Flyers: In Case You Missed It (Week Ending 3/13)
Welcome to the first edition of Flyers: In Case You Missed It. In this column, we’ll briefly recap the Flyers games from the past week, as well as report on any current team news.
Photo Credit: Jim McIsaac, Getty Images North America
Tuesday, March 8th – Flyers 4, Oilers 1
The Flyers got the win on Tuesday against Edmonton, but it wasn’t pretty. Again, they lost steam partway through the game and struggled with turnovers. Jeff Carter scored two goals for the Flyers, while Blair Betts and Danny Briere also scored. After losing four in a row, the Flyers needed this win; however, it was clear that there were still problems. Defenseman Chris Pronger said after the game that there was still a lot of work to do. The Flyers hoped to make it two in a row when they traveled to Toronto to take on the Maple Leafs on Thursday.
Thursday, March 10th – Flyers 3, Maple Leafs 2
Just one week after the Leafs beat the Flyers in Philadelphia, the Flyers got their revenge. Andrej Meszaros scored in the first, and Darroll Powe and Claude Giroux added goals in the 2nd. Brian Boucher stopped 27 of 29 shots, only allowing goals from Mikhail Grabovski (a shot that hit off of Grabovski’s visor) and former Flyer Joffrey Lupul. Meszaros’ goal was on a power play, something that the Flyers have struggled with this season. Though it was a close game, the Flyers played with a lot more life than they did in their previous few, and held off a potential rally from the Leafs to get the win.
Saturday, March 12th – Atlanta 5, Flyers 4 (OT)
The game was in the bag for the Flyers. They were up 3-0 going into the third period, on two goals from Ville Leino and one from Kimmo Timonen. When the Thrashers scored two goals, the Flyers answered with Leino’s third goal of the night – his first hat trick of the season. But the Flyers couldn’t hold off the Thrashers, and after a goal from Tobias Enstrom late in the third, captain Andrew Ladd scored with about 45 seconds left in the game to tie it up. Ladd’s goal came after a horrible turnover in the Flyers’ zone by Kris Versteeg, Ladd’s former teammate in Chicago. Ron Hainsey scored a little over a minute into overtime to win it for the Thrashers. Any loss is bad, but this one was just plain awful.
• Defenseman Chris Pronger sat out the last two games with a right wrist injury. Pronger was hit in the wrist by a shot in the February 25th game against the Islanders. He has been wearing a hard cast for the past couple of days, but General Manager Paul Holmgren says that it’s just to help with the soreness and the healing, and that the x-rays and MRI on Pronger’s wrist have all come back negative. Holmgren spoke to the media between the first and second periods of Saturday’s game and said that Pronger was listed as day-to-day and would hopefully be in the lineup on Tuesday for the game against Florida.
• There have been some rumors about some problems in the Flyers locker room. Pronger was agitated after Tuesday’s win and apparently exchanged some words with Claude Giroux. Paul Holmgren said that he was glad that Pronger called Giroux out, and that he thinks Giroux will benefit from what happened. The frustration had been building with the team’s losses and struggles, and it was bound to come to a head the way it did. Personally, I don’t think this exchange between Pronger and Giroux is a huge deal. Also, of course there’s tension in the Flyers locker room – they’re not playing well. There is a brotherhood and a camaraderie between the players, but when things aren’t going well, things are going to be tense. When things start clicking again on the ice, I guarantee things will be better in the locker room.
The Flyers are still having trouble with turnovers, with keeping momentum for all 60 minutes of the game, and with finding their rhythm on the ice. They’re starting to score while on the power play, which is good, but things still aren’t right. There are only 15 games left in the season, and they need to figure out what exactly isn’t clicking and how they can fix it soon, before they lose their spot atop the Eastern Conference to one of the teams that is quickly catching up to them in the standings. The team traveled to Sunrise, Florida today, where they will face the Panthers on Tuesday. They’ll have a rematch with the Thrashers on Thursday, and then travel to Dallas to face the Stars on Saturday.