Monthly Archives: December 2011

Bobrovsky Makes Case as Flyers Winter Classic Starter

It was an important rivalry game against good competition in a pressurized environment.

And the Flyers goaltender stood tall to prop up his team and also preserve the win.

However, the rarity wasn’t provided by franchise selection and HBO star Ilya Bryzgalov. It was the other Russian, Sergei Bobrovsky, who made 24 saves in Thursday night’s 4-2 win over the Pittsburgh Penguins at Consol Energy Center.

With Bobrovsky’s confident outing, his second in a row after earning the 4-1 win in Dallas, the young goalie also handed coach Peter Laviolette some serious roster questions for the highly anticipated Winter Classic game against the New York Rangers on Monday at Citizens Bank Park.

If the Flyers wanted the best chance to win outdoors in front of the nation, they’d buck expectation and select Bobrovsky, the current steadier hand, as their choice between the pipes.

Read More at Philly Sports Daily

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Bryzgalov Failing to Pull Weight and Contract with Flyers

In a season filled with average-at-best play from their $51-million franchise goaltender Ilya Bryzgalov, the horrid 5-1 loss to the Tampa Bay Lightning on Tuesday night may be the low point.

And that’s saying something.

Bryzgalov allowed five goals on 16 shots, made just 11 saves and provided little help to his team which carried play throughout. He posted a .688 save percentage and was thoroughly outplayed by Lightning backup Mathieu Garon. Bryzgalov’s positioning was poor, his rebound control was questionable and most of all, his ability to keep the Flyers in the game was non-existent.

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Returning Schenn Needs to Shed Looming Injury Label

For the third time this season, Brayden Schenn is set to make a long-awaited return to the Flyers.

On Monday, Schenn, who suffered a concussion on Dec. 3 against the Phoenix Coyotes, practiced with active-roster linemates, Zac Rinaldo and Harry Zolnierczyk. The sign is a positive one, likely spelling his return.

Another return. From another injury.

Schenn’s move on and off injured reserve, whether official or non-official, has been a frustratingly common routine this season for him and the Flyers. The highest hopes for the labeled future star have been replaced with the lowest of disappointment.

Schenn has seen misfortune so great, that he is close to being marked with the most unwanted, despised label in hockey. Something so distasteful, uttering it is a curse. But evidenced by four sidelining injuries in 14 NHL games, Schenn is approaching the vaunted characteristic of being officially injury prone.

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Could Carolina’s Gleason, Allen Be On Flyers’ Wishlist?

With Chris Pronger out for the season with post-concussion syndrome, general manager Paul Holmgren and the Flyers are expected to shop for a minute-eating defenseman to fill the void and solidify the team’s blue line for the stretch run.

According to Edmonton Journal reporter Jim Matheson, the Flyers won’t have to look outside the Eastern Conference to find that.

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December Hasn’t Been Kind to Flyers’ van Riemsdyk

It’s not a secret that 22-year-old James van Riemsdyk isn’t having the season that many, including the Flyers, expected after inking a six-year, $25.5-million contract this offseason.

And it seems that as the weather gets colder, so does the forward’s production.

With another goose egg on Monday against the Colorado Avalanche, van Riemsdyk’s scoreless streak has hit eight games, not counting his oh-so-nasty shootout goal that had Flyers fans wondering where that JVR, the one with silky smooth hands, was hiding.

In a four-game stretch without leading scorer Claude Giroux, a time in which the Flyers needed him the most, van Riemsdyk came up short, registering just one primary assist and a secondary helper. Lacking the extra gear to his game that impressed so thoroughly during the 2011 postseason, JVR continued his longest drought of the season, going oh-for-December.

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Giroux Recovering but He’s Not Out of the Woods Yet.

On Sunday, the Flyers aroused the optimism of their fan base by releasing a surprise photograph of concussed Claude Giroux practicing in a non-contact jersey. Not only did the team’s star forward and leading scorer make the trip to Colorado, but was in competitive spirits and working at a high level.

With the picture and accounts of the practice came an overwhelming optimistic exhale from the Flyers’ community, who have suffered through a tidal wave of bad news in the past couple weeks. From Chris Pronger to Brayden Schenn, Sean Couturier and of course, Giroux, injuries have hit the team hard and in succession.

The worst, as Giroux zipped around the Pepsi Center, seems to have passed.

But regardless of the appearance, concussions, more accurately, post-concussion syndrome, is a sneaky and unpredictable terror. Just when you think it’s better, it attacks once again, sending the player back to square one. It can be as frustrating as it is debilitating.

So given its shifty nature, it should be noted that the Flyers and Giroux are not out of the woods yet.

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Bruins Show Flyers How Far They Are From The Top

WELLS FARGO CENTER — The Boston Bruins walked into the Wells Fargo Center on Saturday afternoon and punched the Flyers right in the mouth.

“That’s for thinking you’re the best team in the Eastern Conference.”

Before the red-hot but injury-plagued Flyers could blink, their seven-game winning streak was gone. The reigning Stanley Cup champions had the contest in the bag less than three minutes into the game with goals from Benoit Pouliot and Daniel Paille.

The big, bad Bruins continued the beating throughout, easily winning, 6-0, and taking their seat atop the conference where they belong.

“We have to regroup,” said Kimmo Timonen. “Obviously, we weren’t happy the way we played. We can’t be happy the way we played today, I thought it was an ol’ fashioned ass kicking in every area of the game. They were better in every aspect of the game.”

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