Well I’m back to school and I know updates have been very sparse, but I hope to continue to update as frequently and as much as I can. The Flyers have a huge weekend ahead of them as they play three Conference opponents with two of them being division rivals who are higher in the standings. Here’s some thoughts on what has been going on in Flyer country recently and such:
More recently, Laviolette has changed his lines up and personally I love the idea of Giroux playing with Asham and JVR. Last year, Asham and Giroux were playing on a line great together when they paired with Powe and Briere at times. I think JVR fits in well with them as he used his quickness and his size to fight for pucks. Giroux’s behind the back pass last night? RIDICULOUS. Powe seems to have found some room with the Richie and Gagne line, and I can’t help but like that call as well. It brings an active young guy in to break up the passing lanes and leave room for Gagne to get more confidence back… which brings me to the next point of my ramble…
Mike Richards has seemed to have stopped shooting the puck. He’s always been a young leader loved for his veteran-type play at times, one of those qualities sometimes being his patience with the puck. I’m all up for being patient, but when he’s on the rush he waits too long to make a decision and he gets snuffed or his pass gets knocked down. He needs to shoot if no ones open. Good things will happen, especially when guys like Powe are crashing the net and Gags is usually coming in late to snipe a rebound or something. I just get frustrated when he brings the puck in on a scoring opportunity and doesn’t get anything off of it. He was doing much better when he shot the puck. I love that Jeff Carter shoots the puck. I thought it was awesome that his line mates kept feeding him when he was in his hunt for the hat trick last night. Anyways, I digress.
Tomorrow the night the Rangers will be in town to continue their 6-game home stand. In comes a division rival that has the Flyer four points behind them with two games in hand and they need to make up for lost time and move up in the standings. Then on Saturday and Sunday, matinee games against the Hurricanes and Penguins, in that order (Penguins game being on NBC). The Flyers have been playing much better hockey since starting to come out of their slump going into the new year, and they need to continue it.
The last time they met the Rangers, Gagne had a hat trick in leading them to a 6-0 shutout victory at Madison Square Garden. They need to do what they did early in that game by attacking early, pressing the forecheck, and making Henrik Lundqvist work for every save. They can’t let a great goalie like that take over the game, and they need to contain players like Gaborik. Emery is back at his starting job, so he will take it tomorrow but I’d see Leighton possibly getting the start against his former team on Saturday and letting Emery handle the Penguins on Sunday. Updates this weekend.