Posts for Flyers Category

A New Danny Briere Emerging on the Flyers While the Original is Coming into his Own in a New Career

Anthony SanFilippo - February 22, 2018

All eyes will be on Travis Konecny tonight when the Flyers take on the Columbus Blue Jackets.

After taking a shot off his foot that limited him for some of the game against Montreal Tuesday, and completely missing practice Wednesday, fans will hold their collective breath to see if:

  1. Konecny actually plays tonight (he is probable).
  2. There are any noticeable effects of the injury.
  3. He doesn’t hurt himself more.

After all, Konecny is the poster boy for the Flyers sustained success the past two months. As he’s blossomed as a scorer, so too has the team figured out how to have the best record in the sport for the past 25 games.

And although the Flyers have been relatively healthy this year, losing both goalies and Wayne Simmonds to injury within a week is starting to have some people worry that this current nine-game point streak and rocket trip up the standings can come crashing down quickly, especially if another important player – like Konecny – were to miss significant time.

I talked to one long-time NHL scout at a game a few weeks back and asked him about Konecny. He had nothing but high praise for the Flyers forward – and this was before he started to break out.

“Give him the opportunity to play with better players and play consistently and the Flyers will have a faster version of Danny Briere,” the scout said.

Heck, the Flyers would be happy if he simply was as productive as Briere, never mind being faster, and potentially better.

But that is high praise – comparing him to one of the most beloved Flyers of the past 30 years.

Can anyone argue that Briere isn’t on the top 10 list of fan-favorite Flyers of those three decades?

Briere was so well-liked because not only did he produce for the fans, he gave them everything he had both on the ice and off it. He was as open, honest and forthright about everything as he was a pesky chigger around the net for the opposition.

And now, Briere is starting to make his way in the business side of hockey, while also still doing anything he can to connect with his fans – starting with French-Canadian youth and eventually reaching the fans in Philadelphia as well.

If things go according to plan, it seems like Briere is going to be a part of the Flyers family for a long time to come – and maybe even one day have some involvement at the NHL level.

But that’s still a ways off.

I talked to Briere recently about his new role running an ECHL franchise for Comcast-Spectacor, how it came about, what his future holds, and about his autobiography. I bet you didn’t know he wrote a book.

So, here’s my story on Briere (this is also running on another local website called Flying Fish Hockey, where I wrote it as a guest column).

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Crossing Broadcasts – Everything You Might Have Missed

Kevin Kinkead - February 21, 2018

It’s been a somewhat hectic week as Kyle tries to get shirt orders in the mail and Russ assumes lead podcast duties.

We did three of ’em in the past few days, but didn’t get them up on the website until… right now.

Enjoy:

 

February 21st – ACLs, Bucher the Butcher, Flyers Win (Russ)

February 20th – All-Stars, Tongue-Twisters, Flyin’ & Fightin’ (Russ/Kevin/Bwanks/Anthony)

February 16th – Crossovers and He’s Only 19 (Russ/Kevin)

(all of the links on iTunes and the other platforms should be working as intended)

Wayne Simmonds Ruled Out 2-3 Weeks

Kevin Kinkead - February 20, 2018

Anthony wrote about the Flyers this morning and alluded to a forthcoming injury for a top-six forward.

Sure enough, Wayne Simmonds is now ruled out 2-3 weeks with an upper body injury, while goaltender Michal Neuvirth will miss 4-6 weeks with a lower body.

Brian Elliott is already about 5-6 weeks after underdoing core muscle surgery. Ron Hextall went out and traded for Red Wings’ goaltender Petr Mrazek last night to plug the gap in net.

Oskar Lindblom was called up to replace Simmonds for the time being. “Simmer” has 20 goals and 17 assists this season.

 

Flyers Trade for Mrazek, Recall Lindblom, but are Suddenly Being Bit by the Injury Bug

Anthony SanFilippo - February 20, 2018

So Ron Hextall bit the bullet and made the trade with Detroit anyway.

He really had no choice.

The Flyers acquired Red Wings goalie Petr Mrazek for two conditional draft picks (which I’ll break down in a minute).

In essence, what they did late last night (Hextall’s conference call with reporters was at 11 p.m. – right in the middle of me recording my segment for today’s Crossing Broadcast, which, if you listen, makes me sound pretty prescient! Haha!), was trade for a healthier version of Michal Neuvirth.

Mrazek is only 26 and at one time was considered the Red Wings’ goalie of the future. And although he had chances to take that job and run with it, he never did. He was wildly inconsistent – at times looking like a world beater – an impenetrable force – and other times looking like Swiss cheese.

The Czech goalie is one who relies on emotion and competitiveness, so when things are going well, so is he. And when they’re not – well… neither is he.

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Are the Flyers the Next Philly Team to Make an Unexpected Run? Thoughts After Another Successful Weekend

Anthony SanFilippo - February 19, 2018

Sometimes there are warning signs in sports.

They aren’t always negative either. Take Jake Elliott’s 61-yard field goal. At the time, we were all talking about how lucky the Eagles were to win a game and that their coach was a buffoon.

But we should have taken it instead as a warning sign to the stars aligning for the Eagles in what will go down as the greatest season in Philadelphia sports history.

The Flyers have a little bit of that same charm going their way recently. Some of it is from good play. Some of it is pure luck. But good teams make their own luck.

So, Andrew MacDonald, Brandon Manning, and Jori Lehtera scoring goals in the same game was predicted by no one ever, yet it happened yesterday – in a game where the Flyers lost another goalie to injury and had to rely on an AHL-level backup to come in and play two great periods to earn his first NHL win.

And here are the Flyers, with points in eight straight games, just four points out of first place in the Metropolitan Division with two games in hand.

Charmed, I tell ya. Charmed.

Now, with the way the Pittsburgh Penguins are playing lately, I don’t think there’s any way the Flyers will catch them, but I’m the same guy who as recently as a couple weeks ago was arguing that the Flyers couldn’t sustain the way they were playing through the previous two months over the course of another nine weeks.

So far, they’ve proved me wrong, so what do I know.

And it’s curious how they’ve done it.

They’ve managed to somehow become the only team in the NHL with 10 guys with at least 10 goals. So much for this team not having depth, right? Remember when we were talking about how many games the Flyers had gone without getting a goal from a forward not named Claude Giroux, Sean Couturier or Jake Voracek?

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Trouble in Goal for the Flyers… again. Brian Elliott Has Surgery, Out 5-6 weeks.

Anthony SanFilippo - February 13, 2018

The Flyers’ spirited playoff push just hit the first hurdle, and it was an unexpected one.

The team announced Tuesday afternoon that starting goaltender Brian Elliott suffered a core muscle injury Saturday in Arizona that required surgery earlier this morning and will keep him out for 5 to 6 weeks.

GM Ron Hextall admitted that this was related to the injury that kept Elliott out of the lineup for a few games in January, saying that the club knew it would have to be corrected eventually. The hope was that Elliott would be able to tough it out until the end of the season.

Bad plan.

“It’s certainly not what you want with a player who has been important for us to this point,” Hextall said. “But what it does is give someone else an opportunity. We believe in Michal Neuvirth. He’s shown at times he can be very good in goal.”

The key words in Hextall’s response are “at times.”

Because the Flyers know he’s as inconsistent as runny eggs. Not to mention, he has a history of mysterious injuries and illnesses that crop up at the most inopportune times.

Elliott has been one of the Flyers best players this season, but especially the past two months, going 15-5-1 in his last 21 games with a 2.51 GAA and a .912 save percentage.

The Flyers will now have to run the February and March gauntlet with Neuvirth and… someone else.

Hextall said he hopes to Have Elliott back playing in the NHL in late March.

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Orange & Black & Gold

JoyOnBroad - February 12, 2018

The moment Las Vegas was granted an NHL expansion team, some fans were happy to have another excuse to gamble away their life’s savings. Most fans were just excited to travel to Las Vegas to establish home-ice advantage. That’s exactly what happened on Sunday night, when the Orange & Black staged an invasion akin to that of DX’s on WCW Monday Nitro.

It all started well. In fact, Vegas’ mascot – who inexplicably isn’t a Golden Knight – prepped the poles outside of T-Mobile Arena:

The folks over at Broad Street Hockey, in conjunction with Phans of Philly, threw a pregame party, at which point you got the feeling that there would be a sizable number of Flyers fans in attendance.

Is everyone sure this wasn’t a home game?

“Maybe it was just that section of the arena!” – Some Golden Knights fan

Doubtful. Do I hear some spelling? I think I do!

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Jackpot! Thoughts on the Flyers Finishing a Perfect Philadelphia Sports Week by Beating the Knights 4-1

Anthony SanFilippo - February 12, 2018

The Eagles mojo must be rubbing off on the rest of the city’s sports teams.

If you count the Super Bowl, in one week, Philadelphia teams went 8-0.

We all know how great the Super Bowl was, but the Sixers have manhandled opponents and the Flyers are beating the teams they should beat – and even the ones they weren’t expected to beat – and suddenly have created separation between themselves and the teams behind them.

Oh, and believe it or not, they’re now challenging for the Division.

This is an alternate universe. Or, as Doug Pederson said, this is the “new normal.”

There is a playwright named David Ives who writes mostly comedies. He once wrote a play called “The Philadelphia.” In this play, anyone who was experiencing a “Philadelphia” was experiencing the opposite of what they usually experience. It made for some great farcical moments on stage, even if it was a subtle jab at our fair city and surrounding suburbs.

But, if the Philadelphia sports teams are experiencing a “Philadelphia” right now, then it’s a good bet most fans don’t want it to stop.

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