March 28, 2013 |
IN SUNDAY'S overtime loss to Pittsburgh, coach Peter Laviolette liked what he saw in the Flyers' defensive zone, but said "it could be better. " On Tuesday night, it got worse. Perhaps the only way to cure what ails the Flyers - the same thing that has been their downfall all season: downright bad defense - is by beefing up the blue line. Last week, Flyers general manager Paul Holmgren and director of hockey ops Chris Pryor created buzz in their native Minnesota by scouting both the WCHA's Final Five tournament and the Wild's home game against San Jose.
March 8, 2013 |
YOU KNOW ALL those Philly cops who packed the courtroom last week for former Lt. Jonathan Josey? Their cheers were so jubilant when Judge Patrick Dugan acquitted Josey of assault, it would be easy to assume that their euphoria was shared by all Philly cops. No way, said an officer who reached out after reading my column about Josey. I'd written that the verdict was a disgrace. Who, I ranted, could view the videotape of Josey slugging a woman after the Puerto Rican Day parade last summer and conclude that it was anything less than a deliberate clobber?
March 6, 2013 |
ONE GAGGLE of cameras and audio recorders surrounded Wayne Simmonds. Another was quickly forming around Danny Briere. Brayden Schenn kept his head down and walked toward his stall in the corner of the Flyers' dressing room, distanced from the bright lights and eager microphones. Schenn, 21, entered Monday's action tied for 29th in NHL scoring with 19 points - ahead of such bigger names as Jonathan Toews, Marian Hossa, Ilya Kovalchuk, Alex Ovechkin and even Simmonds. Yet no player ahead of him on that list - especially no Flyer - has received less attention and fanfare this season.
February 7, 2013 |
GROUNDHOG DAY was last Saturday. For Bruno Gervais, it had to feel like the start of the Flyers' season again. Gervais was a new face in a new place, yet he still began the year the same way he did last season: in the press box. As a member of the Tampa Bay Lightning last season, the defenseman was scratched for nearly the first 40 games, before impressing Guy Boucher's staff and finishing on a strong note as a regular. Gervais, 28, was scratched for the Flyers' first two games, passed over in favor of fellow newcomer Kurtis Foster.
May 1, 2012 |
NEW YORK - Alex Ovechkin's power-play goal with 7 minutes, 27 seconds remaining snapped a tie and gave the Washington Capitals a 3-2 victory over the New York Rangers that squared their Eastern Conference semifinal series at one game apiece on Monday night. A little less than six minutes after Ryan Callahan got the Rangers even with a power-play goal, Ovechkin put the Capitals ahead for good after they had squandered a 2-0 lead. Former Flyer Mike Knuble and Jason Chimera scored first-period goals for the Capitals, who will host the next two games of the series.
April 3, 2012 |
STEVEN STAMKOS scored two late goals, giving him an NHL-best 58 this season, and the host Tampa Bay Lightning handed the playoff-hopeful Washington Capitals a damaging, 4-2 loss on Monday night. Stamkos gave the Lightning a 3-2 lead with 1:03 left, just 2:14 after Jason Chimera tied it for Washington, when he put in a rebound after goalie Michal Neuvirth had stopped Brett Clark's shot from the blue line. Stamkos then scored into an empty net at 19:58. Washington, which also got a goal from Alexander Semin, is in eighth place in the Eastern Conference.
March 21, 2012 |
KNOCKING ON WOOD in the Flyers' locker room yesterday, Jaromir Jagr said he is tired of stopping and starting. Not on the ice. But in the rehab process - the one that he's continually started over again, without fail, since his wonky groin and hip first started acting up on Nov. 17. Play two games. Rest. Play two games. Sit. Skate for 14 games. Rest for two. Play seven games. Sit for two. Push for eight. Sit out. For the most part, Jagr's season has been like a Ferrari snarled in traffic on the Schuylkill Expressway - just enough room to press the pedal, but not enough to fully appreciate the price tag. Because even when Jagr has been playing, he hasn't been 100 percent.
March 12, 2012 |
NEWARK, N.J. - It is no coincidence that the Flyers' improved defensive play started at around the time they acquired Nick Grossmann from Dallas on Feb. 16. It took the 6-foot-4, 230-pound Grossmann a couple of games to get acclimated to a new system, but he has provided a much-needed physical presence and kept the front of the net clear for Flyers goalies. Grossman was plus-5 in 10 games with the Flyers, entering Sunday. In his last eight games, the Flyers had allowed a total of just 12 goals.
February 20, 2012 |
In a span OF 3 nights, the Flyers added nearly 484 pounds of beef to their blue line with defensemen Pavel Kubina and Nicklas Grossman. The two defensemen have combined to block 203 shots this season, which is almost as many as Braydon Coburn, Andrej Meszaros and Marc-Andre Bourdon have stopped from getting to the net. Notice a pattern? Hey, if your $51 million goaltender can't stop a puck, I guess you better limit how many he sees on a nightly basis. "With the addition of Nicklas and Pavel, we've certainly replaced some of the size and maybe some of the nastiness that Chris [Pronger]
February 3, 2012 |
AT FIRST glance, it was a throwaway moment - a routine play in the NHL that you probably wouldn't spend another second thinking about. The Predators' net, with Anders Lindback on the bench, was as empty as the Wells Fargo Center, since Wayne Simmonds' goal with 4 minutes and 41 seconds left had already sent most of the 19,823 in attendance sprinting toward the parking lot. Jaromir Jagr picked up the puck in the neutral zone and barreled in...