Flyers Keep on Rolling, 5-2 over Florida
Perhaps it was just the money talking for Jeff Carter, but in his postgame press availability he was asked about playing in Philadelphia. The sometimes winger, sometimes center replied, “We have a good thing going here”. He hit the nail on the head.
The Flyers triumphed again Saturday night in impressive fashion, 5-2 over the Florida Panthers at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia. At this point, I’m not even sure it matters who the opponent is for the Flyers. If the team plays their game, they look to be unstoppable. It will be interesting to see how long the streak of earning points in a game can extend, and how the team bounces back from there. But, until then, all I can do is admire the effort on the ice, the talent in the skates and the final tally on the scoreboard.
There isn’t much more to say about the game on Saturday. The Flyers led 5-0 through two periods on two goals from Claude Giroux and Mike Richards in addition to a Scott Hartnell goal. The most important occurrence in Saturday’s game was the loss of Andreas Nodl to injury. Nodl has been extraordinary since being called up, in fact he’s been much better than James van Riemsdyk this year. He took a puck off his foot on Saturday and although the x-rays were negative, he was held out of Sunday’s practice. General Manager Paul Holmgren stated after the game Saturday night that Nodl was 50/50 to play Monday against Ottawa. Holmgren also said that if Nodl couldn’t play, JVR would be inserted into the lineup in his place. With the way the team is clicking right now, van Riemsdyk will need to be impressive to keep his place on the roster.
Before Saturday’s game it was announced that Carter had signed an 11-year, 58 million dollar contract extension. To be clear, I am not the Carter’s biggest fan, but it has little to do with his talent level. When he shows a determination to be near the net, his production is more stable and the team plays better. However, he is prone to fall in love with his wrist shot and disappear for a few games before he reins it in and gets near the net. It’s a fantastically frustrating cycle, but the guy has the talent of a player that you build around as a franchise. With that being said, the deal is great for both sides. Carter took a pay cut to play in Philadelphia, and that’s extraordinary for the team moving forward. There was some worry that with Carter’s contract extension around the corner, the team would have little left to extend Ville Leino. However, with Carter on the books, the Flyers should have the ability to ink Leino’s extension sooner than later. Holmgren has taken care of Giroux and Carter early in the season; therefore I would expect that he takes care of Leino too. I have more admiration for Carter than I did Saturday morning, because although he could have demanded at least seven million a year, he didn’t. He took a cut in pay to remain in Philadelphia and help keep the foundation of the team intact.
This will be a busy week for the Flyers, and it’s important that they keep their momentum going in the beginning of the week. Monday, they take on the Senators at home and Tuesday they travel to Montreal for a huge showdown with the Canadiens. Here are a few things worth watching: A)-Can the team maintain focus against Ottawa, despite a big road game looming the next day? B)- Can the team look like a dominating force against the Habs, one of the Eastern Conference’s best teams? C)- Bobrovsky has played in nine straight games, the Flyers gained a point in all of them. Will Boucher ever play again? If so, when?
There aren’t too many other questions facing the team right now. They’ve got a ‘good thing going’. And that’s an understatement.