In a world in which money equals expectation and investment influences tough decisions, the Flyers are struggling within themselves to find the path to goaltending righteousness.
With a magnifying glass on their seemingly cursed goalie situation, do they keep trying to kick start struggling Ilya Bryzgalov by shoe-horning him into chances? Or do they give second-year goalie Sergei Bobrovsky an opportunity to steal the starting job?
Earning one-goal wins in back-to-back games this week, Bobrovsky has made that decision easier for his club. Despite kicking the beehive of controversy, he has proven to be the go-to guy.
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Late in the third period of Thursday’s 4-3 overtime win against the New York Islanders, Flyers’ defenseman Chris Pronger blocked a shot with what appeared to be his left wrist. The 36-year-old waited until the play stopped before going directly down the tunnel to the locker room. He did not return.
Update: According to general manager Paul Holmgren, x-rays on Chris Pronger’s wrist were negative. He should be OK.
Pronger has four goals and 20 assists in 46 games this season.
From Stanley Cup Finals to the waiver wire.
Flyers general manager Paul Holmgren announced on Monday that goaltender Michael Leighton has been placed on waivers, months after helping Philadelphia reach its first Stanley Cup Finals appearance since 1993.
Leighton, 29, who was signed to a fresh two-year, $3.1 million deal in the offseason, began the 2010-11 season on injured reserve with a severe back injury (bulging disc). That, along with the introduction of prospect Sergei Bobrovsky, left the 10-year journeyman as the odd-man out. The move will free up a much-needed $1.55 on the salary cap.
The Flyers kept the preseason momentum moving on Wednesday, as they easily dispatched the limited New York Islanders, 3-1, at the Wells Fargo Center to earn their first regulation exhibition victory.
The win improves Philadelphia’s preseason record to 4-1-2.
Jeff Carter scored twice in the first period and rookie Sergei Bobrovsky dazzled, playing all three periods and making 32 saves on 33 shots. Forwards Ville Leino and Blair Betts both saw their first action of the preseason since recovering from offseason surgery.
The Flyers continue the road to the regular season on Friday, when they host the Buffalo Sabres at 7 PM. The game can be seen on CSN.
Despite a report by Sports.life.ru, which stated that the Flyers had made an offer to free agent winger Ilya Kovalchuk, the simple truth is they didn’t. At least not according to Kovalchuk’s European agent Yury Nikolaev.
“I never said this,” Nikolaev said, denying that he ever mentioned any NHL team.
The initial report, printed on Friday, said that Kovalchuk was in discussions with Philadelphia, Colorado and Los Angeles. However, as it turns out, only one of those teams, the Kings, were actually in the running. And they aren’t anymore.
The report was deemed curious to begin with, as the Flyers have extremely limited salary cap space and Kovalchuk was rumored to be after a max contract.