Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Matt Breen of the Philadelphia Inquirer,
It was the Flyers' first home shutout loss to the Rangers since Feb. 9, 2008. The crowd grew restless as the clock continued to wind down without much of a Flyers scoring threat. The Flyers have lost seven of their last eight games. Saturday brings a rematch at Madison Square Garden, a venue in which the Flyers have lost nine straight times.
"We're playing like crap," Wayne Simmonds said. "They deserve to boo us. We deserve to get booed."
Claude Giroux, the captain, said the Flyers are not playing like a team. They have been held scoreless in two of their last three games. A players-only meeting Wednesday proved futile. General manager Ron Hextall said the Flyers will make moves. There are no short-term fixes, he said. Hextall said the team is better than its record.
"I'm not happy at this point. I'm not happy with our record. I'm not happy with our overall performance," Hextall said.
Head coach Craig Berube said the power-play issues stemmed from frustration and composure. It was a problem that needs to be corrected, he said. The coach was asked if there was something he could do to correct it.
"Do you want me to score for them?" Berube asked.
The Flyers? Oh, my.
This is a team that's playing like it's afraid to make a mistake. No confidence....
It's a team that doesn't seem to have a set identity. That's frightening more than 20 games into the season.
They've already been reamed out by their GM Ron Hextall, they've had players-only meetings. What's next?
Likely a trade or two I suspect. I don't think Hextall can afford to wait much longer.
-Pierre LeBrun of ESPN after watching the Flyers lose to the Rangers 3-0 today. More on the game...
from Randy Miller of NJ.com,
Deals that Hextall surely would love to make but can't include trading unproductive/expensive forwards Vinny Lecavalier (2 goals in 14 games, $4.5 million cap hit through 2017-18) and R.J. Umberger (1 goal in 21 games, $4.6 million cap hit through 2016-17). No team is taking on one of those contracts.
But here are a few thinking-outside-the-box possibilities for Hextall to consider:
1. MATT READ TO DEVILS FOR ADAM LARSSON
2. SCHENN BROTHERS, HAGG TO OILERS FOR PERRON, SCHULTZ
3. TRADE COBURN TO KINGS
more on each trade scenario...
"It's too early to get too tied up in the standings, but it's not too early to say, 'Where are we at as a group?' and we're under .500. That's not going to cut it. We need to be better.
"We're a better team than our record shows, and I think the biggest issue we've had is consistency. You're never going to be totally consistent. We all get that part. But our consistency, our highs and lows, have been just too extreme, and, within a game, within a period, there's just been too many down parts, whether it's 10 minutes, 8 minutes, 6 minutes. The way the game is now, as close as it is, you can't afford it. You really can't."
-Ron Hextall, GM of the Philadelphia Flyers. More on the Flyers from Jake Kaplan of the Philadelphia Daily News.
from Sam Carchidi of the Philadelphia Inquirer,
Four games ago, general manager Ron Hextall tore into them for their listless effort in a 2-0 loss to the Rangers. After Monday’s 1-0 shootout loss to the Islanders and again after their latest defeat Wednesday, coach Craig Berube criticized some of his players’ effort.
Berube said some players are "not competing hard enough, and it results in goals against. It can’t happen. You need everybody on your team competing at the highest level, otherwise you will not win."
In addition, the players took turns speaking out in a closed-door meeting Wednesday that delayed the media from entering the locker room.
"You never want it to have to come to that, but at the same time... when you look at the standings, it’s pretty easy to see things slipping away," goalie Steve Mason said. "You see points up for grabs, and other teams are grabbing them and you’re not. You’re slowly falling behind."
The My Story series profiles Wayne Simmonds of the Philadelphia Flyers and his perseverance against odds to make the NHL
from Sarah Baicker of CSNPhilly,
Eric Lindros and John LeClair are years removed from their playing days, but they are still teammates.
The two made that clear Thursday night as they were inducted into the Flyers' Hall of Fame. They didn’t say it, but they didn’t need to. Lindros and LeClair remain fiercely defensive and supportive of one another, nearly 20 years after they dominated in the game of hockey.
LeClair, for instance, still doesn’t understand all the criticism his linemate and friend faced during his tenure in Philadelphia. To LeClair, Lindros always went “above and beyond.” He was one of the greatest players to play the game, LeClair said, one of the greatest he ever played with.
“What hype did he not live up to?” LeClair asked. “I mean, he won a Hart Trophy. He scored 100 points. I never got that. He had the respect of his teammates and carried the Flyers for five years or however many years he was here. How many?”
continued including video highlight of the induction...
FYI, the NHL Network showed the complete ceremony last night along with the game. The ceremony started at 7:00pm ET and the game started around 8:00pm.
I do hope this sets a precedence for the network and as we know, they have not shown these types of ceremonies in full in the past.
from Frank Seravalli of the Philadelphia Daily News,
The door slammed, opened, and slammed again.
Inside the changing room, a sanctuary for players that is usually kept at an arms-length from team management, Flyers general manager Ron Hextall was peeling the paint off the walls with words that would make a stevedore blush.
"Are you [bleeping] kidding me?" Hextall screamed, loud enough for the media waiting next door in the locker room to hear. "That's [bleeping] embarrassing! Jesus [bleeping] Christ!"
The door slammed, one final time, but not until it sounded as if a wastebasket bounced off the wall deep inside the bowels of Madison Square Garden - where the Flyers have now lost nine consecutive regular-season games.
from Frank Seravalli of the Philadelphia Daily News,
After general manager Ron Hextall declared Giroux to be "fine" on Monday, Giroux will likely miss at least the next two games with what the team is calling a "lower-body" injury. It will be Giroux's first game missed due to injury since Dec. 19, 2011 (concussion), breaking a streak of 197 straight games healthy.
Hextall said, via a conference call in Toronto, that Giroux suffered the injury in practice.
If so, Giroux's injury must have flared up long after he left the practice rink. The Flyers practiced at 10:30 a.m. on Monday and Giroux participated from start-to-finish. He handled his media responsibilities, light for the day, and left the locker room like normal. There was no apparent ill-effect from skating.
In between 11:30 a.m. and 6:00 p.m., Giroux's "lower-body" injury became serious enough that he needed to ask out of a long-planned meet-and-greet session with season-ticket holders at Wells Fargo Center.
from Dave Isaac of the Courier-Post,
He wears a pair of shorts and a hoodie. His name is Ryan Podell and he’s the Flyers’ strength and conditioning coach.
Before the players go out for practice, Podell sets up a sensor in the penalty box and opens his laptop as he sits at the scorer’s table.
What he sees probably looks like mass chaos. Each Flyer wears a transmitter, usually sewn into his shoulder pads, and Podell’s laptop shows the live data.
The system, from an Austrailan-based company named Catapult Sports, helps Podell see just how hard the players are working in practice. The transmitters help measure energy exertion and all that data is forwarded to coach Craig Berube.
“The strength coach does a very good job with all that stuff,” Berube said. “We communicate on a daily basis about practice and the length and the intensity and that kind of thing. It’s good stuff, really good stuff.”
For instance, when the Flyers recently had a five-day layoff, the data suggested the Flyers would be more efficient in their first game out of the break if they practiced long and hard two days before the game and had a lighter practice the day before the game.
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 email@example.com