Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Frank Seravalli of the Philadelphia Daily News,
Galvanized by Zepp’s long and winding road, the Flyers put together an equally improbable two-goal rally and stunned the Jets, 4-3, in overtime to deliver him a win.
Zepp, 33, became the oldest goaltender to win his NHL debut since 1926. He compared the experience to climbing Mount Everest.
"I think that’s the beauty of sports," Streit said. "Everywhere you look, there’s always exceptions to the rule. Some guys make it to the NHL at 18 or 19 years old and some guys have to stick with it and work a lot harder. I think it’s important. Guys like him never lose sight of their goal. They always believe in themselves."
Most players in Zepp’s skates, even with the comfortable pay in Europe, would have quit long ago. There were 98 players taken ahead of him in the 1999 NHL Draft. Only five of them are still in the NHL this season: Henrik and Daniel Sedin, Martin Havlat, Jordan Leopold and Chris Kelly.
His story resonated with every player in the Flyers’ locker room - from young to old, from entitled to hungry, from role player to star.
Hollywood-type storylines don’t usually go over very well in NHL dressing rooms. Players today are usually immune to the narrative in their sterile bubble.
more and watch the game highlights below...
Rob Zepp at age 33 will make his NHL debut as the starting goalie for the Philadelphia Flyers against the Winnipeg Jets...
from Evan Peaslee of Sportsnet,
With the Flyers playing without starter Steve Mason for the weekend, who injured himself during practice on Friday, and playing back-to-back games, the club was in need of a second goaltender. Zepp dressed but served as the backup to Ray Emery for Saturday’s victory over the Toronto Maple Leafs, but the duo will swap roles for Sunday’s contest.
Zepp, a veteran journeyman, has played professional hockey since graduating from the Ontario Hockey League in 2001, and has spent most of the past decade playing in Europe, including the last seven with the Berlin Polar Bears of the Deutsche Eishockey Liga.
a bit more...
from Dave Hodge of TSN,
My thumb is up to the best one-two scoring punch in the NHL, those two dazzling forwards who play on a certain team in the state of Pennsylvania.
In the past, and maybe again in the future, I would be talking about Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin of the Pittsburgh Penguins. But, of course, you know that I am referring to the NHL’s leading scorer, Jakub Voracek and his Philadelphia Flyers teammate Claude Giroux. Watching them have their way against the Toronto Maple Leafs last night made you wonder why the Flyers aren’t higher in the standings.
Unless there’s a big turnaround coming that began in Toronto, the Flyers have to be described as a team with a bunch of holes and two of the league’s best players, either of whom could win the Hart Trophy if Philly could only find a way to fill the holes.
As you watched the Flyers and Leafs score six times in the game’s first 12 minutes, you probably thought this was the NHL’s version of Halley’s Comet. You just never see a scoring spree like that anymore, and so….my thumb is down to a lack of scoring in the NHL.
from Fran Seravalli of the Philadelphia Daily News,
According to general manager Ron Hextall, Mason is ruled out for at least this weekend's games in Toronto and Winnipeg with an "upper-body" injury, but the team would not commit to any timeline after that.
That doesn't necessarily mean Mason will miss only this weekend. Hextall said the team will provide an update on Monday and would not comment further.
The scene yesterday was ominous. With the help of the training staff, Mason was flipped over to his back - where he stayed for a period of time - before sitting up and finally making it to his feet. He was then helped off the ice, unable to skate off under his own power....
R.J. Umberger said Mason's injury "looked like" a back issue, noting Mason "grabbed something behind him" when he "reached for a puck" to make a save.
Luke Schenn saw Mason go down and had his own theory.
"It looked like he was going into a spasm or whatever it was," Schenn said. "I'm not even sure. You never know if it's dehydration or anything like that.
update 12:06pm, via Tim Panaccio of CSNPhilly,
“He sees the specialist on Monday and we’ll find out more,” Hextall said. “I talked to him and the doctor does not have a hands-on [feeling] for Mase yet. He’s talked to [trainer] Jimmy [McCrossin].
“I’m optimistic is won’t be long. Until you get the information you don’t know for sure. I don’t anticipate it being a long time but it could change.”
via Frank Seravalli of the Philadelphia Daily News,
A routine Flyers practice trickled to a halt on Friday afternoon when goaltender Steve Mason went down with an apparently significant injury.
About 30 minutes after the team entered the ice, the net was immediately moved out the way as concerned teammates and coaches huddled around Mason.
It was not apparent what caused the injury or exactly what was ailing Mason.
He originally laid flat on his back in the crease. Eventually, he sat up with the help of trainer Jim McCrossin, before being helped off the ice.
Craib Berube was just on TSN Radio and said no idea what happened nor what the problem is at this point.
Flyers GM Ron Hextall updated the media following the team’s flight to Toronto on the status of goaltender Steve Mason, who left practice with an injury.
“Steve Mason has an upper-body injury and is out for the weekend. We will have an update on Monday.”
The Flyers play back-to-back games over the weekend, taking on the Toronto Maple Leafs at the Air Canada Centre on Saturday before traveling to Winnipeg to take on the Jets on Sunday night.
Mason stopped 31 of 32 shots and four of six players in the shootout to take a 2-1 loss in the Flyers-Panthers game on Thursday.
He has started three straight and 11 of the Flyers’ last 13 games while posting an overall record of 6-10-5 to go along with a 2.49 goals-against average and .921 save percentage in 22 appearances this year.
from Frank Seravalli of the Philadelphia Daily News,
Berube would not totally commit to the lineup change for Thursday night’s seemingly must-win game against Florida, but hinted at the possibility.
Lecavalier, 34, has not played since Nov. 29 against the Rangers....
“I like the lines as they are, I don’t know what I’ll do,” Berube said. “But I have to give him opportunities, whether it’s power play or whatever. If I bring him in, I’m going to bring him in the middle of the ice. I definitely want to get him more than (5 minutes) for sure. I’m going to try to get him, obviously, more ice time than that.”...
What changed between now and earlier in the week, when Berube didn’t seem open to using Lecavalier again?
“His work ethic was really noticeable,” Berube said. “I thought the beginning of the year, he was skating really well, too. I’m noticing that skating again. He does make plays. He can score. He looks hungry to me and he wants in there. That’s a good sign.”
Anyone care to comment?
from Sarah Kwak of Sports Illustrated,
Still, his symptoms didn’t cause him much concern. Even when his friend diagnosed the blood clot in his calf, Timonen says he needed some persuading to undergo a chest scan. “I’m so glad he talked me into it,” he says.
The scan revealed clots in both of Timonen’s lungs. They had most likely broken off the one in his calf, traveled up through his blood stream and pumped through his heart before becoming lodged in the smaller vessels of the lungs. Such clots are known as pulmonary emboli. They prevent blood from circulating through the lungs, and in some circumstances, they can lead to death....
It’s a scary situation that has affected NHLers such Jed Ortmeyer (in 2006), Panthers winger Tomas Fleischmann (in 2011) and recently sidelined Penguins winger Pascal Dupuis in January and then again last month. Just this week, 38-year-old Penguins goalie Tomas Vokoun announced his retirement after having missed much of the 2013-14 season with blood clots that nearly killed him. They were Vokoun's second brush with the affliction. He was diagnosed with one in his pelvis in 2006.
from Tim Panaccio of CSNPhilly,
His greatest success came not with the Flyers, but with the Colorado Avalanche, with whom he won two Stanley Cups.
While Peter Forsberg had just a brief stay here -– a mere 100 games where he registered 115 points -– it was nonetheless remarkable that the player they lovingly called “Foppa” was still amazing on the ice, even though he had a congenital deformity in his right foot....
On Tuesday night at the Wells Fargo Center, the Flyers will recognize Forsberg’s 22-year hockey brilliance on North American and European ice, as well as his inclusion into the Hockey Hall of Fame.
from Sam Carchidi of the Philadelphia Inquirer,
When last season started and Peter Laviolette was still the coach, the Flyers were known as a hell-bent, attacking team - which, besides a five-year, $22.5 million contract, was one of the reasons Vinny Lecavalier came here.
They took on a different persona after Craig Berube was hired early last season, using a defense-first mentality. Berube believed having all five skaters playing good defense would lead to offensive chances, and it's difficult to argue with the results. It took the Flyers a while to adjust, but they overcame the worst start (1-7) in franchise history and went 41-23-10 the rest of the way.
Between last season and this year, however, the Flyers have lost their identity - and showed just how much Kimmo Timonen, despite his advanced age, meant to the team.
"What's our identity?" winger asked Zac Rinaldo asked, repeating a question. ". . . Um . . . I don't even know."
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