Philly Phaithful
Better With Popcorn

Link Checks 1/30/2012

Here at The Checking Line - Flyers Edition, we will be giving away a hockey puck signed by legends Bernie Parent and Dave "The Hammer" Schultz.  To enter, all you need to do is purchase a $5 raffle ticket.  All the proceeds will be donated to The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia.  So, if you want a chance to own a valuable piece of Flyers' history while supporting a great cause, click here for more information.

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The NHL All-Star weekend was a fun one, and Scott Hartnell can assure you of that (Puck Daddy).  Considering himself one of the "Sedin triplets," interviewing Joffrey Lupul as a HNIC host, and even telling Leafs captain Phaneuf to "suck it," Scott Hartnell had a blast (YouTube), and he's never been happier (CSNPhilly).  He gave a lot to charity, too, by donating $1000 for every #HartnellDown and goal scored (@Hartsy19).  Claude Giroux also made his presence known in Ottawa (Flyers Faithful).  It was a weekend well deserved for both:
At the halfway point of the season, Hartnell is on pace to surpass every career-high he's ever achieved in 11 NHL seasons.  With 25 goals so far, could he possibly get to 40 (TCLFlyers)?  His linemate, who will be honored as Philadelphia's athlete of the year (Philly.com), will assist him in trying to achieve that.
Number 19 in orange isn't the only one who's been performing exceptionally well this year.  Sean Couturier, 2011 eighth overall draft pick, is at the level of other top rookies in the NHL (The Copper & Blue).
With the All-Star events done and over with, it's time for the Flyers to get back to work.  They'll start by practicing today at 2 p.m. in Voorhees (@BroadStBull) in preparation for tomorrow night's game vs the Winnipeg Jets.  It will be a home game, something they need to improve on in the second half of the season (Philly.com).  Some predict they will finish with 13 players having 10+ goals along with other high hopes (Proud to Puck).  The way the first half went, it is definitely a good possibility.
It's not only halfway through the season for the Flyers though.  Their ECHL and AHL affiliates are also preparing for the rest of the year.  The Trenton Titans of the ECHL are just five points out of a playoff position, even though they are in last place in the Eastern Conference (TCLFlyers).  The Adirondack Phantoms are currently in last place in their division.  It's not as bad as it sounds though, as they're only three points from second place (TheAHL.com).  This is easily the most promising first half in the team's three seasons in Glen Falls (PostStar).
The rumors circulating the Flyers organization as the trade deadline approaches have been about getting a top defenseman with the absence of Pronger.  One player that can now be checked off the list is Hurricanes' Tim Gleason.  General Manager Jim Rutherford signed him to a four year extension, worth $15M (Hurricanes.NHL.com).
The Flyers definitely have a lot of hard work to do if they want to catch the Rangers...
 
  GP POINTS WINS LOSSES OTL
1. Image preview 47 66 31 12 4
2. Image preview 48 63 29 14 5
3. Image preview 49 60 28 17 4
4. Image preview 48 55 26 19 3
5. Image preview 48 45 19 22 7

The Blue Shirts have a three point lead on the Flyers, and have a game in hand too.

Their next opponents are the 4th place New Jersey Devils, who have lost their last three.  That game will be played in Newark, NJ, at the Prudential Center (NHL.com).

The streaking Pittsburgh Penguins will host the Toronto Maple Leafs (NHL.com), and the New York Islanders will head to Carolina to battle the Hurricanes (NHL.com).  Both the Islanders and the Hurricanes will try to get back into the playoff mix.

 

FLYERS' NEXT THREE OPPONENTS

vs WPG Image preview Tuesday 1/31
vs NSH  Thursday 2/2
vs NJ Image preview Saturday 2/4
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