January 30, 2016 |
WASHINGTON -- With five days off between games, most of the Flyers will get some rest during the all-star break and can look ahead to their final 35 games of the season. They are five points out of a playoff spot at the break and need to climb over five teams to get the final wild-card berth. The Flyers, who will send center Claude Giroux to Sunday's all-star tournament in Nashville, have games in hand on all five teams. Thanks to a stunning 4-3 overtime win over mighty Washington on Wednesday, they are feeling good about themselves.
January 29, 2016 |
The Flyers have a problem, and here's the twisted irony of it: If their general manager, Ron Hextall, were more impetuous and less focused on the team's long-term improvement - if the Flyers, that is, were to act more like the Flyers used to act - they might actually solve it. The problem is simple: The Flyers don't score goals. Ahead of their game Wednesday night in Washington against Alex Ovechkin and the Capitals, the Flyers ranked 29th out of the NHL's 30 teams this season in goals per game, at 2.24 - this, after ranking 22nd (2.62)
January 28, 2016 |
If the Flyers are going to end a three-game losing streak and go into the all-star break in a positive frame of mind, all they have to do is beat the Washington Capitals on Wednesday night in D.C. The same Capitals that have the NHL's best record (35-8-3) and lead the league in most offensive and defensive categories. Oh, and both Flyers goalies appear to be injured or ill, despite denials from the organization. Michal Neuvirth, who is expected to get Wednesday's start, was limping badly and received medical attention after Monday's 3-2 loss to Boston.
January 27, 2016 |
ON SUNDAY NIGHT Vinny Lecavalier, the worst free-agent signing in Flyers history, scored his fourth goal in nine games as a Los Angeles King. Monday morning, Jordan Weal sent tremors through Flyerland when he skated with the second power-play unit as the Flyers again scrambled to find scoring, now hoping to end a two-game skid that, left unchecked, could sabotage their tenuous playoff hopes. Weal's practice time heightened two days of titters about Beal replacing R.J. Umberger, who hadn't scored a goal since Donald Trump was just a reality TV star.
January 18, 2016 |
For a team that is almost at the bottom of the league in scoring and has struggled mightily on the power play and penalty kill, the Flyers are somewhat fortunate to be where they are - battling for an Eastern Conference wild-card spot. Solid goaltending and improved five-on-five defense have kept the Flyers in the playoff hunt. So have their uncanny ability to win close games and surprisingly quick production from rookie defenseman Shayne Gostisbehere, who, more than anyone else, has steered the team back into playoff contention.
January 16, 2016 |
Now that he has about $4.1 million in salary-cap space and his team is in the playoff hunt, Flyers general manager Ron Hextall is not ruling out adding a forward before the Feb. 29 trade deadline. "If we can improve our team in any way without mortgaging the future, we'll look at it," Hextall said Thursday. "I mean, if young players can make us better, of course we'll look at it. " He is likely looking at Jonathan Drouin, 20, a left winger who is on the trade market. Drouin has great potential but has underachieved in Tampa Bay after being the third overall draft pick in 2013.
January 14, 2016 |
The most alluring reason to watch the Flyers this season, the player who represents the best-case glimpse at their future, took the ice with his teammates at the Skate Zone for practice Tuesday. Seeing rookie defenseman Shayne Gostisbehere skate during a brief and light workout was an indication that maybe his mysterious "lower-body injury" had healed enough for him to play Wednesday night against the Boston Bruins. As it turned out, it had not. General manager Ron Hextall announced after practice that Gostisbehere - who has seven goals, including three in overtime, and 16 points in 23 games - would be out of the lineup against the Bruins.
January 11, 2016 |
If Flyers general manager Ron Hextall isn't named the NHL's executive of the year - or at least made an honorary certified public accountant - some people haven't been paying attention. In his 20 months on the job, Hextall has traded the contract of an injured player, Chris Pronger, who will never play again; dealt away seldom-used Vinny Lecavalier; who had two-plus seasons left on a contract that absorbed a $4.5 million annual cap hit; and stockpiled draft picks. In short, Hextall has done an amazing job cleaning up his predecessor's messes.
January 10, 2016 |
The Flyers did not have much of an update on injured defenseman Shayne Gostisbehere on Friday other than to say he would not play Saturday against the visiting New York Islanders. The team will update his condition Saturday, according to general manager Ron Hextall. Gostisbehere is listed as having a lower body injury. He left early in the second period of a 4-3 overtime win at Minnesota on Thursday. He was tripped by Mikko Koivu in the first period and his right knee appeared to collide with Koivu's knee.
January 9, 2016 |
ST. PAUL, Minn. - When Paul Holmgren was general manager, he made many strong deals, transforming the Flyers from the worst team in hockey in 2006-07 to a conference finalist the following season. But two moves he made later in his tenure - acquiring stay-at-home defenseman Luke Schenn for blossoming left winger James van Riemsdyk, and signing free-agent Vinny Lecavalier to a five-year, $22.5 million contract - did not work out as planned. Fact is, they set the team back on a number of levels.