October 30, 2013 |
Unhappy with Erik Gustafsson's play Saturday, Flyers coach Craig Berube is making a change on the blue line for Tuesday's game against the Anaheim Ducks at the Wells Fargo Center. Gustafsson is out. Andrej Meszaros (remember him?) is in. "Last game was a little bit of a down game for him," Berube said after Monday's practice in Voorhees. "Other than that, he's been pretty good. I didn't like his last game as much, but I also want to get Mez in there, too. He's been out a little bit and needs to play.
October 18, 2013 |
ANDREJ MESZAROS is the most expensive healthy scratch in Flyers history. While you are letting that ruminate for a second, consider that fact would not have mattered as recently as 10 years ago, when there was no salary cap in the NHL. But this is 2013-14 and they are paying Meszaros $67,073.17 per game to watch from the press box while he chews up nearly 7 percent of the team's overall, $64.3 million cap. Meszaros, 28, will make $5.5 million...
October 16, 2013 |
Erik Gustafsson was rewarded for his patience. Gustafsson was one of the Flyers' best defensemen during the latter part of last season, and he then excelled in the IIHF World Championships in May, playing on the top pairing and helping Sweden win the title. And then he was a healthy scratch in the Flyers' first five games this season. "Obviously you want to play all the games, but I don't think I played as well as I should have in camp," Gustafsson said after Monday's practice in Voorhees.
October 14, 2013 |
DETROIT - Scott Hartnell's upper-body injury is more serious than the Flyers initially thought, general manager Paul Holmgren said before Saturday's game in Detroit. After an MRI exam was performed, Holmgren said Hartnell will miss two to four weeks. The veteran left winger was injured in Friday's 2-1 loss to Phoenix, and Holmgren originally expected him to miss just a week. "It's in a place where it affects a lot of his movements from side to side," said Holmgren, declining to give any more specifics about the injury except to say he "turned to retrieve a pass and felt some stabbing pain.
October 7, 2013 |
MONTREAL - The Flyers, hoping the new campaign brings them redemption, would be wise to use last season as a blueprint for what to avoid. For the Flyers, the lockout-shortened 2013 campaign was, in a word, bizarre. It seems almost incomprehensible for a team to have the NHL's best overall special teams and still miss qualifying for the Stanley Cup playoffs, but that's what happened to the Flyers. You don't have to be a descendant of the late, great Fred Shero to understand the reason for their failure: lousy even-strength play.
October 3, 2013
* Will the defense hold up? Including Hal Gill, the Flyers have one of the oldest defense corps in the NHL, with an average age of 30.1. Three of the eight (Gill, Mark Streit, Kimmo Timonen) are 35 or older. More important, Andrej Meszaros (27) and Nick Grossmann (28) have bodies that have held up like 40-year-olds over the last two seasons. If they can all stay on the ice, it's possible the Flyers could be in for a better season than most predict. * Can they get off to a good start?
October 2, 2013 |
The Flyers open the season Wednesday against visiting Toronto, and last season's disappointing start is still fresh on their collective minds. The Flyers began last season 0-3 and 2-6 and never recovered, missing the playoffs for just the second time in the last 18 seasons. "Starting the way we did was frustrating, and you try to climb back right away," captain Claude Giroux said Monday after a 21/2-hour practice in Voorhees. "I think the first few games, Toronto and Montreal, are going to be pretty big games for us. " The Flyers play eight of their first 12 games at the Wells Fargo Center.
October 1, 2013 |
The Flyers allowed too many odd-man rushes last season, gave opponents too much time and space in the offensive end, and were in the bottom third of the league in goals surrendered. They have most of the same defensemen back this season, but there is a major difference. They are healthy. Will it translate to success, or will the absence of Chris Pronger - the snarling, crease-clearing defenseman whose Hall of Fame career has ended because of concussion symptoms - continue to haunt them?
September 25, 2013 |
While goalies Ray Emery and Steve Mason are dueling for the Flyers' starting job in training camp, there are indications that the competition will carry into the regular season. "I think we have two good goaltenders that will play a lot," coach Peter Laviolette said after a fast-paced camp session Monday at the Wells Fargo Center. "We're going to pick one to start the season and see the other one probably shortly after that. They've both done a real nice job. " The Flyers have three exhibition games left, including Tuesday's at the Wells Fargo Center against the New Jersey Devils, and they open the regular season Oct. 2 against visiting Toronto.
September 23, 2013 |
LAKE PLACID, N.Y. - Nick Grossmann said he tries not to look back too much on last season, but every now and again, it enters his mind. "You think of things that you could have done better," Grossmann said. "You think of things you wish you could change. " If Grossmann could change one thing about last season - and really, his entire year-and-a-half tenure with the Flyers - it would be his number of trips to the trainer's office. Since joining the Flyers at the 2012 trade deadline, Grossmann has played in fewer than 70 percent (61 of 89)