April 10, 2015 |
THEY COULDN'T win on the road. They couldn't take a punch, at least at the start of the season, and later, when the fight seemed to be turning in their favor. Shootouts were another thing that seemed to have gotten in their collective heads, and when you roll it all together, it's kind of incredible the Flyers stayed as relevant in the local sports conversation as they did, all the way up to that lost weekend in early March. But that's the good news, if there is such a thing to this season, why they did for as long as they did. Over this long, arduous haul a few people have stepped up as leader types, in the room and on the ice, guys who had been riders in years past.
April 2, 2015 |
SOME OF THE PEOPLE in this city feeling like they're living on a prayer were given anything but bad medicine when Jon Bon Jovi showed up yesterday. In town to chair a board meeting with members of his nonprofit, the Jon Bon Jovi Soul Foundation, the hunky rocker paid a surprise visit to Project HOME's Hub of Hope - a drop-in homeless center in SEPTA's Suburban Station. "Our Soul Foundation, working with Project HOME, helped procure this space," Bon Jovi told me at Hub of Hope, where those less fortunate can come in for a break from the cold and grab a cup of coffee.
March 30, 2015 |
It's easy to feel sorry for onetime superstar Vinny Lecavalier, the classy 34-year-old Flyers forward who is finishing the most disappointing season of his 16-year career. Oh, he is being well-compensated, but when you have made as much money as Lecavalier, pride trumps dollars. And make no mistake, Lecavalier's pride has taken a major hit with the way coach Craig Berube has used him. That is, when he hasn't been a healthy scratch. Despite the embarrassment of being benched 17 times on an offensively challenged team, Lecavalier, who turns 35 next month, isn't considering retirement.
March 29, 2015 |
Wayne Simmonds' season-ending leg injury has had a ripple effect on the Flyers: Vinny Lecavalier has returned to the lineup and Ryan White has moved to the first power-play unit. In addition, defenseman Brandon Manning will replace the injured Andrew MacDonald (hand) and be paired with Carlo Colaiacovo when the Flyers host San Jose in a Saturday matinee. Lecavalier has been a healthy scratch 17 times, including the last three games, and will likely play the final seven games of the most frustrating season of his career.
March 28, 2015 |
The offense-challenged Flyers will have to play the final seven games of their season without their leading goal scorer, right winger Wayne Simmonds. Simmonds and defenseman Andrew MacDonald suffered season-ending injuries Wednesday when they were hit by third-period shots during a 4-1 win over Chicago at the Wells Fargo Center. Simmonds limped off the ice after getting hit on the left leg by teammate Mark Streit's blast, and MacDonald was hit on the right hand by a Chicago shot.
March 27, 2015 |
The enigmatic Flyers upstaged Kimmo Timonen's emotional return to the Wells Fargo Center on Wednesday night. Wayne Simmonds scored his 100th goal as a Flyer, Claude Giroux netted his first even-strength home tally of the season, and Steve Mason stopped 34 of 35 shots in a 4-1 victory over the powerful Chicago Blackhawks at the Wells Fargo Center. The Flyers, who snapped a four-game losing streak, are 9-1-4 in their last 14 games against teams in playoff position. Conversely, they are 0-6-3 in their last nine games against teams that were not in playoff position when they met. "At this point, winning still feels good, but it's a sobering feeling where we are in the standings," Mason said.
March 16, 2015 |
Eleven seconds into the third period, hundreds of hats were thrown onto the ice after Flyers center Brayden Schenn apparently scored the first hat trick of his career. As it turned out, Schenn will have to wait to accomplish the feat. The fans didn't seem to mind. They got to watch the Flyers continue their surprising domination of the Detroit Red Wings on Saturday at the Wells Fargo Center. Flyers 7, Red Wings 2. Seconds after Schenn scored his "third" goal, Lou Nolan announced that his first goal had been changed and was being credited to Wayne Simmonds.
March 13, 2015
ST. LOUIS - Talk to those closest to Claude Giroux and they'll tell you that the person in front of the camera and front-and-center for questions after a gut-wrenching loss isn't always the same away from the microphones. Like, that time last April, a family member caught a ride home from Giroux after a Stanley Cup playoff loss the Rangers. The entire 15-minute trip, from South Philadelphia to Center City, Giroux slammed his fists on the steering wheel and cursed up a blue streak - in French.
March 13, 2015 |
The Flyers' much-maligned defense has played better lately, but their offense has not responded, causing the team to fall out of the playoff race. "We're not finishing, not executing - especially me," said second-line center Sean Couturier after Wednesday's practice in Voorhees. "I've been having a lot of quality scoring chances lately and haven't been finishing. . . . I think all year, we've been through stretches where we're not executing, we're not finishing. It's not always about competing.
March 12, 2015 |
R.J. UMBERGER ran his fingers through his hair and sighed. After he had struggled through 67 games this season, coach Craig Berube's patience ran out. He was a healthy scratch last night for the first time this season. That it's been a tough year is an understatement, Umberger saying he's been bothered "more than anyone knows. " Umberger, 32, has nine goals and six assists for a career-worst 15 points. He collected more points than that (18) in a subpar, 48-game, lockout-shortened season in 2012-13.