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What the Flyers Need to Avoid Tonight

Last week in Montreal, the Flyers got shut out 3-0 by giving up a pair of powerplay goals and failing to capitalize on their own powerplay chances. The Canadiens carried the play in the first and then caused the Flyers to play catch-up the whole game. Tonight, the scene will shift to Philadelphia and the annoying Habs fans won’t have a chance to sing their “Nah nah nah nah hey hey goodbye” for a regular season game. The Flyers are definitely looking forward to this one as a chance to build on the sloppy game yet solid effort that they won in a shootout on Saturday against the Caps. Subban and Richards exchanged pleasantries last time around, so look for that if the game gets out of hand.

The Flyers powerplay needs to keep things simple and get shots on net with traffic in front. That’s how they were so successful earlier this month, and that’s how Flyers hockey scores on the powerplay more often than not. The penalty kill needs to tighten up for sure, but the amount of penalties taken needs to be cut down. Danny Briere’s stick infraction last game nearly lost them the game, and it can’t happen again. Good teams will make you pay for that usually, but we got a little lucky on Saturday.

They need to test Price early and often. I doubt he’s going to return another 41 save performance in Philly tonight. Boosh will get the start again tonight, and they need to make sure he feels comfortable early or it could be a long night.

James Van Riemsdyk had his best game of the season on Saturday. He was all over the ice, taking the body, and cycling the puck down low using his size. This was the JVR we wanted to see this year, and he needs to take that game and flush it. He may have played well, but the only way to show your coach that you shouldn’t be scratched again when Carcillo returns is to keep building on each game and getting better. He should be getting that first goal soon, why not tonight? If he keeps working hard and stops trying to be too fancy with the puck, the bounces will come his way.

There’s been a lot of talk about Bobrovsky being rested the past two games, but I think this is a good thing. He can take a step back and evaluate what went well with those 10+ games he saw action in and what didn’t go so well. Jeff Reese can show him some film and work him to improve his game. This also gives Boosh a chance to get some work in because you can’t play an 82-game season and win with just one goalie in today’s league. Bobs is our starter for sure, but right now as a young goaltender still acclimating to the North American culture and game, a break can be a good thing.

Tonight should be a good hockey game for fans in general, then the Flyers travel to Minnesota, back home to take on Calgary, then to New Jersey to meet the Devils for the first time this season. Should be an interesting Thanksgiving week/weekend.

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Posted by on November 22, 2010 in Flyers Talk and Other

 

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JVR Scratched; Grudge Match and Caps

The Flyers have been hot as hell lately with their five-game winning streak. Last time I posted they were going into that Columbus game that we all would rather not talk about. They played un-inspired hockey and walked out of there with a win, but have not lost since. Even with the suspension of Danny Briere and the injury to Nodl, our forwards still found ways to score and our defense has been terrific. It was nice to see Bartulis get some time in when Meszaros was out, and things are looking good for this hockey club. JVR is going to be scratched tonight, and anyone who has watched this season can tell you why. He looked like a new player the first few games and began to look like that power forward we all thought he’d become… but he’s been trying a bit too hard out there. Instead of keeping it simple, he has tried a bit too much and it costs him and the team in the offensive zone. A game or two to sit out and go back to the drawing board might be good for him, as we saw with Nikolai Zherdev a few games prior. This move is to bring Nodl back into the line-up who had the best game of his young career before getting hurt against the Islanders. Another surprise has been rookie Eric Wellwood who has found his place amongst some of the Flyers standouts and has been a contributing member to each of the Flyers past few wins.

Sergei Bobrovsky gets the start again tonight in Long Island after looking GREAT in the past five contests. That either means he is going to get a good amount of work this weekend with the game at Washington tomorrow, or he will sit tomorrow and Boosh will get the nod. Either way, this rookie has every thing you want in a potential star goaltender… it gets me excited. When’s the last time we had a young goalie we were this excited about? Cechmanek, Beezer, Esche… they were all pretty old by the time we got to them. With Jeff Reese and Lavvy getting things going, maybe Bobs could pan out to be the #1 goalie we’ve been longing for; but let’s not get ahead of ourselves. Tonight should be a battle since Briere got suspended last week for his crosscheck to the head on Nielsen. There were a good amount of scrums and fisticuffs, so look for more of that. They weren’t too happy with our 6-1 shellacking last week, so they better come out ready tonight.

 
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Posted by on November 6, 2010 in Flyers Talk and Other

 

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History Has Been Made

What can you say about last night’s win that hasn’t been said already? We all knew the story, even the ones who jumped on the bandwagon knew what last night’s game meant. Yet, what I was a part of last night will stick with me forever.

I walked into the Wach last night for the viewing party and got my courtesy “LET’S GO FLYERS” sign. There were drunk high school kids, die-hard fans, and casual fans all around me who all wanted the same thing: one more game, and one more round. The chants were cranked up to 11 as my friends and I made our way to our seats (Section 108/109). It filled up quickly as orange quickly swallowed the dark red color of the seats. The Flyers crew was walking around, and popped up on the screen from time to time to get the fans into it. What happened next gave me as big of goosebumps as I’ve ever had an actual Flyers game: Lauren Hart coming on screen with a recording of a recent rendition of “God Bless America”. You thought it was loud when we got there? Kate Smith stole the show. I was not even a thought when she sang on this particular recording, yet I as well as everyone else in attendance knew the significance of this song. My arms were prickly with goosebumps as the last chords of the song ran out, and then it erupted as the VERSUS feed came onto the screen and showed us fellow Flyers fans going nuts.
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Posted by on May 15, 2010 in Playoffs

 

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JVR Returns to Continue the 15-Game Streak


-John Tavares getting a souvenir from trying to accentuate a Chris Pronger hit earlier this season (Prongs was penalized for it).

The talk in Flyerdom after their 3 days off is the final game at the Islanders tonight. The Flyers have won 15 straight against their division opponent, and look to make it 16 straight tonight to continue the longest active streak of any NHL team against another. They’ll do it tonight with the return of rookie forward James van Riemsdyk who was shaken up a bit during last Saturday’s loss to the Penguins when Timonen’s shot hit him below the knee. After sitting the Devils game, he will be back to help out and replace Carcillo who was suspended for two games for his match penalty against Clarkson on Sunday. Bill Metzler posted the probable lines for tonight’s game:

Hartnell – Richards – Giroux
Gagne – Briere – Leino
JVR – Powe – Asham
Cote – Betts – Laperriere

Carle – Pronger
Timonen – Krajicek
Bartulis – Parent

Hartnell playing with Richie and Giroux is a good move, and probably the best fit to replace Carcillo on that line. Although he played very well with Powe and Asham, it makes the most sense rather than put Cote, Asham, or JVR on that first line. The Briere line should continue to do well. Leino should be able to dangle around the Islanders tonight and set-up some scoring chances. Cote gets another shot for at least another two games, so I hope he’s ready to do his job with his limited ice-time. I wouldn’t mind him dropping the gloves either. Also, notice that Coburn is missing from that pairings list, which is an interesting move considering Parent was scratched in a coaches decision the past couple games. Perhaps Lavvy is lighting a fire under his ass and hoping he picks his play up? Another interesting idea would be if the Flyers were strapped for forwards again due to injury, suspensions, NHL abductions (hey it could happen with our team ya know), etc… What would you think of Coburn playing on the 4th line as a winger? His defensive responsibilities would be cut shorter obviously, and I’ve liked his play when pinching in the offensive zone and getting deep. It’s just his defensive play I’ve been suspect about. Just a thought…

Need these two points tonight, only a possible 12 points left to gain with six games left.

*Image courtesy of the Islanders’ official site.

 
 

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Flyers Come Back Big; Other Flyers Happenings

The Flyers have not come back from a 2 goal or more deficit all season, that is until tonight when the Flyers were down 2-0 against the New Jersey Devils late in the 2nd. A great breakout by Claude Giroux to James Van Riemsdyk led to the Flyers first goal, and with a little more than a minute later they would tie it up on another nice breakout. This time, it was Scott Hartnell feeding Jeff Carter across the slot to ram it home past Brodeur to close out the 2nd period tied at two. It would stay that way until Kimmo Timonen made a nice pinch into the offensive zone on the powerplay and brought the puck behind the net before finding his captain in front of the net for an easy slam dunk into the net to take the lead 3-2. These three goal scorers have been struggling lately and maybe they pick it up after some confidence-boosting goals tonight.
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Fight Night in Philly; Hurricanes and Penguins Visit this Weekend

The Flyers got themselves into a wild game last night. From the drop of the puck, the two Atlantic division rivals clashed in a fast-paced, hard-hitting game. The first 10 minutes of the opening period flew by as there was only about two whistles during that span. The Flyers arguably controlled the pace of that period with 12 shots to the Rangers 6, and there was lots of great puck movement in the transition game and the defense did an absolutely outstanding job of keeping the Rangers to the outside and allowing our forwards to come in and help get the puck. Richie started things off early by dumping Brian Boyle in the opening minute of the game and then proceeded to knock down their top scorer Marian Gaborik later in the period.
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Posted by on January 22, 2010 in Flyers Talk and Other

 

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Flyers Honor Schultz Tonight at Home in Atlantic Division Action

Weekend was crazy and I’m a busy student so sorry for lack of updates…

Philadelphia Flyers legend Dave Schultz will be inducted into the Flyers Hall of Fame in a pre-game ceremony tonight when those New Jersey Devils take the NJ turnpike south and across the bridge to come into our house up 7 points in the division. Flyers got to a 5-game winning streak after beating Ottawa on Thursday, yet it ended quickly in Buffalo on Saturday in what became a frustrating 3-2 loss to the hands of Ryan Miller and the Sabres’ powerplay. Jeff Carter notched the first shorthanded goal of the season in the 3rd period but they could not surmount Miller’s excellent goaltending as he saved 29 of their 31 shots.

Oskars Bartulis made his debut last Thursday and has been playing pretty well. Expect him to be getting more playing time and possibly having Syvret bumped back down to the Phantoms. Laliberte also was sent back down to the Phantoms this weekend as Cote played in Saturday night’s game as well due to JVR being out with the flu. James Van Riemsdyk will be back tonight, though.

Apparently New Jersey is going for a win to tie a league record of opening their season without a road loss (9 games). Let’s hope the Flyers put an end to that just like we did in our first game of the season. It’s going to be a full crowd tonight for Schultz and the Flyers, and hopefully the defense can keep Parise off the puck. Timmonen matched up pretty well against him last time, hopefully they can do the same. Going up 2-0 against the Devils right now in the season series would be great to cut their 7 point lead down and help make a push to move up in the standings. They are playing more games and only have 4 days off within the next 12 days so if this young team can get the wheels rolling, they will be hard to stop. They’ve played better hockey when they had small layoff time, but I think they haven’t played their best yet. November and December could be good months to do that to get some momentum going into January for the Olympic Break.

 
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Posted by on November 16, 2009 in Flyers News, Flyers Talk and Other

 

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