Posts for islanders

“…what the Hell is Going on” – A Take After Islanders 6, Flyers 1

Anthony SanFilippo - October 28, 2018

Four games.

That’s all the Flyers have at this moment to get their team, locker room, and hockey-playing style fixed.

Things are pretty stressful in the Flyers organization right now. They were before the game Saturday and it’s no different now that they got their doors blown off on home ice by the New York Islanders by a score of 6-1.

This is the same New York Islanders team whose leading goal scorer coming into the game against the Flyers was Val Filppula.

Yeah, that’s how bad it’s gotten for the Flyers.

Ron Hextall doesn’t usually have very many visitors to his general manager’s box.

On Monday night it was former GM Bob Clarke, who made a visit. He watched the game with Hextall, and then had a serious chat with him afterwards, before saying goodbye and telling Hextall he’d see him in a couple weeks.

Then today, before the games against the Isles, Hextall was visited by Dave Scott, CEO of Comcast Spectacor, the parent company of the Flyers.

He’s been pretty quiet for a long time, giving Hextall a lot of latitude in running the hockey organization.

But by dropping into the GM’s box, and being certain to be seen by the media, it could be a hint that the slack he’s been cutting is suddenly going to shorten up.

Maybe it’s the slow drip of dwindling patrons that bothers Scott. Although most Flyers tickets are sold, there are an inordinate number of empty seats on game days. That means either people have tickets and are opting not to use them, or they were purchased by brokers and the inventory can’t be moved.

Either way, it’s an indication that the public is starting to become a bit apathetic about the hockey team.

And why not? They are 4-7-0. They have have yet to win consecutive games this season. A lot of the same problems that have plagued them in the previous three seasons of the Hextall/Dave Hakstol tenure continue to rear their ugly heads.

But perhaps most damning is the fact that they are not good in their own building. They have been outscored 26-15 in six games so far at Wells Fargo Center and are 2-4-0 at home. And they tried to give away one of their two wins, but were able to pull out a shootout win over Florida after coughing up a three-goal lead.

Not even Gritty can provide enough equity for the organization to quell the mix of apathy and anger that exists within the Flyers fan base.

The “Fire Hakstol” chants at the Wells Fargo Center are now as frequent as the E-A-G-L-E-S ones emanating from the mezzanine level.

Fans, who used to bring signs to the game to put on the glass for warmups telling the players how much they love them have resorted to this:

Scott had to take notice. Had to.

Something has to be done. Has to.

Because if this goes on much further without course correcting, this season will be over before Midterm Election results come in.

“I don’t think anybody is happy,” said Ivan Provorov, who actually looked like his old self against the Islanders, which is one of only a couple small positives to take from this game. “We have to play better and we have to figure out soon what the hell is going on.”

What the hell is going on is a team is playing hockey without much confidence in themselves individually, in each other and in the structure of their system.

Every player is basically admitting it at this point.

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Could Have Used That One: Thoughts on a 5-4 Loss and a Missed Opportunity

Anthony SanFilippo - April 4, 2018

Maybe it’s something about Tuesdays.

In a strange quirk, the Flyers have dropped 11 of 16 games played on Tuesday nights this year, and really haven’t looked good in any of the last five (1-1-3).

This includes last night’s disappointing loss to the defense-averse New York Islanders.

That marks three straight Tuesday losses to teams in free fall. Detroit had lost 10 straight. Dallas had lost eight in a row. And the Islanders had dropped 16 of their previous 19 games.

OK, so the Tuesday thing is just a goofy coincidence.

Playing down to the competition though? That’s an ongoing issue.

The Flyers had a chance to put a stranglehold on a playoff spot last night, and although they’re still in good shape to get into the postseason, they’ve left themselves in the undesirable position of still playing for that spot in the final two games of the season, as well as falling to the second and final wild card spot. If that’s where they stay, they’ll face a much tougher opponent in Boston or Tampa than they would if they were the top wild card team and drew Washington.

Before we look at a few things from last night, and just to keep you up to date….

The Flyers magic number remains three points – either earned by them or lost by Florida.

The Flyers have two games remaining, both at home – Thursday against Carolina and Saturday against the New York Rangers.

Go at least 1-0-1, and they’re in the playoffs.

However, if there’s a regulation loss in the final two games, then they’ll need help.

Florida has three games remaining – Thursday at home against Boston, Saturday at home against Buffalo, and a makeup game in Boston Sunday night.

So, Thursday is the key.

The Bruins are in a dogfight with Tampa for the top spot in the Atlantic Division (and home ice throughout the Eastern Conference playoffs) and still have an outside chance at the President’s Trophy, which would also come with home ice in the Finals, if they make it that far.

So, Boston has something to play for Thursday.

However, if Florida somehow wins that game, and they played a great game last night to beat the best team in hockey – Nashville – to keep their playoff hopes alive, then its possible that the game Sunday in Boston has no meaning to the Bruins, and they could decide to rest some key players, which wouldn’t help the Flyers if it came down to that game.

I fully expect Florida to trounce Buffalo Saturday if the game has meaning for the Panthers, so really the Flyers have put themselves in a position to have to make this happen themselves.

I think they will, but not if they play anything like they did during the first 40 minutes last night.

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Time for a Change: What Needs to Happen Now After Islanders 5, Flyers 4

Anthony SanFilippo - November 25, 2017

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Someone has to say it.

It’s gotten to the point of ridiculousness to be honest, and now someone needs to just come out in public and put the words on the table and flip the sand timer over.

The Flyers need a change.

And I’m not just talking about a nominal change like calling up the speedy Danick Martel to add a little juice to the offense, I mean something big. Something impactful. Something that would grab headlines.

It could be a big trade, but with the roster already one of the youngest in the NHL, that wouldn’t make much sense.

So, maybe the organization needs to look elsewhere. Maybe it needs to look at the coach.

And I know I’m not the only one who thinks this way.

Even the players are starting to subtly suggest that they are in a stagnant pattern of systemic hell that is stunting growth of such a young team rather than fostering it.

Brian Elliott has been around the sport for a long time, so when he, as one of the team’s elder statesmen says something that can be interpreted as a warning shot across the coach’s bow, then maybe someone higher up needs to take notice.

So here, Ron Hextall, I will serve up his comment for you on a platter to do with it as you will:

“It’s the definition of insanity when you keep doing the same thing over and over again. We’ve got to change some things and we’ve got to talk about it, because these are big points and they can come back and hurt us.”

Now, he said that in response to a question about poor play in overtime – which bit the Flyers in the back side again yesterday for their seventh straight loss, but Elliott’s feelings – which are shared by others in the room by the way – aren’t just specific to overtime.

You don’t lose seven straight games because of one repeated problem in overtime. The problem runs far deeper than that.

Although there is the coach trying to put a happy spin on the same recurring problems after every loss.

“I think it’s seven out of our last 10 that we’ve gotten at least a point,” Dave Hakstol said. “Five of those are OT or shootout losses. So again today it was a close hockey game all the way through.”

Did this guy seriously just try to spin a seven game losing streak into the positive of garnering points in seven of the last 10 games?

I jokingly said this BEFORE THE FLYERS EVEN LOST YESTERDAY:

And then he did. I couldn’t believe it.

And why, even though it’s factually correct, can you not go to this well coach? I’ll give you a list after the jump:

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Video: Islanders Announcer Rips… the Phillie Phanatic

Kyle Scott - February 19, 2013

Yesterday was mascot day in Long Island. And while I’m not sure that’s different from any other day in a place where the hockey team, its goalie, two million-year-old building and cartoonish jerseys are a caricature of a professional sports franchise… on this day, the Islanders invited fuzzy figures from local sports teams to attend watch the Islanders get pummeled by the Flyers.

Mr. Met was there, and he was “roundly booed” by Flyers fans when he was introduced. But when he was shown on the local broadcast, the reaction was much more kind. Isles (and Mets) announcer Howie Rose used the opportunity to take a vicious swing at one Mr. Phillie Phanatic. Broad Street Hockey captured the video:

To quote: "As America’s favorite mascot, voted in a national poll. He beat that overrated washed up hack of a Phillie Phanatic."

Whoa. Not cool, dude.

Joe Lucia of Awful Announcing points out that Rose was likely citing this Forbes poll, from last year. 

I like Mr. Met. Think he’s the only thing the Mets have going for them, and he looks exactly goofy enough without being ridiculous. So I won’t sit here and tell you how awful he is. But he’s not better than the Phanatic. And calling our Galapagosian friend a “washed up hack” sounds like Fightin’ words to me.

Skates Bites: Was That… A Complete Effort?

Kyle Scott - March 2, 2012

Screen Shot 2012-03-02 at 9.01.49 AM

Photo: PhiladelphiaFlyers.com

Goals! A win! Tending of net! JVR’s bro…. OK, well three out of four ain’t bad. 

To be honest, I saw very little of last night’s game. I was invited to a party (not a pants party… also, not in my basement). The folks over at Xfinity Live! (exclamation pointzzz) were hosting a “champagne and hard hat tour” of the entertainment complex which will open later this month.

One generally thinks “fancy” whenever you throw the word champagne into a party’s name. So, to me, your friendly neighborhood blogger, that meant strategically ripped jeans and a white v-neck under a button-down shirt… or, as I like to call that particularly douchey ensemble– Jeff Carter.

I was underdressed.

I wasn’t more than 10 step in on the newly paved cement before I noticed all the black cocktail dresses (+1) and Euro suits. This wasn’t quite the crowd that me and my torn jeans were expecting. Luckily, I ran into The Mighty EROCK (@TheMightyEROCK), who is perhaps the city’s number one Eagles fan and the gameday entertainment czar (unofficial title) of Xfinity Live!, and 97.5’s Tim McManus and his friend, both of whom were also wearing jeans. I think I’ll hang here.

XL is coming along nicely. The 32-foot HD screen is installed (picture here) and some of the fixtures are in-place. Last night’s fancy-pants crowd was strategically selected: You see, for XL to work, the place can’t be filled with meat and jarheads singing the Eagles fight song 24/7. With the high-end steak joint and bottle-service areas (yep), the place is going to have to attract a slightly, um, more refined crowd, too… which explains last night’s event.

Anyway, they were handing out free passes to the Cadillac Grille so attendees could take a quite convenient shuttle bus over to The Well for the second half of the Flyers game. McManus, his buddy and I bounced to the friendlier confines and got drunk while watching the Flyers beat up on the Islanders, 6-3.

How’s that for burying the lede?

Claude Giroux had three assists. Some factuals courtesy of the Flyers’ city-leading PR department:

Claude Giroux recorded three assists tonight, giving him 52 on the season.  That breaks his career high of 51 set last year.  He is the first Flyer to record 50 or more assists in two consecutive seasons since Mark Recchi did it in 1999-2000 (63) and 2000-01 (50).  

Per the Elias Sports Bureau, Giroux is just the fourth Flyer to record 50 or more assists in two consecutive seasons:

Bob Clarke – eight consecutive seasons (1972-73 to 1979-80)

Brian Propp – three consecutive seasons (1983-84 to 1985-86)

Mark Recchi – two consecutive seasons, twice (1992-93 &1993-94; 1999-00 & 2000-01)

Claude Giroux – 2010-11 & 2011-12

 

Not bad company, Claude. Not bad at all.

Peter Laviolette once again had to burn a timeout because of an early goal. Jaromir Jagr and Scott Hartnell had decidedly different takes on the message.

Jagr: 

Q: How angry was Lavy there, after that first goal when he called the time-out? Nine games in a row you guys have given up the first goal.

“He wasn’t mad, he was positive.”

[laughter]

Q: Really?

“He said ‘please guys let’s play well’”

[laughter]

“It was a good speech. He tried to be positive, he said please guys, let’s play our way”

 

Hartnell:

Q: On Laviolette’s first-period timeout

"Yeah I think he probably leads the league as a coach in the NHL with time outs in the first 3 minutes of a game. Our starts have been absolutely horrible. It seems like we're giving too much early. It takes us 10 minutes to get into the game. His point was pretty clear.  If you're not playing you're not going to play. You don't want to get sat first period 5 minutes into the game because you won't get back out there. The message was clear. The message was received and he maybe has got to say that in the pregame meeting before the game."

 

Maybe.

JVR broke his foot. That’s bad. But, he’s been nearly invisible for most of the season and has been struggling with some sort of a hipish ailment… so, perhaps, the rest will do him some good come playoff time. 

Finally, part 2 of Scott Hartnell’s BlackBerry promotional video jammy jam was released the other day. Here’s video of Hartsy filming his teammates before the Winter Classic. The best part is clearly when Jody Shelley introduces Bryz as “the backup goalie.” Video after the jump. Full Flyers game notes and highlights over on the deuce.

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Morning Puck: Islanders Poop on Flyers

Kyle Scott - January 20, 2012

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I'm convinced that girl in the background is Liz Lemon… or just eye-fucking Claude Giroux as her boy toy get his text on

Ew. Check your shoes– it smells like someone stepped in dog shit. 

I wish there was a way that words could accurately diagram the Flyers' play in the first period. There’s not, because there isn't word that evokes an image of the Cheshire Cat aimlessly and lethargically running into an oncoming truck and watching carelessly as said truck barrels away carrying with it a piece of the pussy's soul.

On second thought, that probably paints a pretty good picture.

I liked our friend Ryan Bright's take too:

Screen Shot 2012-01-20 at 9.59.46 AM

I tweeted after the first period that the Flyers unofficial turnover count was 602. I was joking, but I may have only been off by a dozen or so. The Flyers never had it, and despite a brief third period surge, lost to the Islanders, 4-1. It’s the first time the Flyers have lost at home to the Islanders since 2007, or, since Mike Richards was the next Bobby Clarke.

Matt Read’s goal gave him 14 on the season and puts him in the league lead among rookies. 

Some things to discuss:

Claude Giroux got into his third career fight. It was a pleasant mix of passion and frustration, which I’m guessing excited our friend Brandi

Giroux_glass

We now know why Jaromir Jagr was such a sought after guest on Dry Island: he, like the $51 million goalie, doesn’t drink. Here’s an excerpt from an Q & A with Jags in the Courier Post:

You do keep yourself in good shape for a guy who’s turning 40 next month.
“I never drink. I think that’s helped. I never drink alcohol.”

You never drank at all?
“No. My family never had alcohol in the house. My dad never. My mom never. If you don’t see if in the house … I never drank. I always had fun and never had to drink. I think people drink to have fun. I have fun when I don’t drink.”

You’re turning 40 on Feb. 15. When did you think playing in the NHL at 40 would be possible?
“I told you I never drink. I think when people drink, they lose 10 years. They lose 25 percent. I think that. They lose 25 percent. They’re finished at [age] 30. The thing is when you drink and the body, how it works … you’re naturally cleaning your body. When you drink alcohol, the body cleans the alcohol first, then it doesn’t have time to kind of heal you with other things.

You never tasted beer in your life?
“I tasted beer, but I don’t like that taste. That’s why I don’t drink it. That’s a huge advantage for me.

Did you ever smoke?
“No.”

Is there a soda that you drink?
“I like Diet Coke. I even drink it during a game. I like Diet Coke. No vitamins, nothing … Diet Coke.”

 

And there goes my vision of Jags sitting in the back of Z Bar sipping distilled vodka off the neck of a Ukrainian hooker.

Speaking of Eastern Europe and Russia, reader Matt sent this video of John Boruk seemingly making a crack about the KHL plane crash during Pregame Live:

Eh. He’s actually right– travel is safer here. I’m not so sure he wasn’t just caught off-guard by Bill Clement, who – I think – was talking about the fact that there is less travel in the NHL, not the safety thing. Signals crossed and, boom: uncomfortable comment. A few folks on Twitter were unhappy with it, but I don’t think Boruk meant it as a joke, it just came across that way.

Finally, since the highlights consist mostly of Brayden Schenn turning the puck over at the blue line, after the jump is a picture of the Phantoms without their shirts on and video of Giroux’s fight. Both are geared toward our female readers.

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Fan Video: Flyers Brawl

Kyle Scott - October 31, 2010

Flyers_fan_fight

Rick DiPietro, who came out of net with his pink pads to defend his teammates, wanted no part of fighting Chris Pronger.

From Islanders beat writer Katie Strang (@katiestrangnyi):

Crazy night. DP cracked some jokes at his own expense and said of tangling w/Pronger: I was looking for anyone except him, let's be honest

 

Adam Burish should take some tips from 'tender pink pads.

Meanwhile, one Islanders fan commented on her YouTube page: "Flyers fans are insane.  You'd think with a 5 goal lead and 1 minute left on the clock (oh and the Islanders have a triple minor with 4 minutes left on it) that Flyer fans might have started emptying the building. Or even gotten a little calm. Nope, these maniacs are still going and still loud."

Flyers hockey, ladies and gentlemen.  Oh yeah, the Sixers lost their third straight game last night in case anybody was wondering.  Now, back to the fights.

Three videos of the mini-brawl after the jump- one from Islanders TV, one from the stands, and a chorused "you suck" chant aimed at DiPietro.  I actually think that's Judge Doom from Who Framed Roger Rabbit? providing the commentary in the first video.

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