Flyers Mid-Season Report
By. Casey Simpkins
Considering we have hit the all-star break, it’s time to assess the Flyers what the Flyers have done in their first 50 games, and what they need to do to finish strong in their remaining 32 contests. So to start, here are some Flyers team notes through these first 50 games…
- The Flyers rank first in the NHL with 33 wins
- Currently are number 1 seed in the Eastern Conference and are tied for first in the NHL with 71 total points
- Rank 1st in Goals per Game with 3.46, and 9th in Goals Allowed per Game with 2.54
- Rank 15th on the Powerplay (17.7 %), and 11th on the Penalty Kill (83.2%)
- Ran 3rd in NHL with 7 shorthanded goals
- Carry the league’s best road record at 17-5-3
- One of two teams in NHL without a shutout
- Have 8 players with over 10 goals, and 4 players with over 40 total points
Overall, it’s evident that the Flyers are arguably the best team in hockey, and for good reason. The stats do not lie and we can’t forget that the Flyers were able to continue their domination while losing Chris Pronger for a 13 game stretch during a tough part of the season.
Nobody can argue with the fact that the Flyers are the deepest team in the NHL, and we all know how great of a coach Peter Laviolette is. With three lines that can bury pucks at will, a great energy line that can mix things up, a tremendous defense from the first to last pairing, and a great goalie rotation, the Flyers are even better than they did last year, when they fell just short of hoisting the Stanley Cup.
The only issue I see for the Flyers is their goaltending situation (shocker). With Laviolette playing the hot goaltender to this point in the season, it’s time for either rookie sensation “Bob”, or sturdy veteran Boosh to take the job and run with it going into the playoffs. If one of these goalies can step up and become “The Guy”, I don’t see any team matching up with the Flyers depth and talent come playoff time.
To conclude, I am going to give my midseason MVP award to Daniel Briere. You could probably argue that about five players deserve this award, but Danny brings it every night and could score 40 goals for the first time in his career this season. In addition, my “player to watch” from here on out is James Van Riemsdyk. We all saw how good he can be in the Flyers skills competition, but last season he managed only 3 points after the Olympic break, so I am going to be keeping an eye on him heading into the playoffs.
Flyers Win 1,000th Home Game in Franchise History
By Kevin K
The Flyers entered the game before the All-Star break with 999 Franchise Home Wins, they did not want to go into the All-Star Break that close to 1000, good thing the Habs were coming into town.
This game was the fourth and final time the Flyers and Canadiens would meet in the regular season and the Flyers were looking for revenge after being shut out the first time these two teams met at the Wells Fargo center earlier this season (they have met four times, the Flyers winning 3 of them). The Flyers came out with intensity and willingness to play against the 7th place team in the Eastern Conference.
The Flyers defeated the Canadiens 5-2 on Tuesday January 25, 2011 to cap off their 1,000th Home Win in Franchise History. Jeff Carter, Kimmo Timonen, Dan Carcillo, Claude Giroux, and Danny Briere all scored for the Flyers during the historical win.
The Flyers are the first of the expansion teams (teams joining the NHL in 1967) to reach the 1000 Home Wins mark in their Franchise History. Whether it was in the Historic Spectrum or in the Wells Fargo Center, the Flyers continue to play well at home and their 1,000th Home Win in Franchise History proves that.
In the history of the Spectrum (1967-1996) the Flyers had 696 Wins. They had to play three games at Le Colisee in Quebec City after the roof of the Spectrum collapsed, the Flyers won all three of those games. And now in the history of the Wells Fargo Center (1996-Present) the Flyers have a total of 301 wins.
The Flyers now have 71 Total points, which is the most in the NHL heading into the All-Star Break.
LET’S GO FLYERS!
Weekend Catch-up: Flyers EditionBy Kevin K.
- On Saturday the Flyers had the opportunity to win their 1000th Home Game in Franchise History, the suffered a 3-1 loss at the hands of the Devils. Their next opportunity the Flyers have to win Home Game 1000 is Tuesday against the Canadiens.
- In a Stanley Cup re-match, the Flyers took it to the Chicago Blackhawks in a 4-1 victory. The Blackhawks aren’t the same team the Flyers played in the Stanley Cup, however, the Flyers came out aggressive and completely shut down the Blackhawks.
- Chris Pronger was still booed every time he touched the puck. This stemming from him being the villain in last year’s Stanley Cup Finals when Chris Pronger famously stole the puck after Game 2 of the Stanley Cup.
- Pronger said that if someone or some business wanted to donate lots of money to charity he would give them the puck he stole after game two of the Stanley Cup Final.
- The Flyers have one more game before the All-Star Break where Coach Peter Laviolette, Danny Briere, and Claude Giroux will be representing the Flyers in the All-Star Game.
- According to Ike Richman the walls of the Spectrum are coming down today.
- JVR is day-to-day with a lower body injury. He said he will return on Tuesday.
The Walls are Crumbling Down
Briere Joins Giroux in All-Star Game
By Kevin K
An announcement was made today that Danny Briere will in fact join Claude Giroux in the All-Star Game. Briere is set to replace Jarome Iginla, who can’t play for personal reasons.
Danny Briere leads the Flyers in points (41) and goals (24) in the 2010-2011 season.
Briere brushed off his earlier All-Star snub calling it “politics”. Briere said he was just happy that he was going to the All-Star game with teammate Claude Giroux.
Briere said that the greatest part about making the All-Star Team is that he can bring his three sons with him.
The Superskills competition will be on January 29th at 7:00 pm on VERSUS with The All-Star game on January 30th at 4:00 pm on VERSUS.
Home Sweet Road, Lavy’s Plan WorksBy Kevin K
The Philadelphia Flyers returned home last night after playing 9 out of 10 games on the road. The Flyers are the best team in the Eastern Conference right now and went against the best team in the Eastern Conference a year ago, the Washington Capitals. So how do the Flyers look to continue their hot streak against one of the best teams in the Eastern Conference, they stay in a hotel in Center City.
The Flyers have been so used to playing on the road as of late, Coach Peter Laviolette decided to keep his team focused the team would spend the afternoon after practice at a hotel in Center City, it worked.
“I don’t know the rationale or the reasoning behind it, but there’s something to the fact that when you come off of road trips, you get home, you get settled in and you play a flat game,” Laviolette said. “Maybe just to keep that road mentality, maybe to keep guys away from home and the honey-do list that might be growing and getting longer and just stay focused on hockey and the job at hand.”
Lavy’s plan worked as the Flyers did anything but play flat against a tough team in the Capitals. Despite giving up a two goal lead, the Flyers were continued playing strong all night. The Flyers played like champions continuing their strong play into overtime where Andrej Meszaros put home the game winning goal.
With the win last night, the Flyers lead the Eastern Conference with 65 points and a record of 30-11-5. The Flyers are 14-6-2 at home and a very impressive 16-5-3 on the road. Want to read more on the win? Read Stephen Whyno’s post from Philly Sports Daily. (Laviolette quote courtesy of Philly Sports Daily).Flyers Notes:
- Chris Pronger will see Doctors today and if everything goes well Pronger could return Thursday against the Senators.
- Flyers have signed GM Paul Holmgren to a three year contract extension worth about $4.5 Million, according to the Daily Times.
Meszaros celebrates his game-winning goal over the Capitals
Giroux Makes All-Star TeamBy Kevin KThe NHL All-Star Teams were announced today and Flyers' fans will be upset to learn that only one Flyers' player has made the team, Claude Giroux.
“When I was a kid, it never came to my mind to have a chance to go there,” Giroux said Monday. “It would be a pretty special moment.”Giroux is well deserving of making the All-Star team, but should not be the only Flyer on the team. The Flyers leading goal-scorer, Danny Briere, and the teams leading scorer, Mike Richards are deserving to be on the team as well, however, they were snubbed.
“If I was probably on any other team around the league I’d have a good shot. Not with this team. With so many guys having good years, it makes it difficult,” Briere said. “If I get to make it, great – it would be quite an honor. If not, then I’ll enjoy the time with my family.”
According to Sam Carchidi, Briere ripped the NHL for naming just one Flyers player to All-Star team. Briere said his suspension may have played a role in NHL bypassing him.Other deserving players include LEAGUE LEADER in plus-minus defense-man Andrej Meszaros (+25).
Meszaros has had a great first half of the season and should be included in the snub list for the Flyers.
The Skills Competition occurs Jan. 29 and the All-Star Game on Jan. 30 on VERSUS in the U.S. and on TSN in Canada. Peter Laviolette will be a coach for the Eastern Conference during the All-Star game as well.Note: quotes from Stephen Whyno of Philly Sports Daily. Read more here: http://phillysportsdaily.com/flyers/2011/01/11/claude-giroux-is-flyers-only-all-star/
The Ville-delphBy Kevin K
Last night the Flyers defeated the Devils 4-2 in New Jersey. A lot of people were amazed with the performances of Scott Hartnell and Danny Briere, who both had 2 goals, but the success truly came from one Ville Leino.
Leino had the first 3 assists that set up the game tying and game winning goals for the Flyers. Leino’s value seems to continue going up as he still remains unsigned by the Flyers who have been working on a deal for a few months now. Stephen Whyno (Twitter @SWhyno
) of Philly Sports Daily
seems to agree with me saying, “A couple months ago after Ville Leino recorded two assists in a game, Flyers general manager Paul Holmgren joked the price to re-sign the playmaking winger was going up. Wonder how much he’s worth after Thursday night’s performance”.
When talking about Leino’s great night against the Devils, Whyno says, “Leino’s dominant night goes well beyond the stat sheet. On a team with plenty of scorers and guys who can pass and defend, the Finnish forward boasts an uncanny ability to control the puck and shield it from defenders. And while Leino is light on his feet sometimes when contact comes, he’s not a player who gives up the puck easily.”
Leino seems to be a key for the Flyers succeeding this season and in the future. Leino brings a lot of depth and unselfish play for the Flyers. If you remember last season I posted my overrated/underrated Flyers during the Playoffs; my underrated player, Ville Leino. Underrated: Ville Leino. Leino has been an unsung hero for the Flyers and has been the most underrated player on the ice the last two rounds of the Playoffs. Leino has stepped up his game and has scored goals and set up plays for the Flyers.
If there is anyone that should continue to play in the Stanley Cup it is Leino. He is slowly becoming a fan favorite and has been the steal of the season for the Flyers. He stepped up his game for the last two rounds and has been able to score and set up scoring opportunities for the Flyers.
So the question remains, what is Leino’s value now? Flyers News and Notes:
Read more from Stephen Whyno here
- Briere received stitches on his right hand after being slashed during the Devils game. “I’ll be fine. It’s just a finger busted open from the slash,” Briere said. (Note: Quote from Philly Sports Daily)
- Flyers were reportedly interested in Devils Captain Jamie Langenbrunner and reportedly offered the Devils a 3rd and 5th round Draft Pick. The Flyers did not have a 2nd round pick to offer.
- The Devils have traded Langenbrunner to the Dallas Stars in exchange for a conditional 3rd round Draft Pick, Devils get 2nd rounder if Stars get to 2nd playoff round or if they re-sign Jamie Langenbrunner. Lou Lamoriello said the Jamie Langenbrunner deal from Devils to Stars went down late Thursday morning. Flyers were never in it during game. (According to Stephen Whyno)
Leighton Clears Waivers
By Kevin K
There was a question about if Leighton would clear waivers after Islanders Goalie Rick DiPietro went down with an injury last night.
Leighton has officially cleared waivers and will join the Phantoms, however, his Flyers career is likely over. Leighton is unlikely to clear re-entry waivers to re-join the Flyers.
Leighton on Waivers (Again)
By Kevin K
The Flyers announced that they placed Goaltender Michael Leighton on waivers today, almost a year after the Flyers put a waiver claim on Leighton and then went on a run to the Stanley Cup Finals.
A contract signing and back surgery later, Michael Leighton is back on waivers. If no team claims Leighton he figures to end up with the Phantoms, he would have to clear re-entry waivers to return to the Flyers, however, on re-entry waivers players are available for half the price.
Putting Leighton on waivers will free up cap space for the Flyers, as Leighton earns $1.55 million a year.
This move makes sense for the Flyers knowing the three goalie system wasn't working for them. This puts Boucher #1 on the Flyers depth chart and Bobrovsky his backup.
We knew a move with a goalie would occur soon knowing how hard it is for a NHL team to have three goalies on their roster.
Leighton played one game for the Flyers this season allowing 4 goals in a Flyers 7-4 win over the Kings.