Category Archives: Flyers

Make a Statement Tonight

Last nights 6-2 blowout victory was a hell of a game to watch. It was a  throwback that reminded me of the days where a game with 4 fights and 8 goals could happen every other night.

It was the Dan show last night with Dan’s Briere, Syvret and Carcillo combining for 4 goals including a stunning toe drag by Carcillo that would have made Peter Forsberg jealous.

Still, even with all the positives that came from burning the lowly Leafs, tonight’s showdown in Pittsburgh could make a bold statement about the state of the Flyers and their turnaround. A crushing defeat, which has become the norm against their cross state rivals and all the confidence built up over this 5-1-1 stretch might be out the door. A victory and maybe it can propel this team to a terrific run leading into the Olympic break.

Guarantee of the night:

Pens get a power play goal in the first 5 minutes on some type of ticky tack infraction.

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Per Eskin: Richards Stripped Of Captaincy

Richards with die hard Flyers fan Gina Lynn.

WIP’s resident Eagles ass kisser stated a few minutes ago on his show that…

“Per my sources Mike Richards has had his C removed and Chris Pronger will be named captain tonight.”

I don’t buy this for a second. Eskin literally has ZERO POINT ZERO credibility when it comes to hockey and the Flyers. Still something worth reporting though…we shall see.

Update: Rumor was that Richards offered to step down and Holmgren denied the request. God only knows…

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Laviolette Hates Fighting

Peter Laviolette has a history of being a bit of a pacifist with his teams…I really hope he isn’t the choice.

The Following are quotes from PhillySportsForums.com who tracked down some snippets from the past.

Carolina coach Peter Laviolette makes no bones about the way he expects his players to act in games.

“I have a very strict no-fighting policy for our team,” Laviolette says. “Last year in the playoffs (defenseman) Mike Commodore got into a fight and I said, ‘OK, that’s it. No more fighting.’ I simply cannot afford to lose a player like Mike Commodore to an injury he may sustain in a fight.

“Take a guy like Erik Cole. If we allowed him to fight, I know he would do it. Now if he gets hurt in a fight, our team has lost a very valuable asset. How do I justify that? I can’t. It just doesn’t make sense to me to allow our guys to fight.”

Instead, Laviolette elected to dress skilled players on his fourth line, guys who, in a pinch, could fill in on one of his top two lines. A player such as Chad LaRose, for instance. LaRose, a 5-foot-10, 175-pound speedy winger, couldn’t fight his way out of a wet paper bag, but he scored 61 goals and 117 points in 67 games for Plymouth in his final year of junior and helped the Hurricanes by skating an occasional regular shift and killing penalties. Laviolette also worked skill players Andrew Ladd and Josef Vasicek into the lineup.

Peter Laviolette set a “no-fighting” edict for his Carolina Hurricanes in the playoffs

The Stanley Cup champion Carolina Hurricanes have played without a heavyweight for two seasons. Coach Peter Laviolette has discouraged his players from fighting.

This sounds like a match made in hell…

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Stevens Fired; Laviolette To Takeover

The Flyers have fired head coach John Stevens after  nearly 3 seasons behind the bench of the orange and black. Inconsistent and passionless play are the clear reasons as to why the former Flyers player, Phantoms coach and long time member of the organization is no longer employed. The Flyers have an 8pm news conference scheduled to officially announce the news aswell as name the new successor (at least for the short term).

Rumors are swirling that former enforcer and current assistant Craig Berube will takeover on an interim basis but .I have heard that Peter Laviolette the former Hurricanes cup winner and US Olympic head coach is being tagged as the replacement from two sources.

More as it comes out.

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The Pronger Is Pissed

In the wake of his new team losing 5 of their last 6 games, Chris Pronger today made some candid comments to CSNPhilly.com’s Tim Panaccio. In the interview the former cup winner, gold medalist and captain of two NHL clubs stated his awkward position of not wanting to step on Mike Richards toes, aswell as his frustration over the teams recent performance.

I plucked some interesting quotes below but  here is the full link

“He hasn’t asked me for any help,” Pronger said of Richards. “I’ve been in his shoes. It’s not [bleeping] easy. The expectations are high on him and on the team. We’re not playing to the best of our abilities, and a lot of that gets shouldered by the captain.

“Sometimes it’s fair and just and sometimes it’s not, and it’s hard to deal with that, especially at [his] age. You’re trying to figure out yourself. At 24, some kids are coming out of college, business school, some don’t even have a job at 24.”

“[Richards] hasn’t come to me [to] ask me anything, and it’s delicate because at the end of the day, it’s his team,” Pronger said. “He’s the captain. He needs to show the rest of the players that it is his team. I don’t want to be the guy that has to stand up every day and tell ourselves to look into the mirror and play better and all this stuff.

“I don’t know if he is ‘rah-rah’ type or talkative type. It is a difficult tightrope to walk. I don’t want to step on his toes. Maybe he is evaluating. You can’t just jump into a situation and ranting and raving without understanding what has gone on here in the past, as well.

“He’s been here four years and sees how things have progressed from being a s—-y team to a pretty good team, to having even higher expectations. I would think he has a better read on some of these guys than I do.

“I think Homer is right. [Richards] has to trust his instincts that got him to where he is at. That is something you learn early on. Especially, when you struggle to play the game sometimes, which we all do.”

Pronger said if Richards is questioning his own instincts, “if he’s already at that point, then I think we’ll see something within the next few days. If he’s trying to trust his gut or ask for help. I know Homer has talked to him”

“The expectations are high, you want to accept that challenge and embrace it and overcome it, but there is the idea you want it too badly or push it too much,” Pronger said. “You try too hard to score a goal when the simple play is to throw if off the goalie’s pads and the teammate who’s driving the net, bangs it in. Little things like that get lost in the shuffle of what you are doing. … You try to make the game more difficult than it is.”

Coach John Stevens has emphasized that the effort is there but not the results.

“It’s not like we’re not working hard or just out there bleeping around,” Pronger added. “We’re not putting the puck in the net. Little things like that, sometimes, you over-evaluate and over-analyze things. The simplest thing is to take a step back and look at it from a simple perspective.”

“How could we have won that game in Atlanta?” Pronger asked. “Could it have been that [3-minute] power play? Absolutely! Could it have been not to take that bleeping penalty-and go down 5-on-3? Absolutely! How about scoring some goals 5-on-5?

“Instead of Richie one-timing it and instead of [the puck] going into the corner, maybe it goes off his mask into the net? There’s a lot of different things. If you want to analyze, there are 10, 12, 15 things that happen in the course of a game that could change a game and have it go either way.”

“When you are not playing as well as we had been, and playing like crap on that road trip and losing and losing and then you are starting to come out of it, and playing a little bit better, you are still going to lose coming up that slope.”

“We’re losing games we should win right now, but hopefully, we’re over the crest, we can see the top and start scoring some goals and win,” he said.

“We need to make it [bleeping] happen on Thursday,” Pronger said. “It needs to [bleeping] happen now, so we can get over that hump and get this ship headed into the right direction.”

I could not be happier to read some of these comments from Pronger. Jeff Carter and Mike Richards the supposed “leaders” of this team are coming off of just a horrendous stretch of games in which the two have appeared absolutely listless in their play.

Always touted as a heart and soul grinder who is at his best when playing a simple hard-nosed style, Mike Richards has clearly over complicated his game. Blind centering passes and a lack of physical play have been his biggest offenses.

It’s time for this guy to step up and lead HIS team. He is no longer surrounded with just his drinking buddies, there are veterans around him in Pronger and Ian Laperriere who know what it takes to win and know how to lead. Turn it around or there might be a new captain way sooner than anyone expected.


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Moving On…

After about two weeks of mourning the Philles World Series loss to the Yankees, I have finally crawled out of my hole, and returned to being a fully functional member of society.

Once out of my pit of despair, I stumbled right into a hockey team that is on a certifiable roll. Last night they had their first real statement win of the season, by punching the Devils in the mouth with a 3-2 victory. The win denied the Devs the all time record for road wins to start a season which will remain at 9 for the time being.

The game was highlighted by timely, stellar goaltending by Ray Emery. He has really settled into his role as the number one netminder here. In his last handful of games he has an astronomical save percentage and a goals against average just under 2. Numbers are one thing but it is just a different feel right now with him between the pipes in comparison to the goalies of Flyers failures past. He is big, smooth, athletic and fast. But the most important thing I have seen so far is that he appears to come up with the big save at the right time. No more short side 40 ft floaters. No more dribblers in the final minute of a period. Clutch is the most important trait of any goaltender and right now he appears to have it in spades…it is only November though.

The Flyers having won 6 of their last 7 are currently in a hotel in Los Angeles awaiting a showdown tomorrow night with the league’s top scorer Anze Kopitar and his Kings at the Staples Center. I love the west coast games that start at 10:30 here.

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No Suspension For Richards

Panthers Flyers Hockey

Well you can’t say you didn’t see this coming. Last night the NHL officially outlawed physical play.

With just under 5 minutes remaining in the second period, Flyers captain Mike Richards laid a clean but vicious shoulder check into Florida Panther forward David Booth. The collision appeared to knock Booth unconscious on impact and sent him crashing face first onto the ice. He was carted off and spent the night at University of Pennsylvania Hospital for observation and was reported to have had movement in all his extremities.

After the impact, the NHL and it’s officials took over…

They could not call an elbowing penalty because clearly Richards had his arm tucked tightly to his side.

They could not call a charging penalty because Richards did not leave his feet nor did he even stride into the hit.

No, they called a 5 minute major penalty and a game misconduct for Interference…that’s right hockey fans there is such a thing as a 5 minute major for interference now in this castrated league. That call would imply that Richards interfered with a player who never had possession of the puck. Being that David Booth had the puck and dished it about a foot to his left, about a second before he got crushed would tell me an interference penalty is just not possible in that situation, but what do I know.

Take another look…

Booth is admiring his pass bent down looking to his left. Richards backchecking on the play, keeps his elbow down and leans up on impact. His feet stay on the ice and he falls down after the collision.

Remember Mike Richards is just under 6ft tall and Booth is 6ft even, so for Richards shoulder to connect with Booth’s chin clearly tells you that Booth had his head down. Which is the first thing you are taught in high school when you start playing in full contact leagues NOT to do. Just ask Eric Lindros if that is a good idea. Hall of fame defenseman, Scott Stevens made a career out of similar hits.

Florida General Manager Randy Sexton expressed a strong opinion last night about the hit…

“I thought it was a late hit and I thought it was a dirty hit, He tracked him from behind and you could see it clear he put his shoulder right to his face, to his head,and then he followed through… there is no place in the game for that.”

Flyers GM Paul Holmgren had a wonderful rebuttal.

“It was a good hit,” Holmgren said. “I don’t see how they can (suspend him). Mike was doing his job. He was back tracking, he caught up to the play. His feet never left the ice. David Booth turned his head or it would have been a shoulder on shoulder hit. It’s a physical game and sometimes these things happen. Randy Sexton should watch more hockey games.

Thumbs up for Homer, shockingly it was announced just a few moments ago that Richards would not be suspended. Im not gonna lie, I’m very surprised that for once the league made the right decision.

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