Thanks to MrFlyerGuy of YouTube for the video.
Archive for Tampa Bay Lightning
…Last night’s game was so exciting, and definitely had a playoff feel to it throughout. Fortunately, the Flyers were able to salvage two points in the final game of the four-game season series, and have some confidence and momentum to build off should these two teams meet again. James van Riemsdyk played out of his mind last night, registering a “Gordie Howe Hat Trick” as he opened the scoring in the first, assisted on Scott Hartnell’s redirection goal in the second, and fought Randy Jones in the opening period. He was the Flyers’ best player, aside from Brian Boucher, last night.
The Flyers have lost all three meetings with Tampa Bay this season, making Tuesday’s showdown more than just a run-of-the-mill game for the Orange and Black.
It is their last chance to beat the Steven Stamkos-led Lightning in the regular season _ and send a message in case the teams meet in the Eastern Conference playoffs.
Defenseman Matt Carle said the Flyers have “had this game circled on the calendar” for a while.
– Sam Carchidi, Philadelphia Inquirer
The Flyers dropped their first regulation contest tonight to the visiting Tampa Bay Lightning by a final score of 3-2.
The Flyers never led in the game tonight despite outshooting Tampa Bay by a total of 26-24. Steven Stamkos, Dominic Moore, and Pavel Kubina scored for the Lightning, while Nik Zherdev and Here are some quick hits:
– Simon Gagne is a class act. We will miss him forever in Philadelphia, but the amount of admiration the Flyers fan base had for him only grew after his in-game tribute aired tonight and Gagne’s sincere appreciative response to the Philadelphia crowd.
– Andrej Meszaros played yet another strong game. Keep an eye on #41 in Orange and Black, he is something to watch this season on the blue-line.
– Defensively, Matt Carle was atrocious tonight. He picked up an assist on Briere’s goal, but was otherwise awful in the game, taking a crucial delay-of-game penalty late in the contest, coughing up the puck in the second period that resulted in a Tampa Bay goal, and finishing -1.
– Brian Boucher was ok. He moves to 0-1-1 on the season and probably would have liked to get that second goal back.
– Vinny Lecavalier was absolutely invisible tonight. I expected a lot more out of him.
– Nikolay Zherdev finally broke through with his first goal as a Flyer off a beautiful feed in front from James van Riemsdyk. He looked relieved to get the first one out-of-the-way after it happened.
– The Flyers only managed a pathetic four shots in the third period. Based off how Tampa played defensively, I’d say that was more a lackluster effort on the Flyers part than a shutdown effort from the Tampa side.
– Peter Laviolette has GOT to find a third piece to the Richards-Carter-? Line. Dan Carcillo is not that piece. I heard Bill Guerin’s still looking for a place to play.
– Lavvy also needs to work on the powerplay. 1 for 17 on the year with the talent the Flyers have is inexcusable.
– The Lightning are off to a 3-0-0 start and look pretty solid. Chances are they will be playing some playoff hockey this season.
– I really like Sean O’Donnell. He’s old-school: not flashy, not the best skater, but he gets the job done.
– Danny Briere led the Flyers with 5 SOG tonight.
– Kimmo Timonen led the Orange and Black with 25:40 TOI.
The Flyers are next in action when Sidney Crosby, Eric Tangradi, and the Pittsburgh Penguins come into town this Saturday. The start time for that game has been moved to 6 PM to accommodate Game One of the NLCS (7:57 PM first pitch), which will be taking place across the street.
Here’s the Gagne video from tonight:
The Flyers enter tonight’s contest unbeaten in regulation (2-0-1), with their two wins this season coming by way of a 3-2 opening night victory over the Pittsburgh Penguins, and a 4-2 home-opening victory over the Colorado Avalanche. The lone loss this season for the Orange and Black came in overtime, a 2-1 decision to the St. Louis Blues in their second game of the season. The Tampa Bay Lightning enter the contest tonight also unbeaten in regulation (2-0-0) and looking to be a darkhorse in a very wide-open Eastern Conference this season. Tampa defeated the Atlanta Thrashers in their season and home opener 5-3, and last night took home a 4-3 overtime win against the Montreal Canadiens North of the border – no easy feat.
The Story: Tonight is the game many Flyers fans – this writer included – have had circled on their calendar since Simon Gagne was traded away from Philadelphia to Tampa Bay this summer. It was a bitter-sweet ending to what was an incredible 11-year relationship between Gagne, the franchise, and the fans. Now, however, Simon returns tonight as the opponent, not a Flyer. He and his Lightning are a formidable group, with talent in their top six forwards unlike anything the Flyers have seen before in the early stages of this season. However, as important as the game will be to both the Flyers and Gagne tonight, the pre-game ceremony that will take place prior to puck drop to honor Gagne for his time in Orange and Black will be something special. I will be on hand for the event, and to say that it will be emotional is an understatement. Of course, lost in this story is that there are a couple other players getting their first cracks at their former teams since they were let go. Randy Jones, who used to patrol the blue line for the Flyers before being sent away on the waiver wire last season, was picked up by Tampa Bay over the summer and makes his first return to Philadelphia not as a member of the Flyers tonight. For the Orange and Black, Andrej Meszaros will take on his former Lightning teammates for the first time since Lightning General Manager Steve Yzerman shipped him away to Philadelphia on the first day of free agency.
Who to Watch on the Lightning: Simon Gagne, Left Wing.
Is there any other option for tonight’s game? Gagne, who had been with this franchise for his first 11 seasons in the NHL, makes his return to Philadelphia tonight. It’s going to be great to see him this evening, but it’ll be tough to come to the realization that he’s no longer a Flyer. As a Bolt so far this season, Gagne hasn’t done much in the first two games, but it’s really just a matter of time as far as he’s concerned. Through two games played he has no points and is a -2, but he had some great chances to score last night against Montreal and really appears like he’s beginning to get his feet under him in Tampa Bay, something that is not good news for the rest of the league. Ideal situation tonight? Gagne scores, but the Flyers still win. I’ll take that in a heartbeat.
The Skinny: This marks the first meeting between the Flyers and Lightning since last year when the two teams matched up to resume the NHL season after the Olympic Break. The Flyers routed Tampa Bay, 7-2, and the game was never close. Simon Gagne had a goal in that game. Last year, the Flyers owned the Lightning, winning the season series four games to nothing, and outscoring the Lightning 22-7. This season, those stats are irrelevant, but even more so because the Lightning are a MUCH improved group this season and will give each of their opponents quite a bit of trouble on the offensive end this year. For what it’s worth, Mike Richards had 5 goals and 11 points against Tampa Bay last season, his most against any opponent all year.
Notes: Per the Flyers’ Official Twitter, Brian Boucher will get the start in net tonight for the Flyers. Look for Mike Smith to start in goal tonight for Tampa Bay, although it certainly isn’t out of the question for off-season pickup Dan Ellis to get the nod in goal. Still, my money is on Smith. As I’ve said, if you’re going to the game tonight, get there early because of the pregame ceremony for Gagne. It will be worth your time if you were a fan of #12. Puck drops at 7:00PM EST, and the game will be telecast nationally on VERSUS.
The man of the hour tonight, Simon Gagne, sat down with Anthony SanFilippo (@AnthonySan37 on Twitter) of the Delaware County Times to talk about his impending return to the only city he’s ever really known in his prior 11 NHL seasons, Philadelphia.
Now a member of the Tampa Bay Lightning, Gagne makes his first return to the Wells Fargo Center since being traded down South as a result of the Flyers’ tight salary cap situation in the off-season. The interview is in transcript format and is a great read. The two men spoke before Gagne played in last night’s contest against the Montreal Canadiens, a game his Lightning would go on to win, 4-3.
Check out the interview here: SIMON SAYS…
Sam Carchidi of the Philadelphia Inquirer is usually good for random facts and figures concerning his opponents. He missed the boat tonight. To clarify: Marc-Andre Fleury and his Penguins are playing the Washington Capitals. Simon Gagne and his Lightning are playing the Montreal Canadiens. I digress…
Well, we will just chalk it up for someone else being a little too excited to see #12 back in Philadelphia tomorrow night.