Tag:Philadelphia Flyers
Posted on: December 21, 2011 9:30 pm
Edited on: December 22, 2011 12:03 am
 

The Peter Laviolette-Steve Ott 'shove'

By: Adam Gretz

Dallas Stars forward Steve Ott is known around the NHL as a pest and an agitator.  He's the type of player that you want on your team as a player or a fan, and the type you loathe when he's on an opposing team.

Basically, it's his job to get under the skin of opposing players on the ice, and if it should happen to come up, I guess coaches as well.

At the conclusion of the first period of Wednesday's game against the Philadelphia, which the Flyers won by a 4-1 margin, Ott had a bit of an exchange with Flyers coach Peter Laviolette as the two teams headed to their locker rooms with the Flyers holding a 2-1 lead.



To call that a shove might be overstating it just a bit. It was more of a "get out of my way" type of thing (and the cynic in me can't help but wonder if there was some playing up to the HBO camera's that are following the Flyers for 24/7). Because the two benches share the same tunnel to their respective locker rooms, there's a chance something like this can happen in the heat of the moment.

Words were exchanged, as were "shoves" and it will be interesting to catch this moment on HBO next Wednesday to see what, exactly, was said at that moment.

Here's what Ott had to say after the game about the Flyers' coach: "He obviously thought he has a higher power than everyone else and a little bit more arrogance."

For more hockey news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnHockey and @agretz on Twitter.
Posted on: December 21, 2011 9:30 pm
Edited on: December 22, 2011 12:03 am
 

The Peter Laviolette-Steve Ott 'shove'

By: Adam Gretz

Dallas Stars forward Steve Ott is known around the NHL as a pest and an agitator.  He's the type of player that you want on your team as a player or a fan, and the type you loathe when he's on an opposing team.

Basically, it's his job to get under the skin of opposing players on the ice, and if it should happen to come up, I guess coaches as well.

At the conclusion of the first period of Wednesday's game against the Philadelphia, which the Flyers won by a 4-1 margin, Ott had a bit of an exchange with Flyers coach Peter Laviolette as the two teams headed to their locker rooms with the Flyers holding a 2-1 lead.



To call that a shove might be overstating it just a bit. It was more of a "get out of my way" type of thing (and the cynic in me can't help but wonder if there was some playing up to the HBO camera's that are following the Flyers for 24/7). Because the two benches share the same tunnel to their respective locker rooms, there's a chance something like this can happen in the heat of the moment.

Words were exchanged, as were "shoves" and it will be interesting to catch this moment on HBO next Wednesday to see what, exactly, was said at that moment.

Here's what Ott had to say after the game about the Flyers' coach: "He obviously thought he has a higher power than everyone else and a little bit more arrogance."

For more hockey news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnHockey and @agretz on Twitter.
Posted on: December 21, 2011 10:38 am
 

Giroux could be back for Flyers on Wednesday

By Brian Stubits

When Claude Giroux was sidelined with a concussion, they had to prepare for the worst in Philadelphia -- many weeks or more without their leading scorer -- and hope for the best. They just might see their hopes realized.

From the sounds of it, Giroux is about to return to the Flyers and it could happen as soon as Wednesday night's game against the Dallas Stars. Here is what Tim Panaccio of CSN Philly reports:

While it’s not 100 percent certain, all signs point to the Flyers’ concussed center returning to the lineup Wednesday night against the Stars, a game that will air on VERSUS.

At least two teammates are pretty certain he will play, and Giroux himself has kept open the possibility, saying, if he takes warm-ups tomorrow, he’s in.

That would be more than welcome for the Flyers. Already down their top defenseman and captain Chris Pronger for the season, getting their top forward back as soon as possible would be a relief. That is, unless, he is rushed back too soon and risks worsening his situation. Although I'd like to doubt this as a possibility with so much awareness on concussions these days and the fact that it's only December, that will always be a concern.

Giroux has been out four games since taking Wayne Simmonds' knee to the back of his head in an open-ice accident. Despite that, he still remains tied for the league lead in points with 39. Basically, his absence evened the playing field in that regard with Evgeni Malkin, who has the same number of points in one less game played than Giroux.

The Flyers are 2-1-1 since Giroux left the lineup. With a loss in Dallas, they will have their first three-game skid of the season. While that might make for more compelling HBO television, it isn't necessarily welcome in the Philly locker room.

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

Posted on: December 20, 2011 11:19 am
 

Bryzgalov's Winter Classic Philly mask is awesome

By Brian Stubits

All Ilya Bryzgalov has to do is stop the puck more often than not to endear himself to the Philadelphia faithful. Or he could just make the most awesomest Philly-centric mask ever for the Winter Classic.

The Flyers goaltender who has already won legions of fans from the Legion of Doom faithful with his appearances on the debut of HBO's 24/7 is having a mask made just for the Classic. That's not unusual. In fact, it's commonplace. Henrik Lundqvist has his special mask ready to go.

The mask isn't completely finished in the video shown on the Flyers website, but it doesn't have to be to see how amazing it will be.

Bryzgalov's request for the design? He wanted it to showcase Philadelphia sports. So the top of the mask has the Winter Classic logo displayed prominently. On one side are images of Reggie White and Michael Jack Schmidt airbrushed on. The other side is still being worked on. It already has Julius Erving at the top and then it will have toothless Bobby Clarke below him. On the front of the mask is a banner that looks to be waving in the wind that just says "BRYZ" with the Philly Phanatic peeking his head around. Lastly, the back of the mask will feature a photo of Philly's boxing icon. No, not Rocky, but the late, great Joe Frazier.

The mask will only be worn once and after that it will be sold to charity. I can only imagine how many Philly fans will be trying to get their hands on this mask. It's pure awesomeness.

More Winter Classic News Here

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

Posted on: December 19, 2011 3:09 pm
Edited on: December 19, 2011 6:54 pm
 

Milan Lucic suspended 1 game



By: Adam Gretz


Zac Rinaldo said he was fine with the hit from Boston's Milan Lucic over the weekend. The NHL, however, was not fine with it.

The league announced on Monday afternoon that the Bruins forward has been suspended one game for his hit from behind during his team's 6-0 win over the Flyers on Saturday afternoon. Lucic will miss Monday's home game against the Montreal Canadiens.

Lucic was issued a five-minute major and a game misconduct for hitting Rinaldo into the boards from behind late in the second period, which was part of an extremely physical game that Boston dominated on the scoreboard from the opening faceoff.

Even though Lucic was ejected for the hit, Rinaldo was quick to come to his defense.

“It’s hockey, you hit and go into the boards, I don’t think it was dirty at all,” said Rinaldo via Tim Panaccio of CSN Philly. “Shoulder-to-shoulder and just momentum. He’s big guy, maybe double my weight. His momentum carried him into the boards awkwardly. I don’t think it was dirty at all.”

Lucic responded again on Monday after the suspension was announced, taking his medicine.

"I don't think anyone's ever happy when they get suspended," Lucic said. "But you have to respect any decision they make. I do everything my power to keep it clean out there. I try my full-on best to follow [the NHL's] rules [on hitting].

Brendan Shanahan, the NHL's disciplinary czar, did not agree.

"In spite of the fact Lucic sees Rinaldo's numbers and proximity to the boards, Lucic delivers a dangerous check from behind," said Shanahan. "Rinaldo makes no sudden movement either just prior to or simultaneous with the hit that contributes to making this an illegal check. Therefore, the onus is on Lucic to avoid this hit completely, or at the very least minimize it to a greater degree. Instead, Lucic follows through with his check driving Rinaldo high and hard into the glass."

Shanahan also added that Lucic's history of similar infractions, warnings and fines went into the decision to suspend him, as did the fact that Rinaldo suffered no apparent injury as a result of the play.

More NHL Discipline News Here

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

Posted on: December 18, 2011 4:19 pm
Edited on: December 18, 2011 4:49 pm
 

Milan Lucic has hearing for hit on Zac Rinaldo

By Brian Stubits

Milan Lucic might finally get hit with the Shanahammer.

The Bruins forward who has been in the crosshairs in the past for those watching Brendan Shanahan's suspension radar, has yet to be punished beyond on-ice infractions. That could change now as Bruins coach Claude Julien announced that Lucic will have a phone hearing with Shanahan for his hit on the Flyers' Zac Rinaldo in a 6-0 Bruins win on Saturday.

Here's a look at the hit and ensuing fight between Rinaldo and Nathan Horton.

The fact that Lucic is getting a hearing leads me to believe that this is one hit Lucic won't be able to get past with no punishment.

Of course the most notable instance of a hit that wasn't punished came earlier this season when Lucic ran into Sabres goalie Ryan Miller way outside the crease. People were split on whether the hit warranted a suspension, but Shanahan explained that he didn't think the intent was there.

In this case, while Rinaldo clearly wasn't injured, I'm not sure how much Lucic can argue that it was an accident, that it wasn't his intention. Just look at what he said after the game.

"I noticed he was in a bit of a vulnerable position," Lucic said. "I looked and watched the tape again in slo-mo and I looked at the point of contact and it was his shoulder more than anything. And you can see him turning ... when he was going into the boards.

"I'm just glad no one got hurt on the play."

Admitting to delivering a hit on a guy that you saw in a vulnerable position isn't going to get him any brownie points to start the conversation off.

But then Rinaldo came out on Sunday and said he had no problems with the hit, calling it clean and "shoulder to shoulder."

So score one in Lucic's defense.

At this point I'm very curious to hear what the verdict will be. Rinaldo wasn't hurt and he had no problems with the hit, but it was a potentially dangerous play. I don't know if he'll be suspended for this or not, it's up in the air.

What I do know is that if he doesn't get suspended, this guy might have more lives than my cats. Likely there will be a lot of people feeling like the Bruins and Lucic got away with another one (judging from comments on all of the Lucic stories).

So, how many games, if any, jury?

More NHL Discipline News Here

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

Posted on: December 17, 2011 5:20 pm
Edited on: December 17, 2011 5:28 pm
 

Couturier hit in head with puck; Lucic ejected

By: Adam Gretz

The Boston Bruins completely dismantled the Philadelphia Flyers on Saturday afternoon, cruising to a 6-0 win in a game that featured the type of physical play that is to be expected anytime these two teams are on the same ice surface.

It wasn't a physical hockey play, however, that resulted in the latest head injury for a Flyers player. With time ticking down in the opening period, and the Flyers already facing a four-goal deficit, rookie forward Sean Couturier was involved in a rather scary incident in front of the net when he was hit in the side of the head with a puck following a shot from his own teammate, defenseman Kimmo Timonen.

He left the game and did not return with what general manager Paul Holmgren described as "a head injury."



That's the type of month it's been for the Flyers, a team that's already lost forwards Claude Giroux and Brayden Schenn, as well as defenseman Chris Pronger, to concussions. It was announced this past week that Pronger is expected to be out for the remainder of the regular season and the playoffs, while there is no immediate timetable for Giroux or Schenn to return.

Of course, that wasn't the only noteworthy development during Saturday's game.

Late in the second period Bruins forward Milan Lucic was given a five-minute major and a game misconduct for hitting Zac Rinaldo from behind, setting off one of the game's three fights.



Given that there was an ejection it's sure to get at least another look from the NHL's disciplinary czar, Brendan Shanahan, even if nothing comes of it. Over the past week we've seen Toronto's Dion Phaneuf and Winnipeg's Zach Bogosian be ejected for hits from behind with no supplemental discipline handed out by the league.

Saturday's game also marked the return of defenseman Zdeno Chara to the Boston lineup and he responded with a Gordie Howe Hat Trick, scoring a goal, recording an assist and fighting Philadelphia's Jody Shelley.

For the Bruins, it's their fourth in a row, a stretch that's seen them outscore their opponents 19-5, as they continue their dominant run that started over a month ago that's seen them post an 18-2-1 record since November 1.

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

Posted on: December 16, 2011 1:39 pm
Edited on: December 16, 2011 2:35 pm
 

Weekend Preview: Flyers streak on sans Pronger, G

Schedules: Friday | Saturday | Sunday

By Brian Stubits

There must be something in the water in Pennsylvania. That's the old cliché people turn to when they can't make sense of what's going on, how people (or teams in this case) continue to perform at a high level despite the obstacles.

We saw it last year (and again this season, really) with the Pittsburgh Penguins. Despite being without Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin the second half of last season, they just kept on winning. Their 106 points were tied with the Flyers for most in the Atlantic and were just one point behind the Capitals for best in the East.

This season, the Flyers are getting their own taste of life without their Stars. And just like their Keystone State brethren, they continue to win. As in seven in a row.

Philly has been playing without its captain Chris Pronger for a month now. After yesterday's news, they are going to have to play the rest of the season without him, too. In fact, some are saying that Pronger might never play a game again. After all, he is 37 and he has a life after hockey to think about.

As good as Pronger is and has been his entire career, the Flyers have done a good job overcoming his absence this season -- nay, a great job. Since he last played against Winnipeg on Nov. 19, the Flyers have won nine of 11 games.

As callous as it always feels, the Flyers must move on. While their captain and best defenseman deals with severe post-concussion syndrome, they have a very promising season to continue. With the roster freeze coming next week, it's unlikely the Flyers will acquire some additional help on the blue line in the near future, but it will have to be a consideration for Flyers GM Paul Holmgren.

Holmgren told the media on Friday that he's already considered that, having called all 29 teams, presumably about any defensemen they might have available.

But that's for then. Right now, the Flyers are making due without him or their budding superstar center Claude Giroux (or simply G, as they team calls him). It doesn't seem like it will be a long shelving for Giroux, but you never can know, concussions tend to be pretty fickle.

In the only games the Flyers have played without either player, they have won. Despite missing their leading scorer and a point-producing defenseman, Philly has still averaged 4.5 goals in the two games without Giroux and Pronger.

But now a real test comes to see how they compare with the other beats of the East without the two stars.

The Boston Bruins are nipping on the Flyers' heels for the best record in the Eastern Conference and they, too, have been playing without arguably their best player (skaters-only division) in Zdeno Chara. But the big man might be back in time for the Saturday matinee in Philadelphia.

"We're going to give him a chance to fly and see how he feels," Bruins coach Claude Julien said. "If he feels good then we have a chance of seeing him."

Normally I'd lament this game being played without Giroux, Pronger and possibly Chara. But with the way both of them, the Flyers in particular, have played without the all-stars, I don't see it stopping what will likely still be a very good game.

Winnipeg welcome wagon rolls on

This first season with the Jets back in the NHL has been an ongoing welcome wagon for the folks in Manitoba. They were licking their chops at getting to see Ilya Bryzgalov, they relished the opportunity to see former Jet Shane Doan back in Winnipeg.

Now comes perhaps the best welcome/return of them all; Teemu Selanne.

The veteran once starred for the Jets before he was traded to the Anaheim Ducks. He has waited for the chance to go back and play in the first NHL city he called home. Now it comes on Saturday night.

"You know, even when the schedule came out, even when I didn't know if I was going to play or not, I checked right away if we were going to Winnipeg," Selanne said. "That day was on my calendar right away.

"I knew there were two really special things. Obviously the Finland trip and then Winnipeg. It was really exciting to even think about it."

Unlike the welcomes fans in Winnipeg gave to Bryzgalov and, to an extent, Doan, it's hard to imagine there will be any jeers, only cheers for Selanne.

"He was so admired. It was overwhelming," Jets chairman Mark Chipman said of Selanne. "This guy was so good and so approachable and so humble in his approach that the community just absolutely fell head over heels for the guy."

Amazingly, Selanne is still performing at the level he was when he first broke into the NHL with the Jets in the early 90s. That's only going to help the flashbacks for the fans -- minus that whole wearing the Ducks jersey part.

Back in Buffalo

One of the more criticized offseason signings (excluding just about every move made by the Florida Panthers) was the Toronto Maple Leafs signing former Sabres center Tim Connolly. Leafs GM Brian Burke gave Connolly a two-year deal worth $4.75 million per season.

People in Buffalo laughed and simply said "Enjoy!" to their near-neighbors in Toronto. It wasn't about Connolly being a bad player -- he's not at all -- but it was about his health concerns. There always seemed to be something that was keeping Connolly on the bench.

So there's a sense of irony when the Maple Leafs visit the First Niagara Center this weekend. Connolly will be healthy and on the ice against his former team. Although he hasn't been without his health issues this season, when he's been on the ice, he's been good for Toronto. In 18 games played, he has 15 points.

On the other hand, the deal that Buffalo signed with Ville Leino was widely applauded. That one hasn't worked out so well.

Reunion tour continues

The Washington Capitals will be visiting the Colorado Avalanche this weekend. That means they will get to see their old goalie Semyon Varlamov up close and personal again.

Varlamov was traded to the Avs this summer after he made it clear that he was looking to play in the KHL over Washington. So Caps GM George McPhee swung a deal with the Avs to give them Varlamov in exchange for Colorado's first-round draft pick this offseason and their second-round pick.

So not only do the Caps get the chance to say hi to an old friend, but they can help themselves out in more ways than one. The points in the standings are the first and most obvious way, but every game without points for the Avs helps the Caps' first-round draft pick go higher and higher.

Although it's quieted down with Varlamov coming back down to earth, when he and the Avalanche were off to their hot starts, some in Washington wondered if the team made the wrong goalie decision. There might still be some questions considering the duo of Tomas Vokoun and Michal Neuvirth hasn't fared much better, if at all. But at least Neuvirth comes into the game having just shut out the Jets in Winnipeg, so there might be some positive momentum building. The goaltending problems have been as much an issue as anything in D.C. this season.

Canucks are still great

In fact, according to Roberto Luongo they are better than they were last season, which was great.

"We were one win away, so I don't think you need to change much," Luongo said. "That being said, though, we went through a lot last year, and I think we grew as a team. So for that reason alone, I think that we're better than last year."

That's even with him still getting a lot of starts in the net. Remember, he was a Vezina finalist last season. This season? Not so much.

Their next chance to prove Lu right will come in Toronto on Saturday evening for another Hockey Night in Canada appearance.

Stammer don't hurt 'em!

More like don't get hurt Stammer.

With his overtime winner on Thursday night, Steven Stamkos joined Milan Michalek on the top of the goal-scoring list this season with his 19th. Hopefully the same fate that has befallen many of the game's best scorers in recent weeks won't strike the Lightning's superstar.

With Michalek, Giroux, Sidney Crosby and Jeff Skinner (among many others) recently being diagnosed with concussions or at least post-concussion symptoms, the last thing the league wants is another young star to go down. If anything, it would probably love to see Stamkos go on one of his tears and become a positive story in the league again.

He'll have the chance to take the lead in the goals race by himself when Tampa Bay heads to Columbus to face the Blue Jackets.

We're going streaking!

Flyers: As mentioned, they are the hottest thing going in the NHL right now between their seven-game win streak and HBO's 24/7.

Bruins: Philly's opponent brings a modest three-game run of itself into the Saturday matchup.

Chicago Blackhawks: A double-dip awaits the Blackhawks and their three-game win streak as they face the Ducks and Flames.

Nashville Predators and St. Louis Blues: We're going to combine these two because they are both riding four-game win streaks and they will face off against one another on Saturday. The Blues also have the Jackets on Sunday.

Dallas Stars: Last on the win side, the Pacific-leading Stars take to New Jersey seeking to extend their three-game streak on Scott Niedermayer Night.

New York Islanders: Once again, the Isles are slumping. They get to face the NHL-best Minnesota Wild with a four-game skid. The good news for New York is Minnesota is likely down a lot of bodies.

Florida Panthers The Southeast leaders are on a mini slump having lost three in a row. They have the Flames and Hurricanes at home this weekend to try and cure the ills.

Photo: Getty Images

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