Archive for Antero Niitymaki

Knuble Embraces Capitalism; Flyers Sign Boucher and Laperriere

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , on July 1, 2009 by flyersfan44

Right wing Mike Knuble signed a two year deal with Washington for $5.6 million, rejecting a lower offer from the Flyers.  Knuble will be missed for his presence in front of the net on the power play, his consistent goal scoring and his maturity in the dressing room.  Now with Lupul traded and the loss of Knuble, the Flyers are down about 50 goals per season.  After losing Knuble, the Flyers signed veteran right wing Ian Laperriere from Colorado for three years/$3.5 million.  A good defensive forward with a proclivity to fight, Laperriere generally scores only about ten goals per season.  A higher scoring forward would have been nice; now the Flyers have four low-scoring fighters when you include Riley Cote, Aaron Asham, and Dan Carcillo.  This signing will allow at least one of them to be dumped, preferably Cote who scored zero goals last season and who loses about half his fights.  Flyers fans are grumpy about this as they were expecting a higher scoring forward to be signed.  The Flyers are evidently gambling that Briere will return to form and that Claude Giroux will have a really good season to replace the goals they lost.  Laperriere (and Chris Pronger) will help keep the shots against down, which absolutely has to happen, and he hates to lose. That’s a good thing – this team is too nonchalant about losing and now they’ve added three players (Emery, Pronger, and Laperriere) who will get in people’s faces when the effort isn’t there. (Hear that Jeff Carter?). This might actually all work out, but if it doesn’t and there’s early losses, things will get ugly at Broad and Pattison. 

Unhappy with test results on Niitymaki’s hips, the Flyers signed former Flyer goalie Brian Boucher from the San Jose Sharks for a pretty good price (two years/$1.8 million).  This is a decent signing – Boucher is a better goalie than he was when he was here before. He had a solid season in San Jose as Nabokov’s back -up, with a 2.18 GAA and .917 save percentage in 22 games.  New Jersey’s Scott Clemmensen signed with Florida for $1.2 million per season. The Flyers probably could have gotten him for that and he may be a better goalie than Boucher, but the cap-conscious Flyers opted for the less expensive goalie. 

Defensive forward Ian Laperriere will join the Flyers

Defensive forward Ian Laperriere will join the Flyers

Brian Boucher returns to Philadelphia

Brian Boucher returns to Philadelphia

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Who’s Number One in Net?

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , on February 12, 2009 by flyersfan44

It looks like we have a genuine battle for the number one goalie position.  Marty Biron has been rather inconsistent this year while Antero Niitymaki has the better record, goals against average, and save percentage.  Last Saturday in Boston, Biron let up three goals in the first period including a weak short side third goal.  Niitymaki came in and shut the Bruins out in the second and third periods as the Flyers rallied to win in overtime.  Although Coach John Stevens will say that the switch was made to fire up the players, the result was probably the turning point in the Flyers’ net battle.  The indication now is that Niitymaki is the number one guy.  Maybe this was done to light a fire under Biron, but either way, it looks like Biron will have to win back the number one job.  The Flyers probably prefer Marty to be the playoff guy, since he was sensational in two rounds last year and since they’re paying him about $2 million more per season that Niitymaki.  However, Antero’s numbers and record can’t be ignored, and whoever is playing better down the stretch will likely get the nod this spring.

Antero Niitymaki

Antero Niitymaki

Marty Biron

Marty Biron