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Archive for the ‘Flyers’ Category

Surgery Discovers Nerve Entrapment

Posted by Chris Shafer On January - 22 - 2009
The surgery is successful, but Briere is to miss even more time.

The surgery is successful, but Briere is to miss even more time.

Earlier today Flyers star center Danny Briere went into exploratory surgery for his groin issues that have caused him to miss the last 21 Flyers games. He has missed the last 30 out of 31 Flyers games with various injuries. Over the course of the season he has only played 9 of the Flyers 46 games spending 37 games in total out of the lineup. Without a deep Flyers core of forwards the season could have been lost by the injuries of their point-per-game center.

The good news is that the surgery was successful. The bad news is that instead of the minimum two more weeks he would’ve spent on LTIR had there been no complications he will now remain off the Flyers roster for at least double that amount of time thanks to a discovered nerve entrapment. Now Danny will have to wait even longer after admitting that his situation is frustrating. He wants to be with his team.

Of course the Flyers no longer have to worry about their cap issues when Danny Briere returns for at least another month, but the lineup certainly misses Briere. The best the Flyers can do is continue with what they have done all season. It has brought them t0 a position 2 points behind the division leading Devils with one less game played. The Flyers will continue to perservere after resting up for the All-Star break.

List of Games Briere Is Likely to Miss

  1. Philadelphia Flyers @ Florida Panthers, January 27th
  2. Philadelphia Flyers @ Tampa Bay Lightning, January 30th
  3. Philadelphia Flyers @ Saint Louis Blues, January 31st
  4. Boston Bruins @ Philadelphia Flyers, February 4th
  5. Philadelphia Flyers @ Boston Bruins, February 7th
  6. Philadelphia Flyers @ Atlanta Thrashers, February 8th
  7. Ottawa Senators @ Philadelphia Flyers, February 12th
  8. New York Islanders @ Philadelphia Flyers, February 14th
  9. Philadelphia Flyers @ New York Rangers, February 15th
  10. Buffalo Sabres @ Philadelphia Flyers, February 19th

Something Missing

Posted by Chris Shafer On January - 22 - 2009
Danny Briere is the Flyers highest played player currently on the roster but has missed most of this season due to injury.

Danny Briere is the Flyers highest paid player currently on the roster but has missed most of this season due to injury.

There is absolutely no question that the Flyers can win games. Tonight they welcomed a hot Atlanta Thrashers team to the Wachovia Center once again ending the Thrashers winning streak and sending them packing. It marks the 12th straight win for backup goaltender Antero Niittymaki against his childhood rival Kari Lehtonen, star goaltender for the Thrashers, while in the NHL. Niitty’s success is not all due to his own play however. He has a deadly offense in front of him to thank for keeping the pressure on the Thrashers who despite their winning ways lately have struggled relatively all season.

The win, though it gives the team a chance to rest with the upcoming All-Star break, will not be celebrated by the entire team. The star center that the Flyers had acquired after a dreadful 2006-07 last place finish was once again out of the lineup. The highest paid player on the squad has been out the majority of the season only managing to suit up for 9 games. In those 9 games he has accounted for 5 goals and 4 assists proving he is just as big a part of this offense as ever, but even without him the Flyers continue to put up points; a testament to just how scary this offense can be when healthy. Briere had been sent to the AHL Philadelphia Phantoms for a conditioning stint starting a week ago and managed 5 points in 3 games while leading the Phantoms to victories in all 3 contests. There were of course reports that Briere would be able to play tonight against the Thrashers, but it was not to be. His groin suffered a major relapse sending the center to surgery once more, this time for exploratory surgery on January 22nd. With that Paul Holmgren claims that Briere will be out for another two weeks minimum. After making so much progress with his injury anyone would be frustrated about not being able to rejoin his team.

While Briere’s injury keeps the lineup from its full potential it does buy Holmgren some much needed time. Recently there has been speculation as to what the Flyers General Manager would be able to do with Briere rejoining the lineup. The Flyers would be sent into a cap crunching war that would send players elsewhere whether to the Phantoms or even to other teams by way of trade. With Briere’s cap hit being worth $6.5 million it has been estimated that the Flyers will need to remove a little over $2 million before the center can rejoin the lineup. Though Holmgren has been given this extra time don’t expect him to be thankful for it. He would much rather see the players he signed performing well on the ice rather than on the table in surgery.

Other News

There are rumors floating around that the Flyers are making a push to acquire defenseman Paul Ranger from the Tampa Bay Lightning and Peter Forsberg, who knows the Flyers organization well and remains a free agent due to foot and ankle issues. Paul Ranger is a young offensive defenseman with a small cap hit and a big upside which would make sense for the Flyers. Unfortunately he will likely come at a price. Forsberg on the other hand will also have his price, but what the Flyers would be losing in order to acquire his services is cap space. Many are unsure of whether one of the league’s biggest names will even fit under the salary cap. If Briere is not able to return for the rest of the season for whatever reason expect for Paul Holmgren to lay all of his cards on the table in order to bring Forsberg back to Philadelphia.

Penguins @ Flyers 7:00 PM – January 13th, 2009 – GDP

Posted by Chris Shafer On January - 13 - 2009
Hartnell (LW) scoring in an earlier meeting between the Penguins and the Flyers.

Hartnell (LW) scoring in an earlier meeting between the Penguins and the Flyers.

While the Philadelphia Flyers, Pittsburgh Penguins, and Washington Capitals all seem to be growing into a three-sided war, the rivalry really began in the state of Pennsylvania at the end of a Flyers’ postseason birth. The Penguins had defeated the Flyers in the Eastern Conference Finals earning the right to play for the Stanley Cup. This has never been forgotten in Philadelphia as every time the Penguins and Flyers meet up during the season, wherever they play, the shouts of fans clad in Orange and Black can be heard echoing through the venue taunting the Penguins’ star center, Sidney Crosby.

Currently the season series rests dead even in points per team. While the Penguins started out hot they have now dropped to 10th in the East and are on a major skid. The Flyers on the other hand are looking to control their division. Of course a win against their most hated division rival would help in that cause. After the meeting tonight they will still have two more meetings during the regular season.

Notes For The Game

  • Flyers are 12-0-2 in the last 14 games in Philadelphia.
  • Flyers have 37 goals in their last 7 home games.
  • Flyers are 19-4-6 in their last 29 games.
  • Flyers are 17-1-5 when scoring the first goal.
  • Flyers all time record at home against the Penguins is 89-20-8-2.

Season Series

  • October 14th 2008: Penguins win when Pascal Dupuis (RW) scores an overtime game winner with 10.8 seconds left in overtime making the score 3-2.
  • November 13th, 2008: Penguins win in a shootout after a late third period goal by Sidney Crosby (C) to tie the game at 4. The Flyers had originally rallied from a 3-0 deficit in the game to lead the game 4-3. Alex Goligoski (D) of the Penguins scored the only goal in the shootout though Simon Gagne (LW) and Mike Richards (C) both had the opportunity.
  • December 13th 2008: Flyers win in spectacular fashion 6-3 as 6 different Flyers had multi-point nights leading from Kimmo Timonen (D) who tallied himself three assists. 
  • Flyers Season Series: 1-0-2 for 4 points
  • Penguins Season Series: 2-1-0 for 4 points

Injuries

  • PHI – Derian Hatcher (D): On LTIR indefinitely.
  • PHI – Josh Gratton (RW): Had surgury January 10th for abdominal tear and will be put on LTIR for 4-6 weeks.
  • PHI – Claude Giroux (RW): Is questionable tonight after he suffered a mild concussion on a league penalized cheap shot by Corey Perry on January 2nd. His status will be determined after morning skate.
  • PHI – Antero Niittymaki (G): Is expected to rejoin the team and back up Martin Biron tonight after suffering a groin pull January 3rd. He will likely start Thursday night in Tampa Bay.
  • PHI – Jon Kalinski (C): Is out indefinitely on the LTIR. A severe contusion occured when his left thigh was kneed and so he was rushed to surgery to drain blood.
  • PHI – Danny Briere (C): Is currently still on the LTIR after a odd string of injuries this season. While there is still no timetable for his return it could be as early as later this week.
  • PIT – Ruslan Fedotenko (W): Is out 4 to 6 weeks with a broken right hand suffered on January 6th.
  • PIT – Pascal Deupuis (W): Is unknown for game tonight but has missed the last two games with an undisclosed injury. He did practice yesterday.
  • PIT – Mike Zigomanis (F): Is on LTIR until at least mid-January with a shoulder injury.
  • PIT – Sergei Gonchar (D): Is still on LTIR after having surgery to fix a dislocated shoulder on October 2nd, 2008 after being injured September 20th. He could be out until March.

Flyers’ Possible Lineup

  • Line 1: Simon Gagne – Mike Richards – Mike Knuble
  • Line 2: Joffrey Lupul – Jeff Carter – Scott Hartnell
  • Line 3: Scottie Upshall – Glen Metropolit – Aaron Asham
  • Line 4: Riley Cote – Darroll Powe – Andreas Nodl
  • Def 1: Kimmo Timonen – Ossi Vaananen
  • Def 2: Braydon Coburn – Matt Carle
  • Def 3: Andrew Alberts – Randy Jones
  • Goal: Martin Biron

Flyers Go Unrecognized For Winning

Posted by Chris Shafer On January - 11 - 2009
Luca Sbisa (D) was selected by the Flyers in the first round of the 2008 NHL Entry Draft and has become a star at the age of 19.

Luca Sbisa (D) was selected by the Flyers in the first round of the 2008 NHL Entry Draft and has become a star at the age of 18.

The Philadelphia Flyers have become the epitome of underappreciated as the NHL hands out its mid-season honors to the players it feels have exemplified the best of the best out on the ice. It’s not unlike the league to ignore some of its more talented players in favor of bigger names, but this year it seems that the Flyers have lost out in far too many ways.

The success of the previous All-Star Game in 2008 had the NHL brimming with excitement about what could be acheived in Montreal for the 2009 All-Star Game. In 2008 the Flyers had both Mike Richards (C) and Kimmo Timonen (D) attend the game as NHL All-Stars. Unfortunately this season only the incredible revamped Jeff Carter (C) with his league leading 29 goals will be attending the game. This comes in light of the fact that Simon Gagne (LW), Mike Richards, and Kimmo Timonen, all players on the ballot, were not given the nod. Daniel Briere’s (C) injury issues clearly sidelined him for the game, and with the outstanding play of other goalies in the Eastern Conference it’s understandable that Martin Biron (G) was not able to attend. Unlike Carter, those 5 Flyers were on the ballot to join in the All-Star festivities. This marks the first time in history that not a single Flyers’ player from the starting lineup ballot has made the game. Instead Carter makes the squad in the same fashion that Mike Richards made it last season; as a write-in. Many blame the stuffing of the ballot for the game’s starters by Montreal fans pushing to get their slumping fan-favorites into the game on home ice. Because of this even the Capitals’ great Alexander Ovechkin (LW) did not get to attend the game as a starter but instead a 2nd line player.

This is not the only instance where the Flyers have been forgotten. The NHL has focused its media coverage on teams like the slumping Pittsburgh Penguins who have a more nationwide audience even though the Flyers’ attendence is in the top 5 in the NHL once again this season. The Flyers, now 3rd in the Conference and 1st in the Atlantic Division, are still 7 places above the 10th seed Penguins in the East and 3 places above the in the division. The general understanding of the situation in the locker room seems to be a lack of regard for the situation. The Flyers are winning games quietly, but they are still winning. That is the only thing that matters to them at this halfway juncture of the regular season.

The lack of recognition does cause problems with the fan base though as a group restless about the NHL’s chosen players for important events becomes ever frustrated. Recently with the NHL’s Young Stars Game taking place as part of the festivities for the All-Star Game there was a hope that 18 year old defenseman taken 19th overall in this past year’s draft would be able to show the NHL his skill. Instead the League didn’t go with the smooth skating Flyers blueliner Luca Sbisa (D) instead opting for a more widely known 2008 draftee at defense in Luke Schenn (D) from the Toronto Maple Leafs. While both have a +/- of -4 at the moment Sbisa has accounted for 4 more points than the young future star of Toronto who only has accounted for 3 assists while getting a lot more ice time with his struggling team. While the two play clearly different styles Sbisa is very talented for his size. His smooth skating is well-known, but many often forget that at the age of 18 he is willing to hit even the biggest NHL bullies should they cross the blueline. Young Star or not the Flyers are very happy with Sbisa’s progress as a solid defensive option.

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