Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Marcus Hayes of the Philadelphia Daily News,
They began the weekend four points out of the last playoff spot. They now stand seven points behind the Bruins with 15 games to play.
The players said that they needed better effort all around.
The coach, however, disagreed. He actually appreciated the effort, in general, but somehow he was even less kind.
"Our top players, mentally, weren't there," Craig Berube said.
Coincidentally, the next question concerned top defenseman Mark Streit, who was a minus-4 and had his fingerprints on the first goal of the game . . . and little else that was good, Berube agreed.
"Mark - he's played real good hockey for us this year," Berube said. "Again, the defeat in Boston had a lot to do with that."
Top player Wayne Simmonds, usually a tireless competitor, said, "Today was awful. It's our compete level. We don't come to play every night."
Top player Claude Giroux, the captain, said, "We don't compete the right way."
via Hometown Hockey,
Reggie Leach has been defying the odds for most of his life. Growing up as the youngest of 13 kids in Riverton, Leach was forced to grow up quickly. From the moment he put on skates, he proved he was a natural.
The “Riverton Rifle” would go on to win a Stanley Cup, and is still the only position player in NHL history to win the Conn Smythe trophy despite being on the losing team. His achievements on the ice are well documented, but it’s his accomplishments away from the rink that has spearheaded a grassroots effort to get him into the Hockey Hall of Fame.
After battling addiction and getting his life back on track, Leach is devoted to making a difference in the First Nation Community. Stephen Brunt has his story.
from David Isaac of the Courier-Post,
Even if the Flyers had won in regulation Saturday and cut the deficit to two points, the Bruins have two games in hand on the Flyers and the potential to get four more points.
"We were 13 points away about a month ago," Voracek said. "When you would tell me we'd be five points away a month later, I wouldn't believe you. That's not the way we think (that the season is over). That's the way you guys (in the media) think. You didn't believe in us since Game 1. We know what we have in the locker room. We've just got to keep going."
If blaming the media is bulletin-board material for the Flyers, they'll start their hopeful comeback Sunday against the New Jersey Devils who have won six of their last nine games.
"It's always easy to bash and be harsh on the guys when the team doesn't play well. It's easy to do that when we play a game like that," Voracek said. "We've just got to make sure we refocus. I know it's hard. It's a tough pill to swallow."
If you believe sportsclubstats.com, which projects playoff chances based on more than 11 million simulations of the final 16 games, the Flyers have a measly 2.4 percent chance of making the postseason.
"The season's not over, is it?" coach Craig Berube said. "I don't know why anyone would think that."
Then this happened...
Below is the Eastern Conference picture afte the Boston win...
from Frank Seravalli of the Philadelphia Daily News,
According to multiple sources, Reese was peeved that Mason relieved starter Rob Zepp after two goals, since Mason was told that day he would not play unless Zepp sustained serious injury.
Sources said Mason was given that word by the team, asking him to suit up because the team had salary cap issues and could not afford another backup goaltender for the game.
That jives with what Ron Hextall said this past Monday, in his post-trade deadline press conference, revealing specifically that the Flyers skated by the $69 million cap with just $48,000 to spare “the other day.” On Feb. 24, the Carolina game before Toronto while Mason was still injured, the Flyers used an “emergency goaltender exemption” to add rookie Anthony Stolarz to the roster, temporarily exceeding the 23-man limit for 48 hours.
Two days later, Mason said after the team’s pre-game skate in Toronto: “I’d be able to go in there and do the job, but I hope it doesn’t come to that. The game is not there yet. I haven’t had a good skate yet because of the schedule.”
via a Flyers' press release,
The Philadelphia Flyers announced today that goaltending coach Jeff Reese is no longer with the team, according to general manager Ron Hextall.
“It was a mutual agreement between both parties,” said Hextall. “Jeff was an integral part of our coaching staff for the past six seasons and we wish him well.”
Reese joined the Flyers in 2009 after eight seasons with the Tampa Bay Lightning coaching staff, including the Lightning’s 2004 Stanley Cup Championship.
The team will have no further comment.
The Flyers lost 3-2 in OT to Calgary...
from Mark Narducci of the Philadelphia Inquirer,
... a pool reporter asked Stephen Walkom, the NHL director of officiating, why the play was ruled no goal due to incidental contact and was unreviewable. Here was his response in a phone interview.
“That (incidental contact/no goal) is one of the things we’ve been doing a little more this year. I would say it’s happened 20 or 30 times. . .
“(Referee) Chris (Rooney)made a call of no goal. They (on-ice officials) met, contacted someone here, probably Chris King, and he told them it’s not a reviewable play. . .incidental contact.
“We think it’s a good process – in order to get the right call. We use all the resources available to make the right decision.’’
Watch the play below...
The Philadelphia Flyers have signed 6-0, 198 lb LW Pierre-Edouard Bellemare to a multi-year contract extension, according to general manager Ron Hextall.
Bellemare, who turns 30 on Friday (3/6/1985), has collected four goals and four assists for eight points in 62 games this season. He came to the Flyers from Skelleftea AIK of the Swedish Hockey League (formerly Swedish Elite League), where he spent the past five seasons and posted a total of 64 goals and 61 assists for 125 points in 238 games.
Bellemare played eight seasons overall in Sweden, spending three years with Leksands IF in Sweden’s second division before moving to Skelleftea in 2009. The native of Paris, France represented his country at the 2014 World Championships, where he recorded three goals and five assists for eight points in eight games.
Every time I decry the supposed virtues of the salary cap, I'm surprised to hear from fans who think it's the best thing the NHL and Gary Bettman ever did.
Sorry, but "thumbs down" - yet again - to that belief.
The level playing field the cap is supposed to create shows a current gap of 46 points between first and last place in the NHL standings. It figures to grow larger.
In the season (2003-04) before the advent of the salary cap, the first and last-place teams were separated by 50 points. A small-market club or fan that needs a way to make sure teams like Toronto and Philadelphia don't bury the opposition with unlimited spending should realize the obvious - the way to keep the Leafs and the Flyers from becoming superpowers is to encourage and allow them to spend as much as they wish.
Because look how they spend it.
-Dave Hodge of TSN.
from MArc Narducci of the Philadelphia Inquirer,
Del Zotto now has seven points (3 goals, four assists) in his last eight games.
“I thought he played a really good game,” coach Craig Berube said. “He’s doing an all-around great job.”
Then Berube expanded on the subject.
“He is playing against top lines, defending well and that’s the biggest thing for me,” Berube said. “You know, he’s defending well and then he’s jumping in the play when he can and making good plays with the puck.”
Del Zotto, who turns 25 in June, says this is possibly the most confidence he has had as an NHL player.. He was with the Rangers beginning in the 2009-10 season until being traded to Nashville on Jan. 22, 2014.
In the offseason he signed with the Flyers.
“In the past couple of days the coaching staff has showed a lot of trust in me, throwing me in all situations, the first penalty kill, power play, 5-on-5,” he said. “Anytime that happens it helps with your confidence and it’s going well right now”.
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