Better With Popcorn

Link Checks 4/3/2012

The madness of the Flyers vs Penguins game is done and over with, but fines were still to be handed out.  Just yesterday, Flyers head coach Peter Laviolette was fined $10,000 for his actions during the team’s 6-4 win (TCL Flyers).  Penguins assistant coach Tony Granato was fined $2,500.  This makes for an outstanding grudge match for the playoffs (Crimespree Hockey).  The rivalry has gone so haywire (Crimespree Hockey), that even analysts and assistant coaches are weighing in on what happened during the game (The 700 Level).

It’s time to put that in the past now, as the Flyers next opponent are the tough New York Rangers.  The Flyers will look to prevent a Rangers’ sweep over them this year, and they’ll have to do so without the services of Danny Briere and Nicklass Grossmann (TCL Flyers).  There is a big gap in the defense with Grossmann out, and Lilja will need to fill in (Orange and Black Pack).  Bryzgalov is healthy and ready to go after missing three games with a foot fracture (Shelby Peppers), but Briere, meanwhile, is unsure of when he will return (CSNPhilly).

Fortunately for the Flyers, they can still be a solid team even with injuries to key players.  They already have so much depth, and they’ve recently added to it.  Matt Mangene (F/D, University of Maine) and Matt Konan (D, Medicine Hat, WHL) were signed to future entry-level contracts (TCL Flyers).

Wayne Simmonds, who is embracing the role of a scorer in Philadelphia (The Hockey Guys), has had a career year since joining the Flyers.  Him and the rest of the new additions have defined the season, along with things like Bryzgalov’s rollercoaster ride and Pronger’s injury (CSNPhilly).

The Capitals were unable to stop the Lightning last night (NHL.com)....

    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 80 88 40 32 8
               
9. Buffalo NE 79 86 38 31 10

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

….and the Sabres could take back the eighth place playoff spot tonight.  They’ll host the Maple Leafs and will be desperate for a win as their next two opponents after the Leafs will be the Flyers and Bruins (NHL.com).

With a Penguins loss to the Bruins (NHL.com), all the Rangers would need is to go to overtime vs the Flyers tonight (NHL.com).  To avoid discussing every possible scenario, a simple fact: The Rangers’ magic number over the Penguins to clinch the Eastern Conference is one.

The only other game that involves an EC playoff team is the Devils vs the Islanders.  The Devils will want a win vs the lowly Islanders to prevent the Senators from catching them (TCL Isles).

FLYERS' NEXT THREE OPPONENTS

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