December 29, 2008
VANCOUVER - The best thing about the Flyers' Western Conference swing is the chance to see teams not normally seen live in the East. I hope people are paying attention. While it's true that the Flyers had a day from travel hell, getting into Chicago late Friday and then getting stranded at the airport after that night's game because of weather, what happened to them didn't have as much to do with the elements as it did the Blackhawks. That is one young, fast, skilled team that will be a good bet to go deep in the playoffs.
December 6, 2010 |
UNIONDALE, N.Y. - Andreas Nodl was not supposed to be on the ice. Now, after he killed three birds with one puck, Nodl has given coach Peter Laviolette something to think about. With one flick of the wrist in the third period, Nodl not only created his third scoring streak of the season, but solved the Flyers' 2-for-44 power-play drought and allowed his team to escape embarrassment on Long Island by tying the game against the NHL's worst team. Danny Briere scored less than 3 minutes after Nodl cashed in on the power play, giving the Flyers a 3-2, come-from-behind win at decrepit Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum in a game they controlled for more than 55 minutes.
October 27, 2009 |
WHEN THERE'S smoke, there's usually fire. Simon Gagne said last week that he didn't feel right on the ice. Flyers general manager Paul Holmgren said Gagne - who was battling through his longest start to a season without a goal - would be fine once he scored. Gagne did that on Saturday, breaking his seven-game drought. But he still didn't feel right on Sunday, telling the Flyers that he felt he didn't have the "power" to skate. Gagne skated just one shift in the third period of Sunday's 4-1 loss to San Jose and missed practice yesterday.
April 19, 2011
BUFFALO - They call it new life, the playoffs, but the truth is that you can and often do take your past with you. You take your special-team troubles with you, take how you're feeling with the puck on your stick and off it. Sometimes you shake it off in time to make that new life rewarding, sometimes you die a thousand familiar deaths making the same mistakes that haunted you down the stretch. Sometimes you get a little lucky. Sometimes you don't. Jeff Carter skated into last night's game the latest entry of the what's wrong with the Flyers handbook.
May 8, 2010 |
BEFORE LAST NIGHT, you could almost see their knuckles whiten through their gloves when the bounces went the other way. And a lot of bounces went the Bruins' way en route to the Flyers' 3-0 deficit in the Eastern Conference semifinal series. Pucks bounced off Flyers players' shoulders and onto the tape of the opponent. They flew from behind the goal, over three Flyers and to the feet of a Boston shooter. The bounces continued to favor Boston last night . . . but the knuckles didn't whiten.
May 25, 2010 |
Montreal won't soon forget the second-period road scorchings it endured at the hands of the new Broad Street Bullies. The Canadiens, in a win-or-pack-up-for-good predicament, sent an early message Monday night to the Flyers, with forward Brian Gionta beating red-hot netminder Michael Leighton just 59 seconds into Game 5 of the Eastern Conference finals. By early in the second period, after the hosts had notched a pair of goals in head-spinning fashion, things were back to normal at the Wachovia Center.
June 3, 2010 |
THE FLYERS wanted to get in Antti Niemi's kitchen. They wanted to harass the Chicago goaltender, make him more uncomfortable than a stranded motorist on the Schuylkill on a steamy summer day. They sent everybody at the net. Even the guy sounding the horn at the Wachovia Center got involved. The ploy eventually worked. Claude Giroux redirected a Matt Carle slap pass at 5:59 into overtime that found its way past Niemi and gave the Flyers a 4-3 win. All of a sudden, we have a series; a very strange and already memorable series.
April 17, 2010 |
Maybe it was a case of a player reaching a certain age and feeling he no longer had to be as cautious with his words, but plenty of eyebrows were raised when Arron Asham said on the eve of the Flyers-Devils first-round playoff series that there was a flaw in Martin Brodeur's game. "He has some trouble with his footwork, so you shoot the puck low and from bad angles," the Flyers' 32-year-old winger said. "It seems, this year, that's how we got the majority of our goals. " In a sport in which the culture is to take special care not to light a match under the opponent, it was a surprising comment, especially since it was an earnest role player taking aim at a future Hall of Famer.
April 16, 2010 |
It has been a dizzying three weeks for Brian Boucher, the Flyers' revived goalie. Boucher was benched because of his poor play and replaced by an untested rookie, Johan Backlund, in Pittsburgh on March 27. If Backlund had played well, there were indications he would have been the Flyers' goalie down the stretch. Instead, Backlund aggravated a groin injury after playing two solid periods in his NHL debut. Back in came the player they call Boosh. And cue the Rocky theme song, please.
April 21, 2010 |
If the Flyers get to the second round of the playoffs, coach Peter Laviolette may have a tough goalie decision. Michael Leighton, who rescued the Flyers' season after he was claimed from Carolina on reentry waivers Dec. 15, continues to make progress from a severe high-ankle sprain, and there is a chance he could be ready to play in two or three weeks. Without Leighton, Brian Boucher has played solidly in the net. Entering Tuesday, Boucher had a 1.87 goals-against average and a .926 save percentage in his last eight games.