Better With Popcorn

Link Checks 2/6/2012

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 Flyers had a big opportunity to climb up the division standings this past weekend, as they played both the Devils and the Rangers.  They came up short on both occasions.

In Newark, NJ on Saturday, the Flyers were dominated in the beginning.  Despite an outstanding third period in which the Flyers outshot the Devils 24-1, they couldn't make up for the six goals they let in (TCLFlyers).  The final was 6-4.

The big game was on Sunday though.  The leading Rangers were the opponents, a team who was not too far ahead of the Flyers in the Atlantic Division.  The Flyers were yet to beat them this  year, and that trend unfortunately continued (TCLFlyers).  It was once again a slow start, which is hurting the Flyers big-time (SBNation Philly).

The Blueshirts tallied five goals, one on an empty net, compared to just two Flyers' goals.  The "You can't beat us" chant from the crowd couldn't have been more truthful, as the Rangers have had the Flyers' number in six meetings this year. Something that may have been overshadowed in the terrible loss is Wayne Simmonds' career-numbers (Philly.com).  He hit a career-high with 17 goals.

In a lost opportunity for the Flyers this weekend, there were plenty of negatives.  One was that Bryzgalov, who has been improving as of late, took a big step back vs the Rangers (TCLFlyers).  However, there is a positive you can take from the weekend: the Flyers consistent physical play (TCLFlyers).

If the Flyers want to make a serious run at the Cup, there will have to be a lot of improvement from not only the goaltending, but the defense as well (CSNPhilly).  Getting back injured players would also help too, so some good news is that Danny Briere might be back in the lineup this Tuesday (CSNPhilly).  Regarding winger James van Riemsdyk, he did skate today but his return date is still unknown (@BroadStBull).

Chances are, if you have a Twitter account, or if you caught some All-Star game action, you've heard of 'Hartnell Down.'  Where did it originate though (CSNPhilly Video)?  It all started with with an idea from the man named Seth Hastings.

Scott Hartnell is one player who won't be going anywhere at the trade deadline, but who might be?  There is a list of players who could see themselves getting shipped away from their current team as the NHL gets closer and closer to the trade deadline (Crimespree Hockey).

Unlike the Flyers, the Rangers took advantage of the opportunity given to them...

 
  GP POINTS WINS LOSSES OTL
1. Image preview 50 71 33 12 5
2. Image preview 52 66 30 16 6
3. Image preview 53 64 30 19 4
4. Image preview 52 63 30 19 3
5. Image preview 51 50 20 22 8

With their win against the Flyers, they increased their division lead by five points, and they have a whole two games in hand.  The Rangers made a minor deal by trading Erik Christensen not long ago.  What did they get in return, and could it possibly be a set of chain events approaching the deadline (The Hockey Guys)?

The Penguins won one of two games this past weekend.  They were 2-1 victors in Boston on Saturday (NHL.com), but lost a big game to the Devils yesterday, a final of 5-2 (PensBurgh).

The Devils are just one point away from the Penguins with their win yesterday.  They've now won four straight games (In Lou We Trust).

The Islanders, well, are where they usually are.  Sitting in last place in the Atlantic Division, they tried to get their win percentage to .500, but were unable to do so in a 4-3 loss to the Sabres (TCL Isles).

 

FLYERS' NEXT THREE OPPONENTS

vs NYI  Tuesday 2/7
vs TOR   Thursday 2/9
vs NYR  Saturday 2/11
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Jagr