Flyers Ready to Run for “THE CUP”

In Philadelphia Flyers on January 31, 2012 at 10:34 am

With 48 games played and 34 remaining the Flyers come out of the All Star break in a nice position. They’re in 2nd place in the Atlantic Division 3 points behind the dreaded Rangers. What’s in the Flyers favor is that they play 7 of the next 9 games in the friendly confines of the Wells Fargo Center. The 2 road games are at the Rangers February 5 and at Detroit, 1st in overall points with 67, on February 12th. During those 7 games the Rangers and Penguins come in as well as Nashville, the Devils, Islanders, Maple Leafs and Sabers. Obviously the 2 games against the Rangers will be important especially if it’s a 4 point swing either way. We will know an awful lot about this team after this 9 game, 3 week stretch.

The team is presently 29-14-5 and has done it with a ton of injuries throughout the 1st half of the season. Chris Pronger is lost for the season, Claude Giroux, Shane Couturier, Braydon Shenn, James Van Riemsdyk, Jaromir Jagr and now Danny Briere have missed games due to injuries. Only Scott Hartnell, Jakub Voracek, Wayne Simmonds, Matt Carle, Max Talbot and Andrej Meszaros have played in all 48 games.

The scoring leaders at the break are Giroux 18 goals, 37 assists, 55 points (18-27-55). He is 2nd in the league in scoring and 4th in assists. Hartnell 25-19-44 with 13 power play goals which is tied for the league lead. His 25 goals tie him for 6th in the league. Jagr 12-22-34. Kimmo Timonen 2-29-31. Rookie Matt Read 15-16-31. Read is 1st in goals by a rookie and 3rd in total rookie points and rookie +/-, and Briere 13-17-30.

The problem has again been inconsistency in the goal. The job belongs to high price off season acquisition Ilya Bryzgalov but he doesn’t seem to want to keep it. He is 18-10-4 with a 2.99 GGA (goals against average) with 1 shutout. Sergei Bobrovsky has done a real nice job as a fill in. Bob is 11-4-1 with a 2.42 GGA. At some point Head Coach Peter Laviolette will have to make a decision on his #1 net minder will be going in to the playoffs. If it were today the answer looks pretty clear, it’s Bob. There’s a long way to go and goalies can get hot and carry teams to Stanley Cup Championships so I’m sure this will play out for another 20 games or so.

The Flyers need to get and stay healthy, be consistent in the goal and continue their aggressive play without any major slumps. I feel this team can make a deep run in to the playoffs and if the goaltending is great WIN THE CUP!!!!

  1. The goaltending has been a nightmare in the playoffs since Ron Hextall’s rookie year. When a save absolutely has to be made, Flyer goalies can’t make it. Hard to believe that it has been close to 25 years to develop a decent goalie. Lindbergh was very good and Hextall was also very good the first few years of his career. Flyer goalies have pretty much stunk since. The guys they get are either waaaaaay past their prime or just plain bad. The Flyers have struck out on the position so many times, that they put enormous pressure on the guys they bring in. All the Flyers need from Bryzgalov is to be the goalie he was in Phoenix. You have to hope he can do that. It’s not like he was a 1 year flash in the pan goalie. His save percentage was over 92% three out of the last 4 years with a good GAA. This year he is not even stopping 90% of his shots. All you need is for him to round in to form over the last ten games for me to think he could play well in the playoffs. I’m not sold on Bob at all. It’s very easy to play well when your the “other” guy. When they needed him to be “the guy” last year in the playoffs, he stunk out the joint. I think they can beat any team in the league if the goalie plays well as the offense really does not take a back seat to any team in the league.

    • Couldn’t agree with you more. The only difference is this year no one can say they took the cheap route and didn’t want to pay. They opened the vault for Bryz!!

  2. He has been pretty good of late. Lets see how he goes down the stretch. That is when it counts. Giants , Coughlin looking like a hall a fame coach down the stretch. Ok that is a stretch I guess.

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