…I don’t really know much about Boynton, but he seems like a likable guy already. He tells Stephen Whyno in this article that he’s fine with being the team’s seventh defenseman, and I don’t really think he’ll see a whole lot of playing time unless something unspeakable happens to one of the Flyers six d-men. Look for him to come in soon – possibly this week – as Sean O’Donnell’s 39 year old body may need to rest before the playoffs begin.
Archive for Sean O’Donnell
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.
…It didn’t look good when O’Donnell went down yesterday against New York. Oskars Bartulis will fill in for at least this week’s games against Phoenix and the Islanders. Rest is always good in OD’s case. He’s 39 years old, and the Flyers will need him to be in the best shape possible come playoff time.
…O’Donnell has been so solid for the Flyers all season long and this was one of two big hits he dished out in the victory, as he destroyed Rich Peverley in the first period. Nice to see the 39 year old still throw his body around. Kane had some trouble getting up after that strong, clean hip-check.
Lost in the coverage of the Flyers’ lack of offensive output from their forwards thusfar this season has been the fact that the men manning the blue line haven’t exactly been depositing the puck into the back of the net.
Actually, come to think of it, they haven’t put a single puck in the net thus far this season.
Obviously, with a group back there consisting of Chris Pronger, Kimmo Timonen, Matt Carle, Braydon Coburn, Sean O’Donnell, and Andrej Meszaros, I think that may people – myself included – certainly feel that this unit should be producing far more than they have so far. Instead, that hasn’t happened, and entering action last night only the Flyers and Los Angeles Kings hadn’t had a goal this season from a defenseman. A big way to get the defensemen involved is to convert powerplay opportunities – another aspect that the Flyers have struggled with this season. They have been “too pretty” with the man advantage – passing the puck around until they can pass it no longer – and not just taking the old fashioned approach and feeding it to a defenseman for a rip from the point. Hopefully, that technique will change tonight, and a defenseman will score against Pittsburgh. For the record, I think the slump on the blue-line stops tonight against Pittsburgh, and Matt Carle is the goal scorer.
Frank Seravalli has taken note of this issue as well, and has an article on the topic here: FLYERS DEFENSEMEN NEED TO CHIP IN WITH SCORING
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.
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