Thanks to MrFlyerGuy for the video.
Archive for Pittsburgh Penguins
“They did everything better than us in our building. That was embarrassing. We talked after the second [period] to come out hard, and we just couldn’t get it going. We didn’t have a shot on net for I don’t know how long.”
– Flyers defenseman Andrej Meszaros after the Flyers 2-1 shootout loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins on Thursday night.
…It was embarrassing, and, quite frankly, the game stunk. Still, the Flyers were able to get a point despite a poor showing, and still lead the Pens by four points with a game in hand. Obviously, that contest in the Steel City next week now looms even larger than it did before, but the Flyers must first take care of business against the Islanders and Bruins – preferably two points in the former and at least one in the latter – before they can go ahead and worry about anything concerning Pittsburgh.
I’d say the Flyers will come out charged up for the Islanders on Saturday night, but who knows at this point? They may just assume it will be another two points. Paging Chris Pronger: come back.
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
…I’m glad, but not surprised that the Flyers aren’t taking the Penguins lightly. At this stage of the game, whether it be injuries or something else, a team’s greatest hope lies within playing the hand they’ve been dealt. Few teams have handled the adversity better than Pittsburgh, who can remarkably pull to within 3 points of the Flyers with a win tonight in regulation.
The Pens have done it all without their best two players in Evgeni Malkin and Crosby, and I seriously doubt they’ll be at a lack for motivation come tonight’s puck-drop. That’s why the Flyers need to get on this team early, and carry over that spectacular play they showcased for the 2nd and 3rd periods Tuesday against Washington. A regulation victory tonight by the Orange and Black could go a LONG way towards a division title.
…This week’s games are obviously huge and it’s a very good sign that the Flyers realize that and know that their best hockey had better be on the horizon. The potential exists for the Flyers to pull four points ahead of the Capitals with two games in hand, while also going further in front of the Penguins, the lone team that stands in their way this point when it comes to an Atlantic Division title.
I agree with Carchidi in that Bobrovsky will likely get one, if not both of these contests, and will probably be the man in between the pipes come playoff time for the Orange and Black. The Caps will be red hot coming in on Tuesday, and it will be up to the Flyers to stop them in their tracks. I have a bad feeling – I SINCERELY hope I’m wrong – but I have a bad feeling that these next two games will show the Flyers’ glaring defensive weakness without having Chris Pronger in the lineup against some of the game’s best players. We shall see though; one game at a time.
…The two divisions ranked ahead of the Atlantic – the Central and Pacific (both in the West) – are very deserving of their placement. The Central is ranked first, and is flat-out loaded, boasting the defending Cup Champs in Chicago, as well as perennial Cup contenders Detroit. The division also has St. Louis and the always impressive Nashville Predators, two teams that seem to look destined for playoff action for the foreseeable future.
The Atlantic is definitely brought down this season, because the Islanders and Devils have been downright awful. In past seasons, the Flyers, Rangers, Pens, and Devils seem to always each have a chance in their own right. This season, the Flyers and Pens look to be at the class of the East, with the Rangers literally inches behind them. The strength of these three teams is going to make for some exciting inter-divisional matchups in the near future. Let’s just hope the Flyers come out on top.
…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.