Tag:Philadelphia Flyers
Posted on: December 29, 2011 8:31 pm
Edited on: December 29, 2011 10:53 pm

Jagr scores, salutes Pittsburgh crowd (Video)

By: Adam Gretz

You had to know this was coming.

After all of the anticipation leading up to Jaromir Jagr's first visit to Pittsburgh following his signing with the Philadelphia Flyers over the summer, and all of the boos and jeers he received from Penguins fans, you just had to know that he was going to find a way to score a goal at some point during the game. And that's exactly what he did mid-way through the second period, giving the Flyers a 2-1 lead.

Here's a look at the goal, which was a vintage Jagr play as he cut across the middle of the ice and unleashed a beautiful backhand shot that beat Penguins goalie Marc-Andre Fleury. And then he followed that up with his signature salute (and check out the guy in red shirt returning the favor).

"It was one of the better looking ones," said Jagr about his goal, before laughing and adding, "I'm glad it wasn't off my ass, or off my leg."

Before scoring that goal, his 12th of the season, Jagr had at least four quality scoring chances in the first period and even helped to save a goal at the other end of the ice when he lifted the stick of Penguins forward James Neal, preventing him from depositing the puck into an empty net.

Also at Eye On Hockey

Jagr leads Flyers to win in Pittsburgh
Jagr talks to return to Pittsburgh, Penguins fans

For more hockey news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnHockey and @agretz on Twitter.
Posted on: December 29, 2011 12:04 am
Edited on: December 29, 2011 12:09 am

24/7: Flyers-Rangers Episode 3

By: Adam Gretz

When Flyers coach Peter Laviolette and Dallas Stars forward Steve Ott had their little "shoving" match after the first period of a recent game the first thing that popped into my mind was, "I can't wait to hear what was actually said on the next episode of 24/7."

As it turns out, and it's probably not much of a surprise, the actual encounter was pretty lame and consisted of nothing other than Ott telling Laviolette to wait for the remainder of the Stars bench to head into the locker room, and Laviolette telling Ott to "go [expletive] yourself" two times. WIth a couple of shoves thrown in for good measure. In other words, it was just another day at the office for Steve Ott as you can be darn sure that's not the first time those words were spoken to him by an opposing player or coach during a game.  

It's no wonder the NHL didn't fine either participant: nothing happened.

Episode 3 of HBO's 24/7 probably wasn't one of the best ones in the series over the past two seasons. We had an opportunity to see a lot of the players hanging out with their families over the Holiday break, including Rangers forward Brian Boyle as he went home to spend time with his 12(!) brothers and sisters. There was an ugly sweater party, probably not unlike the ones you've had at work, and we also watched as Marian Gaborik awkwardly carried a massive Christmas tree over his shoulders through the streets of New York in an effort to get it back to his pad.

Three moments that stood out

1) Episode 3 focussed the Flyers-Rangers game at Madison Square Garden last week, which the Rangers won, and we were able to get a good listen to all of the trash talk that takes places on the ice and on the bench during a heated rivalry game. The best line of the night came from Rangers forward Brad Richards in response to Flyers call-up Tom Sestito, whom had been chirping the Rangers bench and talking about how he was going to knock all of them out. Said Richards, "This is fantasy camp for you," an obvious jab at Sestito's status as a call-up from the American Hockey League.

2) That game also gave us an opportunity to get a quick glimpse at the War Room in Toronto that keeps an eye on every single game taking place in the NHL and handles all of the questionable goal reviews that come up in a given night. During the second period of the Rangers-Flyers game Ruslan Fedotenko's goal had to be reviewed to make sure the puck actually went in the net (it did) and we managed to get a look at what can only be described as a dream job for a hockey enthusiast: a wall of massive HD flat screen TV's with nothing but hockey games taking place ... and one TV that, for reasons unknown, happened to have a close up angle of a dog.

3) The unquestioned star of the first two episodes, we had to wait nearly 49 minutes before we had our first real look at Flyers goalie Ilya Bryzgalov, and like many of the players, was seen celebrating the holiday with his wife, two children and his now-famous (after the previous episode in the series) Husky that he referred to as "a hot girl, man."

I'll say this, he wasn't lying about the dog: it is a sharp looking animal.

More 2012 Winter Classic News Here
24/7 Flyers-Rangers Episode 1
24/7 Flyers-Rangers Episode 2

For more hockey news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnHockey and @agretz on Twitter.

Posted on: December 28, 2011 10:15 pm
Edited on: December 28, 2011 10:16 pm

Jagr talks Pittsburgh return, Penguins fans

By: Adam Gretz

Jaromir Jagr is going to make his first appearance in Pittsburgh as a member of the Philadelphia Flyers, the Penguins' chief rival, on Thursday night, and he knows he's going to be walking into a hostile environment (well ... as hostile as the Consol Energy Center can be).

Jagr, of course, spent 11 seasons as a member of the Penguins and helped the franchise win its first two Stanley Cups in 1991 and 1992, while he also won five scoring titles and an MVP award during his time. He's still the second best player in franchise history.

He was eventually traded to the Washington Capitals following the 2000-01 season for the uninspiring return of forwards Kris Beech and Michal Sivek, as well as defenseman Ross Lupaschuk. The trio scored a combined 13 goals for the Penguins. Jagr has since scored 218, including his 11 this season as a member of the Flyers. During his many returns to Pittsburgh over the years while playing for the Capitals and Rangers, he heard plenty of boos whenever the puck was on his stick. Not necessarily because he no longer played for the Penguins (though that was surely part of it), but for the manner in which he exited (the words "dying alive" were used).

This past summer when it was believed that Jagr may be interested in returning to the Penguins, as had been rumored multiple times during his three-year stay in Russia, Penguins fans and the Pittsburgh (and national) media were captivated with the free agency pursuit and the potential for him to return to the Penguins and finish his Hall of Fame career with the team that it started with. And then everything hit the proverbial fan when Jagr not only didn't sign with the Penguins, he signed with their hated cross-state and divisional rivals.

Jagr addressed the media on Wednesday and talked about his return, and didn't always take kindly to some of the questions he received from the Pittsburgh media, much of which was left off the NHL video posted above. When asked how he felt he was going to be received by the Pittsburgh fans, he responded with, via the Post-Gazette, "What kind of question is this? Everybody knows how I’m going to be received." When asked how he has fit in with the Flyers so far he added, "I don't know, you tell me"

In an interview with Flyers beat writer Anthony Sanfilippo he was quite candid when talking about the Penguins fans, and how he simply can't comprehend the amount of dislike and anger they now have for him, even taking a page out of the Ilya Bryzgalov "just be happy" school of thought.

Said Jagr, “I just don’t understand one thing when I read it. How, in a situation like that, can there be so much bad attitude and anger from those people? I don’t get it. What kind of world are we in right now? That’s (bleeping) scary. We should be in a world with a lot of love. Instead there’s one guy, who is 40 years old, who is almost done, and he’s causing all that (animosity) over hockey? My brain just doesn’t understand that."

There's never a lot of love when the Penguins and Flyers face off, and that's probably not going to change on Thursday -- on the ice or in the stands. Especially the first time Jagr touches the ice and the puck.

For more hockey news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnHockey and @agretz on Twitter.

Posted on: December 28, 2011 2:58 pm
Edited on: December 28, 2011 6:23 pm

Empire State Building dons Flyers, Rangers colors

By Brian Stubits

The Empire State Building is getting a mini makeover for one night in the name of the Winter Classic.

If you are around Manhattan on Wednesday night, take a look to the sky. New York's most famous building will take on the colors of the Philadelphia Flyers and New York Rangers just a couple of blocks from the world's most famous arena, Madison Square Garden.

Philadelphia will have a tinge of the Classic too.

Here's the description from the NHL.

NEW YORK -– As the countdown to the 2012
Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic® continues, the New York City and
Philadelphia skylines will shine in celebration of the much-anticipated
outdoor match-up between the New York Rangers and Philadelphia Flyers on
Wednesday, December 28.

     The Empire State Building’s world-famous tower lights will shine in
Rangers and Flyers colors on Wednesday evening.  The east/west sides of the
building, with west facing Madison Square Garden, will be lit in the
Rangers’ Blue, Red and White, while its north/south sides, with south
facing the City of Philadelphia, will be lit in the Flyers’ Orange and

     In Philadelphia, the PECO Main Office Building’s iconic Crown Lights,
which display scrolling text around the top of the 23rd and Market Street
building, also will celebrate the Rangers, Flyers and 2012 NHL Bridgestone
Winter Classic on Dec. 28 with scrolling text in recognition of the outdoor
match-up between the two storied teams.  The Crown Lights will also display
2012 NHL Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic text on Thursday, Dec. 29 and
Monday, Jan. 1.

Pretty cool and it's good exposure for hockey in New York City, literally a billboard high in the skyscrapers of Manhattan and Philadelphia. Now if the could just put the Winter Classic logo below it on the Empire State Building they'd really be on to something.

The timing is a slight bit odd. Might have made more sense to change the colors last Friday when the Flyers and Rangers played their tuneup down the street. But it does coincide with the third episode of HBO's 24/7: Road to the Winter Classic tonight.

Plus, far be it from hockey people to complain about any kind of attention.

More Winter Classic News Here

Photo: NHL.com

For more hockey news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnHockey and @BrianStubitsNHL on Twitter.

Posted on: December 27, 2011 9:50 pm
Edited on: December 27, 2011 10:07 pm

Eric Brewer bloodied in fight with Wayne Simmonds

By: Adam Gretz

Tuesday's game against the Philadelphia Flyers was a rough one for Tampa Bay's defense.

It all started when Victor Hedman left the game with an upper body injury and did not return. Things looked even worse when Eric Brewer, one of Tampa Bay's top defensemen (along with Hedman) had to leave the game briefly after he was on the wrong end of a fight with Flyers forward Wayne Simmonds that left him with a rather large amount of blood on his face, as he had to be helped off the ice.

Not a pretty sight for a Tampa Bay team that isn't particularly deep on the blue line anyway, and has struggled to prevent opposing teams from scoring goals all year.

Brewer was able to return to the game for the start of the third period. The Lightning ended up winning the game, 5-1, despite generating just 16 shots on goal (and allowing 32).

For more hockey news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnHockey and @agretz on Twitter.
Posted on: December 27, 2011 1:05 pm

Report: Laviolette, Ott won't be fined for shove

By Brian Stubits

Can't we all just get along? If I were to guess, I'd say that's the question the NHL asked Philadelphia Flyers coach Peter Laviolette and Dallas Stars agitator Steve Ott.

In case you need a refresher, here's the story and video of the incident last week where Laviolette and Ott were seen exchanging a few words before Laviolette pushed Ott aside and headed through the tunnel.

Well, the verdict appears to be in and there won't be any punishment coming for either. Pierre LeBrun of ESPN.com reported on Tuesday that a different path was chosen by the NHL offices: Kiss and make up (not literally, of course).

The league investigated the incident and spoke to both parties involved but in the end asked that Ott and Laviolette speak to each other over the phone to hash it out, a source told ESPN.com. The league was satisfied Ott and Laviolette settled things and decided no fines were warranted.

Wonder how awkward that phone conversation was. I imagine Laviolette doing his best Bill Lumbergh impression: "Um, yeah, about that Steve. I'd like to apologize, OK?"

I got to say, I am a bit surprised that Laviolette at least won't be fined for the incident. I thought the league might use this as an example to show coaches that they are held to a higher standard.

But what I thought would happen vs. what I thought should happen are different and I have no problems with the guys essentially getting a warning. Chalk it up to heat of the moment ... and sharing a tunnel to the locker rooms. Just don't let something similar happen again and it's a no harm, no foul situation.

More NHL Discipline News Here

Photo: Getty Images

For more hockey news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnHockey and @BrianStubitsNHL on Twitter.

Posted on: December 26, 2011 4:50 pm

Winter Classic weather forecast isn't promising

By: Adam Gretz

Worrying about a weather forecast a week in advance isn't always the best idea. Weather changes, forecasts change (or are wrong) and what's projected today might be completely different later in the week. But if you have tickets for next Monday's winter classic in Philadelphia between the Rangers and Flyers you should probably start digging out your ponchos and umbrellas.

According to the latest weather forecast for Philadelphia on Monday, Jan. 2, we're looking at the possibility of temperatures in the low-to-mid 40's and a 60 percent chance of rain.

Excited yet?

And this, of course, is the largest (some would argue only) problem with scheduling an outdoor hockey game in January. Especially in a region/climate like Pennsylvania. It could be in the single digits with snow, or it could be in the 40's or 50's with rain, which is what we went through last year during the New Years Day game in Pittsburgh between the Penguins and Capitals.

That game had to be pushed back from a 1:00 PM ET faceoff to a primetime drop of the puck because of rain. Much of the game was played through a steady rain shower and the conditions were far from ideal (not that an outdoor hockey game in a baseball or football stadium would ever produce ideal conditions).

Again, we're still a full week away, but it's a situation worth watching, and it sounds like Dan Craig, the NHL's ice guru, is once again going to have his work cut out for him.

More Winter Classic News Here

For more hockey news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnHockey and @agretz on Twitter.

Posted on: December 21, 2011 11:45 pm
Edited on: December 22, 2011 12:00 am

24/7: Flyers-Rangers Episode 2

By: Adam Gretz

Episode two of HBO's 24/7 showed us two very different sides of Rangers head coach John Tortorella. On one hand, we saw the type of intense, expletive-filled rants and speeches in the locker room that we expected to see in an effort to get his team moving. That's what happened during the first intermission of a recent game against the St. Louis Blues that the Rangers eventually lost.

But we also saw his softer side, as his relationship with a 10-year-old Rangers fan with cerebal palsy by the name of Liam Trainer was highlighted. The two met through the Rangers' Garden of Dreams Foundation, and Tortorella's face lit up when speaking about him and how he's kept in contact with him. The Rangers even gave him an early Christmas present by setting he and his family up with tickets for the Jan. 2 Winter Classic in Philadelphia.

"I'm glad he's part of my life," said Tortorella.

It was nice to see that Tortorella is more than a hockey coach that screams at people on the ice and, away from the rink, can be more than willing to give back to his community.

Episode two MVP: Flyers coach Peter Laviolette

I'm giving it to Laviolette for this season, and this reason only: How many times have you, as a fan, watched your team play a game in Montreal and get called for a penalty that leaves you saying, "they only got that call because it's in Montreal."

If you haven't said it, you've probably thought about it at some point. Well, you're not alone, and coaches react the same way you do. After Flyers forward Jaromir Jagr was tripped as he carried the puck into the offensive zone (with no call) the play went down to the other end of the ice and resulted in a slashing call on Flyers rookie Sean Couturier. Laviolette was livid and started screaming "Typical Montreal" at the officials. He did this multiple times, even after he left the bench.

I also like how he edits himself when talking to referees. Instead of dropping F-Bomb's with the officials during that exchange he made sure he said "frickin'", and then proceeded to let loose with his expletives once back in the locker room.

Three moments that stood out

1) Speaking of referees, one of the interesting angles provided this week was footage of the referees locker room after the first period of the Rangers-Coyotes game (the one that ended with Brad Richards' goal with 0.1 seconds remaining in regulation) as they discussed an incident involving Rangers forward Mike Rupp and Coyotes forward Raffi Torres. I realize the show is focussing on the two teams, but the referees and their involvement in the game is a pretty huge part of it, and I wouldn't mind seeing a bit more from them.

2) After the series debut last week we all wanted more Ilya Bryzgalov, and we got him this week. It appears that his teammates have started to refer to him as "universe" after his speech about how it is "so humongous big" while others joked that they would be sure to never kill a tiger after he explained how it's illegal and will result in the death penalty in certain countries. But we also had some fresh moments for the, let's say unique, Flyers netminder.

For one, he reads Tolstoy while on the plane, and he also compared his husky to a beautiful woman saying, "My husky, she's basically a hot girl, man."

When talking about how crazy it is to play goalie in the NHL and put himself in front of shots every night, Bryzgalov suggested that it's the defensemen in front of him that are crazier.

You know what? He's not wrong.

3) We learned just how young some of the Flyers rookies are. How young? Couturier, a 19-year-old rookie and first-round draft pick from this year, lives in the extra bedroom of Danny Briere's house, and that he is closer in age to Briere's three kids than he is to Briere himself, his teammate. We also learned that Zac Rinaldo is amazed that he gets to play on the same ice as Jaromir Jagr, which impresses him because he used to be able to play with Jagr on Sega Genesis as a kid growing up.

More 2012 Winter Classic News Here
24/7 Flyers-Rangers Episode 1

For more hockey news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnHockey and @agretz on Twitter.

The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com