Archive for Oskars Bartulis

Well, That Was Quick: OD Back Thursday

Posted in Flyer Thoughts with tags , , on February 23, 2011 by Josh Getzoff

Via Tweet: Sean O’Donnell will be back in the line-up for the Flyers tomorrow night when they host the surging New York Islanders at the Wells Fargo Center.

O’Donnell had missed last game with what the Flyers were calling a sprained knee, but had explained to reporters that the injury wasn’t serious and that if it were the playoffs, he would likely be playing through the pain.

The Flyers are short a defenseman without OD in the line-up after Oskars Bartulis was cheap-shotted last night by former Flyer Scottie Upshall.  Bartulis left the game holding his shoulder and was scheduled to have an MRI done today.

…If it’s not going to kill O’Donnell in the long run, then why not?  You can’t call up Matt Walker, because he was just diagnosed with a knee injury and should miss a month.  I don’t see anything wrong with this move, just hopefully OD’s body can handle it and he can continue to perform at a high level.

Stephen Whyno, of Philly Sports Daily, broke this story.

Jody Shelley Missed Last Night’s Game w/the Flu

Posted in Flyer Thoughts with tags , on February 2, 2011 by Josh Getzoff

SHELLEY, BARTULIS LIKELY OUT

…I  will always contend that the Flyers are a better team with Jody Shelley in the line-up than with Dan Carcillo.  I don’t want to say last night is a prime example, because, quite frankly, the whole team stunk.  Still, Shelley brings a locker room component and veteran presence that isn’t otherwise there when he is scratched.  I am a fan.

For the record, Shelley should be back in the line-up Thursday vs. Nashville, unless the flu keeps him sidelined.

Training Camp: Philly Feels Like Home for Walker

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

When Matt Walker was traded to the Philadelphia Flyers this summer, he was one of the few people associated with the Philadelphia area excited about his arrival.

You see, Matt Walker was what the Flyers got in exchange when they traded Simon Gagne to the Tampa Bay Lightning.  They received a fourth round pick as well, but Walker is the only able body that can appear in a Flyers uniform at the moment.

If Matt Walker does this to Sidney Crosby, Flyers fans will love him

Frank Seravalli, of the Daily News, has more on Walker’s beginnings as a Flyer today in both the print and online form of the paper.  After reading Seravalli’s article, maybe there’s reason to give Walker a chance with the Flyers.  First and foremost, Seravalli compares Walker to the “defensive version of Ian Laperriere”.  Is he even allowed to do that?  With the soft spot that all Flyers fans now have with Lappy, being compared to #14 means that Walker now has a lot to live up to.

Still, Seravalli points out that in coming to Philadelphia, Matt Walker feels like he is coming home.  The 6’2” 230+ pound defenseman who makes a living blocking shots as opposed to taking them told the Flyers beat writer, “I’ve been watching them [the Flyers] ever since I was a kid.  [Tough hockey] has always been their reputation, so I’ve always had a little bit of a soft spot for them.”  Walker goes on to say that he was “pretty excited” when he found out he had been traded to the Flyers in the off-season.

While Walker is excited to be here, it’s hard for me to believe he’s going to be playing all that much once this season moves from the “Pre” variety.  The Flyers have a solid set of six proven and skilled defensemen in Chris Pronger, Sean O’Donnell, Braydon Coburn, Kimmo Timonen, Matt Carle, and Andrej Meszaros.  After that, Walker and Oskars Bartulis are left to compete for the 7th and 8th slots, which actually aren’t as much slots as they are seats in the press box.  Still, Walker is a cap hit of over a million dollars this season, so it’s difficult to fathom that the Flyers would dump that salary to the Adirondacks and have him play for the Phantoms.

Depth, especially defensively, is always a good thing.  But it’s hard for me to believe that Walker will be among the top six for the Flyers on the blue-line if the aforementioned six defensemen are all healthy.  With that being said, if Chris Pronger’s knee doesn’t heal as well as he and the Flyers would have liked come time for the season opener, it’s a safe bet Walker will be his replacement in Pittsburgh on October 7th.

You can check out Seravalli’s entire piece here: WALKER FEELING RIGHT AT HOME WITH FLYERS’ DEFENSIVE CORPS

Player Report Card: Oskars Bartulis

Posted in Flyer Thoughts with tags , on June 25, 2010 by Josh Getzoff

NAME: Oskars Bartulis

POSITION: Defenseman

Regular Season Statistics: 53 Games Played – 1 Goal, 8 Assists, 9 Points.  -12.

Analysis: The beginning of this season brought nothing but bright spots for Bartulis in a Flyers uniform.  He looked composed for a rookie, and truly looked like he belonged at the NHL level and in a Flyers uniform.  I was pleasantly surprised and pleased with his play early on and apparently the Flyers’ brass were as well.  Bartulis was given a three-year extension to the tune of a one-way contract on December 2, 2009.  Because the deal was one-way, it meant that if, by some chance, the Orange and Black wanted to send Bartulis back down to the minors, he would have to clear NHL waivers first.  Ironically, it was after that deal – after the Flyers basically handcuffed themselves to Bartulis – that the wheels came off for the young Latvian defenseman.  His style of play changed from aggressive to lackluster, and his overall intensity dropped significantly.  He frequently left many a Flyers fan shaking his or her head, and wondering, simply, “Why the hell did we just sign this guy to an NHL contract?”  His point production wasn’t bad, but his play in the defensive zone was porous, and, unless you’re Mike Green, you cannot get away with offensive play as a defenseman to hide the fact that you’re a poor d-man.

Postseason Statistics: 7 Games Played – 0 Goals, 0 Assists, 0 Points.  -1.

Analysis: Bartulis was a part of the ever-revolving door that took place on the Flyers’ blue-line this postseason.  Between Bartulis, Ryan Parent, and Lukas Krajicek, the Flyers constantly were bringing in a different guy it seemed every three games or so to clog up the spot that seemingly couldn’t be clogged: that of the Flyers’ sixth defenseman.  It clearly was their weakest point on the team, and that was evidenced by the fact that there was no set player there.  Bartulis didn’t do much to help his cause, playing out of position severely in the New Jersey series, and being forced to watch the entire remainder of that first round matchup, as well as the Semi- and Conference Finals in a suit as a healthy scratch.  When Ryan Parent completely fell apart in the Stanley Cup Final, Bartulis came back into play, but didn’t make all that much of a difference.  He struggled to catch up to the speed of the series, and didn’t receive enough ice time to make some sort of bearing impact on the series.  Overall, it’s safe to say his first career Stanley Cup Playoffs experience was a disaster, but, you live and you learn.

FINAL GRADE: C+

Reasoning: His regular season, for the most part, was good.  Bartulis is still on the younger side, and clearly has a way to go in this game, but he did have his moments this year.  With that being said, he also had plenty of moments many Flyers fans would likely like to forget.  Still, he’s under an NHL contract in Philadelphia for the next couple years, so unless Paul Holmgren has some master plan to move away Bartulis, I’d say it’s a pretty safe bet he’ll be a part of the six-man unit come October 7th in Pittsburgh for the season opener.  Bartulis didn’t get much of an opportunity in the postseason – with that being said, that’s also a reasonable statement.  Of course, it was the first playoff action in the NHL Bartulis had seen in his young career, and he clearly looked in way over his head.  Despite the struggles this year, I’m personally excited about Oskars, and I think Peter Laviolette and his coaching staff will help him grow into a much better player next season.

Updates: Carcillo, Bartulis IN, Parent, JVR OUT for Game Two; Line-up Changes

Posted in Flyer Thoughts with tags , , , , , , , , , on May 31, 2010 by Josh Getzoff

After losing Game One, the Flyers are tinkering their line-up quite a bit in an effort to get back in the win column come the final buzzer of Game Two.

Everyone's favorite Car-Bomb returns to the ice tonight

Word spread across Twitter today, mostly through CSN Philly’s Tim Panaccio and John Boruk, that the Flyers were going to change up their on ice product for the second game of the 2010 Stanley Cup Final, and that they did.  Entering the line-up is the fireball of a human being Dan Carcillo, a healthy scratch since Game Four of the Eastern Conference Finals against Montreal.  To open up a spot for Carcillo, James van Riemsdyk has been sat down for tonight’s game. In my opinion, JVR was an easy choice here.  He’s clearly been in over his head these entire playoffs, and really aside from Game Seven in Boston he’s basically just been a body going through the motions during his shifts.  It’s a change that needed to be made to increase both the intensity and aggression of the Flyers as a unit in a game that’s as close to a must-win as they’ll get this early in a series tonight in Chicago.

Along with the offensive changes, Oskars Bartulis will play in his first playoff game since round one against the New Jersey Devils tonight as he has gotten the call in favor of Ryan Parent, who hasn’t been playing with any confidence at all in the past few games, highlighted by a grand total of 41 seconds of ice time in Game One.  Bartulis gives the Flyers defense a fresher body who can contribute, but won’t be expected to do anything more than log maybe eight minutes tops a game.  I think he can handle that.

With those two line-up changes in mind, here are the lines for tonight:

Offense

Dan Carcillo – Mike Richards – Jeff Carter

Simon Gagne – Claude Giroux – Arron Asham

Danny Briere – Ville Leino – Scott Hartnell

Ian Laperriere – Blair Betts – Darroll Powe

Defense

Chris Pronger – Matt Carle

Braydon Coburn – Kimmo Timonen

Oskars Bartulis – Lukas Krajicek

….Obviously, the pairing of Bartulis and Krajicek together and the distinct possibility that they may be out there at the same time is down-right frightening, but it can’t be any worse than Krajicek and Parent, right?  RIGHT?

….Offensively, the top two lines with a little bit of tinkering, but I think we may see some great things from the combination of Gagne, Giroux, and Asham.  Those three are all skilled with the puck and with Asham’s big body and the likelihood of them cycling, they certainly have the capability to wreak havoc.

Same team, new look.  Let’s see if it makes a difference.