April 11, 2014 |
TAMPA, Fla. - Down the palm tree-lined street across from the Tampa Bay Times Forum, the road-weary Columbus Blue Jackets were watching the Flyers' every move. Already in town ahead of their own meeting with the Lightning tonight, the Blue Jackets' hopes of climbing in the Metropolitan Division rose with every blaring goal horn - which they could probably hear from their balconies on a gorgeous Florida spring night. The Flyers will begin their quest for a Stanley Cup on the road.
April 6, 2014 |
Hal Gill has played in just four games this season and has been a healthy scratch since Dec. 21, but the veteran defenseman has been an important part of the Flyers, coach Craig Berube said after the team practiced Friday in Voorhees. Gill, who turns 39 on Sunday, was named the Philadelphia Hockey Writers Association's nominee for the Masterton Award, given annually to the player who demonstrates perseverance and dedication to hockey. Berube called him a "great leader" and role model, adding that Gill has had a big effect on the younger players "because he's played a long time, won a Cup, done that, done this.
April 4, 2014 |
ST. LOUIS - Ken Hitchcock can still remember the first time he got a glimpse of Craig Berube. It was the summer of 1984. Berube arrived in Kamloops, British Columbia, for a camp before the start of the Western Hockey League season - Hitchcock's first year as a big-time junior coach. Berube, then 18, had just wrapped up a 104-penalty-minute campaign with the New Westminster Bruins of the same league. Some 30 years gone, the sight still haunts Hitchcock. "He got off this bus from Williams Lake with the toughest group of guys I've ever seen," Hitchcock said.
March 26, 2014 |
MIKE RICHARDS and Jeff Carter come back to Philadelphia for the first time as a duo and it is impossible not to look back, and to wonder. It is a waste of time, of course, the wondering - but sometimes you can't help yourself. What if they had not been traded? What would this team look like? "I think it's a long time ago," Claude Giroux was saying. "A lot has changed since. I think there's only four guys on the team who were there in 2010. So a lot has changed. We have a new look in the Flyers' organization.
March 21, 2014 |
SINCE 2008, exactly 28 of the NHL's 30 franchises - every one except Edmonton and Atlanta/Winnipeg - have qualified for the Stanley Cup playoffs at least once. Luke Schenn made his NHL debut as a wide-eyed 18-year-old on Oct. 9, 2008, with the Maple Leafs. Toronto didn't qualify for the playoffs from 2005-06 until last spring, Schenn's first season with the Flyers - who coincidentally missed out on a run at Lord Stanley's chalice for just the second time since 1994. Schenn has played for two of the game's proudest franchises and has never had a crack at the ultimate prize.
March 20, 2014 |
PATRICK KANE couldn't help himself. He had been back to the Wells Fargo Center once - more than 2 years ago - since the shot that changed his life on June 9, 2010, back when the place was still called the Wachovia Center. "I know it was a long time ago," Kane said. "But it feels like it was just yesterday. " Late on that warm summer night, Kane snuck a shot through Michael Leighton's pads that stretched Philadelphia's Stanley Cup drought to 35 years just 4:06 into overtime of Game 6 of the Stanley Cup finals.
March 20, 2014 |
HIGH ON THE LIST of reasons why the Chicago Blackhawks are Stanley Cup champions and are in position to repeat that feat is their depth. They roll one quality line after another at you, building pressure until you buckle. Depth is also high on the list of reasons the Philadelphia Flyers have resurrected from their early grave to become one of those teams even the elite hate to play. Claude Giroux's heroic goal with 4.2 seconds left in overtime punctuated a game in which the Flyers, not the champs, rolled out the relentless pressure, outshooting Chicago, 37-25, and rallying from two early soft goals allowed by a clearly rusty Ray Emery.
March 19, 2014 |
After dispatching the Metropolitan-leading Pittsburgh Penguins on consecutive weekend days, the Flyers face a healthier, more dangerous opponent Tuesday night, hosting the defending Stanley Cup champion Chicago Blackhawks. The task doesn't look as daunting because of the momentum built by the Flyers' 4-0 and 4-3 wins over a Pittsburgh team that was shorthanded because of injuries to five key players. "We need to keep going as a team and move forward," said defenseman Kimmo Timonen, who has eight points and is plus-6 in the seven games he has played since helping Finland win a bronze medal in the Olympics.
March 13, 2014 |
CLAUDE GIROUX remembers his first goal against Martin Brodeur as a little different than the 113 others he has scored in his 398-game NHL career. The date was Dec. 12, 2009 - part of his first full season in the league - and he used a power-play pass from one future Hall of Famer, Chris Pronger, to beat another in Brodeur. "I think I was a little bit more proud," Giroux said. "He is one of the best goalies I've ever played. " Giroux and the rest of the Flyers are running out of chances to beat him again.
March 10, 2014 |
TORONTO - Say what you will about Flyers general manager Paul Holmgren, but the man truly believes in the team he has assembled. Need proof? Consider this: With his job possibly hanging in the balance - if the Flyers miss the playoffs for a second straight year, one wonders if the big boss, Ed Snider, will remain patient - Holmgren only tweaked his roster at the trade deadline. In separate deals, he acquired Andrew MacDonald from the Islanders and dealt Andrej Meszaros to Boston.