Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Randy Miller of NJ.com,
Pittsburgh Penguins fans are outraged at Flyers left wing Zac Rinaldo.
They're angry over a dirty hit that injured Letang in the first period of the Flyers' 3-2 overtime victory on Tuesday night a Wells Fargo Center and disgusted about Rinaldo's postgame comments in which he bragged that he "changed the game" and "might have changed" his club's fortunes in what's been a bad season.
Since his hit, Rinaldo has been getting bashed virtually nonstop with messages sent to his @rinaldozac Twitter account, many of which were quite vulgar.
Others kept it clean by calling Rinaldo a disgrace, thug, beer leaguer, embarrassment, idiot, Neanderthal, coward, punk, puke, scumbag, tooth bag, meathead, dirty, useless, moron, garage, trash, scrub, goon and savage.
Plus a game misconduct.
Update #2: Via The Score's Navin Vaswani:
"I don't think our record shows how good of a team we are. "If we start playing the way we can play, we're going to start winning."
-Claude Giroux, captain of the Philadelphia Flyers after a 7-4 loss to the New York Islanders today. More from Sam Carchidi of the Philadelphia Inquirer.
from Sam Donnellon of the Philadelphia Daily News,
There are a slew of oddities about this unfulfilling season. The Flyers have one of the best power plays in the NHL and just about the worst penalty kill. Their Achilles' is said to be a subpar defense, yet this team has been undone by a lack of secondary scoring as often as it has by its defense, even amid the seasonlong shuffling of the blue line because of injury.
It all points to a rudderless ship. And yet their leaders are four guys who are the proverbial run-through-the-wall types, guys who not only have resisted any prodding to second-guess the second-year coach, but also often sound like his defense attorneys.
Instead, they sound as confused as anybody, such as when Streit said after Thursday's 4-0 Vancouver loss: "I know we had a rough loss Wednesday night, but there shouldn't be a reason to hang our heads or lose our sense of urgency out there. After those two goals, it felt like we let each other down. We got too passive. We let them have the puck and we let them play way too much.
"I don't really have an answer. It's tough to explain. I don't know why we stopped playing. There is no reason, with the team we have."
Except . . . leadership?
from Sam Carchidi of Broad Street Bull,
The Flyers, coming off consecutive shutout losses, are 13 points out of the Eastern Conference’s last playoff spot with 37 games left.
Ed Snider’s head probably tells him to forget about this year, that’s it’s time to rebuild and look to the future.
His heart, however, tells him not to give up on the season.
“I’m not there yet. I can’t be there yet,” Snider, chairman of the Flyers’ parent company, Comcast-Spectacor, said before the Philadelphia Sports Writers Association’s 111th annual banquet in Cherry Hill on Friday. “It would take all the joy out of everything we’re trying to do. It’s a difficult season. You feel they’ve turned the corner _ like the first three games of a long road trip. Against three tough teams, and then, pfft. They immediately didn’t do well against lesser teams.”
from Frank Seravalli of the Philadelphia Daily News,
In truth, the Flyers’ season was finished weeks ago, when they limped home from an eight-game road trip with five straight losses to some of the NHL’s least impressive competition.
Or, maybe the death knell truly began in November, when the Flyers staggered through a 1-8-1 stretch that saw coach Craig Berube throw darts seemingly around the entire locker room to determine healthy scratches on an underwhelming roster.
No matter. There will be plenty of time over the next 3 months to dissect when, where and what caused the Flyers to unravel.
What cannot be debated is that last night served as the first obvious moment when the Flyers stopped believing. With atrocious body language and even less energy, they were shut out for the second night in a row and whipped, 4-0, by a Vancouver team that had scored only two goals in its previous three games.
It didn’t take much more than one goal allowed to make the mentally fragile Flyers to crumble.
Minnesota Wild defenseman Ryan Suter will have a hearing Wednesday for an elbow to Pittsburgh Penguins forward Steve Downie during a game at Consol Energy Center on Tuesday night.
Suter was not penalized on the play at approximately 4:24 of the second period. Downie left the game and did not return.
The following grounds are being considered for supplemental discipline: elbowing. However, the Department of Player Safety retains the right to make adjustments to the infraction upon review.
The Flames won the game 7-2.
via Michael Russo of Russo's Rants,
Suter tonight also elbowed Steve Downie in the head in the second period and Downie never returned. Suter will have a hearing with the NHL on Wednesday and faces a suspension. If he is suspended and with Falk hurt, Jon Blum will draw in and the Wild will need a defenseman -- I'd assume Matt Dumba.
Suter said it was a fluky play and doesn’t think he will be suspended, that he went to reach for the puck and when he put his hand back on his stick, that’s when Downie skated into his elbow. The video is being inspected by the league and it did look like his elbow jutted out.
I saw Suter talking to Sidney Crosby at the end of the period and he said he was telling Crosby to apologize to Downie, telling Crosby that you know that “I’m not that type of player.”
“I personally never want to see anyone get hurt,” he said.
Watch the incident below...
from Frank Seravalli of the Philadelphia Daily News,
For a man who swore he'd stick to the long-term vision that got him hired, Ron Hextall last week showed the same shortsightedness that has kept the Flyers coming up empty since 1975.
Under no circumstances should Steve Mason have been in net on Thursday night, let alone Saturday.
Alas, the allure of a last-gasp, miracle run to the Stanley Cup playoffs got the best of Hextall.
Now, the Flyers are lucky Mason - one of just three pieces Hextall should be hellbent on building the future around - will miss only the next 2 weeks with a "lower-body" injury.
from Larry Brooks of the New York Post,
Granted, when the Flyers willfully violated terms of the Collective Bargaining Agreement by traveling on Dec. 26, it was not exactly a capital crime.
Except it was, because it struck at the core of what the league professes to hold so near and dear, and that’s integrity of the competition.
I mean, that’s why the NHL has a hard cap, right?
But anyway, of course scheduling the Flyers to play in Nashville on Dec. 27 was unfair.
Kind of like scheduling the Flyers to play against the Predators any time or any place this year would be unfair. Wait, who said that?
But such inequities happen all the time. The Rangers, for instance, played their home opener as a tired team having traveled after a game the previous night in Columbus while their opponents, the Maple Leafs, were rested and waiting in New York for the Blueshirts.
continued plus more hockey topics like this...
Just a thought, but perhaps if Bruins CEO Charlie Jacobs’ father, “Mr. Jacobs,” wasn’t one of the most hard-line hawks through Owners’ Lockout III, the B’s wouldn’t have been forced to dispense with Johnny Boychuk in order to stay under the cap.
Or maybe that’s just me.
Mason has been bothered with a lower-body injury lately and today it looks like he may have tweaked it again.
The Flyers say he will be reevaluated on Sunday.
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.
Email Paul anytime at firstname.lastname@example.org