Better With Popcorn

Link Checks 4/4/2012

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The sixth Flyers vs Rangers game of the season ended in the same result as the other five: a Flyers loss.

For the first time since the 1972-73 season, the Rangers swept the Flyers in all regular season games.  The Flyers started out flat, being scored on four times before getting one.  The Rangers’ lead was too big to overcome and the Flyers lost, 5-3 (TCL Flyers).  Rangers goaltender Henrik Lundqvist just can’t be solved (CSNPhilly).  He was just one of many reasons the Flyers couldn’t defeat them though (Hockey Buzz).

Even though they were swept, the season beatdown the Flyers received may have its benefits for the Flyers (TCL Flyers).  Besides, it’s all about the playoffs now (Philly.com).  There are, of course, some key things the Flyers need to change, and they have to do it quickly as there are only two games remaining (The Inquirer).  A positive though is how much Claude Giroux is improving in the faceoff circle (Of Ice and Men).

With injuries to key players, the Flyers’ depth will have to come through yet again in the playoffs.  That depth is continually being added to.  On March 27th, draft pick Nick Cousins was signed (Of Ice and Men) and on April 2nd, Matt Mangene and Matt Konan were signed to future entry level contracts (TCL Flyers).  The latest deal throughout the farm teams is that of Matt Ford.  The right-winger was signed to a two-way deal worth $600,000 (The Hockey Guys).

With their win over the Flyers, the Rangers have clinched the Eastern Conference.

    DIV GP P W L OTL
1. Z - NY Rangers ATL 80 109 51 22 7
2. Y - Boston NE 80 98 47 29 4
3. * - Florida SE 80 92 37 25 18
4. X - Pittsburgh ATL 80 104 49 25 6
5. X - Philadelphia ATL 80 101 46 25 9
6. X - New Jersey ATL 80 98 46 28 6
7. X - Ottawa NE 80 92 41 29 10
8. Washington SE 80 88 40 32 8
               
9. Buffalo NE 80 88 38 31 10

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

The Penguins, who won’t be catching the ‘Blueshirts’ now, still picked up an important two points last night.  They took the Northeast Division winners, the Boston Bruins, by a 5-3 score (NHL.com).  Letang and Crosby led the way with three points each.  During the game, Joe Vitale, who Flyers fans know as the man who took out Briere and Grossmann, took a Zdeno Chara wrist shot to the head (The 700 Level).

The Devils were hosting the Islanders and they moved two points closer to the Flyers with a 3-1 win (TCL Isles).  Meanwhile, the Senators could have locked up the seventh spot in the conference with a single point, but they lost in regulation to the ‘Canes (NHL.com).  They’re likely to finish seventh, a low seed of course, but they could continue to surprise in the playoffs like they have many times this season (RLD Hockey).

The most important game of the night though was between the Leafs and Sabres.  The Sabres were desperate to pick up two points, and their desperation sure was shown.  They battled back from losing 3-0 to tie it up, then went down once again and had to come back from a 5-3 deficit.  They wouldn’t quit though, and they eventually beat the Leafs in overtime (NHL.com).

UPCOMING GAMES

vs BUF  Thursday 4/5
@ PIT  Saturday 4/7
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Bob ESPN