Tag:Philadelphia Flyers
Posted on: April 24, 2011 9:34 pm

Brian Boucher tapped as Flyers starter for Game 7

The Philadelphia Flyers have their man, again, in net. 

Brian Boucher, who came into Sunday’s Game 6 in relief of Michael Leighton and backstopped a 5-4 Flyers OT victory over the Buffalo Sabres, was tapped as the starter for Tuesday’s decisive Game 7, CSN Philadelphia reports

“I can’t say enough about him,” Buffalo coach Peter Laviolette said. “Brian expects to start, and I respect that about him. He had an opportunity tonight to come in and help this team live for another day, and he was tremendous.”

Leighton was the third different goalie to start in the series. The Flyers entered the series with Sergei Bobrovsky in net. After he flamed out in Game 2, Boucher got the starts in Games 3-5 before Leighton -- who carried the Flyers deep in the playoff a season ago after Boucher went down with simultaneous knee injuries -- got the start in Game 6. 

Here’s more from CSN Philly:
Laviolette’s three-headed goalie monster this series is the first time in Flyers history that the team has used a trio of netminders in one playoff series, but Boucher is used to the juggling.

“Isn’t it always bizarre in Philadelphia with goaltenders?” Boucher said. “I mean, it’s nothing new. I’m pretty used to it. I know when I came back here I knew what I was getting myself into, so you just roll with the punches and deal with it.”

Despite the revolving door in the crease this series, one thing is for sure – the Flyers don’t change their style when a new mask appears between the pipes behind them. Philadelphia’s ferocious forecheck gave the Sabres fits Sunday, especially in the second period when they rallied to tie the game on Danny Briere’s power-play goal 8:43 in.

“It doesn’t matter whether it’s Bob, Boosh or Leights,” Meszaros said. “It’s the playoffs.”

“Brian brought us a sense of calmness when he came in,” winger Kris Versteeg said. “That’s what we needed. Being down so quickly I think sometimes your emotions can get the best of you. We knew that we had a team that can score goals, we just had to stick to the plan.”

Leighton allowed three goals off eight shots before he replaced by Boucher after the first intermission on Sunday. Boucher probably would have liked to have that one goal he allowed on 25 shots --- a volley from the point by Buffalo’s Nathan Gerbe in the third period that deflected off a Flyers defenseman’s stick -- but he provided the steadiness in net that settled the Flyers en route to another comeback. 

-- A.J. Perez
Posted on: April 24, 2011 9:33 pm
This entry has been removed by the administrator.

Post Deleted by Administrator

This message has been removed by the administrator.

Posted on: April 21, 2011 1:10 pm
Edited on: April 21, 2011 1:10 pm

Citizens Bank Park next for Winter Classic?

Now that the NHL has signed a new network deal, talk is heating up about which city -- and field -- will be the next to host the Winter Classic. Well, we've got a hint, courtesy of the Philadelphia Daily News .

It appears that Philadelphia could be the next host and Citizens Bank Park, not Lincoln Financial Field, the stadium.

A league source familiar with the NHL's thinking regarding the 2012 Winter Classic told the Daily News yesterday that Citizens Bank Park is a "very real possibility" to host the event.
When discussing Philly as a possible site for the annual event, many assumed the Linc, home of the Eagles, would be the target location. But when the recent NFL schedule was released, it showed the Eagles are hosting a game on New Year's Day. Apprently that wasn't an obstacle for the NHL in the first place.
Even though the 2011 Winter Classic at the Steelers' Heinz Field in Pittsburgh was considered a success, the NHL apparently prefers the coziness and layout of a ballpark as opposed to a football stadium.
Another big question that's lingering over the Winter Classic is when it will be played. Each year so far, the game was set on New Year's Day, scheduled for the early afternoon every year, although inclimate weather made it a primetime start last season. New Year's seems like it's out because, again, of the NFL. With New Year's falling on a Sunday next year, the sports monster will likely force the NHL to move to another day (New Year's Day college bowl games, too). The speculation now is that it will choose to go with New Year's Eve and there is some discussion it could be at night.

Lastly, if the Flyers are indeed the targeted team, everybody will want to know who the opponent will be. The odds-on favorite will be the Rangers, who have been mentioned as a possible host at Yankee Stadium or Citi Field. At this point, the only team that is probably safe to rule out (besides the bad and warm-weather teams) is the Penguins, who have played in the game twice, including hosting last year.

-- Brian Stubits

Posted on: April 18, 2011 1:59 pm
Edited on: April 18, 2011 10:34 pm

Flyers to start Boucher, Leighton to backup

As suspected, there's a new starting goaltender for Philadelphia tonight. Perhaps unsuspected is that all signs point to there being a new backup, too.

After struggling to the tune of three goals surrendered in seven shots, rookie Sergei Bobrovsky was pulled in favor of Brian Boucher, a move that helped the Flyers come back to beat the Sabres and even their series. Coach Peter Laviolette said Monday that it will, in fact, be Boucher starting Game 3 in Buffalo.

"Brian came in last couple of times and has done a really nice job for us in there," Laviolette said. "He’s on top of his game and in charge of his net. He bailed us out of a couple of situations and I really feel he deserves to go in there and play."

As far as the backup spot, per csnphilly.com , Philly will return to the tandem it used in last year's playoff, at least on Monday.

We know it’s Leighton because he and Boucher have full lockers while Sergei Bobrovsky does not. He has a tiny little stall that can’t fit equipment.
So there you have it.

Philadelphia made its improbable run to the Stanley Cup Finals last year after getting in on the final day despite not having a go-to goaltender. The hope was that would be resolved this year, and Bobrovsky would be the reason why. The Russian rookie was superb in net early in the season, but faltered some as the season wore on. So it was widely assumed he would have a short leash this postseason.

Leighton played in 14 games last postseason, posting an 8-3 record to spur the Flyers. But this year he played just one game with the big club, being placed on waivers at one point.

-- Brian Stubits

Posted on: April 17, 2011 12:12 am
Edited on: April 17, 2011 12:20 am

Report: Flyers' Pronger likely to miss Game 3

The Philadelphia Flyers have quandary in net and now it appears they will again be without defenseman Chris Pronger.

Philadelphia Inquirer’s Sam Carchidi reports, citing a Flyers source, that Pronger likely won’t make Monday’s Game 3 in Buffalo. Pronger hasn’t played since injuring his hand March 8 and his towering presence was certainly missed early in Saturday’s Game 2. 

"It's just healing slowly. Nothing more to it," the official said.

Flyers rookie goalie Sergie Bobrovsky allowed three goals on seven shots and was chased in favorite of veteran (and fan-favorite) Brian Boucher. The Flyers came back to secure a 5-4 victory to tie the first-round series at a game apiece. 

Pronger isn’t just about clearing pucks and blocking shots in front of his own net. The Flyers’ power play, which he often leads, has struggled so far in the series, going 1 for 15 on their man-advantage opportunities. 

-- A.J. Perez
Posted on: April 12, 2011 2:12 pm
Edited on: April 12, 2011 5:47 pm

Preview: No. 2 Philadelphia vs. No. 7 Buffalo

The Flyers and Sabres meet after splitting the season series, Philly winning the points battle five to four. But the Flyers limped to the finish line, going 7-14 (hey, if shootout wins count as wins, then shootout losses will count as losses here) down the stretch. Buffalo, meanwhile, comes to the postseason playing some of its best hockey, winning eight of the final 10 games in spite of Ryan Miller sitting for some of that stretch.

Here's the breakdown.

Forwards: The Flyers are very talented and very deep up front. Led by Claude Giroux's 76 points and Jeff Carter's 36 goals, there's hardly a time there isn't a threat on the ice for Philly to put the biscuit in the basket. If there's a weakness it might be up the middle with the centermen after Mike Richards. No Flyer ranked inside the top 50 this year in faceoff percentage, an important stat that is often forgotten. For Buffalo, Thomas Vanek enters the playoffs scorching, earning one of the NHL's three Stars for the final week. Top to bottom, the Sabres don't have the firepower that Philly does, but that could be mitigated by the fact they're playing better entering this series.

Edge: Flyers

Defensemen: Offensively speaking, there's decent enough production for both teams from the blue line. However, it has to be concerning that Buffalo is waiting on injury news for Jordan Leopold and Andrej Sekera, two of their three most relied-upon defensemen. Philadelphia is, of course, waiting on their own bit of injury news as Chris Pronger was recently labeled as day to day. His return would give a nice boost to the Flyers on the back end, who have a nice pairing of Matt Carle and Andrej Meszaros, both boasting a plus-30 rating on the year. Of the two groups, the Flyers are a bit more physical and do a better getting in the shooting lanes.

Edge: Slightly to the Flyers

Goalies: The Flyers are somewhat of an amazing animal in net. They made the Stanley Cup Final last season despite not having what most would consider a reliable goalie. But the collective effort was strong enough. They had hoped to have that solved this season with rookie Sergei Bobrovsky, who was outstanding early. But he struggled a bit to make it to the end, being pulled in his final start after surrendering three goals on 10 shots against the Islanders. Brian Boucher will be ready at the call if Bobrovsky can't snap out of his funk. You know Buffalo's goalie. The 2009-10 Vezina winner did have a dip in his stats following that oustanding season, but he is still one of the best in the game. He didn't play much down the stretch, so it gave backup Jhnoas Enroth a chance to show what he can do. After he posted a 9-2-2 record this year, the Sabres have to feel pretty comfortable with their secondary option.

Edge: Sabres

Special teams: Not much stands out for either team, but Buffalo was a tad better in both power play and penalty kill. Led by Drew Stafford and Vanek (11 power-play goals each), the Sabres were 13th in the league when on the advantage. With the talent it has up front, you might expect a little more from Philly, so that's why it would love to get Pronger back. A power-play quarterback, more than half of his career goals have come on the man-advantage. Something to keep in mind -- and something Philly fans will remind you of -- the Flyers are usually called for a lot of penalties, checking at 24th in the NHL this year with 13.6 minutes per game.

Edge: Sabres

-- Brian Stubits

Photo: Getty Images
Posted on: April 11, 2011 3:00 pm
Edited on: April 11, 2011 3:46 pm

Injury updates: Green expected back for Caps

Ready to show their new defensive-minded approach in the playoffs, the Capitals are closer to being full strength on the back line.

Coach Bruce Boudreau addressed injured defenseman Mike Green's status for Game 1 on Wednesday. The All-Star has been out of the lineup for Washington since suffering a concussion on Feb. 25 against the same Rangers that are up next.

"He's ready for game one."

Clearly good news. Green's numbers offensively were down this season -- as were pretty much all of the Capitals' -- but he's a key cog on the power play and has shown better play in the back.

Philadelphia is in wait-and-see mode on the status of Chris Pronger.

Despite reports of him taking part in the team's activities, coach Peter Laviolette said Pronger did not practice.

"It's hard to say that we're preparing as if Pronger were in there for Game 1, because he wasn't out there today," Laviolette said.

The word from general manager Paul Holmgren is that Pronger right now is day to day.

His return would be more than welcome. Since being sidelined with a broken hand, the Flyers have won just six of the 16 games they played.

In other playoff injury news:

  Lightning coach Guy Boucher expects that Steve Downie and Randy Jones will be good to go for the Bolts as they prepare to face the Penguins in Round 1.

  It's worth keeping an eye on Francois Beauchemin for the Ducks, who sat out Monday's workout according to Eric Stephens of the OC Register . It seems to be just precautionary and he is expected to be back on Tuesday.

  Blackhawks coach Joel Quennville said Dave Bolland and Troy Brouwer will make the trip to Vancouver with the team and is optimistic they will be able to play in the series.

  L.A. Kings winger Justin Williams is pushing to be back in time for the opening game, but coach Terry Murray hints that no decision will be made on his status until after tomorrow's practice.

  The Bruins will be without rookie defenseman Steven Kampfer in the first round after he sustained an injury while on a tune-up assignment over the weekend.

--Brian Stubits

Posted on: April 10, 2011 10:30 pm
Edited on: April 11, 2011 1:58 am

NHL Playoffs: Eastern Conference breakdown

No 1. Washington Capitals vs. No. 8 New York Rangers

Season Series: Washington 1-2-1; Rangers 3-1-0. 

Player to watch: Alex Ovechkin, F, Washington Capitals. He’s coming off his lowest-scoring season in the NHL and the captain has a lot to prove this postseason. 

X-factor:   Caps goaltending. Coach Bruce Boudreau has had a quick hook the last couple postseasons and while the young three goalies put on the ice this season --- Semyon Varlamov, Michal Neuvirth and Braden Holtby --- have all been stellar in stretches, there is no clear No. 1. 


Game 1 - Wednesday (7:30 p.m.) NY Rangers at Washington 
Game 2 - Friday (7:30 p.m.) NY Rangers at Washington 
Game 3 - April 17 (3 p.m.)  Washington at NY Rangers                
Game 4 - April 20 (7 p.m.) Washington at NY Rangers 
*Game 5 - April 23 (3 p.m.)  NY Rangers at Washington
*Game 6 - April 25  (TBD)  Washington at NY Rangers    
*Game 7 - April 27 (TBD)  NY Rangers at Washington  

No. 2 Philadelphia Flyers vs. No. 7 Buffalo Sabres 

Season series: Philadelphia 2-1-1; Buffalo 2-2-0

Player to watch: Ryan Miller, G, Buffalo Sabres. He missed four games in a row with an upper-body injury before he played in the final two regular season games. While Jhonas Enroth was stellar in relief, the Sabres will be leaning heavily on Miller.

X-factor: Philadelphia Flyers defenseman Chris Pronger’s status. Out since March 8 with a broken hand, Pronger will likely make it back at some point in this first-round series. The team certainly struggled down the stretch without him. 


Game 1 - Thursday (7:30 p.m.) Buffalo at Philadelphia
Game 2 -  Saturday (5 p.m.) Buffalo at Philadelphia
Game 3 - April 18 (7 p.m.) Philadelphia at Buffalo
Game 4 - April 20 (7:30 p.m. ) Philadelphia at Buffalo
*Game 5 - April 22 (7:30 p.m.)  Buffalo at Philadelphia
*Game 6 - April 24 (3 p.m.) Philadelphia at Buffalo                         
*Game 7 - April 26 (TBD)  Buffalo at Philadelphia  

No. 3 Boston Bruins vs. No. 6 Montreal Canadiens  

Season series: Montreal 4-2-0; Boston 2-3-1

Player to watch: Zdeno Chara, D, Boston Bruins. The Norris Trophy winner seems to be an unflappable character, but it will be interesting to see how he responds to returning to the Bell Centre in Game 3. He was ejected after a check that sent Max Pachoretty off a divider, a collision that resulted in a broken bone in the Habs forward’s neck and a concussion in March. To say it created quite a stir in Quebec and elsewhere would be an understatement. 

X-factor: The Canadiens’ defense. The Habs will have to rely on rookie PK Subban and Co. along with the goalie Carey Price. The team lost veteran blueliners Josh Gorges and Andrei Markov to knee injures earlier in the season. 


Game 1 - Thursday (7 p.m.)  Montreal at Boston
Game 2 - Saturday (7 p.m.)  Montreal at Boston
Game 3 - April 18 (7:30 p.m.)  Boston at Montreal
Game 4  - April 21 (7 p.m.)  Boston at Montreal
*Game 5 - April 23 (7 p.m.)  Montreal at Boston                         
*Game 6 - April 26 (TBD) Boston at Montreal                         
*Game 7 - April 27 (TBD)  Montreal at Boston          

No. 4 Pittsburgh Penguins vs. No. 5 Tampa Bay Lightning  

Season series: Both teams 2-2-0.

Player to watch: Martin St. Louis, F, Tampa Bay Lightning. He compiled the most points (99) since the 2006-07 season, five fewer than this year’s Art Ross Trophy winner Daniel Sedin of the Vancouver Canucks

X-factor: The Penguins’ health. Pittsburgh coach Dan Bylsma already said that he’s not counting on captain Sidney Crosby, out since early January with a concussion, to be back for the playoffs. But for a team that also lost forward Evgeni Malkin to a season-ending knee injury, staying healthy this postseason is at a premium. Defenseman Brooks Orpik played the final six games of the season after missing nearly a month with a broken finger. 

  Game 1 - Wednesday (7 p.m.)  Tampa Bay at Pittsburgh                        
Game 2 - Friday (7 p.m.) Tampa Bay at Pittsburgh                        
Game 3 - April 18 (7:30 p.m.) Pittsburgh at Tampa Bay                        
Game 4 - April 20 (7:30 p.m.) Pittsburgh at Tampa Bay                        
*Game 5 - April 23 (TBD) Tampa Bay at Pittsburgh                        
*Game 6  - April 25 (TBD) Pittsburgh at Tampa Bay                        
*Game 7 - April 27 (TBD) Tampa Bay at Pittsburgh                        

* - if necessary. 

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