Archive for Updates

Updates: Flyers Winning, JVR Sitting

Posted in Flyer Thoughts with tags , , on November 12, 2010 by Josh Getzoff

The Philadelphia Flyers are enjoying their most successful run of games thusfar in the early part of the 2010-2011 regular season.  The team had wheeled off six straight wins before their overtime loss last Sunday in Washington, and, after last night’s dismantling of the Carolina Hurricanes, the Flyers are now 7-0-1 in their last eight games.

Maybe this benching is what JVR needs to jump-start his season

Lost in the shuffle of all the Flyers’ success has been James van Riemsdyk, a healthy scratch for head coach Peter Laviolette for the past three contests, a result of one of the worst starts a Flyer has had this season.  For a player who the Flyers’ brass expected far more out of entering the 2010-2011 campaign, JVR has struggled mightily out of the gate, only registering four points (4 A) in thirteen games played.  In the games leading up to him finding a spot in the press box, van Riemsdyk looked lost at times on the ice, and very frequently was reluctant to battle for loose pucks or take on a more aggressive, physical style.  That won’t earn you a spot in Peter Laviolette’s lineup.

Instead, JVR has been a healthy scratch for last two Flyers victories, and, after the team won 8-1 last night in Raleigh, there are actually some that think the Flyers are better off without the former #2 overall pick in the 2007 NHL Draft.  Personally, I am one of JVR’s harshest critics, but I can tell you right now, when he gets back into the Flyers’ line-up, he will be extremely motivated.  He’s always had the size and frame (6’3”, 205lbs), but perhaps now he can gain the spark, or the edge that will vault him back into the Flyers’ lineup as a regular and give the Orange and Black yet another weapon moving forward.

Frank Seravalli has more on JVR’s predicament in today’s Philadelphia Daily NewsFLYERS’ van RIEMSDYK TRYING TO SKATE OUT OF SLUMP

Updates: “The Fog” in the Hall Needs to Clear for Fred Shero

Posted in Flyer Thoughts with tags , , , , on November 9, 2010 by Josh Getzoff

In one of the better articles I’ve read in some time, Frank Seravalli makes his points as to why Flyers coaching legend Fred Shero deserves to be enshrined in the Hockey Hall of Fame over many other eligible candidates, such as the late-Pat Burns.

Shero is the best coach in Flyers history

The question as to why Shero isn’t in the Hall is something that’s been a question hovering in my mind for quite some time.  That being said, I really enjoyed Frank’s article today.  Seravalli makes note that Shero is one of the more successful coaches in NHL history, putting together four straight seasons of a .700 winning percentage, accompanied by two Stanley Cup Championships with the Flyers.  He was the first coach in the league’s history to bring on assistants, and implement a system for his players to follow.

Give this a read, and feel free to leave a comment below on your thoughts about Shero potentially entering the Hockey Hall of Fame:  FRED SHERO DESERVES PLACE IN HOCKEY HALL OF FAME

Updates: Leighton is Making Progress

Posted in Flyer Thoughts with tags , , , on November 1, 2010 by Josh Getzoff

Remember Michael Leighton?

The Flyers goaltender who many recall as the man who anchored an unbelievable ride to the Stanley Cup Final last Spring was last in action in a preseason game against the Toronto Maple Leafs this year before taking himself out of the game with a sore back.  That sore back turned out to be a herniated disc in his lumbar region, something that required surgery and has kept Leights out of regular season action so far this season.

However, Michael Leighton is returning.

Michael Leighton's return is not all that far away

According to reports from CSNPhilly.com‘s Tim Panaccio and the Philadelphia Daily News‘ Frank Seravalli, Leighton will begin skating again this week at practice with the Flyers.  Panaccio says Leighton began some light skating over the Halloween weekend at the Skate Zone, and is aiming for a return right around Thanksgiving in a Flyers uniform.  The goal right now, according to Panaccio, is for Leighton to return to practice by November 20.  Back injuries are always difficult for goaltenders to deal with and it’s tough to get excited about Leighton making a return until we officially see him out on the ice sliding post to post and making the necessary cuts in the crease he’ll need to make to stop pucks in a National Hockey League game.

While Leighton’s return will undoubtedly bring about another goaltending controversy as to who is the starter in Philadelphia, it’s never a bad thing to have too many options.  We all remember what Leighton did for this franchise last spring.  There’s no reason not to wish him a continued speedy recovery in the hopes that he can come back and be just as effective this season.

Check out Panaccio’s full article here: FLYERS’ LEIGHTON GETS BACK ON THE ICE

Updates: Wingers Need to Step Up

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

The Flyers defensive unit finally slid out of a funk last night against the Islanders as Chris Pronger (2 goals) and Kimmo Timonen (1 goal) scored the first goals of the season by members of the team’s blue line.  It now appears that problem has been solved – for the time being – but there still remains a concern over the team’s lack of production from their wingers.

JVR is among a host of Flyers wingers who need to step it up offensively

It’s been harped upon time and time again: the Flyers need someone, anyone, to step up and off-set the loss of one of the best wingers the franchise has ever had in Simon Gagne.  While Danny Briere and Claude Giroux – two centers – have had incredible starts offensively for the Orange and Black, there still lacks a constant production from the players who man the wings.  Scott Hartnell is looking far better than he did at this point last season, and Ville Leino appears to be getting his legs back under him after off-season hip surgery, but players like James van Riemsdyk and Nikolay Zherdev need to start finding the back of the net to supply the Flyers with a larger dose of secondary scoring.  Zherdev has been so unimpressive thus far that he’s spent the last two games in a suit as a healthy scratch.

The Flyers’ wingers are a strong group on paper, but just haven’t been there all that much statistically this season thus far.  Of course, it’s early, and it’s hard to believe that they won’t come around, but questions start to linger the longer it takes for such an event to happen.  Hopefully more wingers can find the score sheet come tomorrow’s contest against Carolina.

Sam Carchidi offers his take on the lack of scoring from the wings thus far this season right here: INSIDE THE FLYERS: LOOKING FOR SCORING FROM THE WINGS

Updates: Blue Line Blues on Goal Scoring Front

Posted in Flyer Thoughts with tags , , , , , , , on October 29, 2010 by Josh Getzoff

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.

Matt Carle is a member of a Flyers defensive unit that is goal-less 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

Updates: Ray Emery Fighting for a Comeback

Posted in Flyer Thoughts with tags , , on October 29, 2010 by Josh Getzoff

Last summer, Ray Emery was the free-agent goaltender that many in Philadelphia hoped would be the answer to the Flyers’ long line of goaltending issues over the past couple decades.

When healthy last season, Ray Emery was a solid goaltender in Philadelphia

Instead, it turned out to be a huge mistake as Emery was diagnosed with a hip injury that not only ended his season, but put the remainder of his professional hockey career in doubt.  Still, the former Stanley Cup finalist goaltender is battling to get another NHL job.

While the name “Ray Emery” shouldn’t exactly warm your heart, this is a great story about a guy who wants to get back into the NHL.

Check of Pierre LeBrun’s article on Emery here: FIGHT TO PLAY NOT OVER FOR RAY EMERY

Updates: Zherdev Demoted

Posted in Flyer Thoughts with tags , , , on October 29, 2010 by Josh Getzoff

After playing arguably his best game of in a Flyers uniform Tuesday night against the Buffalo Sabres, Nikolay Zherdev skated with Blair Betts and Jody Shelley on the Flyers’ fourth line yesterday at the team’s practice.

The Nik Zherdev experiment has not worked out thus far

Zherdev was not happy about the decision made by head coach Peter Laviolette, who cited a lack of defensive play from Zherdev as the reason for his demotion.  The Ukrainian that the Flyers were hoping would be able to off-set the goal loss of Simon Gagne refused to speak to the media after practice yesterday.  The Flyers signed Zherdev to a one-year deal worth a little over $2 million this summer.  The winger has two goals and no assists in nine games this season.

Check out more on this situation, and how it may play a role in tonight’s contest, here, as Sam Carchidi has more: FLYERS DEMOTE WINGER ZHERDEV TO FOURTH LINE