PHI: 42-19 (91 pts.), 1st in Atlantic (1st in East)
FLA: 28-32 (65 pts), 4th in Southeast (13th in East)
Where: BankAtlantic Center (Sunrise, FL)
Monday: Brian Boucher (16-8, 2.44 GAA) vs. Tomas Vokoun (21-24, 2.60 GAA)
Tuesday, 7:30, CSN
Radio: 610 WIP
Hot (last 5) – Claude Giroux: 1 Goal/5 Assists
Not (last 5) – Mike Richards: 4 Assists/-3
Player to Watch – Nick Boynton: With Chris Pronger being out for the next 3-4 weeks, defenseman Nick Boynton suddenly becomes a key player for the Flyers. Sure there is no way to replace Pronger with his overall skill and leadership. But Boynton played well against the Atlanta Thrashers on Saturday night despite the Flyers’ defensive effort overall. He registered two hits and blocked four shots in 17:52 of total ice-time. Boynton had just 11:24 in total ice-time the game before against the Toronto Maple Leafs. He is a veteran that has plenty of experience and even won the Stanley Cup with the Chicago Blackhawks last season. I think Boynton on the back end of the defense could be a big key for the Flyers down the stretch. He doesn’t have a set defensive partner yet but has been working with all the defensemen to see who he’s the most comfortable with.
Series Overview: The Flyers currently lead the season series two games to one. The Flyers won the last meeting on the road 4-2. Danny Briere and Mike Richards each had a goal to pace the Flyers. Sergei Bobrovsky was strong in net making 33 saves in the win.
In the first meeting back on November 13th, the Flyers played a great game in which Richards and Giroux each scored two goals. Scott Hartnell also added a goal in the win. They outscored the Panthers 5-1 in the first two periods on the way to an easy 5-2 win. Bobrovsky had a great game between the pipes, making 30 saves.
The second meeting was one to forget for the orange and black. The Panthers dominated the Flyers from the jump, scoring two first period goals on their way to a 5-0 win at the Wells Fargo Center. Vokoun was tremendous in net, making 26 saves in the shutout. Bobrovsky wasn’t quite as fortunate as he gave up four goals on 22 shots in the loss.
Having surgery now is good for Pronger and the Flyers. (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)
The Philadelphia Flyers announced today that defenseman Chris Pronger will have surgery on his right hand and miss three to four weeks. Pronger reportedly skated in practice today but did not participate in shooting drills. He had a CT scan on Sunday and a small fracture was discovered according to Flyers general manager Paul Holmgren. The surgery will be performed on Tuesday morning by Dr. Tom Graham in Cleveland, Ohio. The injury occurred a few weeks ago when Pronger took a puck to the hand.
It’s good for Pronger to have the surgery now before the Flyers’ playoff run. The team’s last regular season game is April 9th against the New York Islanders. This gives Pronger about a month to recover from surgery. The Flyers need him healthy for the stretch run. The defense certainly hasn’t been playing well during this current slump and they need the leadership and talent of Pronger in the lineup if they are going to make a run at Lord Stanley’s Cup.
The Flyers could be making another move. (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)
The Philadelphia Flyers have inquired about the availability of veteran Colorado Avalanche defenseman Adam Foote. Foote is currently sidelined with a quadriceps injury and hasn’t been very healthy over the past few seasons. He just starting practicing today so he is getting closer to returning to live action. Foote would provide depth and leadership to defensive unit that is already missing Sean O’Donnell and Oskars Bartulis. He has no goals and eight assists in 41 games this season for Colorado. In his career, he has scored 66 goals and notched 242 assists.
I think this would be a solid move for the Flyers. No matter how long O’Donnell and Bartulis are out of the lineup, it never hurts to have an insurance policy. Foote is set to become an unrestricted free agent this summer so the orange and black wouldn’t have to part with much more than a late round draft pick to get him. He would provide significant leadership and has playoff experience with the Avalanche. I think it’s a move that the team should make unless they’re content with Matt Walker as their seventh defenseman.
Despite his offensive potential, the Flyers have decided to part ways with Zherdev. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
The Nikolay Zherdev experiment has come to an end. The Philadelphia Flyers placed the disgruntled forward on waivers today. The Flyers did try to find a trading partner per the request of Zherdev and his agent Jay Grossman. Unfortunately they were unable to ship out the Russian playmaker in a deal. Zherdev had 15 goals and 4 assists in 47 games.
Zherdev has been in Peter Laviolette’s doghouse for most of the season. It has been indicated that Laviolette did not like Zherdev’s work ethic. Laziness was always the knock on Zherdev and was one of the main reasons he had to play last season in the KHL. It looks like the final straw for general manager Paul Holmgren and the front office was last Friday night in Raliegh. Mike Richards was a last second scratch due to an illness and Zherdev was no where to found. The Flyers could not get ahold of him so they inserted enforcer Jody Shelley into the lineup instead.
This isn’t the way that I thought this experiment would work out. After being exiled to Russia last season, I assumed that Zherdev would’ve gotten the message that he has to work harder and be a team player. Obviously that was a message that he never received. It’s a shame because he has a tremendous offensive skillset and can be a huge goal scoring threat in the NHL. I can’t say I blame the Flyers organization for wanting to dump Zherdev like a bad habit. However it wouldn’t be the worse idea to hang onto him. If a forward were to go down after the trade deadline, Zherdev would be an immediate upgrade over anyone on the Adirondack Phantoms. He would be a great insurance policy but you really can’t blame the Flyers for making this decision. It’ll be interesting to see if they pick up another foward before the trade deadline. I really doubt Shelley will be active during the postseason.
Brind'Amour did get to hoist Lord Stanley's Cup in 2006. (Photo by: Dave Sandford/Getty Images)
The Carolina Hurricanes will be retiring former captain Rod Brind’Amour’s number before their game against the Philadelphia Flyers on Friday night. During his 20 seasons in the NHL, Brind’Amour spent nine with the Flyers and 10 with the Hurricanes. Brind’Amour was dealt by the Flyers in the trade that brought Keith Primeau to Philadelphia. The trade worked out very well for both teams. I think that it’s only fitting that his number is being retired on a night when the Hurricanes take on the Flyers. To show their appreciation, the Flyers will be sporting #17 jerseys during their pregame skate.
I think this is a very classy move by the Flyers organization. Brind’Amour gave nine years of service to the orange and black and was clearly a fan favorite around the city. I’d personally like to see the Flyers have a ceremony for the “Rod” in the future. Brindy scored 235 goals and recorded 366 assists during his time in Philadelphia. He was one of my favorite players growing up and I even rocked his jersey as a child. I was very disappointed the day that Brind’Amour was dealt and I still remember exactly where I was to this day. Rod Brind’Amour will always be a Flyer and a total class act. Enjoy tomorrow night Rod, you deserve it!
The Philadelphia Flyers announced today that they have signed general manager Paul Holmgren to a three-year contract extension. The deal will keep Holmgren as the Flyers’ general manager until 2015 and will pay him about $4.5 million. Holmgren took over his post in 2006 when Bobby Clarke was fired during the Flyers’ worst season in franchise history.
Holmgren’s future was in question towards the end of the regular season last year. But then the Flyers went on that magical run to the Stanley Cup Finals and bought him some time. He had a successful offseason in bringing up young goalie Sergie Bobrovsky and signing troubled forward Nikolay Zherdev. He has now assembled one of the best teams in hockey and I think that deserves a reward.
Holmgren has brought many talented players to the Flyers organization over the past five years. Danny Briere, Chris Pronger, and Kimmo Timonen are among the brilliant acquisitions that he has made. He has also helped with the development of Mike Richards and Jeff Carter. He made the decision to draft James van Riemsdyk who is turning into a top-notch forward for the orange and black. He has done a great job in his few years with the organization and is deserving of all the accolades that come his way.