Archive for March, 2010

Goaltending Nightmare Continues; Leighton Injured; Esche to Return?

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , on March 17, 2010 by flyersfan44

The Flyers’ goaltending situation never seems to be settled. After starter Ray Emery went down with an injury, Michael Leighton was plucked off waivers from Carolina. He played brilliantly and appeared to have a hot hand going into the stretch run. So, a trade at the deadline did not appear necessary. Of course, after the deadline expires, Leighton goes down with an ankle injury. The results of an MRI should be known tomorrow.

In the meantime, the Flyers have recalled 23 year-old Jeremy Duchesne from the AHL Andirondack Phantoms to back up Brian Boucher. He’s appeared in only two games with the Phantoms, playing 23 games with the Flyers’ ECHL affiliate in Kalamazoo.

If Leighton’s MRI indicates that he may not be ready for a while (if at all) the Flyers will be in a real bind. Boucher has been mediocre at best this season and has not seen much playing time. There’s not alot of confidence in him as a playoff goalie. The Flyers are now talking to former Flyer goalie Robert Esche, who has just finished his season in Russia. Esche played for the Flyers from the 2002-03 season to 2006-07, and had a great playoff run in 2006. The Flyers like Esche, who did not return to the NHL after the lockout season, but there is some uncertainty about NHL rules regarding signing a player at this point. It looks as though he could be signed for the season but may not be eligible for the playoff roster. This would have to be clarified before any signing would take place. If Leighton is unable to return, Esche could be the answer for a dependable goalie going into the playoffs. Stay tuned.

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No Deals for Flyers; Holmgren Likes Our Team

Posted in Uncategorized on March 4, 2010 by flyersfan44

There’s a saying that sometimes the best trades are the ones you don’t make. If that’s true, then the Flyers made a load of great deals yesterday, standing pat at the trade deadline. Supposedly the deal they were closest to was acquiring goalie Tomas Vokoun from Florida but turned it down when the asking price was Jeff Carter. I would have done that deal a couple months ago, but Carter has since picked up his game thanks to coach Peter Laviolette lighting a fire under him. The Flyers couldn’t afford to lose any more goals since Gagne, Giroux, et.al. have not replaced the scoring of Lupul and Knuble.

However, I am disappointed that we didn’t pick up another forward who could score, especially since several were available and some went to teams for only draft picks. Our rivals Pittsburgh and Washington improved themselves with deals, making it even more concerning that we did nothing.

GM Paul Holmgren did try to make some moves and maybe doing nothing is better than getting ripped off, but if he says “I like our team” one more time, I may have to cancel my tickets. According to the current standings, we have a mediocre team that may not make the playoffs. Now, they have played better of late and if they get hot going into April I think they could win a round or even two, but I don’t see them being strong enough to challenge for the Cup. Again. For too many years now the Flyers have exited the playoffs in disappointing fashion and it looks as though we’re in for another frustrating spring. No, when you put together a team like Washington, San Jose, or Chicago, then that’s a team you can like. But when you have a team that plays sloppy like last night, gives up seven goals to the Florida Kittens, uh, Panthers, that’s not a team that I really like very much.

Flyers Trade Rumors on Deadline Day

Posted in Uncategorized on March 3, 2010 by flyersfan44

I didn’t think the Flyers would be going after a goalie with Michael Leighton playing well, however, with the announcement that Ray Emery will have hip surgery it appears that his career could be over and the Flyers may make a move for a netminder today. If they can get a good, number one, playoff-worthy goalie now, great. If not, why trade for a mediocre one? That would not solve anything long-term and would probably only mess with Leighton’s head. The Flyers are still trying for Tomas Vokoun of Florida (as is Chicago and a number of other teams). Word was that he wants to stay put until the summer and free agency and will not waive his no-trade clause. Now, however, it appears that he may waive the clause for a trade this season, depending upon the destination. Jeff Carter is apparently the asking price. Rumors persist that the Flyers are considering either Dwayne Roloson of the Islanders or Dan Ellis of Nashville. I don’t see the logic in acquiring a second-string goalie at this point. Marty Biron has been mentioned as well, which would be better than Ellis or Roloson, but is he the franchise goalie that we need? I thought we decided that he wasn’t.

The Flyers were also supposedly looking at defensemen Jack Johnson or Dan Hamhuis; they’re out of the Hamhuis talks at this point.

Interesting that Ryan Parent played last night, coming back from back surgery. With Oscars Bartulis out with a groin pull, that may have been why he played or were they showcasing him? I think he’ll likely be moved today.

Buffalo is interested in Scott Hartnell.

The Flyers really need to pick up a scoring winger. Frolov, Whitney, Armstrong are strong rumors but keep an eye on Raffi Torres, Owen Nolan, and Paul Kariya.

Trade Deadline March 3 – Flyers Readying for Trades?

Posted in Uncategorized on March 2, 2010 by flyersfan44

The Flyers have waived Riley Cote, sent defenseman Danny Syvret to the Phantoms, and placed goalie Ray Emery on long-term Injured Reserve, clearing about $2.5 million in cap space and signaling that they are evidently preparing to make a trade. With the defense playing well lately but scoring down, you’ve got to think a scoring forward would be the target. The Kings’ Alexander Frolov, Thrashers’ Colby Armstrong, Carolina’s Ray Whitney have been rumored as drawing the Flyers’ interest. I don’t expect them to trade for a goalie, instead riding Michael Leighton the rest of the way, although Nashville’s Dan Ellis has been mentioned as possibly heading to Philly. Let’s hope GM Paul Holmgren can come up with a decent deal for someone who can put the puck in the net – not another low scoring grinder for a change.

Canada Wins Gold

Posted in Uncategorized on March 2, 2010 by flyersfan44

Congratulations to Team Canada for their thrilling 3-2 overtime victory over Team USA for the gold medal in ice hockey. The matchup that everyone in North America wanted produced a great contest. Give the Americans credit for coming back from a 2-0 deficit to tie the game with less than 30 seconds remaining. What disappointed me more than Canada winning the game was that punk, Sidney Crosby, scoring the winning goal in overtime. But give him credit for often scoring the clutch goals.

The tournament was very successful – producing some fantastic hockey by the most highly skilled players in the world and garnering some of the highest television ratings ever. I don’t see how the League can refrain from sending NHL players to Russia for the 2014 games after this highly acclaimed showing in Vancouver.