Archive for November, 2010

Again, Referee Decides the Outcome in Flyers’ Loss

Posted in Uncategorized on November 27, 2010 by flyersfan44

Chris Pronger reacts to the disallowed goal.

Mike Richards scored late in overtime to propel the Flyers to a 3-2 victory over the Calgary Flames in…oh, sorry…right, the referee once again decided the outcome of what turned into a Flyers’ loss by disallowing Richards’ goal scored through a Chris Pronger screen by whistling a horrendously awful unsportsmanlike conduct penalty against Pronger.

With the Flyers on the power play due to an obvious holding the stick call against Calgary, Pronger stationed himself in front of goalie Mikka Kiprusoff. As the Flyers moved the puck around, Pronger at one point waved his hand in front of the goalie. He may have been directing where the puck should go but rookie referee Ghislain Hebert interpreted it as deliberately distracting and invoked the “Avery Rule”, named after the obnoxious Sean Avery, who once waved his arms and stick in front of Devils’ Marty Brodeur in a playoff game. The difference here was that Pronger’s back was to Kiprusoff, the wave lasted only a few seconds, and Pronger had put his hand back on his stick several seconds before the goal was scored. If you’re going to call a penalty, (and it would be a marginal call at best) call it when it happens, not several seconds later after a goal is scored.

The thought here is that the ref was making up for calling the holding penalty on the Flames in overtime by disallowing what would have been the winning power play goal. But by trying not to be a factor in the game’s outcome, the ref was the reason the Flyers lost a point they should have gotten in the standings. Funny how the Flyers are most often on the short end when refs decide outcomes of games. Remember this point in April.

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Flyers Romp in Minnesota

Posted in Uncategorized on November 25, 2010 by flyersfan44

Jody Shelley or Claude Giroux?

The Flyers continued to score at a high rate with a 6-1 drubbing of the Wild in Minnesota. Andreas Nodl had another good game, scoring on a breakaway and Sergei Bobrovsky returned to the net with a solid game. Even enforcer Jody Shelley scored, showing some deking that you just wouldn’t expect and putting a smile on coach Peter Lavioette’s usually stern face.

Vote for Claude Giroux for NHL All-Star Game

Posted in Uncategorized on November 25, 2010 by flyersfan44

The new NHL All-Star Game format is a well-conceived idea that should bring some more interest and excitement to what is usually a rather mundane affair. Fans can vote for six starters regardless of conference, then the league will develop a list of 36 players from which two captains will choose sides – just like we did as kids on the pond.

The down side is that fans can only choose the six starters – it would have been nice to give them more say on the players, but the Corporate Entity NHL likes to maintain control over things. Also, in its wisdom, the league left some players off the ballot who deserve to be there, notably Washington’s Alexander Semin and the Flyers’ Claude Giroux.

Thankfully, write in votes are allowed so you can include Giroux, who’s the Flyers’ leading scorer right now, in your vote for your six all-stars. You could also write in goalie Sergie Bobrovsky, who has stunned just about everyone with his season thus far. He’s among NHL leaders in wins, goals-against average, and save percentage.

Vote for your all-stars at http://vote.nhl.com

Flyers Defeat Canadiens; In First Place

Posted in Uncategorized on November 23, 2010 by flyersfan44

The Flyers fought back from a 2-0 deficit to defeat Montreal 3-2 on Monday night and now sit atop the NHL, sharing the league’s best record with Washington. The Flyers’ consecutive victories against the Caps and Canadiens have solidified their position among the league’s elite teams. Give them credit for resiliency, too, as they overcame a bad goal allowed by Brian Boucher and another that was inadvertantly deflected in by Andrej Mezaros. The Flyers stormed back in the second period, putting 21 shots on net and then won the game in the third. It’s great to see them at the top of the league.

Big Win Against the Caps, 5-4 in the Shootout

Posted in Uncategorized on November 21, 2010 by flyersfan44

Danny Briere beats Michal Neuvirth in the shootout.

The Flyers played a very good game at Washington Saturday and came away with a hard-earned 5-4 shootout victory. They started off a little slow but took things over in the second period especially, going up 3-1 in the third. After taking some penalties that resulted in Washington power-play goals that tied the game, the Flyers went ahead on an awesome spin around goal by Andreas Nodl scored with his back to the net. Nodl had a great game and is looking like he’s developing into the player the Flyers had expected. Washington tied it again on another power play to send it to overtime. In the shootout, Danny Briere scored the lone goal and Brian Boucher stoned Alex Ovechkin and Niklas Backstrom before Alex Semin’s backhander went off the post to end the game. The Flyers answered the questions about their status in the league with this victory.

It was almost as if someone had heard my rants in the previous posts because the refs called penalties all around last night. The Flyers actually had two more power plays than the Caps, including one in overtime. I still think the refs are too active in the games, especially late when the score is close, but it was nice to see the calls go more the Flyers’ way for a change.

Another big game on Monday night. Another win against a top team would be great in the rematch against Montreal. And somebody take P.K. Subban down a notch, please.

Flyers and Lightning Play Pond Hockey

Posted in Uncategorized on November 19, 2010 by flyersfan44

Little defense was played Thursday night as the Flyers and Lightning combined for nine first period goals and a total of 15 in an 8-7 Lightning victory. The Flyers surrendered three two-goal leads and boy wonder goalie Sergei Bobrovsky was pulled after the first period. Some thoughts on the game:
* The Flyers can score but they need to play defensively to win. They fall short when they run and gun.
* The Flyers need their power play to win. They were 0 for 4 Thursday night. When they’ve lost this year, the power play has come up empty.
* The Flyers have played well overall thus far this season, but they need to beat the elite teams in the league. They’ve lost to Washington and Montreal – the two teams they’ve played that have the better records among the League’s teams. They have the Caps and Habs again Saturday and Monday. Two wins would solidify the Flyers’ place among the League’s true best. Watch how they do this season against the really good clubs.
* Steve Downie is a real punk. He purposely tried to take out Blair Betts’ knee with a knee-on-knee hit that Betts’ narrowly avoided, then refused to fight Jody Shelley right afterwards when challenged.
* Nine power plays for the Lightning? And the refs don’t call the games based on who’s playing or the score? C’mon. Remember the four minute high sticking penalty on Pronger against Washington with four minutes left a couple weeks ago, followed by a boarding penalty against Sean O’Donnell? Give the Caps a two-man advantage late in the game and you might as well give them the win. I’m sorry, but the League has its favorites and the Flyers are not among them. It’s becoming more and more obvious.

Richards Blasts Subban; Rematch Set for Monday

Posted in Uncategorized on November 17, 2010 by flyersfan44

Carey Price makes one of his 40-some saves

The Flyers’ 3-0 loss to Montreal at the (Got Your) Bell (Rung) Center on Tuesday got ugly in the third period with chippy play and alot of jawing from both teams. Responding to what they believed were dirty hits by Darroll Powe, one on Josh Georges and another on Jeff Halpern, the Canadiens turned chippy in the third period led by 21 year-old defenseman P.K. Subban. Although Powe was penalized for elbowing on the Georges hit, the replay clearly shows that it was a shoulder to shoulder check and that the elbow came up after the hit was delivered as a follow-through. Halpern was hit from the blind side, although not particularly hard,and he got his bell rung off the glass. I thought checking is supposed to be legal in hockey.

After the game, Mike Richards purposefully commented to the Montreal media that Subban is not respected because of his style of play (read chippiness). He indicated that at some point, Subban would pay the price for his antics. Meanwhile, Montreal message boards are calling for Powe’s head. This should make Monday’s game very interesting.

The Flyers didn’t play poorly in Tuesday’s loss. They dominated the second period with 20 shots and Montreal added a second goal on its only good chance of the period. The Flyers looked tired and frustrated in the third, with their busy schedule possibly catching up to them. A little concerning, however, was the Flyers’ defense. Although it is much improved over last year, the defense looked slow against the speedy Canadiens. Maybe the result of so many games lately but something to keep an eye on.

The teams meet again on Monday at the Wells Fargo Center. Some fireworks may happen.