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Giroux’s Birthday Bash as Gagne-gate heats up and Stevens returns

Posted by Chris Shafer On January - 12 - 2010

Giroux adds a goal on his 22nd birthday in a blowout home win for the Flyers against the Dallas Stars.

Flyers Devastate Dallas on Giroux’s Birthday

There’s plenty for the Flyers to smile about on Giroux’s 22nd birthday. The talented, young playmaker scores his 10th goal of the season as the orange and black win a one-sided affair on home ice against the Dallas Stars. For the first time in over a decade, 14 different players on the Flyers’ roster earn at least a point in one game.

Scott Hartnell, Darroll Powe, Kimmo Timonen, Ian Laperriere, and Simon Gagne scored the other five Flyer goals in the victory. Chris Pronger, James vanRiemsdyk, Matt Carle, Jeff Carter, Arron Asham, Dan Carcillo, Danny Briere, and Mike Richards all get at least an assist as well to complete the 14 players.

The Flyers are now 8-1-1 behind Michael Leighton in the last 10 games bringing a bit of goaltending controversy back to the organization. Before such talk about who should be the man between the pipes was an argument over who would be less likely to blow the game. This time it’s about who would give the Flyers a better chance to win moving forward. There is no question the organization keeps Ray Emery as the starter. In fact, Emery sat on the bench tonight as the back-up. The real question is whether it will be Leighton or Boucher sitting in the back-up spot on the side of the bench once defenseman Ryan Parent returns from injuries.

The organization has stated they will carry all three goaltenders until Parent returns to the lineup. With the days counting down, a decision will have to be made soon.

Boucher, obviously the more talented of the goaltending pair, was given hardly any support when he lost many close games during a stretch that sent the Flyers to the league basement. Leighton, on the other hand and despite his battles with positioning and rebound control, has had the Flyers looking like a playoff contender once again around him. So who stays and who goes? Will the Flyers be able to rally around another goalie like they have behind Leighton in this last stretch of games? After all, rallying may be an understatement. It’s up to the organization to make the decision, but who do you think should stay?

Injury Updates

It turns out that Hartnell left the game early in the third period due to illness.

There is also no further word on Syvret’s shoulder injury sustained early in the game when knocked shoulder-first into the boards. He missed the entire game, and his state is likely more worrisome than Hartnell’s.

Gagne-gate Heats Up

Remember that little mishap by the Penguins telecast that got everyone so fired up? If not, then you might want to read our post about it. It turns out to not be that minor an issue to the dismay of many Penguins fans replying to our post about it so flippantly as if it was just some mistake. If you didn’t get a chance to catch it:

Well, even though I made comments about the league nonchalantly blowing a call while hoping no one would notice in order to help the Penguins a little bit, it turns out that the whole thing was Pittsburgh’s idea. Yes, FSN (Fox Sports Net) Pittsburgh decided not to send a conclusive angle to Toronto in order to be reviewed by the NHL. After the puck was dropped, the commentary alluded to “saving” the footage until after the play was decided and would not matter.

Apparently the league doesn’t take to kindly to cheating. A full-blown investigation took place to determine the cause. Currently Lowell MacDonald Jr., a member of the FSN Pittsburgh telecast, has been suspended indefinitely.

Philly.com -- FSN Pittsburgh employee suspended

Lowell MacDonald Jr., son of former Penguins player Lowell MacDonald and a member of FSN’s telecast staff, was indefinitely suspended by the network. The controversy was a review of a play to determine if Simon Gagne scored a goal in the the second period of a Flyers’ victory. FSN Pittsburgh had a replay that showed the puck crossing the goal line but the replay was not sent to the NHL review booth in Toronto. The replay was not aired on local television until after the review was concluded.

There are some issues with the investigation however. Firstly, FSN Pittsburgh is a television company (an arm of Fox Sports) which is under contract with the Pittsburgh Penguins, not the NHL. That is very important in this whole issue. Because the NHL allows franchises to get involved with their own local television coverage, the league itself cannot necessarily take action against FSN Pittsburgh. However, the Pittsburgh Penguins, as a franchise under contract with the company FSN Pittsburgh which damaged the integrity of the game and failed to adhere to its contract with the organization, would be held liable from the NHL for any damages because of their own coverage choices.

The legal ramifications of FSN Pittsburgh’s underhanded action to damage the integrity of the National Hockey League are still being worked through, but Pittsburgh could be in quite a bit of trouble. While theories that the team will lose draft picks or points in the standings are far-fetched at best, they could be looking at some heavy fines in their future.

On top of that, don’t be surprised to see the NHL start to get more involved in the local television contracts set up by organizations.

Stevens Could Return to the Flyers

In the middle of the Flyers mid-season slump, head coach since the black season John Stevens was fired and replaced by Peter Laviolette. There’s no question that the Flyers’ are playing much better thanks to Laviolette’s system of hockey, but Stevens still has quite a bit of talent in player development; a talent the Flyers organization do not intend to let go to waste.

CourierPostOnline.com -- Stevens may remain with Flyers, work in TV

Former Flyers coach John Stevens is expected to accept a position as a part-time scout with the club and is contemplating an offer to be a guest analyst for VERSUS and TSN, the Courier-Post has learned.

“Certainly there are areas we could use his expertise,” Flyers general manager Paul Holmgren said, noting Stevens could scout colleges for potential free agents.

I’ve often noted that Stevens is very good with developing prospects and would be very effective back with the Phantoms. A talent scout for the NCAA offshoot of Flyers’ scouting is not a bad step either. He is a very good guy, and though he was not the best coach, I hope he remains with the organization. His talents as a scout will certainly help us. We take care of our own in Philadelphia.

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