Tag: flyers (page 1 of 244)

The Vinny Lecavalier Thing Is Not Going so Well

Chris Gratton Vinny Lecavalier, the $22.5 million man,  was scratched for the seventh-straight game last night. He apparently had or has a probably completely bogus tweaked lower-body injury, which leads me to ask: Your pride is located in your leg?! Anyway, he didn’t play again last night, and reader Michael checked in to describe his encounter with the EMBATTLED* forward after (during?) the game:

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I’m not sure there’s a rule about leaving early, and my guess would be that scratched players typically escape pretty quickly, but this seems to be yet another anecdotal bit about Vinny’s disenfranchisement with how things are going.

Lecavalier explained on Monday how he was just ready to go, according to Randy Miller, who has perfected the art of writing glowingly about embattled players (presumably before stabbing them in the back when they leave):

Missing this one probably will hurt a little more because the Flyers are playing Tampa Bay, Lecavalier’s club for his first 14 NHL seasons, from 1998-99 through 2012-13.

Asked how he’s handing things, Lecavalier responded, “It’s not just because it’s Tampa. I just want to play. I said pretty much everything last week. There’s nothing to say. Practice hard and be ready mentally if I get a chance to play.”

If only.

*Mainstream word Scrabble bonus for me!

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Fun With Searches

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My guess is it features a little bit of crying and a lot a bit of bitching. Or is a little bit of bitching and a lot a bit of crying? Whatevs. Mumps.

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The Flyers Are out There Just Trying Not to Get the Mumps

Photo Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

Photo Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

There’s a bit of a mumps outbreak going on in the NHL right now. As Canada’s SportsNet points out:

It started in Anaheim and plagued the Ducks, who had three players affected. The Minnesota Wild was next, with five victims. Tanner Glass of the New York Rangers then came down with it, and as recently as Wednesday, the New Jersey Devils had two players turn up sick.

The Flyers beat those Devils last night, so they were — at the very least — mumps-adjacent. Ron Hextall told Mike DeNardo that he’s offered his players the mumps vaccine, and “we’ve got it covered as much as we can. Clean buildings and wash your hands and vaccines and everything else you can do.”

How is this all being spread? Well, people just can’t stop spitting at one another. Dr. Judith Aberg, chief of the infectious diseases division at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai Hospital, told SportsNet “You see the hits that they have, and sometimes the spraying of saliva … I am surprised we haven’t actually seen this before.”

But is it even a big deal? Let’s look at the symptoms of the saliva-spread virus:

Swollen, painful salivary glands on one or both sides of your face (parotitis)
Fever
Headache
Weakness and fatigue
Loss of appetite
Pain while chewing or swallowing

Actually, you know what? Let’s go back and add one of the complications in there:

Orchitis: causes one or both testicles to swell in males who’ve reached puberty. Orchitis is painful, but it rarely leads to sterility — the inability to father a child

Pretty sure Chip Kelly has had the mumps for years now. But get that vaccine, guys

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The Flyers Are Still a Parody of Themselves

Photo credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

Photo credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

Earlier this year, both Craig Berube and Ron Hextall talked about the need for the Flyers to evolve from the social experiment they’ve long been to a team that relies, at least in part, on data and modern thinking to progress into this century. Berube, for his part, helped steer the OB out of a really bad start and into one of the best finishes in hockey last season. For once, it seemed like maybe, maybe things were changing.

But nah.

Hextall hasn’t had enough time to do anything truly impactful on the roster, so it’s hard to judge him at this point. But we’re now more than a full year into Berube’s tenure as coach, and cliché-filled quotes like these make it feel like this is still the same old Flyers. From CSN Philly:

“Yeah, at times,” Berube said of his players’ pressing. “But I think it’s a hard game. That was a hard game against Anaheim. They are a big, strong team.

“They have a strong work ethic. Our guys battled hard and did a lot of good things. A lot of times when you press too much, you get burnt the other way.

“The sooner we get out of this, I’d rather them just enjoy the game and play. More than anything, that is the biggest thing. Enjoy the game and play. They’re good players. They know the system, play it and trust it.”

“No, they’re not trying to be Superman,” Berube replied. “They all want to win. They all want to do it. They really do. That’s a good thing. We have good character on this team. I said that last year and it hasn’t changed this year. It’s a good-character hockey team.”

Coaches don’t give the media much, so it’s possible that this is just Berube saying the bare minimum here. But it’s all a refrain we’ve heard before. Battle, system, character are the sort of buzzwords that should make you cringe. They’re the words that SNL would use in a skit about Flyers hockey. Instructing players to enjoy the game is not the instruction needed to get of a six-game (really?!) losing streak. At a certain point you have to acknowledge that there’s a skill deficiency and an organizational problem.

I know I’m not saying anything new here, but I was really beginning to like Berube by the end of last season. Now, though, he sounds like Keith Primeau’s version of Bill Barber– work harder, make adjustments. It sounds like he doesn’t have answers, which, in turn, sounds like a coach who’s on the verge of becoming a special assistant to the GM.

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2014-2015 Will Likely Be the Most Loserish Season in the History of the Wells Fargo Center

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On the heels of Jim’s latest post about the Sixers’ hilarity and the fact that the Flyers will likely scratch Vinny Lecavalier and nympho Michael Del Zotto tonight, I got to thinking: Is this going to be the worst season in the history of the Wells Fargo Center?

Probably.

If we throw out the season-long hockey lockout – BUT KEEP THE LOCKOUT-SHORTENED 2012 (basketball) AND 2013 (hockey) SEASONS – 2014-2015 will almost undoubtedly be the worst season in the history of the Wells Fargo Center.

Generously giving the Sixers 10 wins for the season means the Flyers would have to finish with at least 47 wins for the teams to combine to reach the measly 57-win plateau established during the 2006-2007 season and the (hockey) lockout-shortened 2012-2013 season.

But here’s where it gets fun: 2014-2015 has a realistic chance of having less wins than the hockeyless 2004-2005 campaign. That’s right, this season the Flyers and Sixers could combine for less wins than the 2004-2005 Sixers alone.

As you can see from the chart, the Flyers, during relatively down seasons, still average over 40 wins.* That’s admirable. But that’ll be tough to reach this year. For comparison, even with the terrible start last year they managed 12 wins by December 2 (8 this year), and still needed one of the best second halves in hockey to get to 42 wins. If they keep up their current pace, we’re looking at the mid-30s this season, which means the Sixers would need to win ~8 games to beat out the hockeyless 2004-2005 season or ~20 wins (haha) to avoid the most loserish two-sport season in the history of the Wells Fargo Center. Doh.

*I love how they blew up the team after their high-win total of 47 in 2011. To be fair, however, they matched that output the following season.

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Paul Holmgren Will Be Honored for His Contributions to Hockey in the United States Just Two Days after Vinny Lecavalier Becomes a Healthy Scratch

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Paul Holmgren, whose birthday is today, will be honored with the Lester Patrick Award during the United States Hockey Hall of Fame induction ceremony on Thursday. You can read all about it in this state media piece, which speaks glowingly of Holmgren.

The award is given for “contributions to hockey in the United States,” which is just perfect, because Holmgren’s last major contribution was signing Vinny Lecavalier, a healthy scratch for the first time in his career tonight, to a five-year, $22.5 million contract with a full no-movement clause. And if we want to go back further: trading away two-time Stanley Cup champions Mike Richards and Jeff Carter and 2013 Vezina winner Sergei Bobrovsky, paying Ilya Bryzgalov to go away, and leaving the Flyers saddled with a mess of bad contracts and mismatching parts that may hamper them for half a decade. Thank you, Paul, for your contributions to hockey.

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Vinny Lecavalier and His $6 Million Salary Will Be a Healthy Scratch Tonight

Vinny-Lecavalier-three-posts

Paul Holmgren’s gift that keeps on giving. From Frank Seravalli:

The fact that Lecavalier would be a healthy scratch for the first time in his illustrious career really hit him yesterday, though, when he saw his name penciled next to injured player Ryan White on the fifth line for practice at SAP Center.

“It’s very hard to take,” Lecavalier said. “It was a tough night, when you’re told something like that. I talked to [coach Craig Berube]. We had a conversation, but I’m out of the lineup. It’s as simple as that.”

After this season, Lecavalier still has three years and $10.5 million remaining on his contract, with a $4.5 million cap hit and a full no-movement clause. The Flyers have their very own Matt Geiger!

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Ed Snider is Amazed at How Poorly the Flyers are Playing

Ed Snider, who has never been one to shy away from speaking his mind, seems pretty amazed at how terribly the Flyers are playing right now. Snider told Sam Carchidi over the phone:

“Never seen anything like it in all the years I’ve been in hockey. Even when we were an expansion team somebody chipped in here and there … It’s not going to be an easy fix if we can’t get more production out of our players. You can’t be a one-line team and win in this league.”

And it’s not even that the Flyers have, as Carchidi points out, have “gotten just two goals – two – from forwards who were not on their first line.” It’s that Snider just doesn’t get it. “It’s a similar team as last year, and it’s very hard for me to understand what’s going on,” Snider said. “It’s the coach’s job to fix it, and the GM’s job to do whatever he can to help the coach.” And again, Snider cannot stress enough how much this confuses him.

He knows that Voracek and Giroux are playing their part, but really, when is everyone else going to show up? “What’s going on with everybody else,” Snider continued, presumably sounding more and more befuddled. “What’s going on with [Sean] Couturier, [Matt] Read, Simmonds, and the other guys? They should be chipping in with some goals. It’s weird … Even [Vinny] Lecavalier got 20 goals last year. What happened?”

But on the bright side, Snider knows this can’t stay this way. He knows that players can’t just not score all year. It’s gonna pick up. And if it doesn’t? “That would be the most shocking thing I’ve ever seen.” So Snider is either going to be happy or very, very confused. Either way, we’ll hear about it.

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