Archive for Blair Betts

Today’s Lines at Practice

Posted in Flyer Thoughts with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 14, 2011 by Josh Getzoff

…Still say Carcillo should be the odd-man out, but it appears I’m never going to get my way.  Look for these to be the combo’s tomorrow night against Tampa.

How ‘Bout That Penalty Kill?

Posted in Flyer Thoughts with tags , , on February 7, 2011 by Josh Getzoff

In the last 10 games, in which the Flyers are 8-2, they successfully killed 27 of 30 power plays, or 90 percent, which lifted their season percentage to 83.3 percent. Take away the eight power plays they had to deal with against Montreal on Jan. 25, and the Flyers have faced only 22 power plays in the other nine games. That’s a good way to preserve energy.

 

-Ray Parillo, Philadelphia Inquirer

…Killing penalties has always been a key component to gaining momentum on your side throughout the course of a hockey game.  With the Flyers’ recent success, coupled with their strong overall play, it’s not hard to see why this team has stayed atop the standings in the Eastern Conference.  In fact, it’s only reasonable to believe that their penalty kill will get even better, as it currently sits at 10th in the league, and PKers Blair Betts and Darroll Powe are, in my opinion, playing their best hockey of this entire season.

Updates: The Flyers and Their Moustaches

Posted in Flyer Thoughts with tags , , , , , , , , , on November 12, 2010 by Josh Getzoff

Everyone knows the Flyers are collectively growing out their ‘staches for “Movember”.  Here’s an inside look with the Flyers themselves, courtesy of flyers.nhl.com:

http://video.flyers.nhl.com/videocenter/embed.swf

Game Recap: Flyers vs. Pittsburgh Penguins

Posted in Game Summaries with tags , , , , , , on October 8, 2010 by Josh Getzoff

Last night was supposed to be a night of celebration in Pittsburgh.  A night of “turning the page” on last season’s upset Game Seven defeat in the final game played in Mellon Arena against the Montreal Canadiens.  A night of christening a brand new – and gorgeous looking facility, might I add – building in the CONSOL Energy Center.  A night for Sidney Crosby to once again take center position on the National Hockey League stage.  A night that Gary Bettman could see the once-fledgling franchise he “saved” get reborn in a new building and in front of a newly-found passionate following.

Instead, it turned out to be a night where the Philadelphia Flyers simply didn’t get the memo, and absolutely crashed the party.

Giroux celebrates his shorty in the third

The Flyers, a team that entered last night’s contest as the defending Eastern Conference Champions, hardly were given an ounce of respect from the announcers and producers of the broadcast, let alone from the fans in Pittsburgh or the Pens themselves.  Instead, much like last season, the Flyers had to work and earn the respect of their peers and opponents, and that they did – convincingly – again.

After a sluggish first period that saw the Flyers give up 15 shots against, the Flyers finally got their legs in the second period and took the game over.  The main reason that the Flyers even were in this contest after the first period of action was simply because of the play of rookie goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky.  The 22-year old Russian, who surprisingly was given the start in goal over Brian Boucher last night, dazzled all night long.  “Bob” as he’s referred to in Flyers circles, made 29 saves on 31 shots and won his first career regular season NHL start in about as hostile an environment as they come, outside, of course, of the Wells Fargo Center.

Once the first period ended, and Bobrovsky settled in, the Flyers got their legs and took the play to the Penguins, outshooting them 10-9 in the second period, and 8-7 in the third frame.  The second period saw the first ever goal scored in the history of the CONSOL Energy Center – and it was by a Flyer.  Danny Briere redirected a Braydon Coburn shot from the point on the power play past a clueless Marc-Andre Fleury and into the back of the net to make it 1-0 Philadelphia.  15 minutes later, with a little less than three minutest to go in the third period, the Flyers struck again, as Darroll Powe redirected a James van Riemsdyk shot and Blair Betts scooped up the fortuitous rebound and blasted it into the back of the empty net to make it 2-0 Flyers.

Darroll Powe congratulates Sergei Bobrovsky following the Flyers win

The Pens got a quick start to the third period, as Bobrovsky got caught up with Braydon Coburn in moving across his crease, leaving a gaping hole for Tyler Kennedy to roof a wrister through from below the circles.  While that goal cut the score to 2-1, the Flyers kept pressing and, much unlike past seasons, didn’t buckle down and took the pressure TO the Penguins, instead of the other way around.  That resulted in the biggest goal of the game, a Claude Giroux shorthanded marker in which Giroux picked Kris Letang’s pocked on a pass that was intended for his defensive partner Paul Martin, and the shifty Flyers winger deked Fleury out of his jock strap and deposited the puck in the back of the net to make it 3-1 Flyers.  The goal by Giroux would prove to be a huge one as just seconds later, the Penguins would strike on the powerplay, by way of an Alex Goligoski redirection that Bobrovsky never had a chance on.

Still, the Flyers hung tough and withstood a furious late comeback attempt by Pittsburgh and were able to take care of the Pens in the season opener for both teams.  Chris Pronger did not play in the game for Philadelphia as he still doesn’t feel that his knee is ready to go, but could be in action tomorrow night against St. Louis.

The Flyers will use today as a travel day and take on the Jaroslav Halak and the St. Louis Blues tomorrow in Missouri.

The season has OFFICIALLY begun!

-Sidenote: An old teammate of mine, Eric Tangradi, played for the Penguins last night (wore #26).  He is a Philly boy, born and raised and I can only imagine how incredible of a thrill it must have been to get to play against a hometown team like that.  Not to mention, the kid played a helluva game, look out for him this year!

Training Camp: Shelley A Flyers Fan During Last Season’s Run

Posted in Flyer Thoughts with tags , , , , , , on September 21, 2010 by Josh Getzoff

Who could’ve blamed Jody Shelley for rooting against the Flyers in last season’s Stanley Cup Playoffs?  The Orange and Black did, after all, bounce his Rangers from the postseason chase on the final game of the regular season in a shootout and left Shelley with an entire off-season to ponder a heartbreaking defeat.  The victor of that game 82?  Well, those Flyers went all the way to the Stanley Cup Final, and enter this season as the defending Eastern Conference Champions.

Shelley and Riley Cote rumble back in his San Jose days

Still, despite the agonizing loss, and the success of the team that got in instead of his Rangers, Jody Shelley cheered for the Flyers last season during the playoffs.  Shelley told CSNPhilly.com’s Tim Panaccio that he was cheering for “Philly in the end.  I was jealous all the way.  You guys beat us out.  You want to lose to the best.”

“Us,” according to Shelley in that quote, is his former team, the New York Rangers.  Now, “us” means his current set of colors: the Orange and Black of the Philadelphia Flyers.  Signed to a contract that many – this writer included – still don’t understand when he became a free agent on July 1st, Shelley will likely be a regular for the Flyers on the fourth line this season, working with Ian Laperriere and Darroll Powe until Blair Betts returns from injury.  As Panaccio points out, he gives the Flyers a bonafide “Tough guy,” something they haven’t had regularly in their line-up for a while.

One thing that impressed me about Shelley is the genuine excitement he seems to have in being a Flyer.  In the article, he talks about how the pictures of old Flyers smiling and their missing teeth that line the walls of the dressing room reaffirms in his mind the constant credos associated with Philadelphia: hard work, and very blue-collar.

While I don’t necessarily agree with Shelley’s price tag, there is no doubting that he’ll be a force on the Flyers fourth line this season.  Hopefully – who knows – he can rekindle that scoring touch he had against the Flyers the final two games of last season and be a bit of a scoring surprise as well.

For the full article from Panaccio, check out the link here: AS A RANGER, SHELLEY ROOTED FOR THE FLYERS

Player Report Card: Blair Betts

Posted in Flyer Thoughts with tags , on July 1, 2010 by Josh Getzoff

NAME: Blair Betts

POSITION: Center

Regular Season Statistics: 63 Games Played – 8 Goals, 10 Assists, 18 Points.  +7.

Analysis: When Blair Betts signed a one-year deal with the Flyers out of Training Camp on October 1, 2009, many people looked at Betts as a solid veteran signing, and not much more.  Sure, everyone was familiar with him in the sense of him being a solid depth player – he was a member of the New York Rangers the past two seasons – but it was hard to be incredibly excited about a depth signing.  Blair Betts single-handedly made myself and many other Flyers fans gain 100% trust in Paul Holmgren as a General Manager with how he played for the Flyers this year.  Betts put up career numbers in assists and points, and, obviously had the best statistical season of his career.  He provided the Flyers with a dominant center in the face-off circle on their fourth line, and was part of the reason for the strong play of their front couple of lines, because Betts and his fourth line counterparts would simply wear down the opposition with their determination and “Never say die” attitude.

Postseason Statistics: 23 Games Played – 1 Goals, 1 Assist, 2 Points. -4.

Analysis: Like many checking line players, Betts was counted on to be a guy the Flyers could be assured would battle hard each and every game as well as give a strong effort on the penalty kill.  Betts was able to do both of those tasks even in the face of adversity.  The Flyers’ center separated his shoulder for the 11th time in his career – an injury that predictably has plagued his time in the NHL – during Game Six of the Boston series.  The injury happened in the second period, and Betts, ever the trooper, was back on the bench with his teammates writhing in pain for the third period, even though he did not play a second of the frame.  Still, separated shoulder and all, Betts did not miss a game, as he was in the lineup for Game Seven against Boston and all the Stanley Cup Final games as well.  Blair Betts’ hard work and absolute desire to win really won me over this season, and I’m more than happy there will be at least one more year of #11 in Orange and Black.

FINAL GRADE:  A

Reasoning: Any time you can make a signing five days before the start of the regular season and have that player be a huge asset to your team, you know you’ve done something right.  Blair Betts happened to be that asset this season, coming to the Flyers as a training camp invite, and making the team as a result of his play.  You need to catch your breaks in life, and Betts did just that this season, having the best statistical year of his career.  Betts gave the Flyers a more than dependable center on their checking line unit, as well as a top-unit penalty killer and stellar face-off man.  All that for a last second signing?  I’d take it in a heartbeat.

Updates: Surgery for Leino, Betts, Backlund, Carcillo

Posted in Flyer Thoughts with tags , , , , , on June 14, 2010 by Josh Getzoff

Anthony SanFilippo of the Delaware County Times is reporting on his blog today that Ville Leino and Dan Carcillo will join Blair Betts and Johan Backlund as some of the Flyers to go under the knife early for surgical procedures this postseason.

Betts is one of four Flyers to have surgery so far this off-season

Betts is scheduled to have surgery on his dislocated shoulder, suffered during round two against Boston, and Backlund will have a minor hip procedure to get the goaltender ready for next year.  However, just today SanFilippo said that now Leino and Carcillo will each have procedures.  Carcillo, who sat out various games as a healthy scratch throughout the Eastern Conference and Stanley Cup Finals, was playing with a sports hernia and will have surgery to correct it.  The Flyers, according to SanFilippo, have said that Carcillo’s procedure may take a while, but the winger should be ready for training camp.

Ville Leino is the fourth and newest Flyer to go under the knife so far this summer, as he is having what SanFilippo terms a “minor hip cleaning” that “won’t cost him that much time this summer.”  Leino came onto the spotlight for the Flyers this postseason, emerging as one of the most talented players on the roster and hopefully earning himself a spot in the Flyers’ line-up for many years to come.

Speedy recovery wishes to all dealing with surgeries, get well soon!