Category Archives: Stanley Cup Playoffs

Ross puts Huntsville on the map in NHL playoffs

If someone saw Flyers’ forward Jared Ross in the supermarket, they may mistake him for a bagger or cashier.  But the diminutive 26-year old with a  boyish face and 5-foot-9, 170 lbs. frame has not only played in the NHL, but has done something no one else, big or small, has ever done: Be a native of Alabama and score a goal.

Less than four minutes in the third period of the Flyers – Penguins game three matchup, Ross grabbed an Andrew Alberts rebound and stuck it into the net, giving his team the much-needed insurance goal and 5-2 lead.  The tally was not only the first of his career, but inked him into the record books.  Ross celebrated accordingly.

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Filed under Philadelphia Phantoms, Prospects, Stanley Cup Playoffs

Flyers show depth in first win vs Pens

For rookie Claude Giroux, it was a game of firsts.

In front of a national audience in a  must-win postseason game, many youngsters may be timid.  But not Giroux. The rookie out of Gatineau scored his first playoff NHL goal and assist and even had time to get in his first fight, which he won via take down.  Giroux powered the Flyers to a 6-3 victory over the Pittsburgh Penguins and helped notch Philly’s first win in the series.  The Flyers remain down 2-1 in the best of seven and will return to the Wachovia Center, Tuesday for game four.

After the Penguins silenced the Flyers’ big guns in games one and two, they failed to continue the trend in game three.  Jeff Carter opened scoring early in the first period and a few minutes later, Mike Richards tallied on the power play to make it 2-0. The Flyers’ first multi-goal lead of the series.  Simon Gagne netted a shorthanded goal from a beautiful pass from Giroux and rookie Jared Ross scored his first-ever NHL goal for the insurance.  The Flyers had five different players score, one from each line, an both a shorty and powerplay tally.

But the win wasn’t without a scare. With less than a minute to play in the opening stanza, a failed defensive assignment by multiple Flyers led to an Evgeni Malkin goal to cut the Flyers’ lead in half.  The Pens carried the momentum into the second when Rob Scuderi scored from the point, less than a minute into the middle period.

But the Flyers battled back. Giroux regained the lead for the Flyers, burying a perfect pass from Danny Briere, for the 3-2 lead.

Flyers’ fans were absolutely ballistic in what could be the most energetic and exciting game (other than maybe the Montreal – Bruins series) so far in the post season.

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Filed under Prospects, Stanley Cup Playoffs

Sbisa in for Carcillo at forward

The Flyers have announced that rookie Luca Sbisa will replace suspended Daniel Carcillo as forward for game two of the Flyers – Penguins first-round series.  Naturally a defenseman, Sbisa has played forward on the fourth line sparingly for the Flyers during the regular season. It will be his first career NHL playoff game.

With Kimmo Timonen and Randy Jones  missing practice on Thursday due to injuries, it makes sense to have your emergency defenseman dressed.  Sbisa is strong on the forecheck and can move the puck.  However, his finishing skills are a bit off.

Sbisa was brought up to the Phantoms after his season with Lethbridge of the WHL ended.  He was then brought up from the Phantoms to the Flyers the instant Philly’s post season began because of salary cap allowences in the playoffs.

Darroll Powe will move to a line with Danny Briere and Claude Giroux.

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Filed under Prospects, Stanley Cup Playoffs

Playoff hockey?? Carcillo suspended for game two for gloved punch

In the NHL rulebook, it states that any player engaging in entertaining naughty activity in the final moments of a game can be suspended and the coach of the team be fined.  For the Flyers, it was Daniel Carcillo with the one-game layoff and coach John Stevens with the 10k fine.

In the final minutes of the final period in game one of the playoff series against the Penguins, Carcillo took a faceoff against Maxime Talbot.  Down 4-1 and frustrated, Carcillo’s right glove contacted Talbot’s head. Talbot fell to the ground like he was obliterated by the hammer of Thor.  No penalty was given, but a suspension followed.

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Filed under Injuries, Stanley Cup Playoffs

Philabright first round predicitions

Unlike my Aunt, who is a professional prognosticator for Yahoo Sports’ Puck Daddy, I received no such family ESP skill.  However, after following the 2008-09 NHL season from day one, I shall provide some predictions to how round one of the playoffs will play out.  Hopefully it goes better than my March Madness pool.

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Filed under Stanley Cup Playoffs

Isles nab first overall selection in 2009 draft

Unlike the bad luck Flyers in 2007, the New York Islanders were the worst team in the NHL and justifiably received the first overall selection in the 2009 NHL entry draft.  The lottery selection went into action  Tuesday at Scotiabank place in Ottawa.

The Islanders were followed by the Tampa Bay Lightning and the Colorado Avalanche, for number two and three.  New York is expected to take hyped up forward John Tavares, but knowing Islanders’ General Manager Garth Snow,  trading down is always an option.  One team very interested in moving up to get Tavares is Toronto, which holds the seventh pick.

“We’ll immediately attempt to move up,” said Leafs’ General Manager Brian Burke. in published reports. “We’re going to talk to everyone between us and the first pick and see what the landscape is.”

The rumor is that anyone on the Leafs’ roster besides defenseman Luke Schenn is on the table.

“No player is untradeable,” said Burke. “Wayne Gretzky got traded.”

If Toronto can’t move up to grab Tavares, it is very possible they will go after forward Brayden Schenn, the scrappy little brother of Luke.  Brayden is considered a possible top-5 pick.

But no matter how the draft plays out, one thing is for sure — the Isles will be getting better.

A entire list is as follows…

1 New York Islanders
2 Tampa Bay Lightning
3 Colorado Avalanche
4 Atlanta Thrashers
5 Los Angeles Kings
6 Phoenix Coyotes
7 Toronto Maple Leafs
8 Dallas Stars
9 Ottawa Senators
10 Edmonton Oilers
11 Nashville Predators
12 Minnesota Wild
13 Buffalo Sabres
14 Florida Panthers

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Filed under Prospects, Stanley Cup Playoffs

Flyers – Penguins preview

In the past 22 games of the season, the Flyers and Penguins were headed in different directions.  The Flyers finished the season going 11-10-1 and Pittsburgh went 16-3-3.  But when the rivals  take the ice Wednesday in Pittsburgh for the opening round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs, the contest should be oddly close.

Regular Season

Fifth seed: Philadelphia (Season series 2-2-2) – 44-27-11

Fourth seed: Pittsburgh (Season series 4-2-0) – 45-28-9

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