Tag:Philadelphia Flyers
Posted on: December 15, 2011 8:05 pm
Edited on: December 16, 2011 7:58 am
 

Chris Pronger done for season, playoffs

By: Adam Gretz

Word began to surface late Thursday afternoon that Philadelphia Flyers defenseman Chris Pronger was going to be out indefinitely due to his various ailments, including the concussion-type symptoms he was recently experiencing.

That wasn't really anything new, as he was already out of the lineup and the team had already announced that he would be indefinitely. But then Flyers general manager Paul Holmgren addressed the media Thursday evening, just after the team faced off against the Montreal Canadiens, and dropped the bombshell that the veteran defenseman will be sidelined for the remainder of the season as well as the playoffs.

“After consultation with respected concussion specialists Dr. Joseph Maroon and Dr. Micky Collins," Holmgren said, "it is the opinion of both doctors that Chris is suffering from severe post-concussion syndrome. It is the recommendation of Doctors Maroon and Collins that Chris not return to play for the Philadelphia Flyers for the remainder of the 2011-12 season or playoffs.  Chris will continue to receive treatment and therapy with the hope that he can get better.”
More Chris Pronger Injuries

In 13 games this season Pronger scored one goal to go with 11 assists.

Concussions have been sweeping like wildfire across the NHL over the past couple of weeks, something the Flyers currently know all too well. Along with Pronger, they're also playing without forwards Claude Giroux and Brayden Schenn, both out with concussions.

Nobody seems to know for sure when Pronger suffered the concussion that has now ended his season, but he's had a lengthy list of injuries this season. Earlier in the year he was sidelined after taking a stick in the face, and was most recently out due to a procedure on his knee. It wasn't until after that procedure that we first heard about his concussion symptoms.

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


Posted on: December 14, 2011 11:34 pm
Edited on: December 15, 2011 12:48 pm
 

24/7: Flyers-Rangers Episode 1

By: Adam Gretz

HBO's 24/7 kicked off on Wednesday night, following the two participants in this year's Winter Classic (the Flyers and Rangers) as they prepare for their Jan. 2 showdown in Philadelphia.

Unlike last year's matchup between Pittsburgh and Washington, where one team (Pittsburgh) was playing on top of its game and the other (Washington) was struggling, there was little contrast this time around as both teams came into this year's documentary near the top of the NHL, giving most of the episode an "all is well, everything is cool" sort of feel.

It was difficult to find any real adversity for either team until the end of the episode when Claude Giroux's concussion was featured. It was obvious right from the start that it was't going to be good, and while we didn't get to see anything involving Giroux's time in the quiet room after the collision, we did get a brief glimpse of the Flyers trainer telling coach Peter Laviolette that Giroux simply wasn't feeling like himself.

A few quick takes on Episode one...

Episode one MVP: Flyers goalie Ilya Bryzgalov

He wasn't featured all that much, but wow did Ilya Bryzgalov make a first impression. His only two appearances were a brief stretch early in the episode that was nothing but him spending a minute talking about the size of the universe and space, and how it makes everything that happens on Earth, as well as our solar system, seem so insignificant. "Just be happy," he said.



Later, he was presented with a rare bottle of Russian liquor that featured a picture of a Tiger on the bottle, and he then went into a discussion about how there are so few tiger species left in the world and how it is illegal to hunt them.
 


An entire episode that simply follows him around for a day would be pure insanity.

Four moments that stood out

1) The mini-brawl that was sparked by the shooting gesture of Rangers forward Artem Anisimov against the Tampa Bay Lightning last week had a big part in the episode, including him pleading his case to the officials in the penalty box, why he did it, and the sight of him apologizing to his teammates in the locker room for putting his team at a disadvantage. When asked where he learned it, Anisimov sighted an unnamed player he played with in Russia that used to do it after big goals and how it always fired the crowd up. He said he always promised himself that he would do it if he scored a big goal in the NHL. Apparently that goal was big enough.

When asked if he was "shooting at the goalie," he simply smiled and said "Just reloaded my weapon."

2) The New York Rangers pay for dinner on the road by putting all of their credit cards in a hat and then pulling them out, one at a time, until there is only one card remaining. And that's the person that gets stuck with the bill.

3) The Philadelphia Flyers post-game victory celebration in their locker room? Dancing to the song "Knock Knock" by Mac Miller. Very bizarre.

4) Perhaps the best, nicest moment of episode one: Rangers captain Ryan Callahan giving his grandmother a kiss after scoring a goal in his hometown of Buffalo and bringing a tear to her eye.

The unnofficial F-bomb count

If you had Flyers coach Peter Laviolette as the first person to drop an F-Bomb, you win the prize, as he let loose with four of them in an eight-second span in the shows opening minutes.

The unofficial final tally (by my count): 44
John Tortorella F-bomb count (again, by my count): 11

Biggest complaint of the night

Needs more Bryzgalov.

More 2012 Winter Classic News Here

For more hockey news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnHockey and @agretz on Twitter.
Posted on: December 13, 2011 12:03 pm
Edited on: December 13, 2011 1:07 pm
 

Top NHL scorer, Claude Giroux out with concussion

By Brian Stubits

Already without their captain Chris Pronger because of a concussion, the Flyers are going to sans not only their top scorer, but the NHL's leader in points, Claude Giroux, indefinitely with a concussion.

Philadelphia GM Paul Holmgren made the announcement on Tuesday.

"Claude reported not feeling very good today," Holmgren said in a statement. "Over the past few days, his symptoms have gradually gotten worse. He will be out indefinitely with a concussion.

This was the fear after the Flyers' win over the Lightning this weekend. It was in that game that Giroux was hit in the back of his head by teammate Wayne Simmonds' knee in a flukey accident. Simmonds did his best to avoid Giroux, who fell to the ice on a checking attempt, but his knee smacked Giroux square in the back of the head when he tried to leap his teammate.

The Flyers have been able to hang tough through all of the injury issues they've been dealt, but this one will test them like no other. Giroux is atop everybody's list of early season Hart candidates, posting 39 points in just 29 games for Philadelphia this season, helping the Flyers to the top of the Eastern Conference. The next closest player in the scoring department for the Flyers is Scott Hartnell with 26 points.

"When he goes out we look for the veteran players like Danny [Briere] to step in," coach Peter Laviolette said, "and we also look at the young players like Matt Read or Sean Couturier to pick up the slack."

"Obviously he's a guy you can't replace," James van Riemsdyk added. "It's going to take a lot of people to step it up and fill the role that he plays. He does everything for us: penalty kill, power play, scores big goals, makes big hits, blocks shots, does it all. So we're going to have to kind of step up our game here. Just let him rest and not have to rush him back."

So that means in the past two days Pennsylvania's two best players (Sidney Crosby the other) announced they are out indefinitely, Crosby for more concussion-like symptoms.

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

Posted on: December 12, 2011 6:00 pm
Edited on: December 12, 2011 8:52 pm
 

Terry Murray replaced by John Stevens

Murray1

By: Adam Gretz

Just hours after reports initially surfaced that the Los Angeles Kings could be the next team to make a coaching change, the front office did just that on Monday evening by announcing that head coach Terry Murray has been relieved of his duties. He will be replaced on an interim basis by assistant coach John Stevens.

Murray was in his fourth year as the team's head coach and had compiled a 139-106-19 regular season record, while qualifying for the playoffs in each of the past two seasons, exiting in the first round each time.

“I don’t think words can ever describe how hard something like this is," said Kings general manager Dean Lombardi during a conference call. "You’re talking about, first off, a really good man. As far as a coach, if you look at what he’s done for us, he really stabilized this franchise, pointed it in the right direction. He taught these players a lot. When they look back, they’re going to realize they learned a lot from him. The team got younger and got better under him. He did a lot for this franchise.’’

After a blockbuster trade over the summer that saw the team acquire top-line center Mike Richards in a trade with the Philadelphia Flyers, the Kings were expected to be -- and probably still should be -- one of the top contenders in the Western Conference as he joined a team that already had young Stars Anze Kopitar, Dustin Brown, Drew Doughty. So far, things have not worked as planned as they have stumbled out of the starting gate with a 13-12-4 record that currently has them in fourth place in the Pacific Dividion, ahead of only the struggling Anaheim Ducks.

Making the slow start even more frustrating is the fact the Kings have received excellent goaltending from Jonathan Quick since the season started. The problem, however, has been that the offense, once you get past Kopitar and Richards, has been pretty much invisible in all situations (even strength, power play).

Replacing him on an interim basis is the 45-year-old Stevens who joined the Kings organization last season as an assistant.

He'll be taking over a team that has plenty of talent, and what should be high expectations given the talent at his disposal. Will this be the kick in the rear the Kings need to get things going back in the right direction? And, perhaps more importantly, is Stevens the right person to do that?

He does have previous head coaching experience in the NHL, running things behind the bench in Philadelphia between the 2006-07 season and 2009-10. He replaced Ken Hitchcock early in the '06-07 season and remained on the job until early in the 2009 season when he was replaced by Peter Laviolette. The Flyers then went on to win the Eastern Conference and lose in the Stanley Cup Final to the Chicago Blackhawks in six games. During his stint with the Flyers the team had a record 120-109-34 under his watch.

But while he's currently behind the bench, he may not be there for long. Speculation has already started that his tenure is going to be a temporary one, and one name that's been mentioned is Darryl Sutter. Lombardi was asked specifically about Sutter and how he's spoke highly of him in the past.

“Like I said, there’s no timeline and we’re looking at all our options. Right now, I think that’s as far as I can comment.’’

This is already the fifth coaching change of the NHL season. Previously, the St. Louis Blues replaced Davis Payne with Hitchcock, while the Capitals, Hurricanes and Ducks all made changes over the past month.

More on the NHL's Coaching Carousel here

Photo: Getty Images

For more hockey news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnHockey and @agretz on Twitter.
Posted on: December 12, 2011 12:33 pm
Edited on: December 12, 2011 12:36 pm
 

Show to follow NHL players, starting with Kane

By Brian Stubits

There is no denying the success of sports reality shows (the real ones, not shows like Pros vs. Joes). Best I can remember, it all started with HBO's Hard Knocks series where the cameras followed an NFL team through training camp. The show has been a hit every season it has been on.

Then last year HBO showed it can work just as well with hockey, running the 24/7: Road to the Winter Classic series featuring the Washington Capitals and Pittsburgh Penguins. It, too, was a big hit so HBO is rolling out the series again this year, debuting on Wednesday of this week featuring the New York Rangers and Philadelphia Flyers. The excitement is high, people can't wait to see more of what we watched last year.

So clearly, inside-the-ropes shows are all the rage these days. That's why the NHL is getting in on the act in another way, launching NHL 36, a 30-minute show to air on Versus that will follow an NHL player through a normal day. The pilot episode will feature Patrick Kane of the Chicago Blackhawks.

And wouldn't you know it, the show is set to air this Wednesday, Dec. 14. As in the same day as the HBO series. But they won't compete, so you can catch both. NHL 36 will air before the national game on Versus, so it will be shown at 6:30 ET.

Here's more from the press release.

Providing the ultimate behind-the-scenes peek into the life of this NHL superstar, NHL 36 takes viewers into Kane's world for 36 straight hours as he lives the life of a not-so-average 23-year-old. Through an array of microphones and isolated cameras, the 30-minute documentary will offer unique insight into Kane's game on the ice. The show also will feature interviews with Kane's family.

"We are excited about the opportunity to create individual player portraits with unprecedented depth -- at home with family, out with friends and in the workplace," said Ross Greenburg, executive producer, NHL 36. "Wherever they go, whatever they do, our cameras are there, capturing what a day in the life is like for some of the biggest names in the NHL."

"NHL 36 is a great new series that is part of the high-quality storytelling and production values of NBC Sports," said Sam Flood, Executive Producer for NBC Sports and VERSUS. "It's an example of programming that dives deeper into the sport and its players, and one that viewers can expect to see more of from the new NBC Sports Network."

No word yet if the show will have any footage of a night out on the town with Kane or he and Jonathan Toews meeting girls in local cafes.

Right now the show is scheduled to feature 10 players. If it's a success, you can imagine there will be more after that. Who doesn't love these behind-the-scenes shows?

Photo: Getty Images

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

Posted on: December 10, 2011 10:04 pm
Edited on: December 10, 2011 10:28 pm
 

Giroux, Bryzgalov injured in Flyers win

cg1

By: Adam Gretz


When we last left the Flyers and Lightning, there was quite a debate raging on about Philadelphia's "stall tactics" in an effort to beat Tampa Bay's 1-3-1 neutral zone trap. Heading into Saturday's rematch the biggest question being asked was whether or not we would see a repeat when the teams faced off at the Wells Fargo Center.

Maybe it was because they didn't want to put their home town fans to sleep, or perhaps because the strategy resulted in a loss and their worst offensive showing of the season, but the Flyers made no such attempt on Saturday on their way to a 5-2 win over the Lightning. For Tampa Bay it was its sixth loss in the past seven games, and while Philadelphia ended up winning on the scoreboard, it suffered two pretty big losses in the injury department as Claude Giroux and Ilya Bryzgalov both left early with injuries.

Giroux, who entered the game as the NHL's leading scorer, had to exit during the second period when he fell to the ice and took an accidental knee to the head from his teammate, Wayne Simmonds. He did not return.  He's been Philadelphia's best player thus far and and an early front runner in the race for league MVP. He did manage to add to his league-leading point total before leaving the game with a pair of assists, including a helper on a power play goal by Simmonds in the second period.

Bryzgalov's injury doesn't appear to be serious and he seems to have been held out as a precaution, and when asked if he's "day-to-day," he replied, "probably hour-to-hour."

It's been a costly week in the injury department for the Flyers, as Chris Pronger and Brayden Schenn are both out indefinitely due to concussion-like symptoms.

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

Posted on: December 9, 2011 1:11 pm
Edited on: December 9, 2011 1:52 pm
 

Weekend Preview: Flyers, Lightning meet again

By Brian Stubits

This could be interesting. For people who like boring hockey, this Saturday's game in Philadelphia could be just for you.

Now that we've really sold the game, let me clarify. This weekend the Tampa Bay Lightning and Philadelphia Flyers will meet for the second time this season. And for some reason, the first game was a bit memorable -- or forgettable, depending on your viewpoint.

Who can forget when the Flyers refused to play into the Lightning's 1-3-1 trap and the Lightning refused to forecheck? What resulted was the biggest stalemate heard 'round the hockey world. Since then there have been discussions about the validity of Tampa Bay's defensive system. Should it even be allowed?

Here's a refresher on what that looked like.

Of course that's all silly talk. It obviously isn't hurting teams from scoring against the Lightning. The Bolts enter the weekend have surrendered the third-most goals in the Eastern Conference.

I highly doubt we'll see a replay of that ugly display in Tampa Bay from earlier this season, especially if Peter Laviolette wises up and remembers he has arguably the most explosive offense in the game. It's not the time to over-coach when you have Claude Giroux on your team.

There were a lot of questions about the Flyers entering this season. Would Ilya Bryzgalov be the missing piece? Can Jaromir Jagr still perform at a high level? (The answers are still undetermined and unequivocally yes).

But the one that everybody wondered about the most was who, exactly, was going to replace the scoring load that was carried by Jeff Carter and Mike Richards? Some assumed it would be James van Riemsdyk, others thought Danny Briere. I think the most popular answer, though, would have been Claude Giroux.

Well those folks were right, but I'm not sure they knew how right they would be.

Not only is Giroux leading the Flyers in points (by 14, no less), he leads the entire NHL in that category, passing early leader Phil Kessel.

It's a bit insulting to call this a breakout season for Giroux, after all, he did have 76 points last season, but it is just that. His 16 goals through just 27 games already brings him within 10 his career-best 25 one season ago. He's on pace for close to 100 points.

Oh, and he's only 23 (he turns 24 in January).

So here's a bit of a plea to Laviolette: let your offense go. Teams aren't having trouble scoring against the Lightning (the goalies share a good chunk of that blame, too). That's a particularly good idea with Giroux around.

Then again ...

"We might sit there for four or five minutes at a time," Laviolette was quoted as saying.

Be prepared for another night of non-action.

Oh my Michalek

Phil Kessel has received a lot of the early season headlines for his goal scoring. Jonathan Toews and Steven Stamkos haven't been getting the same amount of pub, but people know about their scoring prowess too.

Alex Ovechkin has received a lot of talk too, but for his lack of goal scoring.

So I'd like to take this opportunity to take this little light of mine, I'm going to let it shine, this time on the NHL's goal-scoring leader, Milan Michalek of the Ottawa Senators.

Maybe it's because he plays all the way up in Ottawa. Perhaps it's because the Senators had such low expectations this season. Whatever the reason, the player the Senators acquired in the Dany Heatley trade is blossoming into a major player and there's little attention being paid to him.

Michalek gets a bigger stage to make an impression on Saturday when the Sens will host the Vancouver Canucks on Hockey Night in Canada.

How Wild is this?

The Minnesota Wild are the best team in the NHL based on the standings. It's impossible to give them enough credit right now.

Especially when they head to Phoenix having won six games in a row and completing the California sweep for the first time in franchise history.

Before the season began, how many people really, truly believed that when these teams met on Dec. 9, they would both be in first place in their respective divisions? That's simply ... wild.

Is there any doubt who the front-runner is for the Jack Adams Award in the NHL right now? Sure, Kevin Dineen of the Panthers has to be in the conversation, but as of this moment it's clearly Mike Yeo on the Minnesota bench.

Not even injuries have been slowing his team down. Lose two goaltenders? No problem. Just call up Matt Hackett from the AHL to make his NHL debut and watch him go more than five periods before allowing a goal. Have a defense few people outside of Minnesota can't recognize? No worries. The Wild are still incredibly stingy when it comes to giving up goals.

Pretty soon, people won't be able to ignore the Wild, no matter how much they might try.

Return of the matinee (and Kaberle)

Now that the college football season is done -- seems as convenient a reason as any -- Saturday matinees are returning to the NHL schedule. Last week it was the Canadiens visiting the Kings. This week it's again the Canadiens, this time visiting the Devils.

The game will also be the debut of Tomas Kaberle with the Canadiens. After being traded to Montreal on Friday for Jaroslav Spacek, this will be Kaberle's first opportunity to change the minds of fans of his new team: that he doesn't stink.

That's going to be a hard task, considering the view of Kaberle league-wide is so low. You know it's bad when a GM who signed you a few months ago essentially admits to it being a mistake.

It's also big for Jacques Martin, the Habs coach. The talk surrounding his job security had died down after the Habs had appeared to right the ship, but it's starting to leak again. And with that, people are wondering about Martin's status once anew. Beating the Devils, a team they are battling with at the bottom of the playoff picture right now, would be a helpful start.

We're going streaking!

These are your streaks at play going into the weekend.

Flyers: The Flyers enter Saturday's game with the Bolts having won four straight.

Florida Panthers: People are still stunned by them, and they take a three-game run into Buffalo and then, if it survives, Madison Square Garden on Sunday.

Winnipeg Jets: Yes, another Southeast Division team. The Jets are starting to make a push to stay relevant all season and have won three in a row. Their weekend consists of a game vs. the Hurricanes and at the Red Wings.

Wild: No team is playing better than Minnesota in the NHL. None. As mentioned, they head to Phoenix with a six-game win streak in hand.

Vancouver Canucks: Don't look now, but the defending Western Conference champs are starting to roll. Their streak is three games going into Ottawa.

Los Angeles Kings: They are the only team who come into the weekend with a losing streak in the works. They'll have a chance to snap that against the Stars on Saturday.

Photo: Getty Images

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

Posted on: December 9, 2011 12:45 pm
Edited on: December 14, 2011 2:45 pm
 

Pronger, Schenn out with concussion symptoms

By: Adam Gretz

At this point, Philadelphia Flyers defenseman Chris Pronger is pretty much a one-man M*A*S*H unit.

Currently sidelined for the next few weeks after having surgery on his knee, which came after he missed a couple of weeks after taking a stick in the eye, and was then out with what the Flyers called a "virus," it was reported on Friday that the veteran defenseman is also suffering from concussion-like symptoms.
More Chris Pronger Injuries

It's entirely possible, if not likely, that the "virus" had something to do with the concussion symptoms he's currently experiencing.

"While Chris' knee is improving, he has struggled with other issues that are concussion-like symptoms," said general manager Paul Holmgren in a team statement. "Chris will see Dr. Joe Maroon and Dr. Mickey Collins on Wednesday, December 14th in Pittsburgh for further evaluation. Chris will be out indefinetly."

Dr. Mickey Collins, of course, is the same doctor that Pittsburgh Penguins forward Sidney Crosby has been seeing over the past year.

Pronger isn't the only player on the Flyers currently dealing with concussion symptoms, as Holmgren also announced that forward Brayden Schenn will also be out indefinitely with a mild concussion. Said Holmgren in the same statement, "Brayden reported 'not feeling himself' on December 5th. Our doctors believe he has a mild concussion."

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