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Monthly Archives: March 2010

6 Games Left; Carcillo Will Only Play Four of Them

The 6th seeded Flyers have six games on their regular season schedule. Three home games, three away games. That’s all that separates us and the Stanley Cup playoffs. A final game at the Islanders, a home finale against Montreal, Red Wings in town on Sunday on NBC, finale at Toronto, and a home and home finishing in Philadelphia against the Rangers. That’s a couple tough games right there. After looking like a great team on Sunday against the Devils (winning 5-1), the Flyers will be without Dan Carcillo who has been drawing many penalties lately and has been helping out with key scoring chances in the offensive zone. Dan Carcillo has been suspended two games by the NHL for an infraction that occurred during Sunday’s Devils game with Clarkson. The video was found by a commenter on The 700 Level (Chris) and can be seen here.

The call for a suspension in itself is questionable. Clarkson and Carbomb were throwing punches and Carcillo’s stick was in there, and seemed to get pushed up when Clarkson was shoving him. Still a penalty, but not necessarily a suspend-able offense when you have Matt Cooke skating around and knocking peoples’ heads off. It’s unfortunate that he has to sit against the Islanders and Montreal this week, because he looked really good on Sunday with Richie and Giroux. Looks like Cote will definitely be playing another game, and if JVR can’t come back yet, we will have to call up a Phantom (Laliberte?). Shows how inconsistent the NHL is, especially to the Flyers as of late. Gagne was denied another goal at Pittsburgh this weekend in their loss; a play that changed the game.

I’m not going to complain about all that though, they need to move on from it. The game on Sunday was a great start, but they need to follow-up that effort and sweep the Islanders on Thursday. They should use the days off to get better, healthy, and focused for the stretch of six games ahead. The first round of the playoffs isn’t going to come easy, the best they can do is work hard towards it and hope they get a more favorable match-up then the top-seed.

 
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Posted by on March 30, 2010 in Flyers Talk and Other

 

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Early Golf Season?

The Flyers have been on a downward path the past week or so. With key injuries to goaltender Michael Leighton and top-scorer Jeff Carter, this team’s path to the playoffs will be anything but easy. Currently sitting in 7th place, they are barely hanging onto a playoff spot with Boston breathing down their necks and Atlanta not too far. The most recent games have shown the Flyers are still having trouble scoring on a consistent basis even though they boast a pretty good set of forwards over their 4 lines. Brian Boucher has been having trouble in some games as well, usually giving up a goal before settling down. The lines have been juggled and guys like Claude Giroux, James VanRiemsdyk, and Danny Briere need to step it up. With Carter’s injury Laviolette can now play Asham and Leino without having to decide which player to sit. Briere is moving back to center which may or may not have an impact on tonight’s game. He will be centering Leino and Gagne, so I’m hoping that line finds some room to skate. They need a team effort tonight to beat Minnesota, because this weekend is full of Atlantic division rivalry with games against the Pens and the Devils. There are nine games left in the Flyers regular season, they better not be the last of their season.

I wasn’t able to watch the last two games but I got a chance to watch the highlights and although I was pleased at the barrage of shots they put in against the Thrashers on Sunday, I got the feeling that they were disenchanted with winning against Ottawa on Tuesday. I saw the hit on Gagne and although I am baffled about some of the calls (that hit included), they need to move on and win some hockey games because complaining isn’t going to improve their playoff position.

Tim Panaccio is reporting that Jeff Carter will undergo surgery… Not sure what’s going on there. They’re saying the time of recovery will be the same if he gets surgery, so why even get surgery?

 
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Posted by on March 25, 2010 in Flyers Talk and Other

 

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Last Piece of the Thrashers

If the Flyers want to make up for their 3 losses to the Thrashers this season, now would be the time to do it. With their position in 5th place being anything but a lock at this point, they need to put some wins together. I missed the first half of last night’s game but from what I’ve heard I can piece together a picture in my mind from previous losses. They came out flat and Boucher didn’t settle down fast enough. If this team wants to win they better come out a little more confident and a little more desperate. We cannot be complacent with hanging on to 5th place because then we will lose it. Play hard to move up in the standings and it will do a few things for you:
1. You keep distance from those below you.
2. There’s still a shot at grabbing home-ice.
3. You tune-up your game and get the ball rolling going into the first round of the play-offs.

I don’t know what else to say. This team needs to pick it up or we won’t go anywhere in the playoffs. We have a big week ahead of us but they have to take care of business tonight first.

 

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Flyers Face a HUGE Challenge

I’m sorry for the lack of updates, I just finished my spring break and classes are starting to push for the final stretch of the semester; much like the NHL season for the playoffs. We saw the Flyers win in stellar dramatic fashion on Saturday against the Hawks, and then come out flat against the Rangers. They battled back against the Predators to lose in a shootout (surprise, surprise) and then find out they lost Michael Leighton… and now they’re in 7th place. Michael Leighton suffered a severe sprained ankle in Nashville on Tuesday night, and is expected to miss 8-10 weeks which is AWESOME for us Flyers fans. Our two No. 1 goalies going down in the same year and at the worst times. Brian Boucher is going to have to light some retro 2000 playoffs fire and hope he can help this downtrodden Flyers team get themselves in good position for the playoffs. People have been speculating that Robert Esche might return to the Flyers, but he would not be eligible for the playoffs at this point if he were to be picked up. Jeremy Duchesne will dress as Boosh’s backup since Backlund is still a bit sore from a lower body injury. It’s going to be a bump road to the playoffs and to the Cup with Leighton being out.

We have the Stars tonight and then to Atlanta on Saturday for a home-and-home which resumes on Sunday in Philly. All we need to do is win tonight and hope the Senators lose and we move past them in the standings and we still would have a game in hand over them. They better be ready to score some goals and help out our goalie who hasn’t looked great since the beginning of the season…

New Forward

Flyers signed a new forward, Ben Holstrom that will start at the beginning of next season. Not too sure about this signing and I’m not sure where he will play.

 

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Last Game of Homestand; Some Line-Up Changes

We all know what happened on Thursday night. Poor back-checking, a lack of coverage, and a lack of fighting for the puck and protecting Michael Leighton ended up in a 5-1 loss for the Flyers. All of the goals he allowed were not his fault, as he was usually beaten on loose pucks around him after he made the initial save and sometimes the second. A couple of those goals were tic-tac-toe passing plays where the Bruins were free wheeling and moving the puck around at will. In light of that poor effort, Scott Hartnell was one of the players who did not see a lot of play time in the 3rd period. Could this be a message from Lavvy?
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Is Simon Gagne Back?

One of the main concerns regarding the Flyers this year and last is their great play for small stretches and then being bit by the inconsistency bug throughout the season. A victim of that this year has been long-time Flyer Simon Gagne who was once known for his defensive play as well as his knack for scoring and helping other teammates score. He was plagued by groin injuries this year and had only 8 goals going into the Olympic break. Since then, he’s scored 4 goals and seems to have been playing very well since he scored that OT winner in Jersey. I’ve hinted at this before, but he continues to create scoring chances and shows more confidence with the puck. He’s solving his problems the way he used to; by shooting the puck. Last night he scored the game winner on the powerplay by just getting the puck to the net towards a crashing Mike Richards but it went in anyways. Those kinds of goals can help build on the confidence a player has, and that’s what we will need from him towards the end of the year. You see guys like Claude Giroux last night who got an important game-tying goal with a nifty backhand, and guys like Mike Richards who continues to play like a man on a mission. If these players can be the difference makers for the next month, we’re going to be a team to be reckoned with in the playoffs. The defense needs to continue to be solid and good things will follow.

The Flyers wrap up their homestand against the Bruins tomorrow night and the Blackhawks on Saturday. These are two tough opponents who won’t be as easy to come back from like the Islanders were last night after being up two goals. The Flyers are currently 5 points out of 4th and 5th place (New Jersey and Ottawa respectively). They have potential to battle for a home-ice position come playoff time. We face those two teams one more time each at the end of this month, so those match-ups could potentially be even bigger than just a last-minute grab for 2 points.

 
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Posted by on March 10, 2010 in Flyers Talk and Other

 

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Flyers Look for Redemption During Homestand

I didn’t get to watch the game on Friday night because I was out of market in Reading and apparently the place I was staying gets Comcast SportsNet but not The Comcast Network. Figures. You can find a recap for that game on the Flyers official website or perhaps another Flyers blog we linked to on here. We got a point out of it in overtime and we start a 4-game homestand tonight with the Maple Leafs. Richards and Gagne scored on Friday night, which leads me to believe they both are really trying to step it up for this end of season push to the playoffs.

Bartulis has been cleared to return to play, yet I don’t know if they’re going to put him in the line-up just yet. I expect them to wait till at least the next game, depending on how Ryan Parent is doing. Ville Leino will be in the line-up again since Powe is still nursing a bruised foot. From what I read, Leino played on a line with Carter and Briere and they looked really good. I hope they do that again so I can check it out tonight. Hartnell played with Giroux and JVR, while Asham moved to play with Lappy and Betts. I think I like these changes, as Giroux and JVR now have a veteran gritty player on their team in Hartnell who has a little more speed than a guy like Asham who seems to be able to fit in no matter what line he plays on. I’d like to see Briere and Giroux play together if these lines don’t work, but we will see.

I’ll have more on the game tonight or tomorrow.

 
 

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