Monthly Archives: December 2009

Carcillo gets four games for “sucker punch”

Whatever caused gritty Washington Capitals’ forward Matt Bradley to hesitate a split second to drop his gloves, has resulted in a hefty four-game suspension for Flyers’ forward Dan Carcillo.

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Carcillo KO’s Matt Bradley

In the first period of a 1-1 deadlock between the Washington Capitals and Philadelphia Flyers, Flyers’ forward Dan Carcillo took exception to a high stick from gritty Capitals’ forward Matt Bradley.  Carcillo cross checked Bradley, then both squared off to fight.  But before Bradley’s gloves hit the ice, Carcillo got the jump and knocked out Bradley with a hard right cross that sent the Flyers’ home crowd into a frenzy for the first time in over two weeks.

Carcillo received 2-minutes for instigator, 2-minutes for cross checking, 5-minutes for fighting, 10-minute misconduct and game misconduct.  The penalties gave Washington a never-before-seen 9-minute power play, in which the Caps scored three times.  Matt Bradley did not return to the game.

Any game misconduct is reviewed by the league office and deserving or not, Carcillo will likely be suspended.  However, the referees, once again, rule by result, not intent.  Bradley squared off and was in the process of dropping his gloves, simply getting beat to the draw.  If Bradley eats the first punch and fights back, this becomes just another hockey fight.  Say what you want about Carcillo and his lack of composure, but he has a history of being an honorable fighter.

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TSN: Flyers targetting Laviolette.

TSN is reporting that the Flyers have been granted permission by the Carolina Hurricanes to hire former Hurricanes’ coach Peter Laviolette to replace John Stevens.

According to the report, Laviolette is expected to make his coaching debut on Saturday, as the Flyers take on the Washington Capitals.

US born, Laviolette has a career coaching record of 244-188 and earned a Stanley Cup championship with the Hurricanes in 2005-06.  He was fired by the Hurricanes in 2008-09.

However, Laviolette’s personal philsophy may clash with the Flyers’.  In an interview with THN, Laviolette explained why he banned his team from fighting in the post season.

“I have a very strict no-fighting policy for our team,” LHe said.  “Last year in the playoffs Mike Commodore got into a fight and I said, ‘OK, that’s it. No more fighting.’ I simply cannot afford to lose a player like Mike Commodore to an injury he may sustain in a fight.

“Take a guy like Erik Cole. If we allowed him to fight, I know he would do it. Now if he gets hurt in a fight, our team has lost a very valuable asset. How do I justify that? I can’t. It just doesn’t make sense to me to allow our guys to fight.”

Lets hope he talks to Holmgren before implementing that in Philly.

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John Stevens fired as Flyers coach

Not sure exactly when it was,  but at some point during the Flyers’ perplexing 1-6 stretch to finish Nov. and start Dec., it became clear that the question wasn’t if coach John Stevens was going to be fired, but when.

Coming off a dreadful 3-0 loss to the Canucks on Thursday night and being held scoreless through eight consecutive periods, the shoe has finally dropped on the three-year coach of the Orange and Black.  On Friday evening, the Flyers announced that Stevens has been relieved of coaching duties and will be replaced on an interim basis by Craig Berube until a more permanent coach can be acquired.

A press conference will be held at 8 P.M. and televised on Comcast SportsNet.

Stevens was hired as coach of the Flyers in October of 2006, after Ken Hitchcock was fired due to a poor start to the season.  Stevens, who coached the likes of Mike Richards and Jeff Carter to a Calder Cup championship in 2005, was brought in to cultivate the younger talent.

However, as the talent got older, Stevens failed to take them to the next level.  Despite leading them to the Eastern Conference Finals in 2008, the Flyers have been inconsistent and have been criticized by general manager Paul Holmgren as lifeless.

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Flyers to go with Boucher vs Vancouver

Maybe it’s the fact that Flyers’ starting goaltender Ray Emery is 1-4 in his last five starts or  just a gut feeling from coach John Stevens, but reserve goalie Brian Boucher is set to make back-to-back starts for the first time this season.

After a four-day rest, coming off a respectable showing between the pipes in a 1-0 loss to Atlanta, Boucher will make his fifth start of the season versus Vancouver on Thursday with Emery likely getting the call on Saturday against Washington. Boucher is 2-6-1 lifetime against the Canucks.

Recovering from a shaky start to the season, Boucher has rebounded with two wins in his last three starts, lowering his GAA to an impressive 2.01.

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Emery to use classic Parent-style pads for Winter Classic?

Before the start of the season, it was leaked that Flyers’ goalie Ray Emery would sport a special mask for the Winter Classic game against the Boston Bruins at Fenway Park on New Year’s Day.  The mask will feature the goalies of Flyers past, Ron Hextall, Bernie Parent and Pelle Lindbergh.

But as it seems, that might not be the only new equipment Emery will wear.  Seen in practice wearing classic brown equipment, Emery appeared to be breaking in the new-old duds not seen since Parent and Lindbergh.

No new equipment, other than the mask, has been confirmed.  But that brown seems to be a bit too “classic” to be anything other.

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Pronger wants action from Richards

Will the real Flyers’ captain please stand up?

At 35-years old, defenseman Chris Pronger was brought into the Flyers organization in the offseason to help shape up a young squad and act as guidance for 24-year old captain Mike Richards.  But after losing five of their last six games and battling ever-growing pressure to improve, the real locker room leader is emerging and it’s not the one wearing the “C”.

“We need to make it [bleeping] happen on Thursday [versus Vancouver],” Pronger said. “It needs to [bleeping] happen now, so we can get over that hump and get this ship headed into the right direction.”

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