What’s one more injury for the Flyers?
Through 28 games, the Flyers have built their Atlantic Division-leading success on the back of their depth. Role players, rookies and everyone in between has been asked to grab a bigger role, play above themselves, and by brushing off the rush of constant adversity, have been able to thrive in doing so with a surprising 18-7-3 record.
On Tuesday night, as they visit the Verizon Center to take on the Washington Capitals, the remaining healthy Flyers need to reach down one more time and come away with their best character performance yet — one without leading scorer, catalyst and top-line center Claude Giroux, who is considered questionable with a potential head injury.
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Although it was a Tuesday to forget for the Flyers, who fell to the Tampa Bay Lightning, there was something that should make the Philly faithful smile.
At some point during the Washington Capitals – Montreal Canadiens game, Capitals’ captain Alex Ovechkin hip checks Canadiens’ rookie PK Subban in the open ice. Subban flies up in the air and almost lands directly on his head. The rookie then went after Ovechkin, only to receive a penalty.
Earlier in the season, Flyers’ captain Mike Richards prognosticated that Subban would eventually receive his on-ice punishment for running his mouth in excess as a rookie.
Stick tap to @MLSE and @crashthecrease
With the 2011 Winter Classic at Heinz Field between the Washington Capitals and Pittsburgh Penguins less than a day away, hockey fans everywhere prepare themselves to hear the consistent over-fluffing of stars Sidney Crosby and Alex Ovechkin, mixed with the forced discussion of what a fierce, and mostly contrived, rivalry the two teams possess with one another.
But as the Pittsburgh Post Gazette found out, despite what the media and league try to strong-arm into the New Year’s Day game, the Penguins’ players know that their animosity with the Capitals takes a backseat to one a little more personal.
“I think Philly will always be No. 1,” said Pittsburgh defenseman Brooks Orpik. “But just from the time I’ve been here, I would say probably Washington and Detroit (are next in line).”
Last year it was the Stanley Cup, this time — fourth.
One year after predicting that Philadelphia would hoist the Cup, which despite early laughs was strangely on the mark, The Hockey News’ prediction for the 2010-11 season has the Flyers landing fourth in the Eastern Conference.
According to the THN print edition (the online edition is releasing one ranking per day), standing in the way of the Orange and Black is Boston (3rd), Pittsburgh (2nd) and Washington (1st). The rankings would have the Penguins beating the Flyers out for the Atlantic Division title and would set the Flyers up with a first-round playoff rematch against the New Jersey Devils (5th).
The rankings also have the New York Islanders and New York Rangers both missing the playoffs and hanging in lottery draft pick territory.
In the Western Conference, the Vancouver Canucks were selected by THN to win the Cup, followed by San Jose (2nd), Detroit (3rd), Chicago (4th) and Los Angeles (5th).
In a find by Washington Capitals blog Rock the Red, a snapshot has surfaced of the Prince of Wales Trophy which was supposedly taken during a two-day Chicago Blackhawks fan convention in late July.
The problem? The trophy is awarded to the Eastern Conference Champions. And that isn’t the Capitals.
Is it a Photoshop or simply a big mistake?
Also thanks to @sbaicker for the find.
UPDATE: According to Sarah Baicker, a Hockey Hall of Fame spokesman said…
“Like the Stanley Cup, the Prince of Wales Trophy hasn’t been engraved yet. I can guarantee you those photos are doctored.”
According to a study by ESPN.com, the Wachovia Center had 15% of its vendors in “critical violation” of the health code in 2009.
“Inspectors found evidence of mouse and fruit fly infestations at one bar location.”
As revolting as that sounds, the home of the Flyers and Philadelphia 76ers ranks as the most compliant professional venue in the state of Pennsylvania and is in the upper echelon of all the arenas graded.
It’s going to be Winter Classic times two in 2011.
According to a report by TSN, the NHL is expected to announce two Winter Classic games in 2011 starting with the Pittsburgh Penguins against the Washington Capitals at Heinz Field on New Year’s Day and the Calgary Flames versus the Montreal Canadiens in a place to be determined and a time to be determined in February. The official announcement is expected to come on Friday.