Philly Phaithful
Better With Popcorn

Link Checks 4/2/2012

Gaining three of four points in an important weekend (TCL Flyers) made the Flyers a happy team, especially because two of the points were earned against their division rivals the Penguins (TCL Flyers).  Sean Couturier’s line once again proved to be the ‘shutdown’ line, something which makes the Flyers a more formidable playoff foe (The Hockey Guys).  That line and the rest of the Flyers look to be getting in the Pens’ heads and aggravating them (Frequent Flyers).  All three guys on that line are new to the team this year, and them along with all the rookies are silencing the ones who questioned Holmgren’s decision to give a whole new look to the team (SBNation Philly).  

At the end of the game, a big line brawl occurred between the two teams, and even head coach Peter Laviolette stood on top of the bench and was yelling at Penguins coach Dan Bylsma for putting his fourth line out with just a minute left in a 3-goal game (YouTube).  Laviolette described Bylsma’s decision as “gutless.” (YouTube).  Analyst Bill Clement, who is making headlines for his recently published book (TCL Flyers), enjoyed the old-style hockey.  Unfortunately the important win will leave both Briere and Grossmann sidelined for a bit (TCL Flyers).

The other game of the weekend was played Saturday afternoon.  The Flyers were in Ottawa where they once again had to try and climb their way out of an early opposition lead.  They couldn’t do it this time, though, and they lost in a shootout by a final score of 4-3 (TCL Flyers).  The star of that game and even the NHL’s first star of the week (TCL Flyers), Wayne Simmonds, couldn’t be stopped even after taking a puck to the face (TCL Flyers).  He’s proving to be a warrior for the Flyers (SBNation Philly) and shows true toughness (Philly.com).

He’s not the only one being awarded for his efforts though.  Netminder Ilya Bryzgalov has been named the NHL’s first star of the month (TCL Flyers).  Given his lack of recent playoff success, many are wondering if he can provide consistent, solid goaltending this postseason (Flyers Faithful).

He’ll have to in order for the Flyers to beat the Penguins again come playoff time, a series which is all but set in stone now.

    DIV GP P W L OTL
1. X - NY Rangers ATL 79 107 50 22 7
2. Y - Boston NE 79 98 47 28 4
3. * - Florida SE 79 91 37 25 17
4. X - Pittsburgh ATL 79 102 48 25 6
5. X - Philadelphia ATL 79 101 46 24 9
6. X - New Jersey ATL 79 96 45 28 6
7. X - Ottawa NE 79 92 41 28 10
8. Washington SE 79 88 40 31 8
               
9. Buffalo NE 79 86 38 31 10

X - Clinched Playoff Spot.............Y - Clinched Division.............* - Division Leader

There’’s only one spot up for grabs now, and it’s between Washington and Buffalo.  They’ll be fighting for the 8th and final spot, but Florida could also be eliminated as they have yet to clinch their division.

Washington and Tampa Bay will be playing in the only Eastern Conference game tonight.  The Caps really need a win tonight (NHL.com) as the Sabres will be versing the 13th place Leafs tomorrow night.

FLYERS' NEXT THREE OPPONENTS

vs NYR  Tuesday 4/3
vs BUF  Thursday 4/5
@ PIT  Saturday 4/7
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Jagr