Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Sam Carchidi of the Philadelphia Inquirer,
As the horn sounded to end the Flyers' 2-1 loss to Dallas, winger Jake Voracek smashed his stick against the boards and heaved what was left of it down the Wells Fargo Center ice Tuesday night.
A few minutes later, goalie Steve Mason did some heaving of his own, throwing verbal jabs at his teammates for their mostly lifeless effort over the final 50 minutes.
"There was no desperation," said Mason, who kept the Flyers in the game with a brilliant 37-save performance. "It's tough to come in the room after games like that. We need to have a much better effort, and it just wasn't there. I'm embarrassed and I hope everyone else is embarrassed, too, because to play like that at home in a situation where we have to come up big . . . and we come up like that."
Below, watch Steve Mason post-game...
from Sam Carchidi of the Philadelphia Inquirer,
So where do the Flyers go from here, and does coach Craig Berube have 15 games left in his tenure?
Barring a miracle, the Flyers will miss the playoffs for the second time in three seasons. They have regressed in their second year under Berube, who is not the most beloved figure in the locker room.
Respected, yes. Beloved, no.
Some of the defensemen are still perturbed at the Blue Line Carousel that has had players yanked in and out of the lineup. Vinny Lecavalier, a center primarily used as a fourth-line right winger when he wasn't a healthy scratch, is fuming at the way he has been handled, and it's fair to wonder why he wasn't given a shot at being the second-line center for a few weeks to try to get him on track.
After Berube replaced the fired Peter Laviolette early last season, the Flyers went 42-27-10 under the new coach's defense-first style, reached the playoffs, and took the eventual Stanley Cup finalist New York Rangers to seven games in the opening round.
This year, the Flyers are 28-26-13, and the biggest indictment of Berube is this: With a playoff spot in sight, the Flyers have lost their last five games against teams that are not in playoff positions: Columbus, Buffalo, Carolina, Toronto, and New Jersey.
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.
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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