Sunday’s outcome was a tough pill to swallow. I feel that the Penguins stole that game in those last few minutes after a very unlucky bounce of the puck out of play by Timmonen. The Flyers played a great game, and I’m still bitter about some of those calls (the one disallowing that 2nd goal especially, as well as the Hartnell interference call). There’s nothing they can do about it now, except get ready for Atlanta on Thursday.
Flyers OnTheFly has reported that they will be off today after having a special teams-oriented practice yesterday. Another encouraging tidbit from the Flyers is that defenseman underwent successful surgery to remove a disc fragment in his lumbar spine. From a health standpoint, this is great news because anything to do with the spine is obviously serious business. He is slated to return anywhere after the next 6 weeks, and us Flyers fans wish him a speedy recovery. OKT has not necessarily been terrible, but he still has not has not played as well as he did before he re-injured his knee. He had some decent games back in October and November. Hopefully he gets back on track. I still like the way Bartulis has been playing, and I’d like to see his continued play with Timmonen. He could learn a lot from Kimmo.
The internet buzz this past weekend has still been on the whole Carcillo and Gaborik fight that happened last Thursday. My opinion is no different than that of other reasonable opinions; Gaborik dropped his gloves, and thus loses all “honorable protection” or however Tortorella wants to put a spin on it. Carcillo picked him off of the pile up, and did not punch him. They jawed a bit, exchanged some shoves, then when the gloves come off, Carcillo sees an oppurtunity to take their leading scorer off the ice for 5 minutes and get a few shots in. Would they be saying the same thing if Avery went after Richards or Carter? It’s not even like Carcillo is a big guy either. He is a lightweight, maybe even a small middleweight by hockey fighter standards. I feel like every Rangers-Flyers broadcast I see, Torts is blowing his cap off about something or another. Avery went after Richards in the last 7 seconds of an already decided game. Was Lavvy attacking Avery in the media? No. It’s even funnier that all the Rangers who were asked about the Gaborik incident had something bad to say about Carcillo too. Of course they’re going to side with their player, but maybe Gaborik should think before he acts last time. That’s all I’m going to say about it. The topic is almost a week old and is tired already.
I’m still really excited about Giroux centering JVR and Asham. I feel like Asham is an under-appreciated part of the Flyers team. Powe and Betts are starting to get some more recognition due to their defensive play and great fore-checking along with the Flyers record with and without them in the line-up. Asham, however, seems to have a bag of tricks he pulls out at certain times. Small as that bag is, he has impressed me the past season and a half in Flyers orange, and it’s not often that happens coming from someone who played for a rival (Devils) a season earlier. I like Asham’s strong play along the boards and how he uses his body to protect the puck, allowing JVR to use his long reach and big body to help him dig pucks and get them to the points to set up in the zone. There’s not enough things to say about Giroux and how calm and confident he is with the puck. Not many young players like that can maneuver like he can, and all eyes are on him when he gets steam going through the offensive zone. If they can continue to get scoring chances like that, not many 3rd lines on other teams will be able to fully match-up with us. And then they know what comes with our tenacious 4th line.
Until Thursday, Go Flyers.