Archive for Buffalo Sabres

Flyer Five with @BroadStBull

Posted in Flyer Thoughts with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 24, 2011 by Josh Getzoff

The Flyer Five is back after a lengthy hiatus, and just in time for the stretch run.  This week, we sit down with Philadelphia Inquirer Flyers beat writer, Sam Carchidi.  Sam tackles everything from whether it should be Bobrovsky or Boucher come playoff time, if Nikolay Zherdev should see the ice again, and whether or not the Flyers will hold on to the Eastern Conference’s top spot.  Read away:

 

FLYERFIVE with Sam Carchidi

The Flyers Blog: There has been a lot of banter back and forth as to who should tend goal for the Orange and Black come playoff time.  Who, in your opinion, should be the Flyers starting goaltender this Spring: the rookie, Sergei Bobrovsky, or the well-traveled veteran, Brian Boucher?

SC: I would go with the rookie (Sergei Bobrovsky), but have him on a short leash. It’s easier for the veteran (Brian Boucher) to come into a game in relief than a rookie.

 

TFB: It’s widely known amongst the NHL that the Flyers have one of the league’s deepest line-ups both at forward and defense.  What player or players in particular do the Flyers need to step up most in these last 10 regular season games?

SC: Mike Richards and James van Riemsdyk have been very quiet lately. Time to step to forefront. Ditto Sergei Bobrovsky (of course).

 

TFB: A season-long debate has raged as to who should be the Flyers’ twelfth forward, with Jody Shelley, who’s recently gone on the shelf with a fractured orbital bone, Dan Carcillo, and Nikolay Zherdev all rotating into what has been perceived as the 12th forward slot.  If you were head coach Peter Laviolette, what player would you put in that slot, and why?

SC: I would rotate Zherdev and Carcillo, depending on the opponent. If it’s a physical opponent, I’d go with Carcillo. If not, I’d go with Zherdev.

…I take this to mean it’s unlikely we’ll be seeing Zherdev again this season unless there’s an injury.

 

TFB: Entering tonight’s (Thursday vs. PIT, 3/24/11) action, the Flyers lead the Atlantic Division by five points over the Pittsburgh Penguins with one game in hand, and lead the Eastern Conference by one point over the Washington Capitals with a game in hand, despite falling to Washington in a shootout Tuesday night.  Do you see them winning both the Atlantic and Eastern Conference by season’s end, one of the two, or neither?

SC: I think the Flyers will win both the Atlantic Division and the Eastern Conference, but getting a win Thursday against the Penguins in Philadelphia is the key.

 

TFB: The New York Rangers (84 pts, 7th place), Buffalo Sabres (81 pts, 8th place), and Carolina Hurricanes (78 pts, 9th place) are all in a dogfight for the final two playoff spots.  If the standings hold true and the Flyers win the division, which would likely assure them of the 1st or 2nd seed, which one of these teams is the best matchup for the Flyers and why?  The worst?

SC: The Rangers would be the worst matchup because they are peaking at the right time and have a gear goalie (Henrik Lundqvist). Buffalo also has a great goaltender in Ryan Miller but I question the Sabres’ offense.  Carolina isn’t as well-rounded as the other two, so I think the ‘Canes would be the Flyers’ most desired opponent in the first round.

 

Thanks again to Sam Carchidi for offering his thoughts on everything Orange and Black.

Follow Sam on Twitter if you aren’t already at @BroadStBull

Game Recap: Flyers vs. Buffalo Sabres

Posted in Game Summaries with tags , on March 6, 2010 by Josh Getzoff

The Flyers lost their second in a row last night at HSBC Arena as they fell to the Buffalo Sabres in overtime by a score of 3-2.  The game didn’t showcase much flow, and there rarely was a back-and-forth sequence, but with that being said, the Flyers definitely had the better of play and deserved the game.  However, things very seldom work out as they should, and after dominating the overtime frame, a mental lapse defensively resulted in Tim Connolly burying a shot over Michael Leighton’s shoulder and giving the Sabres the two points from the contest.

Michael Leighton stops a Thomas Vanek offering in the first period

Everything wasn’t horrible in this one.  The Flyers still got a point out of the game, something that at this point of the season is ever so precious.  Some Flyers actually had particularly strong games as well, as I was at the game and VERY impressed by the play of Ville Leino, the winger who the Flyers acquired in the O-K Tollefsen trade with Detroit.  He may not be the best back-checker, and he’s not exactly sound defensively, but he certainly knows how to create opportunities in the offensive end, and worked remarkably well as a winger with Jeff Carter and Daniel Briere.  Speaking of Carter, I was impressed by his hustle throughout the game, as his #17 was evident at both ends of the rink – a nice change.  Of course, the game was once again highlighted by the play of Mike Richards.  The Flyers captain has come storming out of the gate since the Olympics break, and had a beautiful breakaway goal late in the third period to give the Flyers a 2-1 lead.  Michael Leighton was solid throughout, including an absolutely breath-taking sliding save on a Buffalo opportunity midway through the third that kept the game tied at the time.  However, defensive lapses will be the main thing remembered about last night’s contest in Western New York.

Michael Leighton and Chris Pronger had the old case of missed communication on a puck entering the Flyers’ zone, which Sabres sniper Thomas Vanek capitalized on, scoring a goal for the Sabres after bouncing an offering off Leighton’s back.  That tied the game at one and broke the Flyers’ momentum.  It’s safe to say that Laviolette won’t be happy with his team’s defensive lapses that – in retrospect – cost the team the game, and he’ll let them know that at practice today.

The Flyers have two games coming up against the Toronto Maple Leafs on Sunday (7:00 PM EST) and the New York Islanders on Tuesday (7:00 EST).  Although both teams are not push-overs by any means, it will still be unacceptable if the Flyers don’t get the full four points from the two games.  Look for a Maple Leafs Game preview some time tomorrow.

GAME PREVIEW: Flyers vs. Buffalo Sabres

Posted in Game Previews with tags , on March 5, 2010 by Josh Getzoff

The Game: The Philadelphia Flyers look to get themselves back on the right track tonight when they take on the Buffalo Sabres in Western New York.  The Flyers are currently 33-26-3 on the season (3rd, Atlantic; 6th, East), while the Sabres find themselves at a 33-20-9 mark (2nd, Northeast; 5th, East). 

Each team is coming off a loss in its most recent game, as the Flyers and Sabres lost to the Florida Panthers and Washington Capitals respectively on Wednesday night.  A Sabres win tonight would vault them into third place in the East by way of gaining the Northeast Division lead over Ottawa.  A Flyers win would gain them ground on the fifth seeded Sabres and allow them to sure up their spot as the Eastern Conference’s sixth seed.  This is a possible first round playoff preview.

The Story: After dropping a “gimme” of sorts against Florida on Wednesday, this game takes on even more importance for the Flyers.  It marks Buffalo goaltender Ryan Miller’s first start at home since a stellar performance for Team USA during the 2010 Winter Olympic Games in Vancouver.  It also marks the beginning of the Raffi Torres era in Western New York, as the winger was acquired by Buffalo at the trade deadline to try and bolster a struggling offensive unit.

Who to Watch on the Sabres: All the attention will be surrounding Miller in net, but keep an eye on Torres.

Torres is set to make his Buffalo debut tonight

It’s his first game in a Sabres uniform and you can bet he’ll be ready to prove he was worth the price it took Buffalo to acquire him.  He’s a solid forward, and is having a career year so far in 2009-2010.  Between Miller and Torres, the Sabres are going to give the Flyers everything they can handle tonight in Buffalo.

The Skinny: The Sabres have had the upper hand in the season series with the Flyers, taking two of three games.  However, if there’s any silver lining for the Flyers, it’s that their lone victory against Buffalo this season came at HSBC Arena.  With this game marking the end of the regular season meetings against Buffalo, we’ll see if the Flyers can continue their winning ways in Western New York.

Notes: Despite an off-game against the Panthers, expect Michael Leighton in net for the Flyers tonight.  Ryan Miller should definitely go for Buffalo and should get a resounding ovation when introduced due to his play as Team USA’s goaltender in Vancouver.  The Flyers will be without Oskars Bartulis who is still a few games away with a groin injury, and winger Darroll Powe should miss the game with a foot injury as well.  Winger Ville Leino, who scored his first goal as a Flyer in the loss against Florida Wednesday night, will take Powe’s spot in the line-up once again.