Since being acquired by the Flyers in 2008-09, the only consistent aspect of truculent forward Dan Carcillo has been his inability to find a niche’. And that hasn’t changed this season. Logging a time-on-ice average of just 8:25 minutes for the first four games of the year, along with being scratched entirely in against the Pittsburgh Penguins on Oct. 16, it seems that the answer to where Carcillo fits is coming to a head in Philadelphia.
“I think I’m an NHL player,” Carcillo told the Philadelphia Inquirer. “In my mind, I think I can play and be effective in this lineup. Maybe (Flyers coach) Peter (Laviolette) doesn’t see that. Who knows?”
On Thursday night at the Wells Fargo Center, the typically hateful Philadelphia crowd stood and provided a loud and emotional cheer for former Flyer and now Tampa Bay Lightning forward Simon Gagne, who made his first return to the city he played in for 10 seasons.
When you think of Philadelphia Phillies ace Roy Halladay, the NHL is likely the last thing that would come to mind. But with a little over a minute left in the Montreal Canadiens – Pittsburgh Penguins game on Saturday night, Habs forward Scott Gomez did his best Halladay impression.
“I just kind of threw it on net at the end and good things happen, I guess,” Gomez said, about his game-winning goal. “Kind of like Doc Halladay, I just threw the 3-2 change-up in there.”
With time running out in the 2-2 contest, Gomez, 30, skated down the wing well into the Penguins’ zone. Gaining the edge just slightly on defenseman Kris Letang, the Alaska-native appeared to have fired off a left-handed a wrister toward MA Fleury. But instead of come off his stick with velocity, the puck simply trickled through the goalie’s pads and in, winning the game for the Canadiens.
Gomez added, “Since it’s the baseball playoffs, I kind of threw a change-up in there.”
It wasn’t pretty, but it also could have been worse.
After being dominated for a full two periods, the visiting Flyers scrapped together a third-period goal from Danny Briere, before falling in overtime to Carlo Colaiacovo and the St. Louis Blues, 2-1, at the Scottrade Center on Saturday night.
The Flyers’ goaltending fears turned into reality on Friday afternoon, when general manager Paul Holmgren announced that starting goalie Michael Leighton, who signed a two-year, $3.1 million contract in the offseason, will undergo lower back surgery to repair a bulging disc that turned herniated.
According to Sportsnet.ca, Chris Pronger will miss the Flyers’ season opener against the Pittsburgh Penguins, tonight at the Consol Energy Center. However, the Flyers have yet to rule him anything but a game-time decision.
The Flyers sure know how to make things interesting.
On Thursday morning, just hours before the team is set to open the season at the Consol Energy Center in Pittsburgh, Flyers coach Peter Laviolette informed the media that 22-year-old rookie goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky will make the start for Philadelphia tonight against the Penguins.
The fog that clouded the Flyers’ roster situation all of training camp has suddenly lifted.
In a conference call on Monday, days prior to the Flyers’ season opener against the Pittsburgh Penguins on Oct. 7, Philadelphia general manager Paul Holmgren cleared the air the best he could, starting with the issues at goaltender and ending with injury updates.
Ryan Bright (Philabright@gmail.com) is a sports writer, born and raised in the Philadelphia area. A graduate of West Chester University, he has been with the Daily Local News in Chester County since early 2007, working as the paper's college and high school ice hockey beat writer. In 2010, began as a contributer for CSNPhilly.com, covering the Flyers and the Philadelphia Union.