Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Dave Isaac of the Courier-Post,
When Umberger was a rookie with the Flyers, his locker was next to Mike Knuble’s. Through four games this season, Umberger is pointless and is hearing Knuble’s old advice.
“Concentrate on five shots a game,” Knuble would tell Umberger. “Whether it’s rebounds or whatever, you’ll get out of your slump.”
Well, so far Umberger has mustered only two shots all season. For the past couple games, he’s been on a line with Sean Couturier and Matt Read – known as the shutdown unit....
“He’s a good defensive player. Checks well, kills penalties,” Berube said. “That’s what we expected out of him. He’ll get his goals. He goes to the net. That’s what he does.”
So far, that hasn’t quite been the case. Umberger has started his shifts in the offensive zone 58.3 percent of the time this season, easily his highest percentage in his career, yet he’s still a minus-5. For those that think plus/minus is an archaic statistic, his Fenwick For percentage (a calculation of shots and misses for the Flyers against shots and misses for an opponent) is a career-low 40.4 percent.
via the Philadelphia Flyers,
Set to resume practice on Monday morning, Flyers GM Ron Hextall announced injury updates on a few Flyers, as well as prospect Sam Morin.
Vincent Lecavalier will be out of action for two weeks with a lower-body injury.
Nicklas Grossmann is getting over a stomach virus and will miss today’s practice.
Prospect Sam Morin, who suffered a fractured jaw with his junior team in Rimouski, will miss approximately 4-5 weeks.
Lecavalier appeared in the first three games of the season for the Flyers, posting a goal and two assists. He averaged 15:37 of ice time so far this season, including 4:32 on the team’s power-play unit, which leads all Flyers forwards and is second most on the team behind Mark Streit.
from Frank Seravalli of the Philadelphia Daily News,
What's the best way to bury embarrassing news in the hockey world?
Send out a press release at 6:46 p.m. on a Friday, before a long, holiday weekend, that completely skirts the issues at hand.
That's what the NHL attempted to do last week, with today being Thanksgiving in Canada, to complete their icky hiring of Chris Pronger in the Department of Player Safety.
Conveniently, the press release failed to mention that Pronger is still on the Flyers' roster. Or that he is still owed another $5.15 million from the Flyers, payable through April 2017....
The league did nothing - and nothing to quell the clamoring from fan bases who know this situation reeks. In fact, they decided to overlook their own Collective Bargaining Agreement, specifically Article 26, which states that no player paid by a team may also work for the league.
In hiring for a position designed to uphold the rules, the NHL broke one of its own - and then skated away like nothing ever happened.
... just because Pronger is recusing himself from incidents involving the Flyers (not that there are ever any of those), that does not mean his opinions won’t have dramatic impact on the Flyers. Every time he weighs in on an incident involving a conference rival, it has a direct impact on the Flyers’ playoff situation. Every time a player in the East is suspended (or not), it impacts the Flyers.
This hiring is so riddled with conflicts it would be beyond belief if it were happening anywhere else but the NHL. But this is the same league that allowed Brian Burke to work for two teams at the same time a couple of years ago. It is the same league that gave its exclusive United States television rights for 10 years to the company owned by — wait for it — Mr. Snider.
-Larry Brooks of the New York Post where you can read more on this plus some escrow talk too.
from Frank Seravalli of the Philadelphia Daily News,
Two games do not a season make for the Flyers. Hey, even Peter Laviolette still had a job at this point last year.
But the Flyers' most apparent fault through the first two sprints of this 82-game marathon is exactly what most feared it would be: a shoddy defense corps that is both too big and too slow to keep up in today's NHL.
With a career-worst minus-5 outing,(Luke) Schenn was just the poster boy. His partner in crime, Michael Del Zotto, was right behind him as a minus-4. That was against a Devils team, albeit which is a bit stronger offensively, that finished 25th in the league in goals last year.
The kicker is that last night was just a preview of perhaps the next month to come, now that general manager Ron Hextall announced Braydon Coburn is expected to miss a substantial amount of time with an undisclosed injury....
Through two games, with the same record as last season, there is a different feel around the Flyers. It is not one of lifelessness, or going through the motions, which cost Laviolette his job. Rather, it is of one aware of the problem but seemingly without answer.
"Last year, we were getting completely outfoxed," Simmonds said. "This year, obviously we've had a couple slow starts. But throughout the game, we're working hard, we're battling back, we're doing some good things."
Just not enough to cover up the bad things.
No matter what safeguards are in place when the league is forced to suspend a Pittsburgh Penguin or a New York Islander or New York Ranger, there will be a shadow of doubt about Pronger's role. For a league that has had so much going for it on the ice and in the boardrooms, it is a curious move to make a hire that is already arching eyebrows around the NHL for its strangeness.
The league somehow managed to move beyond the sometimes embarrassing and at times potentially damaging situation of having former league disciplinarian Colin Campbell preside over supplemental discipline in spite of the fact his son Gregory played in the league.
Why the league would choose to court similar distractions and negative press is more than a little baffling.
-Scott Burnside of ESPN where you can read more on this topic.
STAMFORD, Conn. – October 9, 2014 – Last night’s NHL opening night doubleheader on NBCSN was the best on record, according to The Nielsen Company, generating record ratings and viewership, as well as digital consumption.
Wednesday Night Rivalry’s Philadelphia Flyers-Boston Bruins matchup (7:27-10:06 p.m. ET) delivered 956,000 viewers and a 0.57 household rating, making it the most-watched opening night game on cable on record (data available since 1993) and the highest-rated NHL regular-season game ever on NBCSN. The game also set live streaming records for uniques and minutes consumed.
Re Chris Pronger & NHL Dep't Player Safety: This is not difficult. He is a Flyers' employee. He is on Flyers' roster. End of discussion.
I know, maybe Brandon Dubinsky can fill in working for Dep't of Player Safety while he's on IR.
-Larry Brooks via Twitter.
added 6:06pm, also from Brooks..
This just in: Bobby Clarke is one of the refs for tonight's Flyers-B's opener in Boston.
from Nick Cotsonika of Yahoo,
The All-Star defenseman and Stanley Cup champion has interviewed for a job in the DPS and is at the top of Quintal’s list to replace the departed Brian Leetch. He would be part of the team that analyzes plays, participates in hearings and gives input to Quintal, who makes the final decisions.
Pronger would be a controversial choice for two reasons:
-- One, he racked up 1,916 penalty minutes in the regular season and playoffs combined over his 18-year NHL career. He was suspended eight times for a total of 22 games – 20 in the regular season and two in the playoffs. The infractions? Slashing. High-sticking. Leaving the bench to join an altercation. Cross-checking. Kicking (twice). Hitting the head (twice).
from Sam Carchidi of the Philadelphia Inquirer at the Centre Daily Times,
The Flyers, once known as the Broad Street Bullies, put winger Jay Rosehill on waivers Thursday and will start the season without a heavyweight enforcer for the first time since the early 1970s.
What in the name of Dave Schultz is going on here?
Enforcers, Flyers coach Craig Berube said after Friday's practice in Voorhees, are needed less today than in the past.
"I think everybody knows that," he said. "You look at the rules, look at the game, look at everything."
Over the years, the Flyers have had more than 30 enforcers, including Dave Schultz, Paul Holmgren, Ed Hospodar, Glen Cochrane, Dave Brown, Donald Brashear, Berube, Riley Cote, and Jody Shelley.
About Kukla's Korner Hockey
Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.
From breaking news to in-depth stories around the league, KK Hockey is updated with fresh stories all day long and will bring you the latest news as quickly as possible.
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