According to general manager Paul Holmgren, Flyers forward Jody Shelley has been suspended two games for his hit on Boston Bruins’ Adam McQuaid, in Saturday’s 2-1 Philly victory. Shelley will miss Tuesday’s home contest against the Pittsburgh Penguins, as well as Wednesday in Montreal versus the Canadiens.
Nikolay Zherdev is expected to be re-activated in his place, with Dan Carcillo taking up fourth-line duties.
Shelley, 34, was racing down an icing touch up, when he pushed on the back of McQuaid, who lost an edge and went into the boards head first. Shelley received a five-minute major and game misconduct. After being helped off, McQuaid returned and finished the game.
The NHL has strict rules regarding contact on a touch icing and Shelley’s offense was textbook.
Shelley, acquired by the Flyers as a free agent in the offseason, has one goal, two assists and 73 penalty minutes in 31 games.
The Boston Bruins may have exercised the demons of last season’s game 7 playoff collapse when they defeated the Flyers, 3-0, on Dec. 1. But with the slate now wiped clean, the Bruins aren’t expecting the same type of easy result the second time around.
“Now you’ve got a team coming back, wanting to redeem themselves and get that win back that we stole from them in their home building,” Boston coach Claude Julien told the Boston Globe on Friday. “I would expect it to be a tough challenge. They’re an easy team to get up for, just like they’re going to say about us. It’s a natural rivalry that’s there and both teams are going to pull out their best.
“I expect an even bigger battle tomorrow, to be honest with you.”
The San Jose Sharks haven’t been a thorn in the side of the Flyers — they’ve been a hatchet.
Since the lockout of 2004-05, Philadelphia has gone 0-4-2 against the Western Conference power, being outscored 30-16 during that span. And that’s just lately. The Flyers haven’t cracked the Sharks in 11 previous meetings, dating back to Dec. 21, 2000, which marks their last win over the Bay Area teals.
However, this season, the two squads have been on different paths. And come 7 PM tonight at the Wells Fargo Center, it could be the Flyers that go Shark hunting and bring that near decade-long winless drought to an end.