneau-Leblond in the Flyers opening preseason game vs. New Jersey on Sept. 21.
“I probably felt better than I looked,” joked Walker. “After taking that much time off, I feel good. It will take a few days to get a good read on how my body reacts to skating again.”
Both players have not seen any action in 2010-11 and as of right now, have no timetable for return to full contact.
The Flyers resumed normal a normal on-ice practice to prepare for game action when they take on the Hurricanes on Thursday.
The Flyers remain in second place in the Conference at 9-4-2 and 20 points, which is currently tied for second in the entire NHL and is also a five-point cushion a top the Atlantic Division with the Rangers and Penguins currently at 15 points.
The Flyers are certainly in a good position to be in, but unfortunately the season doesn’t end in November and Laviolette knows what the grind of a full season entails.
“We could be better. There’s still things that we could do better even just looking at the past few games. I think it’s a mountain that you climb through the course of the year and you get to a point where you’re at the playoffs, and you enter into the playoffs and you hope that you’re firing on all cylinders. We’re not there yet. We’ve got to continue to work at it and continue to improve.”
Starting Thursday, the Flyers will enter another test of the grueling NHL schedule as the Hurricanes mark six games in 10 days slate that sees an even three road games and three home games.
Good seats are still available for the upcoming home games on Saturday night (vs. Florida), Monday (vs. Ottawa) and Thursday night when the Flyers take on the Tampa Bay Lightning with a special Dollar Dog Night, presented by Dietz & Watson.
(CLICK HERE for best ticket prices).
Flyers General Manager Paul Holmgren announced today that they have loaned forward Eric Wellwood to their American Hockey League affiliate, the Adirondack Phantoms today.
Wellwood was recalled by the Flyers on Nov. 1. In three games with the Flyers during his call-up, Wellwood recorded an assist, a plus-1 rating and two penalty minutes while averaging 13:25 of ice time.
Wellwood, 20 (3-6-1990), has scored three goals and added an assist in 11 games for the Phantoms this season. The native of Windsor, Ontario was selected by the Flyers in the sixth round (172nd overall) of the 2009 NHL Entry Draft.
WE’LL TAKE THREE
The Flyers aren’t exactly happy about their winning streak coming to an end. They’re not too happy with the penalties in the game either, but after playing games on back-to-back nights on the road, including one with just 23 hours rest, they’ll take the fact that they earned three out of four points on the weekend.
What’s even more positive is that the Flyers remain in the top spot in the Eastern Conference despite the loss to the team they’re tied with, the Washington Capitals.
The Flyers stand at 9-4-2 with 20 points and sit in first place in the Atlantic Division, five points ahead of the New York Rangers and Pittsburgh Penguins.
FLYERS TV: Laviolette // Pronger & Richards
“Not our best hockey, but there was a lot of stuff we did well and a lot of stuff we can work on,” said Chris Pronger. “To get three points out of four is pretty good.”
The Flyers aren’t resting on their laurels and certainly know that despite going 6-0-1 now in their last seven, there’s better hockey to be played.
“If we are being honest, probably not at our best,” said Flyers head coach Peter Laviolette. “Again, I thought we played our best in the third period. The heart was there to go out and compete and battle … but we could have been better.”
For the second straight game Sergei Bobrovsky turned in yet another steady and solid performance to give his team a chance to win. He stopped Eric Fehr down low on two point blank saves and a one-timer from Alex Ovechkin late in the third period to help earn the Flyers a point.
Not to give any illusion otherwise, but coming off this winning streak and this past weekend’s slate, Bobrovksy has earned the respect, and even more importantly, trust of his teammates in front of him.
“We fought hard today for that one point,” said Flyers captain Mike Richards. “I thought we probably could have played better, but Bob [Sergei Bobrovsky] kept us in the game – he had some big saves.”
Chris Pronger has been around Stanley Cup champion goaltenders and echoes Richards words on Bobrovsky, which for the first time since arriving even the 22-year-old goaltender admits is personally a good feeling.
“I honestly try and not think about it. All I try to think about is going out and playing,” said Bobrovsky. “But at the same time when a person like Pronger says this, of course it makes me feel good.”
|Danny Briere creates a scoring chance midway through the 1st period.|
Danny Briere was hoping that coming off his recent three-game suspension didn’t go the way it did last time he was suspended.
After returning from a two-game ban for his hit on Colorado’s Scott Hannan during the Flyers-Avalanche game on Nov. 23, 2009, Briere failed to register a point in his first two games back and scoreless in six of the next eight games.
Then again that was a different year and a different Danny Briere.
In today’s 3-2 overtime loss to the Caps, Briere showed no signs of sitting out the last three games and made his presence felt early with a nifty move in close on Caps goaltender Braden Holtby, just sliding the puck just across the goal mouth midway through the first period.
Reunited with his linemates Hartnell and Leino, Briere set up the second goal of the night with a great feed to defenseman Andrej Meszaros who fired a one-timer that was deflected by Leino in front to give the Flyers a 2-1 lead.
“It’s only been a week, so it’s not too bad,” said Briere. “I felt good. It was tough because of all the penalties. Our line didn’t get to play a lot, but yeah I felt great. I had some jump. I felt like I had that extra gear.”
Young Guns III
When you think about the young guns coming through and winning the hockey game, you might think it was the New York Islanders who came away with the win last night.
Noted for their young talent and of course the number one overall pick in the NHL from 2009, John Tavares, the Islanders certainly played a good game and did everything they could to snap their now, seven-game losing streak.
FLYERS TV: Laviolette // Wellwood & Nodl // Bobrovsky
However it was the Flyers who got to show off a little piece of their future in their 2-1 victory on Long Island last night.
Through the first two periods 22-year-old rookie goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky stopped shot after shot, many of them one good scoring chance after another to keep the Flyers at a 1-1 tie heading into the third period.
“There’s no question that when we were off a little bit, our goaltender was on,” said Flyers head coach Peter Laviolette. “That’s what good goaltending does. It gives you an opportunity to win when you’re not at your best. They hang on. They hold the fort… It’s nice to see him stand tall for us for a while.”
Bobrovsky has now started and backstopped the Flyers in all six games of their winning streak, posting a 1.66 GAA and .943 save percentage in that span.
Only one other time have the Flyers won six or more consecutive games with the same rookie goaltender in net. The Flyers won seven straight during the 1982-83 season when Pelle Lindbergh was between the pipes (Nov. 22-Jan. 4).
|Eric Wellwood pins Isle's forward Trent Hunter along the boards leading to the first Flyers goal.|
After killing off a penalty to begin the third period, the Flyers found a way to grind out a win thanks to the play of the Andreas Nodl-Mike Richards-Eric Wellwood line.
“Nodl, coming off of what I thought was his best game when we played the Islanders last [on Oct. 30] when he went down, to come back in and play another strong game for us was important,” said Laviolette.
Of Wellwood, Laviolette among the rest of the players and coaching staff continues to impress everybody with his speed and hockey sense.
Richards got the Flyers on the board early after deflecting a shot from the point from Chris Pronger, and although no official assist went to Wellwood, he made a good play along the boards to allow Pronger to grab the puck.
Playing in just his third game in the National Hockey League, Wellwood, the Flyers sixth-round pick in 2009, would later receive his first point in the NHL.
Racing down the left wing and firing a shot off of Roloson’s mask, which caromed right in the middle to a streaking Nodl who slipped it past Roloson.
The goal was Nodl’s third of the season and first career game-winning-goal in the NHL.
“I think Lavy’s [Peter Laviolette] is putting me in a lot of situations where I feel comfortable at,” said Nodl. “I play with Richie a lot and he creates things from nothing and you get your chances. That first one was huge for me and now you don’t put any pressure on yourself you just go out and play your game and not worry, and goals will come.”
With Danny Briere set to come back having served his three-game suspension, the Flyers are expected to make a move in the line up for their game tomorrow against Alex Ovechkin and the Washington Captials.
The Flyers will try and go for seven straight as their game against the Caps falls on the back end of their home-and-home series. The Flyers, along with the rest of the population, will turn back the clocks today for daylight savings with tomorrow’s start time at 5 p.m. on CSN and 610 WIP Radio.
Everyone chipping in
The Flyers are picking up right where they left off last season; the number one team in the Eastern Conference.
“We need to keep going; I don’t know where everybody else is tonight, but it’s a chance to be first in the conference and that’s where you want to be,” said Flyers head coach Peter Laviolette. “You know we put some wins together, I like the way were playing. I think the guys played really hard to get to this point. We went through a little bit of a funk for three games and from that we came out and played some really good hockey and put some wins together. You’re right it’s early, but the objective is to win games and get to the top spot in the Eastern Conference and that’s what were working for right now.”
FLYERS TV: Betts & Giroux // Sergei Bobrovsky
The Flyers received four goals by four different players to lead the Flyers to their fifth straight victory.
“I thought it was a really strong game by us, added Laviolette. “I thought New York came out and competed hard, and there wasn’t a lot of free ice. It seemed like every time someone touched the puck, as soon as someone touched the puck both ways, there was a lot of battles. You had to compete hard on the puck, and I thought our guys did this from start to finish. It was good to bounce back right when they scored and get back on the board. I thought it was a good game, because it was hard fought both sides.”
The win gives them an 8-4-1 mark with 17 points, one point greater than Washington and Tampa Bay, however Tampa Bay will face off against the Los Angeles Kings out West with a chance to reclaim the lead.
The captain got the team on the board first as Richards fired the puck on a beautiful no-look pass from Giroux.
“Well I saw that there were four white [jerseys] around me and [Richards] did a good job yelling,” said Giroux. “I knew he was back post, because he is always in good position so I just tried to pass it as hard as I can and if he doesn’t roof that it’s not a goal.”
The Flyers received goals from the second line by Nikolay Zherdev and the fourth line with center Blair Betts punching in his own rebound off a nice move.
"I just happened to come off the bench there,” said Betts. “Jeff Carter made a change. Scott Hartnell was putting pressure on the defenseman, enough pressure for him to lose control of the puck a little bit. I just happened to be at the right place at the right time and put in the rebound."
On the defensive side of the puck, Chris Pronger looks back to MVP form, blocking three shots and recording the Flyers’ fourth goal of the night (his third of the season) and Kimmo Timonen, who after a slow start, now has six points (1G,5A) in four straight.
You certainly can’t expect to own a streak like this without having some great play between the pipes. And netminder Sergei Bobrovsky has been exactly that.
“I guess pleasantly surprised, you can word it that way,” said Laviolette of his goaltender. “But you know he’s been pleasantly consistent from the time he’s gotten here. His practices have been good, his games have been good, the exhibition games were good for him, the rookie game was good for him. I think he gets more and more comfortable with the speed of the game, the NHL game, the rinks, just everything about the NHL; it’s all new to him. It’s not easy being dropped into a market like Philadelphia, when you come over and you don’t speak the language. I think he just starts to look more comfortable, he looked comfortable out there to me tonight.”
Bobrovsky stopped 20 of 21 shots in tonight’s game and now has a 2.23 GAA on the season, which pushes him into the top 10 in the league in that category.
He is now tied for second in the NHL with seven wins on the season and is creeping towards the league’s top 10 in save percentage, currently sitting at .921.
The hottest player on the team however, and perhaps in the NHL right now, is center Claude Giroux. He picked up a pair of assists in tonight’s game and has recording points in each of his last five games, four of which he has posted at least two points.
All told Giroux has nine points (4G,5A) during the team’s winning streak.
A streak that has answered the doubts out there of the team’s power-play struggles in preseason and in the early stages of the regular season.
In the past five games, the Flyers have scored at least one of their goals on the man advantage and on three occasions have posted two goals on the power play, going 32.1 percent (9-for-28).
|Jody Shelley takes on Derek Boogaard|
“I think first and foremost we’re getting more traffic, or we’re moving the puck around quicker,” said Pronger. “You can’t stay stagnant otherwise you don’t make the box move and you don’t create openings. We’ve done a lot better job of moving the puck around quickly. When we get it up top, seeing the openings and getting to the net, rewarding those guys that are battling in front to screen the goalie and allow them to get after loose pucks.”
Other streakers include Ville Leino, who has four assists in the last three games and Mike Richards has points in each of his last five games (1G,4A), while Scott Hartnell has recorded points in three straight and eight of his last nine for the Flyers.
Up next, the Flyers embark on a three-game road trip that will take place over a six-day span. The Flyers will enter games on back-to-back days when they take on the NY Islanders on Saturday and travel to Washington to face the Capitals on Sunday. Their road trip concludes on Thursday in Carolina when they play the Hurricanes.
We’re Goin Streaking…
Many things can be attributed to the team’s recent success during their four-game winning streak, but from the players and coaches perspective it is buying into their system of defense and puck pursuit offense that is starting to click and helping them roll along.
“We’re not giving up the opportunities… we block a lot of shots, we’re getting in the shooting lanes, not allowing the puck to get to the net and our defense has done a good job of second opportunities and trying to limit those,” said Flyers head coach Peter Laviolette.
FLYERS TV: Laviolette // Richards
Here are a few numbers to contemplate during this streak:
The Flyers have also posted wins in five of their last six games. During that time they have recorded 25 goals, averaging 4.16 goals per game.
“Our offensive attack has picked up,” added Laviolette. “We’re down in the other team’s end. We’ve established our game plan from the top of the circle’s down. It makes it tough for them to get shots on net when there.”
Claude Giroux has the hot hand and with it has seized the team lead in scoring, both in goals (7) and points (12), while riding a four-game point streak where he has four goals and seven points, posted multi-points in three of the four games.
Not to be outdone, Jeff Carter has also thrived during this streak. He has eight points (3G,5A) and has posted two three-point games in his last four. He and Giroux have been paired together for most of the even strength time lately and seemed to have found chemistry.
Perhaps even more impressive is the amount of goals-allowed per game by the Orange and Black. They have kept opponents to an average of 2.00 goals per game, recording just 12 goals in that six-game span.
Another important note is that while their goals-against have been down, so too have been shots allowed. The Flyers are outshooting opponents by an average of 5.4 shots per game, having allowed 322 shots in 12 games (26.8 per game average).
“I think we’re doing the right things defensively we need to continue to do that because like I said that’s an important statistic,” said Laviolette. “Also zone time, offensive zone time and shots for. All of that is up in the other direction, and when you’re up in the other direction you’re spending less time in your end.”
A stat like that also takes unnecessary pressure off of the goaltender; however there have been no issues there as of late.
Rookie goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky has backstopped the Flyers during their streak, making four straight starts and recording a 2.00 goals-against average and .934 save percentage, stopping 114 of 122 shots.
The Flyers will try and keep their streak alive when they faceoff against the New York Rangers on Thursday before they take off for a three-game road trip at Long Island (Saturday, 7 p.m. CSN), Washington (Sunday 5 p.m., CSN) and Carolina (Thursday, 7 p.m., CSN).
FLYERS TV: Laviolette // Hartnell // Wellwood
Scott Hartnell goes through streaks. Self admittedly, it’s just a part of his game.
However, during the Flyers recent success Hartnell is one of the players who seems to be finding his groove and finding it, as Flyers head coach Peter Laviolette puts it, consistently.
“I think he’s got a clearer head this year,” said Laviolette. “He’s coming in and just enjoying hockey and being at the rink with his teammates. His line seems to have a lot of chemistry. I think Ville [Leino] is a big help to that line because he hangs on to the puck so much and creates things.”
It seems like there’s a lot of chemistry with that line. I’m sure he’s enjoying it and sometimes when you enjoy things it just shows in your game. You’re more confident, you work harder. It’s not like your going to work, your just going to the rink to have fun. He seems to be down that road.”
Hartnell recorded two goals in tonight's game and has registered points in six of his last seven games to post four goals and four assists for eight points.
“I think over the years my confidence has grew and coming here and being a big part of this club and playing on the top couple lines… confidence is a weird thing,” said Hartnell. “When it’s there you feel great, you’re skating well… and everyone feeds off of it. Everyone’s confidence is high right now.”
Part of that is having to do with the re-found chemistry with his linemates from the playoffs alongside Ville Leino and Danny Briere.
However with Briere out of the line up serving his first of a three-game suspension handed down by the League, Hartnell is proving that his game is making strides and the product of that is getting back to hard work.
“Well I think the main theme with everyone is pretty similar,” said Hartnell. “We don’t change things up from line to line. We try to play relentless Flyers hockey, get it in, cycle, change sides, up to the point, and get to the net. When we’re doing that we’re a real effective hockey team and you can really tell when we’re not on our game because we’re obviously not doing those things and play poor.”
|Eric Wellwod gets interviewed on CSN post-game after making his NHL debut at age 20.|
The first person he told was his brother.
“I got him on Skype and I got to talk to him,” said Flyers rookie Eric Wellwood. “He told me just to play my game and that I got a lot more time with the puck than I think, it was a good help.”
Tonight, Wellwood, the brother of former NHL player Kyle Wellwood, made his National Hockey League debut with the Orange and Black.
“I haven’t had enough time to take it all in yet, but I think my first period, I was just nervous and I think I made some mistakes that I usually don’t make. By the third period I felt a lot more comfortable, hopefully I can keep things going.”
Wellwood appeared on a line with Mike Richards and James van Riemsdyk with the final scoresheet tally listing him as playing 13:51 of ice-time, 19 shifts and leading the team in shots on goal (6).
“I thought he did a fine job,” said Laviolette. “He’s a fast skater. He had probably two to three good quality scoring chances. He gets in on the puck, he’s a smart player to jump in there with Mike [Richards] on the top line; I thought he did a good job.”
With Andreas Nodl still day-to-day with an upper-body injury and Briere having to sit out the next two games, the likelihood of seeing Wellwood in the lineup on Thursday seems favorable.
Flyers General Manager Paul Holmgren told PhiladelphiaFlyers.com that the National Hockey League has officially suspended Flyers center Danny Briere for three games.
The suspension stems from Briere’s five-minute major and 10-minute game misconduct at the 19-minute mark of Saturday’s 6-1 Flyers victory over the New York Islanders against forward Frans Nielsen.
Briere is tied for the team lead in goals (6) and has eight points in his 11 games this season.
To compensate for Briere being out of the lineup, the Flyers have recalled forward Eric Wellwood from their AHL affiliate, the Adirondack Phantoms.
This is the first call up to the NHL for the 20-year-old Wellwood, who will be in the lineup tonight, making his NHL debut.
He currently has four points (3G,1A) and two penalty minutes in 11 games for the Phantoms. He also appeared in two preseason games with the Flyers this season, recording one assist.
A two-time Memorial Cup champion, Wellwood was drafted by the Flyers in the sixth round (172nd overall) of the 2009 NHL Entry draft, and signed an entry-level contract with the Flyers on March 4.