Flyers Notes: Flyers are most penalized team in NHL

ASSOCIATED PRESS Rangers' Rick Nash celebrates one of his two goals in third period in front of Flyers goalie Ilya Bryzgalov, and Braydon Coburn.
ASSOCIATED PRESS Rangers' Rick Nash celebrates one of his two goals in third period in front of Flyers goalie Ilya Bryzgalov, and Braydon Coburn.
Posted: March 07, 2013

NEW YORK - Maybe it's partly because of a reputation that started in the 1970s with the Broad Street Bullies. Maybe it's simply because they are too undisciplined.

Whatever the reason, the Flyers are the NHL's most penalized team.

But their penchant for infractions isn't as damaging as it seems because the Flyers also happen to be one of the NHL's best at drawing penalties.

Entering Tuesday's game against the New York Rangers, the Flyers were averaging a league-high 17.2 penalty minutes per game. They were shorthanded 96 times (tied for second in the league), but also had 96 power-play opportunities, second in the NHL.

Sometimes in other games around the league, coach Peter Laviolette said, only two penalties are called on each team. "But that rarely happens with us," he said. "I don't know if it's the style or the color of the jersey or what that brings it out in both" teams.

In others words, opponents are also more undisciplined when they face the Flyers.

"I think we've just got to come to the realization that the penalty killing needs to be real good," Laviolette said. "I think we should spend more time working on the penalty kill and less time evaluating the penalties."

In their last 16 games before Tuesday, the Flyers were successful on 61 of their last 66 penalty kills (92.4 percent), including 15 straight.

Braydon Coburn entered Tuesday leading the NHL with 17 minor penalties. Teammates Kimmo Timonen (12 minors, tied for seventh) and Zac Rinaldo (11 minors, tied for 10th) were also in the top 10.

Wellwood returns

The Flyers recalled winger Eric Wellwood from the AHL's Phantoms, but he was a healthy scratch as Mike Knuble replaced the suspended Harry Zolnierczyk.

Wellwood, who turns 23 Wednesday, had six goals and six assists in 43 games with Adirondack. He played four games with the Flyers earlier this season.

Breakaways

Center Brad Richards, the Rangers' third-leading scorer, missed the game because he still was suffering from a hit delivered by Buffalo's Patrick Kaleta on Sunday. The Rangers recalled Micheal Haley, who had 158 penalty minutes in 56 AHL games this season for Connecticut, to replace Richards. . . . At a corresponding point last season, the Flyers were 14-7-3 and in the early stages of a seven-game winning streak that raised their record to 20-7-3.

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