Better With Popcorn

Link Checks 2/20/2012

It’s been very obvious that since the All Star break, the Flyers have played awful.  Their record since then is 3-5-2, their most recent loss coming in a brutal game vs their rival Penguins (TCLFlyers).  In just 36:57 of play, Bryzgalov let in three goals.  He says he lacks the soul to play (Bleeding Brotherly Love).  His negative words are just going to make things worse (CSNPhilly).

Bad defensive play and bad goaltending (RLD Hockey), along with injuries to Sestito (TCLFlyers) and now possibly Jakub Voracek (@DaveGIsaac), have left GM Paul Holmgren with no other option but to make a move, and that’s exactly what he did.

Giving up two draft picks, the Flyers acquired 6’4” defenseman Nicklas Grossman (TCLFlyers).  It was a relatively cheap move, as Grossman’s cap hit is just $1.625M, and it was one step in the right direction, leaving room for future moves (TCLFlyers).  It was a move that bolstered the defensive corps (The Hockey Guys).  In his first game with the Flyers, he wasn’t a stand-out player, but he did play well (TCLFlyers).

The Flyers weren’t done with making trades though, as they acquired another defenseman in Pavel Kubina (TCLFlyers).  They gave up another two draft picks to get Kubina.  He is a right-handed shooter, and should greatly increase the Flyers’ powerplay production.

Because of the moves, defneseman Erik Gustafsson was recently sent down.  However, he showed a huge upside (TCLFlyers), and could very well be called up again if needed.

With the paperwork already done for two trades, what will the Flyers do next (Crimespree Hockey)?  One option could be going after Rick Nash, but would he be a good fit (SBNation Philly)?  The biggest problem right now is goaltending, but there is no easy way to fix that (The Hockey Guys), so the Flyers may have to keep building around that.  

There are many players rumored to be going, but the one being talked about the most is James van Riemsdyk.  Should the Flyers trade him (Crimespree Hockey)?  Him being moved, along with other trade rumors were discussed on the latest Flyers Corner (TCLFlyers), which is now a part of The Checking Line - Flyers Edition (TCLFlyers).

The annual Flyers Wives Fight For Lives Carnival was yesterday, and it was once again a great event, raising loads of money for charity (Flyers Faithful).  There was unfortunately some upsetting news, though, in regards to captain Chris Pronger’s health (CSNPhilly).  It’s sad to hear that Chris and his family is considering reaching out to Keith Primeau, who has been suffering from post-concussion syndrome for six years.

The Flyers will have to move on without Pronger though, and division wins have now become key because of their recent struggles overall (TCLFlyers).

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The only team who isn’t putting pressure on the Flyers right now is the Islanders.  They’re at the bottom of the division with 58 points.  At this point, every game can be considered as a must-win for the Islanders to have a chance at the playoffs.  Their next opponents are the Senators (TCL Isles).  Evgeni Nabokov, who could be in an Islanders sweater again next year (TCL Isles), needs to have another big game.

After an impressive outing vs the Flyers and a great year thus far, James Neal was resigned to the Pittsburgh Penguins after the game (PensBurgh).  He had just one point though when the Penguins surprisingly lost to the Sabres (TSN).

The New York Rangers grabbed another win, this one coming on overtime vs the Blue Jackets.  Rick Nash scored late to tie it, but the Rangers shook that off, scoring just 22 seconds into overtime (Boston Herald).

Although the Blue Shirts are on top of the division, the team that has been most impressive as of late are the New Jersey Devils.  They’ve won three straight, and are 8-1-1 in their last 10 games.  Their most recent win came vs the Montreal Canadiens (The Checking Line), and they’ve now overtaken the Flyers in the standings.


@ WPG  Tuesday 2/21
@ EDM  Thursday 2/23
@ CAL  Saturday 2/25
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Kimmo Timo