• RSS
Official News of your Philadelphia Flyers straight from the PR Department

The Philadelphia Flyers Public Relations staff will be keeping you up-to-date on all you need to know: daily updates, multimedia and behind-the-scenes information that you can only find here! For all other official Flyers news and press releases - click here
On The Fly archives:
2007-08 Season // 2008-09 Season // 2009-10 Season // 2010-11 Season
SEPT - 2011 // OCT - 2011 // NOV - 2011 // DEC - 2011

Roster Schedule Flyers TV

JAN. 30
UPDATED: 5:13 p.m.

The Flyers didn't have an early wake up call this morning because of the NHL All-Star break. Practice didn't begin until 2 p.m., but once they hit the ice they certainly got the message.

"I think our guys have done a heck of a job staying focused and not worrying too much about [injuries] and make sure that we're winning hockey games," said Flyers head coach Peter Laviolette. "We've done a good job up this point but I still think there's a lot of areas we can work on and get better."

That work came in the form of a full hour practice today at Skatezone.

Claude Giroux, Kimmo Timonen and Scott Hartnell all had the day away from the rink following their participation in the All-Star Game on Sunday, but will no doubt rejoin the  team for Tuesday morning's skate prior to the game vs. Winnipeg.

As for the rest of the group, the focus now shifts to the race for the Stanley Cup Playoffs, and an even more immediate task is a tough month of February.

Said Laviolette: "Once you get through January and even more to the point, once you get though February you really start seeing a playoff picture; you start to get excited about the spring, so February is a tough month and we really have a lot of work to do."

Lucky for the Flyers, the road ahead is not so much 'on the road'.

The club will face one more long road trip as they go out to Western Canada and California for a 10-day trip to end the month, but other than that they will play six of their next seven games (and 8 of 10) at home, beginning with a three-game home stand tomorrow vs. Winnipeg.

On the injury front, there has been no change in status for the Flyers. Forwards Danny Briere and James van Riemsdyk remain out indefinitely with concussions, while Jaromir Jagr is day-to-day with a lower body injury.

** 2:36 p.m. **

Just as the five Flyers All-Stars return to Philly, so did three Flyers prospects. Forwards Ben Holmstrom, Tom Sestito and Harry Zolnierczyk were recalled from the club's AHL affiliate in Adirondack, according to club general manager Paul Holmgren.

The three players were loaned to the Phantoms during the NHL's All-Star break and appeared in three games during that span.

Holmstrom recorded a pair of assists, while Sestito and Zolnierczyk each had a goal during that stretch.

Former Flyers defenseman, assistant and head coach John Stevens was officially inducted into the American Hockey League Hall of Fame today at a ceremony for the AHL All-Star Classic, held this year at Atlantic City's Boardwalk Hall.

He was one of four people nominated to the AHL’s Hall of Fame in the Class of 2012, along with Joe Crozier, who helped lay the foundation for the Rochester Americans franchise; Jack Gordon, a mainstay in the AHL as a player, coach and manager who won four Calder Cups with the Cleveland Barons and Zellio Toppazzini, considered the greatest player in the long history of the Providence Reds.

Stevens captained the Flyers’ AHL affiliate, the Philadelphia Phantoms to it’s first Calder Cup title in 1998 and later to it’s second title as head coach in 2005.

Stevens was an assistant coach with the Flyers at the beginning of the 2006-07 season before taking over early on in the season. He was head coach for the team from 2006-09.

Phantoms goaltender Michael Leighton will get the start in tonight's AHL All-Star Classic which will be played at Atlantic City's Boardwalk Hall. Leighton is 14-16-0-0 with one shutout and a GAA of 2.84 and .906 save percentage in 31 games for Adirondack this season.

The AHL All-Star Classic has had 562 players named since 1995 and more than 93 percent of those players have competed in the National Hockey League, including Flyers center Danny Briere. Claude Giroux was named to the 2009 AHL All-Star team, but did not participate as he was currently recalled by the Flyers.

JAN. 29
8:49 p.m.

All-Star weekend brings out hockey fans all over the world into one arena. It displays the best talent from the best players, and if the best defensemen and goaltenders weren't in this game, the score would've been a lot higher than a 12-9 victory by Team Chara.

For all of those reasons Scott Hartnell kept saying to himself all weekend that he wanted to take as much of it in as possible.

Even following his first period of play, his position hadn't changed.

"It was really awesome. It was a lot of fun and I'm just trying to take it all in. I was able to set up one of the Sedins, I'm not sure which one it was, but it's fun trying to work hard and not look too funny out there."

He didn't look too funny at all, recording two assists in his first All-Star Game. Rather he sounded funny to the millions of viewers on television.

Hartnell was mic'd up for the game and had plenty to say, even calling a little play-by-play during one point, including a little challenge from his own teammate, Claude Giroux, trying to knock him down during a shift.

Hartnell pledged to donate money every time he fell down in reference to the now famous #Hartnelldown on twitter.

It was a special game for another Flyer for the second year in-a-row as well. Giroux, who went to his very first game last year in Raleigh, was returning home to where he spent most of his teenage years.

"Yeah it's pretty special to be here [in Ottawa]. I have a lot of family and friends here watching the game and it's exciting. You saw that the whole city was excited and it's a great city to host the All-Star weekend for sure."

It seems that experience won out in this year's game results. Giroux tallied a goal in the contest, but it wasn't enough as his teammates squad, Kimmo Timonen on Team Chara, took home the victory.

"It's nice to see all of the guys [from around the League] and It's always a first-class event," said Timonen, who is now a four-time NHL All-Star.

Senators captain Daniel Alfredsson posted two goals and an assist, the Sedin twins combined for five points, Jerome Iginla had three points (1G-2A) and taking home MVP honors, Rangers' vet Marian Gaborik had a hat trick and an assist for a four-point night.

As for the rest of the Orange & Black, a full five days off allowed for some much needed healing time, but that time is now over.

The Flyers resume practice on Monday in preparation for their first game in the unofficial second-half of the season that will see them play 34 games in a span of 68 days leading to the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

JAN. 28
UPDATED: 10:42 p.m.

Matt Read had a dream the night before the skills competition that he missed all four targets on all of his attempts. Actually, he described it as a nightmare.

Fast-forward around 12 hours later and the results were anything but that.

Read stepped up to the plate first with his teammate Claude Giroux feeding him the passes and smashed ALL four plates on six shots to finish a close (very close) second to Dallas forward Jamie Benn in a grand finale showdown.

Read wasn't the only Flyer to razzle-dazzle at Scotiabank Place. Rookie Sean Couturier was  the first Flyer to participate on the night, having a go at the Breakaway relay challenge. Although going 1-for-3, Couturier's goal was a beauty.

The 19-year-old juggled the puck between his skates and nearly came to a dead-stop, but did a spin-o-rama instead to score on Montreal's Carey Price.

"I was talking to him last night and he wasn't sure what he was going to do, but he had one good move and it was pretty cool to watch him [do it]," said Claude Giroux.

Scott Hartnell said before the event that it would get competitive and he put his money where his mouth was by going 3-for-3 on one-timers in his portion of the Skills Challenge Relay.

His team took the relay heat and was a key factor in helping Team Alfredsson win the event by the eventual score of 21-12.

On the Team Chara side of things, Kimmo Timonen struggled with the Passing Accuracy portion of the relay, but more than made up for his team in the breakaway relay.

Timonen scored a highlight real goal that he made look easy on Los Angeles Kings goaltender, Jonathan Quick. He was the last man standing in the elimination for Team Chara, but was eventually denied giving Team Alfredsson the victory.

Easily one of the biggest highlights of the night came from one of the Flyers biggest rival. Boston Bruins captain Zdeno Chara bested his own Hardest Shot record… a couple times.

Chara first fired a shot of 106.2 mph, then couldn't help but please the crowd, and most likely scare the goaltenders, with a shot of 108.8 mph.

"It's cool to meet all of these guys," said Hartnell. "You know as much as we hate the Rangers, Hank [Henrik Lundqvist] is a great guy and everyone you hate playing against is a group of really really great guys."

That was just one example of the camaraderie that goes on during this unique event. It's not the Winter Classic or Stanley Cup Final where so much is on the line and it's all about winning.

It's not the Draft where we get to see the Stars of Tomorrow.

It's the All-Star game, where it's all about celebrating hockey and its skill.

** 7:12 p.m. **

In the first official on-ice event to the 2012 NHL All-Star Weekend, players arrived to Scotiabank Place just outside the city limits of Ottawa for tonight's Skills Competition.

All five Flyers arrived in similar fashion, by bus of course, but that's not what we're talking about.

"Walking into this locker room and seeing all of the different jerseys hanging in the lockers of NHL supers stars, it's pretty crazy and it's a dream come try to walk in here and see your jersey amongst the other guys," said rookie Matt Read.

Read will be competing for TEAM ALFREDSSON in the Accuracy Shooting contest and admits that he is making a conscious effort not to over-think his challenge.

"I just got done playing soccer with the guys to try and keep my mind off of it. I don't want to go out there and screw up, so the more I think about it, the worse I'll be."

Scott Hartnell is at his first All-Star Game and while he admits to having a blast, he's looking forward to the competition part of tonight.

"I think once we start getting dressed we'll get a little bit more serious, but [right now] I'm just taking it all in and meeting everybody," said Hartnell. "Everyone in here is so competitive so I think once we get on the ice it'll be ours for the taking."

Hartnell will be taking part in a very familiar skill that he has seemed to perfect this season - one-timers in the NHL Skills Challenge Relay.

In fact, Hartnell has scored most, if not all, of his last five goals off of one-timers. What he doesn't know just yet is if teammate Claude Giroux will be feeding him from their familiar spot.

"I don't know if it's going to be there or somewhere else, but we have a lot of fun and [Giroux] makes some great passes, so who knows."

Kimmo Timonen is not a first-timer to All-Star Weekend. The 13-year-old NHL veteran is still in awe, but having been through it before admits that he looks forward to tonight a little bit more.

"There's a lot of skill out there," said Timonen. "I'm almost looking forward to this more than the game tomorrow because you get to see different kind of players doing different kind of things."

Timonen will experience an event he hasn't been through before. He will partake in the Accuracy Passing challenge in which he needs to hit small-sized nets over obstacles.

Catch Timonen, Read, Hartnell as well as Sean Couturier and Claude Giroux for tonight's competition starting at 7 p.m. ET on NBC Sports Network.

UPDATED: 11:02 p.m.

The NHL's second All-Star Player Fantasy Draft has come and gone and the official battle lines have been drawn.

Claude Giroux was the first Flyer taken when he was selected eighth overall and fourth by Daniel Alfredsson. He was followed immediately by teammate (now opponent) Kimmo Timonen, who was selected ninth overall and fifth by Zdeno Chara.

A little bit nervous that he was going to go last in the selection process (San Jose's Logan Couturier received that honor) Scott Hartnell was given a reprieve when he was taken by 'TEAM ALFREDSSON' 34th overall to join Giroux.

“I’m not really happy with Giroux right now, actually,” laughed Hartnell, who tweeted his way into trending worldwide during the draft.

"I was hoping I was on the blue team [Team Chara] just to play against him. Maybe toe my gloves at him a bit and see if he were willing to tussle. Now that he’s on my team, I’m not sure I’ll play with him or not.”

Team Alfredsson will be a bit stacked with Flyers. Joining them are rookies Sean Couturier and Matt Read, who were put in the same six rookie grouping on the night.

Couturier got to pick for his group which team they would play on. When asked, Couturier went with the hometown team.

The rookies however, will not play in the game. They will participate in Saturday's Skills Competition only.

A full breakdown of each team is below:

1. Pavel Datsyuk (DET)
3. Tim Thomas (BOS)
5. Evgeni Malkin (PIT)
7. Marian Hossa (CHI)
11. Corey Perry (ANA)
13. Carey Price (MTL)
15. Phil Kessel (TOR)
17. Ryan Suter (NSH)
19. Jimmy Howard (DET)
21. Brian Campbell (FLA)
23. Patrick Kane (CHI)
25. Dion Phaneuf (TOR)
27. Jerome Iginla (CGY)
29. Dennis Wideman (WSH)
31. Marian Gaborik (NYR)
33. Jordan Eberle (EDM)
35. Tyler Seguin (BOS)
37. Jamie Benn (DAL)

TEAM CHARA ROOKIES: Luke Adam (BUF), Raphael Diaz (MTL), Colin Greening (OTT), Cody Hodgson (VAN), Ryan Johansen (CBJ), Gabriel Landeskog (COL)

2. Erik Karlsson (OTT)
4. Jason Spezza (OTT)
6. Jonathan Quick (LAK)
10. Kris Letang (PIT)
12. Steven Stamkos (TBL)
14. Brian Elliott (STL)
16. Shea Weber (NSH)
18. Daniel Sedin (VAN)
20. Dan Girardi (NYR)
22. Keith Yandle (PHX)
24. Milan Michalek (OTT)
26. Henrik Sedin (VAN)
28. James Neal (PIT)
30. Alex Edler (VAN)
32. John Tavares (NYI)
36. Jason Pominville (BUF)
38. Logan Couture (SJS)

TEAM ALFREDSSON ROOKIES: SEAN COUTURIER (PHI), Justin Faulk (CAR), Carl Hagelin (NYR), Nick Johnson (MIN), MATT READ (PHI), Craig Smith (NSH)

JAN - 24
11:30 a.m.

One more Flyer has been added to the All Star roster. Last night, Scott Hartnell received a call inviting him to the 2012 All Star Game in Ottawa. The NHL's 6th leading goal scorer is coming off a weekend of outstanding play posting 5 goals in two games, including a natural hat trick in Sunday's game against Boston.

JAN - 23

4:44 p.m.

Hats rained down from the Wells Fargo Center as the Flyers stormed back to take a 4-3 lead against the Boston Bruins and the second period hadn't even ended. In fact, the final 47 seconds needed to be played following the 2nd intermission, all at the fault of Scott Hartnell.

Fans, 19,851 of them, certainly didn't mind the minor inconvenience because Hartnell had just notched his sixth hat trick of his career and fifth goal in his last two games.

A feat that has earned him the NHL's Second Star of the Week honor and his 25th goal of the year to lead the team and sneak into the Top Five among NHL goal-scorers.

"Yeah, five goals in two games, it's a good weekend for anybody so I'll take it," said Hartnell following the game vs. Boston on Sunday. "Confidence is a weird thing. I have a lot of confidence and I feel strong on the puck, strong on the ice, my skating is good and when Giroux makes those nice little passes to me, it's nice to get a good shot off."

Hartnell is in the midst of his second career-year during his Flyers tenure. Back in 2008-09 he posted career-highs in both goals (30), assists (30) and points (60).

The following year his numbers dropped, but Hartnell rebounded when it counted the most. During the team's run to the Stanley Cup Final, he found chemistry playing alongside rookie Ville Leino and Mr. Playoffs, Danny Briere, to record eight goals and nine assists for 17 points, most of which came in the Stanley Cup Final alone.

This year Hartnell has his groove back.
"I think anytime you go through ups and downs, you look at the last 10 games, the previous eight [games] we weren't on the scoresheet, we weren't having good games and getting frustrated. The last couple of games they've been going in for us, so it's obviously a great thing."

He has played in all 47 games this season averaging nearly a point-per-game pace with 19 assists and 44 points to go along with his team-best plus-18 rating.

Hartnell's play has also rejuvenated All-Star Claude Giroux. Credit all five of Hartnell's goals to Giroux, who picked up the assists on them and now has seven points (all assists) in his last six games.

Another side-effect of Harnell's tear, the Flyers power play. Over the last four games the man advantage has recorded seven goals, going 7-for-23 (30.4 percent). It has boosted the overall numbers to give the Flyers the fourth-best power play in the NHL at 20.4 percent, connecting 43 times on 213 attempts through the team's 48 games.

"I think he's a key contributor and a key factor as to why that line is successful," said Flyers head coach Peter Laviolette following the game. "He's got a lot of confidence right now the way he's playing. Tonight his game was excellent; he was physical and obviously offensively he did what he needed to do. He was a competitive guy out there for us. His game has been really good for a long time.”

The Flyers spent today traveling down to Florida to play their final game before a complete week off due to the NHL All-Star break.

There in lies the danger.

"It's going to be a big test for us, more mentally than physically," said Hartnell. "We can't look ahead, you have to focus in on that 60-minutes and it's on us to do that."

The Flyers, however, will absolutely welcome the break. It means some much needed R & R for many banged up players and players recovering from injuries.

To date, James van Riemsdyk and Danny Briere are all out due to concussions and will not have to worry about missing practice or missing games. Same goes for Zac Rinaldo and Jaromir Jagr who are both dealing with upper-body and lower-body injuries respectively.

"I definitely think when it comes to healing up and you get some space in the schedule; you can take advantage of it and that's a good thing. We're beat up now a little bit, so I see that as a positive," said Laviolette.

JAN - 21

7:14 p.m.

In the same game that Jaromir Jagr left due to a lower-body injury, Flyers general manager announced that forward Danny Briere will be out indefinitely due to a concussion.

It is not exactly known when Briere suffered the injury, but he now joins teammates James van Riemsdyk and Chris Pronger on the sideline due to concussions.

Briere has missed just three games this season, none of which related to a concussion. He has 13 goals and 17 assists for 30 points in 43 games.

Holmgren also announced that forward Zac Rinaldo is day-to-day with an upper-body injury. Rinaldo played just nine shifts in the game for a total of 6:31.

With the Flyers set to take on the defending Stanley Cup Champion Boston Bruins in less than 24 hours from now, the club has recalled two players from their American Hockey League affiliate, the Adirondack Phantoms.

Forwards Ben Holmstrom, who is making his third recall of the season, and Tom Sestito, his second recall, will join the team in Philadelphia and be available in Sunday's Flyers-Bruins game at the Wells Fargo Center.

Holmstrom has appeared in two games this season, appearing in just under seven minutes of average ice-time. With the Phantoms, he has 11 goals and 11 assists for 22 points to go along with his 100 penalty minutes, which rank second on the team.

Sesito made his Flyers debut on Dec. 19 at Colorado and has appeared in three games this year, recording 15 penalty minutes. The 6-foot-5, 228-pound left wing has 16 points (8G-8A) and 114 penalty minutes in 31 games with Adirondack this season. His 114 penalty minutes lead the team.

**2:56 p.m.**

Flyers forward Jaromir Jagr suffered a lower-body injury in the first period of today's Flyers-Devils game at the Prudential Center and according to Flyers GM Paul Holmgren will not return to the game.

Jagr appeared in just 3:12 of ice-time and four shifts prior to leaving the game.

Over the course of the season, Jagr has missed six games, all with a lower-body injury, but on three separate occasions and a span of two games at a time.

Most recently, Jagr left in the Winter Classic game on Jan. 2 and missed the following two games over Chicago and Ottawa respectively. The other two occurrences were in mid-November.

In 39 games this season Jagr has 34 points (12G-22A) to go along with a plus-minus rating of plus-8.

JAN - 20
5:05 p.m.

Flyers head coach Peter Laviolette has said time and again that an NHL season is part of a roller coaster ride. There are ups and downs throughout and the goal of any team is to limit the downs and ride the highs as much as possible.
Last night's loss to the Islanders is just another part to the story that is the Flyers 2011-12 season.

"It's part of the process. You rarely see teams that are going to be on top the whole season," said Max Talbot, who has been apart of losing seasons and winning seasons with the Pittsburgh Penguins.

"I think it's good at this point in the season… it's not good, but it's going to happen. You're going to lose some games like last night. You just have to keep focus, learn from it and try not to do the same mistakes over again."

Keeping that focus is good, but Laviolette adds that another mindset is perhaps even more important - staying positive.

"I think sometimes, generally speaking about players or teams, negativity doesn't help solve anything… and yet we want to carry it," said Laviolette. "I'm guilty of it myself at times. You want to carry it; you want to bring it with you; you're irritated; you're agitated and really it doesn't do any good. You're better off turning the page, taking a step forward and figuring out."

Turning that page is something Flyers leading scorer Claude Giroux definitely admits to doing after last night.

"I think we need to just put it behind us and move forward. You can't really control the past so you just have to go out there and enjoy it," said Giroux who compared to the numbers he put up in November and December, is in a bit of a points drought over the last few games.

Added Giroux: "We can't get too frustrated. That's one thing we kind of did the last few games. I'm playing frustrated; I'm playing out of position because I want to do too much. I just have to relax. I had a meeting with Lavi today and we kind of talked about it. I think it's good to just put that behind you… We have to look at it as a positive, even if it's not good."

Giroux's linemate, Jaromir Jagr certainly has experience over his 17-year NHL career. Not only speaking personally, but even referring to the likes of the greatest players to play he game going through tough stretches.

"It happens to everybody. I bet you it happens to Gretzky or Lemieux, but those players came back and we're going to score [too]."

The Flyers will look to get back on track in a Saturday matinee at New Jersey with puck drop slated for 1 p.m. on CSN.

JAN - 18
3:15 p.m.

Flyers head coach Peter Laviolette was pleased with his team's effort last night, but not because it was a 5-1 victory in their favor, it was because it displayed a total team effort and a complete game in all aspects of hockey.
"I thought the process was better in Nashville, but we didn't walk out with the results. Now you come in and go through the steps and play the game you want. You get 60 minutes and you get the results that show for it too," said Laviolette following the win.

The Flyers got contributions from 12 different players, three goals from defensemen, four points from three rookies and three goals on special teams. Oh and just one goal allowed from their goaltender, Ilya Bryzgalov.

"I think when you can get contributions from everybody, it's obviously going to give you a better chance to be successful," added Laviolette today following practice.

Flyers star Claude Giroux isn't really surprised by that and points to a very simple reason.

"We've got a team that likes to play hockey. Basically everybody comes to the rink and they're happy to be here. We gotta pretty good crew here and we're having a lot of fun; I mean that's a great start right there and we got guys that can skate too. Hopefully we can keep going like we are now."

The Flyers have won five of their last seven games, going 5-2-0 in that span, and are currently riding a three-game home winning streak.

They will put their home record to the test yet again when they face off against the Islanders, and the odds are in their favor. The Flyers have won 26 of their last 28 meetings against the Islanders, going 26-2-0 since the end of the 2006-07 season.

While their husbands may have took the spotlight in last night's 5-1 win over the Wild, tonight the Flyers Wives get to steal the show.

The Bellevue at the Hyatt will host the first-ever Flyers Wives Fashion Show. The wives will model styles by internationally recognized fashion designer Nicole Miller that will showcase Nicole Miller’s spring line, Artelier, which serendipitously features Flyers Orange. Proceeds from this event benefit Comcast-Spectacor Charities.
Flyers Wives will walk the runway to the sounds of CTO Music. The show will pave the way for the 35th Annual Flyers Wives Carnival on Sunday, February 19th from 12:00-4:30pm. For more information on the Flyers Wives Carnival, visit www.flyerscarnival.com.

The National Hockey League named their captains for the 2012 All-Star Weekend today. Boston Bruins defenseman Zdeno Chara and Daniel Alfredsson of the hometown Ottawa Senators were chosen.

Why is this so significant?

Well the two captains are the leaders for the NHL's Fantasy Draft which will determine what team each All-Star from around the League will be playing on, now designated Team Alfredsson and Team Chara.

Among the top players in the NHL and with close ties to the Ottawa area, Claude Giroux will no doubt be on on the captain's list and just might be considered a No. 1 pick for either team.

Last season the two Flyers selected as All-Stars were split up. Briere was drafted by Nik Lidstrom in the sixth round (12th overall), while Claude Giroux was taken in the 13th round (25th overall) by TEAM STAAL.

Team Alfredsson will wear the white Reebok NHL All-Star jerseys, helmets and socks, with red trim throughout and red gloves and pants. Team Chara will wear the dark blue jerseys with royal blue trim, navy blue helmets, gloves and pants and navy blue socks.

JAN - 16
2:25 p.m.

With the Flyers returning to a favorable home schedule, everyone from the players and coaching staff have their eyes wide open on an opportunity to move up in the standings.

Already posting an NHL-best 34 points on the road, and a majority of the Flyers games left on home ice, the Flyers are looking to make a run at the top spot not just in the Atlantic Division, but the no. 1 overall seed in the Eastern Conference and perhaps the President’s Trophy.

“It’s always nice to see the schedule and know that you’ll be able to sleep in you home bed more than a couple days at a time,” said Scott Hartnell. “These games are huge and we love playing at the Wells Fargo Center. We have to get our confidence up here at home, play hard and play Flyers hockey.”

The Flyers currently sit in the fourth spot in the Eastern Conference standings with a 26-13-4 record and 56 points. The Flyers own more points than the Washington Capitals (24-17-2—50 points), but the Caps are in third by virtue of leading the Southeast Division.

Philadelphia’s 56 points are four points behind their rival, the New York Rangers who own 60 points. The two teams have played the same amount of games, and will play three more times this season.

League-wide, the Chicago Blackhawks and Vancouver Canucks have 59 points, but have played three more games than the Flyers.

The team that may storm ahead however is back East. At 57 points, the Boston Bruins have played two fewer games than the Flyers, Rangers and just about the rest of the NHL, but are tied with the most wins in the NHL at the moment with 28 victories in just 41 contests.

The Flyers schedule resumes tomorrow night when they face off against the Minnesota Wild at 7 p.m. ET.

Blair Betts has a stall back in the Flyers locker room and is continuing his rehab from a knee injury.  Betts talked with reporters today and states his goal is to play again in the NHL before the end of the year.

“Right now I’m trying to stay away from a lot of stopping, starting and pivoting; things like that,” said Betts. “I think mentally that’s been the biggest factor, just finally getting back on the ice and changing up the monotony of being upstairs [rehabbing] in the weight room.”

Betts has not sat down and talked with Flyers management and his status has not changed. He remains out indefinitely with a knee injury according to Flyers general manager Paul Holmgren.

Holmgren also announced that forward James van Riemsdyk’s status has not changed either. He remains out indefinitely with a concussion.

Most Flyers fans were disappointed with the fact that forward Scott Hartnell was not named to the All-Star Team last week. The Flyers forward leads the team with 19 goals and ranks second with 38 points having appeared in all 43 games so far this season.

But as is the case almost every year, those named are unable to participate in the game.

That could very well be the case for Minnesota Wild captain Mikko Koivu. The Wild announced that Koivu is week-to-week with an upper body injury and is unlikely to play before the All-Star break.

Following practice today Hartnell weighed in on possibly being named.

“No, no, I haven’t heard anything. I’m not too worried about it. I haven’t made any plans, but we have to worry about playing better. The last few games our line hasn’t been good; slow to pucks, things like that and it’s been showing on the scoresheet; we need to pick it up.”

Last season, Danny Briere was left off the initial roster, but was later named due to  Calgary Flames captain Jerome Iginla, who pulled out because of family reasons.

With so many off-season moves by the Flyers last summer, this season has been a “return to Philadelphia” for many players.

Tuesday’s matchup with the Minnesota Wild brings back popular penalty killer Darroll Powe, who was sent to the Wild in exchange for a third round pick in the 2013 NHL Entry Draft on June 27 this past summer.

Powe began his NHL career with the Flyers organization, spending parts of three seasons with their AHL affiliate, the Philadelphia Phantoms before becoming a mainstay on the Flyers for another three season.

As a Flyer, he posted 22 goals and 21 assists for 41 points along with 130 PIM in 204 regular season games.

He signed with the Flyers in 2007 as an undrafted free agent out of Princeton University.

JAN - 14
11:39 p.m. CT

Prior to the Flyers taking the ice for their morning skate in Nashville, Flyers general manager Paul Holmgren announced that forward James van Riemsdyk will be out indefinitely with a concussion.

"James was hit in the head in each of our last two games. He reported yesterday, not feeling like himself. He will be out indefinitely with a concussion," said Holmgren.

The Flyers posted victories over the Carolina Hurricanes on Tuesday an New York Islanders on Thursday, when the two instances occurred. He had 13:54 of time-on-ice for the Flyers' 2-1 win at Carolina and just over 10 minutes of ice time in the Flyers' 3-2 win on Long Island.

So far this season, van Riemsdyk has missed a total of five games due to injury, four of which occurred from Nov. 25 through Dec. 3 with an upper body injury, while he also missed  the Flyers' game on Nov. 3 vs. New Jersey due to a lower-body injury.

Van Riemsdyk has recorded 11 goals and 22 points in 37 games for the Flyers this season, and also ranks second on the team in shots on goal (107).

* * *
11:03 p.m. CT

Flyers general manager Paul Holmgren's statement on forward James van Riemsdyk:

"James was hit in the head in each of our last two games. He reported yesterday, not feeling like himself. He will be out indefinitely with a concussion."

Further details to follow...

JAN - 12
12:30 p.m.

Congrats to Claude Giroux, Kimmo Timonen, Matt Read and Sean Couturier, who ALL will be going to the NHL All-Star Game as All-Stars in Ottawa!

More details to follow...

JAN - 11
5:46 p.m.

The Flyers have won three of their last four games with all three victories being decided by one goal.

What you might not realize is that the dominant line of Hartnell-Giroux-Jagr hasn't been the deciding factor in each of those games. It's the rookie factor that has taken over the Flyers lineup this season.

Rookie Sean Couturier tallied the game-winning-goal with his snap shot over the blocker of Cam Ward in the Flyers 2-1 win in Carolina last night. That marked the 28th goal and 56th point of the season a rookie has put on the board.

The question prior to the season was which rookie was expected to make the squad and IF he would make an impact.

That's no longer the question.

"If it wasn't for all of the rookies playing as big of a role as they have, there's not a chance we would be where we are now in the standings," said 14-year NHL veteran forward Danny Briere. "You always hope and expect one of them to break through but to have as many as we've had it's looking very positive for the future."

Over the past four games, Couturier has recorded points in three of them, including two goals. After a rocky start Brayden Schenn is now rolling with points in three of his last five.

Harry Zolnierczyk posted a goal in the Flyers' 5-4 win over Chicago and set up Couturier's game-winner on Tuesday.

Overall 11 rookies have seen ice-time for the Flyers this season.

On the blue line, Marc-Andre Bourdon has proven his NHL-caliber skills over the past 22 games by averaging over 15 minutes of ice-time, while Kevin Marshall also made his NHL debut and has played a role with the club on defense.

Zac Rinaldo has appeared in 34 of the team's 41 games thus far and has been the physical presence the team has hoped for by earning 120 penalty minutes, second only to Ottawa's Zenon Konopka. Rinaldo and Konopka even dropped the gloves in the team's most recent meeting in Ottawa this past Sunday.

And then there's Matt Read. The 25-year-old rookie out of Bemidji State is tied for the NHL lead among rookies with 13 goals and is tied for fourth in overall points (25).

It looks like the Flyers rookie show will continue on Long Island. News today brought word that rookie defenseman Erik Gustafsson will join the team on their road trip and will be available to take on another young and talented group of players on Thursday, the New York Islanders. 
* * *
1:46 p.m.
Flyers GM Paul Holmgren announced that the club has loaned (D) Matt Walker to Adirondack & recalled (D) Erik Gustafsson from Phantoms.

Gustafsson, 23 (12/15/88), has appeared in five games for the Flyers this season, recording an assist and a plus-6 rating.  Gustafsson also has nine assists and a plus-5 rating in 13 games for Adirondack this year.  Gustafsson appeared in three games for the Flyers last season, and also posted 49 points (5G, 44A) for the Phantoms in 72 appearances in 2010-11.
Walker, 31 (4/7/80), has posted 16 penalty minutes in four games for the Flyers this season.  With Adirondack, Walker has recorded a goal and an assist for two points in 10 games, along with 21 PIM.

JAN - 8
4:59 p.m.

For the third time this year it seems that forward Jaromir Jagr isn’t sidelined with injury for too long.

In fact it is the third time this season that Jagr has missed two games with an injury, but not three straight games.

Jagr took to the ice for warm-ups prior to the Flyers game at Ottawa and is officially in the lineup, taking his place beside line mates Scott Hartnell and Claude Giroux.

Jagr missed wins against Chicago and Ottawa following an injury he suffered during the Winter Classic that saw him play just over seven minutes in the NHL’s annual outdoor game.

Prior to that, Jagr had posted points in four of his last six games with two goals and three assists. Overall, Jagr is just shy of a point-per-game pace with 31 points (12G-19A) in 33 games.

Flyers head coach Peter Laviolette also announced prior to the team’s 5 p.m. start that Ilya Bryzgalov will get the start in net for the Flyers.

It will be his third straight start between the pipes after back-to-back wins over Chicago and Ottawa respectively.

Over the last two games, Bryzgalov has stopped 65 of 71 shots fired at him earning one-goal victories in each of them.

Bryzgalov is 16-8-3 with a 3.00 goals-against average and .890 save percentage in 28 games played (27 of which have been starts).

JAN - 6

11:15 p.m.

This week alone 138,428 fans pack Citizens Bank Park, home of the Philadelphia Phillies, to watch the three premier events of the Philadelphia Flyers' Outdoor Series.

To kick off the festivities, the heroes of the past took center stage with 45,808 fans in attendance to watch the Flyers Alumni battle it out against the New York Rangers Alumni on New Year's Eve.

The Flyers Alumni walked away with a 3-1 win with appearances from Hockey Hall of Famers Mark Howe, Bernie Parent and Bobby Clarke, among the several other Flyers Hall of Famers.

On Jan. 2, all of the hockey world's eyes were on the NHL's premier event, the 2012 Bridestone NHL Winter Classic between the Rangers and Flyers.

The team's battled for a tough 60 minutes that came right down to the wire, but the Rangers prevailed by a 3-2 score.

In the seats, 46,967 fans packed the house for in the second event.

In the grand finale, the Flyers' farm team, the Adirondack Phantoms, took on the Washington Capitals affiliate, the Hershey Bears on Jan. 6.

In dramatic fashion, the Phantoms tied the game at 3-3 with 20.8 seconds left in regulation and too top it all off, Shane Harper scored the game-winner 52 seconds into the extra frame to give the Phantoms a 4-3 win in front of 45,653 fans wanting one last glimpse of the rink at the ballpark.

The event was by far the largest gathering ever in the 76-year history of the American Hockey League.

45,808 for the Flyers Alumni vs. NY Rangers Alumni
46,967 for the Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic
45,653 for the Outdoor Classic: Phantoms vs. Bears

JAN - 5

11:32 p.m.

Flyers defenseman Kimmo Timonen played just five shifts in the Flyers-Blackhawks game for a total time-on-ice of 5:32.

He left half-way through the first period in Thursday's game, but did return to the bench for the second period, but did not see much action.

It was later revealed in the third period by Flyers GM Paul Holmgren that Timonen had an upper-body injury and would not return to the contest.

Timonen is one of seven players on the Flyers roster who have appeared in all 38 games so far this season and is the current team's iron-man playing in the last 223 regular season games for the Flyers.

More is expected on his status at tomorrow's practice.

As a result of skating with just five defensemen for much of the game, both Matt Carle (26:06) and Andrej Meszaros (27:14) saw well over 25 minutes of ice time, while rookie Marc-Andre Bourdon saw his second-most time-on-ice in his NHL career at 18:36.

JAN - 4

5:25 p.m.

Flyers forward Matt Read just can't seem to stop climbing the ranks in the Flyers depth chart.

First it was with the club's farm team in Adirondack, coming right out of a successful four-year collegiate career at Bemidji State, to record seven goals and 13 points in 11 American Hockey League games.

Then, he impressed with his seven points (2G-5A) in six preseason games with the Flyers to make the team right out of training camp.

Now, having already posted 22 points in 34 games with the Flyers, Read will be part of the Flyers top line with Claude Girouxx and Scott Hartnell following the injury announcement yesterday that Jaromir Jagr will be out of action for the next seven to 10 days.

"Obviously it's pretty special playing with those guys," said Read. "Giroux's one of the best players in the NHL and Hartnell has amazing skill and sees the ice very well. I've got some big shoes to fill with Jagr, but I'll make the most of it."

However Read doesn't feel the pressure to fill Jagr's shoes completely.

"I'm just going to try and stick to my game plan; work hard and win puck battles in the corner and give those two guys the puck. They're special players; they have talent so I'll just benefit from giving them the puck."

Read currently ranks second in the NHL among all rookies with 12 goals and is tied for fourth in over points (22), while being tied for eighth in plus/minus (+6).

"Everytime we've asked him to do something or need a void to be filled he's been able to jump in there and contribute so we're just looking at it," said Flyers head coach Peter Laviolette. "It was practice today and I liked it, so we'll see."

The last time the Flyers welcomed the Blackhawks in town is a game they, as well as all Flyers fans, would rather forget.

That's because it was Game Six of the Stanley Cup Final in which they fell to Chicago by the closest of margins; a 4-3 overtime loss that gave Lord Stanley's Cup to the Hawks.

"It was a war; a fun series and I think it's the first thing that comes to mind when they come into town and when we went into Chicago last year," said Braydon Coburn.

Perhaps that memory will be strong enough for the Flyers to take on the tough task of facing off against another one of the NHL's elite teams for the third straight game.

Chicago leads the Western Conference with 52 points and a record of 24-11-4 through 39 games, which is also tied for the NHL lead, with the New York Rangers.

The American Hockey League announced today that Adirondack Phantoms goaltender Michael Leighton has been named to the 2012 All-Star Classic in Atlantic City, N.J. Leighton will be one of three goalies on the Eastern Conference All-Stars.

Leighton has gone 11-11-0 this season with the Phantoms, posting a 2.44 goals-against-average and .920 save percentage with one shutout in 23 appearances in net.

He is scheduled to be the starting goalie for the Adirondack Phantoms in their Outdoor Classic on January 6 at Citizens Bank Ballpark in Philadelphia, which will make him the only goalie to start outdoor games in the NHL and AHL.

JAN - 3

3:19 p.m.

What an atmosphere. What a game. What a crowd. What a day!

All of these things accurately describe what's sure to go down as the most anticipated and highest level of hockey in Winter Classic history, but the loss by the Flyers doesn't hurt because it's the Winter Classic. It's because a valuable two points in the standings slipped though their fingers.

So what comes next?

Well, a day after the biggest event in the NHL's season (besides maybe the day they award the Stanley Cup) the Flyers returned to a life of normalcy.

That's right, a normal practice, a normal lunch without cameras or a boom microphone hovering above them and a normal home game to prepare for in the days ahead.

"It'll be good to get back to a regular routine and, as cool as it is to go through all of that stuff, it'll be nice to get back to a normal schedule," said James van Riemsdyk.

Today at the Virtua Center Flyers Skatezone in Voorhees, the Flyers held an optional skate where around 10-12 players spent about 30 minutes on the ice.

"It's not a real structured day, but certainly you notice the subtraction of what was brought [in here] for the last month. It'll get back to normal quick enough," said Flyers head coach Peter Laviolette.

Most veterans like Kimmo Timonen, Matt Carle, Braydon Coburn, Max Talbot and others took the day off from the ice, but noticed a different atmosphere walking in to the facility.

"It was a little different coming in today and not having the HBO camera around," said Matt Carle. "It's kind of a sad day if you think about it, almost like Christmas morning where you get done and now it's over, but life goes on."

The good news at least is that the Flyers don't have to jump right into their next game having a full two-day break in the schedule.

"I think it's huge having a couple days here, especially being at home and being able to recuperate," added Carle. "Everybody had a bunch of friends and family in town, and you get to say your goodbyes and get back to work tomorrow and prepare for Chicago coming in here."

What unfortunately doesn't get any easier is the opponent. The Blackhawks own the best record in the NHL (along with the Rangers) with 52 points and sit a top the Western Conference standings.

Flyers GM Paul Holmgren updated the status of forward Jaromir Jagr today. Jagr has a mild left groin strain and will be out seven to 10 days.

The 39-year-old forward left in the final minutes of the first period of the Winter Classic and played just one shift in the second period. By game's end he had played just 7:09 of the entire game, where he would typically play close to 17 minutes.

Jagr currently ranks third on the team in scoring at nearly a point-per-game pace with 12 goals and 19 assists for 31 points in 33 games.

He has missed use four games so far this season, all in November due to a lower-body injury.

JAN - 1
4:49 p.m.

The Flyers announced today that Sergei Bobrovsky will start in the 2012 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic.

Bobrovsky currently owns an 8-2-1 record to go along with a 2.52 goals-against average and .914 save percentage in 14 starts this season.

In his most recent start, Bobrovsky led the Flyers to a 4-2 win over the Penguins at Pittsburgh on Dec. 29 by stopping 24 of 26 shots. He has also won his last three starts in net and has appeared in relief twice during that span.

"Bob's been playing well for us," said Claude Giroux. "The last few games he's been working hard and battles a lot."

It's that work ethic that seems to catch the attention of both the players and head coach Peter Laviolette.

"Bob's preparation is terrific," said Laviolette. "He spends a lot of time in the weight room and after practice making sure that he's conditioned and ready. I think it's his whole work ethic that allows him to continue to be better."

"Give credit to Bob. He works hard. He's one of these guys that everyday he's busting his hump," said defenseman Braydon Coburn. "The confidence I've seen him play with this year it's been impressive and it's good for him."

Since earning a 4-3 overtime win against the Islanders on Nov. 23, Bobrovsky has gone 5-1-0 with a 1.55 GAA and .947 save percentage in which he has stopped 177 of 187 total shots.

The 23-year-old native of Novokuznetsk, Russia is in just his second year with the Flyers and in the NHL. In his rookie campaign he posted a 28-13-8 record in 54 regular season starts.

The National Hockey League today announced that tomorrow's 2012 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic will start at3 p.m., ET (NBC,CBC,RDS). The game originally was scheduled for 1 p.m., ET.

The revised start time decision was based on tomorrow’s weather forecast
and should offer optimal game conditions for players and fans.