…The Canucks (lost 6-2) and Red Wings (beat 3-2) are ahead of the Flyers in the rankings from the WorldWide Leader in Sports. Vancouver is a great team that is hitting on all cylinders right now and is certainly the best team in the league. The Wings, despite dealing with some devastating injuries (both Dan Cleary and Pavel Datsyuk are out for at least the next month), have managed to battle their way to remain atop the West. Still, the Flyers, Penguins, and Rangers all make the top ten in the league. Speaks volumes about the strength of the Atlantic Division this season.
Archive for Detroit Red Wings
Click on the link below to see the Flyers’ post-game reaction to their victory yesterday over the Detroit Red Wings. The Orange and Black won a big game by a score of 4-3, and moved into a tie for seventh in the Eastern Conference.
Check out the post-game videos here: PHI 4, DET 3. Game Reaction
The Flyers looked like a team that wanted to compete in the Stanley Cup Playoffs today, and that is always a good thing.
It seems like a stupid statement, but the amount of times the Flyers have looked completely into a game has been few and far between over the last ten games or so. Today, they brought a solid game. They took care of business, in a literal and physical way, and it lead to them gaining a huge victory in the standings. Kimmo Timonen said that the Flyers need to go unbeaten the rest of the way (4 games counting this afternoon), and they started that out well this afternoon.
Dan Carcillo got things started for the Flyers after Ian Laperriere created a turnover and got the puck to Carcillo. Carcillo let go an innocent wrister that a rusty Chris Osgood had difficulty stopping and the puck found its way to the back of the net. The score gave the Flyers the lead just 13 seconds into the game. Later in the first, Kimmo Timonen jumped up in the rush and received a beautiful pass from Laperriere that he buried into the empty net as Osgood had been caught out of position to make the game 2-0 in favor of the home team. However, later in the first, the Red Wings scored two goals in a span of less than 2 minutes to even the game and send a feeling of disbelief throughout the Wachovia Center.
The Second period proved to be the turning point as the Flyers scored twice again and took a 2-goal lead heading into the third period. Claude Giroux scored 53 seconds into the second, and Arron Asham did a great job getting open in front of the net and making himself an easy target for Kimmo Timonen who threaded the needle to Ash and Asham buried the chance in front for the score. Holding a 4-2 lead, the Flyers knew what was coming their way in the third period.
Pavel Datsyuk scored for Detroit not even five minutes into the third to set the stage for what was going to be a very exciting period. However, unlike in past situations, Brian Boucher held the fort for the Flyers and got them the victory. It was big, but there’s no reason to be satisfied. The Flyers have a big game in Toronto on Tuesday they must now focus on. A win there, and suddenly it’s all about the weekend against the divisional rival New York Rangers.
This is about to get very interesting.
The Detroit Red Wings are the prime example of a team that’s found its legs since the Olympics Break. Detroit is an unbelievable 8-0-2 in their last ten games, and even better yet – 10-0-2 in their last twelve. The Flyers will certainly find their hands full this afternoon as they suddenly are in a situation where there no longer exists a cushion of comfort between them and the Mendoza Line of the Eastern Conference concerning the playoffs. They haven’t done themselves many favors either, going a horrific 2-6-2 in their last ten games to drop to the East’s eighth seed. It’s been a horrible tailspin for the franchise, but the good news is there is still time to salvage the season.
The Story: The Red Wings are coming to South Philadelphia at about the worst possible time for the Flyers. They’ve struggled a ton recently – so much so that they’ve dropped to a tie for eighth with the New York Rangers for the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. The Rangers defeated the Florida Panthers last night to pull even with the Flyers, and now its up to the Flyers to respond. Failing to do so could prove to be immensely pivotal in their “push” for the playoffs. The main difference right now between the two teams taking the ice today at the Wachovia Center is that the Red Wings finally have all their guys back and healthy which has keyed their recent surge, while the Flyers are dealing with injuries and suspensions, the reason the wheels have come off.
Who to Watch on the Red Wings: Henrik Zetterberg, Center.
There are few players in the Western Conference that are more fun to watch than Zetterberg. A superstar for both the Red Wings and Team Sweden in Vancouver, Zetterberg is as skilled as they come at the center position. He has the ability to blow by a defenseman with his speed, while also having the presence of mind at times to slow up upon entering the offensive zone and wait for a play to develop. Did I mention he’s a hybrid between a goal scorer and a play maker? Zetterberg has 23 goals on the season for Detroit, but has also contributed 44 assists in setting up his Red Wings teammates for scores. If I’m Brian Boucher, Henrik Zetterberg is one of the main reasons I didn’t sleep all that well last night.
The Skinny: Today’s match-up marks the one and only meeting between these two teams this season. Their last contest against one another came last year in Detroit’s Joe Louis Arena, when the Red Wings used a two-goal third period en route to a come from behind 3-2 win over the Flyers. The latest meeting between the two sides at the Wachovia Center came in the Spring of 2007 when the Flyers were the worst team in the NHL, yet still dismantled the Red Wings, 6-1.
Notes: It’ll likely be Brian Boucher vs. Jimmy Howard in between the pipes for the Flyers and Red Wings today. Dan Carcillo will also return from his two game suspension stemming from his high stick against the Devils’ David Clarkson a week ago today. Expect Carcillo to provide some sort of emotional spark, if for nothing else the fact that Oskars Bartulis won’t be moping around on the fourth line wing for the Flyers this afternoon. The Flyers have had a day to put the loss to Montreal behind them, but as a group it’s hoped for that they come out today with the same effort as they displayed Friday. There’s not much you can do when you hit a hot goaltender, and that’s exactly what Jaroslav Halak was two nights ago (and last night, too, for that matter – just ask the Buffalo Sabres). Last night, the Bruins won, the Rangers won, and the Canadiens won. It’s pretty simple at this point for the Flyers – they need to hold up their end of the bargain and stay in serious contention with a victory today. The bottom line is this: the Flyers still control their own destiny. If they win out, their in. That win streak begins this afternoon in South Philadelphia.
Doc Emrick, Eddie Olczyk, and Pierre McGuire will have the call from the Wachovia Center when the puck drops around 1 PM EST.