The best part about the Flyers powerplay thus far has been it’s so bad I don’t have to use any stats. If you have watched the Flyers this season you notice their powerplay sucks, and no stat will tell you otherwise. Just for the record, I mentioned in an early post that the Flyers powerplay would struggle. The series against the Penguins was false hope and then the Devils exposed the Flyers by not giving the Flyers the lanes they predictably show.
The Flyers powerplay is extremely flawed from start to finish. They lack player and puck movement, they cannot get set up in the zone, nor win the offensive zone faceoff to even start it. Here at H2h, we are going to break down the Flyers powerplay and how to possibly improve it.
The Flyers head to NJ tonight to play the team that knocked them out of the Conference semifinals in 2012. Sure, the laundry is the same, but the top players on each team has changed. Most notably, the Devils have lost Zach Parise to the Minnesota Wild while the Flyers allowed Matt Carle to walk in free agency. Both teams have named new captains as well: Claude Giroux for the Flyers and Travis Zajac for the Devils. With Martin Brodeur returning for what seems like his 35th season, the Devils will have a familiar face protecting the net.
The defense has looked atrocious, and Niklas Grossmann has apparently aged 7 years over the offseason. The penalty kill is operating at an amazing 44% through two games, which is hopefully unsustainably bad. Though Bryz will get a lot of the vitriol from the fans, it really hasn’t been his fault. Most of the goals scored so far have been deflections or Thomas Vanek, with the Neal goal being the only goal that was really Bryz’s fault. Bryzgalov is 4-1-0 with a 1.40 GAA in five regular-season starts against the Devils, with shutouts in two of the past three games against them. He will need to help his team out again tonight to get his first win of the season.
The Flyers offense has looked alright, in particular Giroux looks amazing and Cooter scored his first of the season against Buffalo. Hopefully the offense gets a few more bounces and the Flyers return home for the Rangers with their first win of the season.
Flyers 5 Devils 2
Scott Hartnell recently inked a long term extension with the Flyers after a career year playing on the top line with Claude Giroux and Jaromir Jagr, and we’re happy to have him around as a leader on the team for the next few years. An added part of his role of top player is that he is acting as a mentor for our younger players. Scott Laughton, who has a bit of Hartnell’s antagonistic style in his tenacious D style of play, has recently moved in with Hartnell for at least training camp.
What does this mean for the Flyers? Well, my first thought was “Really? With Hartnell? He’s not 21, but living in Old City?” That’s a largely irrelevant point, and probably at least a little unfair by me. Hartnell used to be one of my least favorite players on the Flyers due to his stupid penalties, but as his game has matured a bit and he’s been here longer I’ve grown to love him as a player. Also, he seems to be a good person, as evidenced by the fact that he didn’t punch me or my friend Aaron in the face at Plough and the Stars in Old City no matter how much we pestered him, Ray Emery, Aaron Asham, and (I think) Matt Carle in a drunken stupor a few years back. And believe me, he should have punched me. Twice.
P.K. Subban is still unsigned in Montreal, and there’s the question of…why?
John Shannon of Sportsnet reported yesterday on MvsW that the two sides are $3M per year apart. Montreal only wants to pay him $3M per year, while Subban wants $6M. Part of this may be because Montreal has a new GM, and Subban’s agent knows he can’t risk losing out on Subban.
Per Eklund (grain of salt):
One source, “You would think a team would match, but Montreal is almost daring teams to offer sheet, and the thought out there is perhaps they would rather have the picks that would accompany an offer over $5M per…”
So, if that’s true, what does this mean for the Flyers?
While I sat at home and watched two very good football playoff games. Jarrett Stoll (appparently) watched football with Erin Andrews and a friend, the Stanley Cup.
I’m a monster fan of Stoll’s for his on the ice play. I was hoping he would test the free agent market so the Flyers could pick him up, didn’t happen the Kings got him paid.
I’m now even more a fan for his apparent off ice play…..
So, ummm yeah. How about that Boycott?
NHL fans are showing up in record numbers and it’s only freaking practice. “I mean, we talkin about practice, not a game, not a game, we talkin about practice man.” The Flyers reported their largest attendance for a practice yesterday, while the Blues had something along the lines of 5,000 fans at their practice. I think it has become apparent that hockey fans just can’t stay away.
The Flyers are entering the 2013 NHL season coming off of a disappointing playoff loss to eventual ECF Champion NJD, but let’s not forget that awesome playoff win over the Pens. Yea, let’s just focus on that memory! Our forward group looks as strong as ever, and our two favorite young players, Schenn and Couturier, had the opportunity to develop their skills for roles as top 6 centers, powerplay and penalty killers in the AHL, rather than continued time as bottom 6 guys in the NHL. We really need Bryz to have a great season, because our defense looks terrible.
So, apparently the NHL is back and we are ready for another Cup run here in Philly. There are obviously many keys to the Flyers season to get them to hoist their first Cup since 1975. Of course we need good goaltending, a new defensive system and a solid season from our Super Sophomore class. Though there are two major changes that need to happen in this shortened season if the Flyers want to win their first Stanley Cup in 37 years.
- Kimmo Timonen needs to come off the Peco PowerPlay.
I understand that everyone loves Timonen and he is the Flyers best defensemen but he isn’t exactly good on the power play. The last 2 season Timonen has become a predictable liability on an already predictable power play. When Timonen gets the puck at the point he continuously rotates the same direction and either makes the pass to the half wall or takes an ear high slap shot (ask Cooter about his point shots). Furthermore this will be a sprint to the cup, with a 50 game regular season. Timonen already breaks down during an 82 game schedule, imagine how his body will be during a condensed 50 game season. Taking Timonen off the power play will reduce his minutes and keep him a bit fresher for our playoff run. Replacing Timonen on the power play will be easy: the Flyers are stocked with young skilled forwards that would love (and deserve) minutes on power play. Matt Read and Jake Voracek will look great back on the point with the Meszaros and Luke Schenn. Continue reading
Gary Bettman looked ready to cry. Donald Fehr has him so ratteled you would think someone told him his dog was going to die.
Was it me or did Bill Daly come off like a pro wrestler. He looked just flat out pissed and every time he talked he had that Sgt. Slaughter jaw going.
Sidney Crosby looked nicely dressed yesterday. His DSL’s were really red too. Continue reading
Ok we get it, Sidney Crosby walks on water, cures blindness, turns water into wine and now he is saving the NHL season. Please don’t be upset that I don’t believe this propaganda one bit. Yesterday my tweet got read on the Marek vs. Wyshynski podcast about this whole thing being propaganda by the media and Jeff Marek got rather defensive protecting the Golden Boy of Hockey.