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Posts Tagged ‘Kimmo Timonen’

FLYERS “STAY OR GO” FAN VOTE

In Philadelphia Flyers on May 30, 2012 at 7:17 pm

Recently Philly.com completed their end of season fan voting for the Philadelphia Flyers. This end of year tradition allows fans to vote which individual players should “stay” or “go” before next season. I always enjoy these because only the rabid fans bother to vote. Presently the voting is taking place for the 76ers so you can log on and cast your votes. When the Eagles voting was completed in January we broke down the results and shared them with you. Following is the link to that article. https://phillypressbox.wordpress.com/2012/01/08/eagles-stay-or-go-fan-vote/ 

Here’s how it works. you go on the site and  Once you’ve voted on the player the current vote result is shown.  There have been between 5000 votes cast so far, (you don’t have to vote for every player). Again, just like with the Eagles we found the results very surprising. Here’s the breakdown.

There were a total of 26 players listed plus 3 goalies, head coach Peter Laviolette and General Manager Paul Holmgren. Of the 26 “position” players 16 were forwards and 10 were defensmen. Using 50% “stay” versus 50% “go” here is the list of forwards that the Flyers fans feel need to “go” before next season. With only 7.7% of the voters voting “stay” Jody Shelley. Shelley was followed by Tom Sestito with 39.8% voting for him to stay. It seems a little unfair for Sestiton when most fans don’t know who he is. The only other forward with less than 50% of the votes, at 49.2% is James van Reisdyke.  Those are three forwards that the fans want to get rid of to get the team over the top.

We also found it interesting which order the fans picked their favorite players that they want to stay. Guess what? Claude Giroux was not on top of the list. Follewing is the list with the percentage of “stay” votes, forwards only. Sean Couturier, 97.7%, Giroux, 97.4%, Branyden Shenn, 94.3%, Max Talbot, 94.2%, Matt Read, 92.9%, Wayne Simmonds, 90.1% Jakub Voracek, 91.0%, Eric Wellwood, 88.3%, Danny Briere, 83.4%, Scott Hartnell, 83.4%, Zac Rinaldo, 59.9%, Harry Zolnierczyk, 56.3% and Jaromir Jagr, 54.3%.

There you have it for the offense. What do you think? I’m actually pretty surprised.

On the blue line there 10 players to vote on and again we were somewhat surprised. The fans have voted to unload four of the 10. The lowest amount of stay votes was Andreas Lilja with 18.2%. He was followed by Pavel Kubina with 18.4%, Matt Carle at 34.0% and Chris Pronger at 42.2%. We’re really surprised that Carle is on this list. He logged the second most minutes by a defenseman in the playoffs and although he had his moments generally played fairly well. For the second straight season Carle has played in every game. He scored 4 goals and added 34 assists with a +4 for the regular season and added 2 goals and 4 assists with a -3 in the playoffs. 

The results on who the fans wanted to “stay” on defense isn’t quite so surprising. Nicklas Grossman led the way with 94.3% of the vote. He was followed by Andrej Meszaros, 91.6%, Braydon Coburn, 91.5%, Eric Gustaffson, 86.9%, Marc-Andre Bourdon, 76.9% and Kimmo Timonen, 71.6.

The take away from this list appears to be that the fans want out with the older players, Lilja is 36 years old, Kubina is 35, Pronger is 37 and injured and Timonen is now 37. As we stated earlier the only surprise is Carle.

That brings us to the goaltenders. There were three to chose from. We’re not sure how Michael Leighton made the list but he did. We can’t say we’re shocked but somewhat surprised by the results. The fans pretty much want to get rid of all of the goalies. Sergei Bobrovski is the only one that made the cut with just 50.4% of the voters wanting him to “stay”. Ilya Bryzgalov received 47.0% and Leighton 19.7%.

The interesting point on the goaltenders is that Bryzgalov kept the Flyers in the playoffs for the most part. He did allow some bad goals in the high-flying Pittsburgh series but he kept the Flyers in the Devils series in spite of the end result. Without Bryzgalov’s outstanding play it would’ve been far worse.

That brings us to the staff, Laviolette and Holmgren. Both received the votes from the fans to “stay”. Holmgren received 87.8% and Lavy 85.4%. Obviously the fans were happy with them.

So there you have it Flyers fans, you have spoken. If it were up to the fans the 2013 team will be without JVR, Shelley, Sestito, Pronger, Carle, Lilja, Kubina, Leighton and Bryzgalov. Who will replace these guys and what will the Flyers do to upgrade for the next run for the cup?

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“View from the Philly Pressbox” – Flyers-Penguins, Game 6, The Clincher

In Philadelphia Flyers on April 23, 2012 at 5:35 pm

In today’s “View from the Philly Pressbox” we look at the Flyers dominating, 5-1, series closeout, victory over the Penguins in Game 6 of the 1st Round at the Wells Fargo Center, Sunday afternoon.

In our series preview we identified the four keys for the Flyers to win the series and they didn’t change throughout the series.

  • ·        Don’t fall behind early in games
  • ·        Ilya Bryzgalov
  • ·        Staying out of the penalty box
  • ·        Stay healthy

Don’t fall behind early in games. The team that scored first in the first five games of the series had lost the game. Claude Giroux and the Flyers would have none of that in Game 6. Giroux started the game with a bone crushing hit on Sidney Crosby, 5 seconds in to the game, that set the tone. Giroux completed his shift by shooting a laser shot, just inside the pipe at the :32 second mark. The route was on! The Flyers fought off a Danny Brier high sticking penalty at the 2:08 mark and then put their lethal power plant to work. With Matt Cooke off for interference, Scott Hartnell poked a goal past Marc-Andre Fleury to make it 2-0. Giroux and Jakub Voracek added assists at the 13:01 mark. The period ended with 10 shots for the Flyers and 9 for the Penguins. The Penguins were buzzing throughout the period but it was very clear from the start of the game that there would be no lead change in this game. The Flyers were in a defensive lock-down mode from the drop of the fist puck.  This was the type of period that we had been expecting all series long.

Ilya Bryzgalov – Bryzgalov stopped 30 of 31 shots in the game and never wavered. He played well. The only goal he allowed was a screen shot by Evgeni Malkin that he had little chance of stopping. Bryz, along an outstanding team defensive effort, never wavered throughout the game. He was solid.

This was an interesting series for goaltenders. Bryz, and the Flyers, allowed 26 goals, while Fleury, and the Penguins, allowed 30 goals. Bryzgalov and Fleury were both under fire in this series and both replaced during the series once, but we know that these are both quality goalies. If ever you could say that hockey is a “team” game that has to be played by everyone on the ice, it was this series. When the total team effort was put in play, by the Penguins in Game 5 and the Flyers in Game 6, the goalies showed their stuff.

Stay Healthy – James Van Riemsdyk was back in the lineup again for the second straight game after missing a good part of the season with various injuries.  JVR saw only 6:46 seconds of ice time in his second game back. His return to full action is still a work in progress.

Nick Grossman was unable to play again due to an “upper body injury”. Grossman has been a big part of the defense down the stretch and a very important member of the blue liners. However, Grossman being out may have been a blessing in disguise for the Flyers. With Grossman out, Peter Laviolette didn’t have to make a decision regarding which defenseman to scratch. That left rookie Eric Gustaffson in the lineup. Gus responded with his first career playoff goal, logged the third most minutes of any defenseman, 22:09, blocked a team high seven shots and tallied a +3 for the game. Gustaffson’s ability to step in and play well against Malkin and Sidney Crosby allowed the ice time to be spread out among Braydon Coburn, Matt Carle, Kimmo Timonen and Andreas Lilja more evenly. Pavel Kubina saw only 4:31 second of ice time. Tired players make mistakes and the Flyers couldn’t afford mistakes on the back end in this game.

With the Flyers earning a few days rest, awaiting their next opponent, there will be a better chance of getting Grossman back for Round 2. Also, more time may allow the Flyers to get Andrej Meszaros back from injury as well. It will be a big boost to get both of these guys back. Lavey could have tough, but good, decisions to make.

Staying out of the penalty box will be critical. The Flyers were whistled for five minor penalties in the game, with one resulting in the Malkin goal. Moving forward in the playoffs, the Flyers must remain disciplined and stay out of the box. Five penalties, not many in a regular season game, are too many in a playoff game. The Penguins were charged with three minor penalties, resulting in one Flyer power play goal. On the flip side, the Flyers penalty kill combinations were excellent. Forwards Max Talbot, Giroux and Matt Read, along with defenseman Coburn, Carle and Timonen were all over the ice, smothering the Penguins power play.

Special Teams is always critical in the playoffs. The Flyers held the advantage in 5 of the 6 games of the series, including Game 6. For the series, the Flyers scored on 11 of 23 power play opportunities, an unbelievable 47.8%. The league average is slightly above 20%. They added 3 shorthanded goals as well.

Following the Game 5 loss in Pittsburgh, Scott Hartnell stated, “Five-on-five, we got badly outplayed, badly outscored; now we’ve got to regroup.” The Flyers did exactly that, scoring three even strength goals as well as an empty net goal. Just as importantly, the Flyers did not allow a Penguins an even strength goal. They held Crosby to only three shots and a -3 for the game. Crosby was held to zero points in the last two games of the series. Malkin managed a total of six shots and a -1 while logging the most ice time of any forward in the game, 27:43.

The reason for the Flyers success in Game 6 was a total team lock down defense that started with the first dropped puck. The Flyers blocked a total of 40 shots to go along with Bryzgalov’s 30 saves. The fore-checking and back-checking was outstanding. Sean Couturier’s work on Malkin was tremendous throughout the series. Malkin did score three goals in the series but he earned them. His frustration with Couturier was evident early in the series and got worse, or better depending on who you were rooting for, as the series went on. It was an outstanding effort by the rookie.

Our prediction was the Flyers in 6 games. We hit it right on the nose. I can’t say it happened anywhere close to how we expected it but the result is the same. We expected to see six games played like the last two. The Penguins took themselves out of the series early by deciding that hitting, clean and dirty, was more important than scoring goals. Their early series antics cost them the first three games and ultimately the series. It was also interesting the response from Penguins coach Dan Bylsma, “I want to congratulate the Flyers organization on the series win but, I really can’t wish them good luck though.”  That classless attitude fom the coach is the same one that his team brought to the series and the same one they’ll carry with them as the losing team. Leadership starts at the top and this is a good indication of the Penguins leadership.

While the Penguins were suffering from leadership problems the Flyers leadership was just starting to show its face in the name of Claude Giroux. Peter Laviolette said this following the game about Giroux,  “When the best player in the world comes up to you and says, ‘I don’t know who you’re planning on starting, but I want that first shift,’ that says everything you need to know about Claude Giroux right there.” He added, “His game tonight was monstrous. He was so adamant he wanted that first shift. He wanted to make a statement. You see the skill, but sometimes you don’t hear that, you don’t know that, you don’t get that feel for him. Or maybe you do, but we do. For him to come up and say that, that speaks volumes for him – not just as a player but as a person.” Briere added, “About 10 seconds before they dropped the puck, he came over and told me, ‘Watch the first shift. He set the tone. That first shift, that was beautiful to see. That’s the sign of a great leader.” However the most telling compliment may have come from Timonen who stated, “We talked about getting off to a good start. He got us off to a great start. To me, he’s the best player in the league right now.”

Lastly, it’s tough to talk about individual play in a series like this because you will always miss guys that played well, however, we would be remiss to not talk about the goal scoring of Briere, 5 goals, the overall play of Jaromir Jagr, Hartnell, Talbot and the rookies, Couturier, Read, Brayden Shenn, an empty net goal, and Eric Wellwood. Most importantly was the play of Coburn and Carle throughout the series. They logged between 25 and 30 a game, every game of the series. They were a wall on the ice and had very few breakdowns while keeping the high powered Penguins in check. Hats off to them for an outstanding series!!

Finally, hats off to the Flyers fans that had “The Well” rocking every game from the start of the game to the finish. Kate Smith and Lauren Hart can do that to you if you need a boost.

Bring on the next opponent, the Penguins are history, whoever they are! The Flyers will be ready!!

 As Gene Hart would say” GOOD NIGHT and GOOD HOCKEY”

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DON’T PANIC FLYERS FANS!!

In Philadelphia Flyers on February 13, 2012 at 5:54 pm

Flyers fans lets stress one thing as we suffer through the past month – DON’T PANIC. Easier said than done since the team has gotten 4 wins plus a shootout win and 6 loses plus 3 more shootout loses since January 14. That’s a total of 28 possible points. The Flyers have only earned only 12. The goaltending continues to be erratic. Injuries are still a major problem and there seems to be some frustration mounting among the players, Kimmo Timonen.

We all have to admit that the last month has produced some ugly games including big losses to the Rangers twice, the Devils and the Islanders. A big problem is falling behind early and having to play catch-up. This team just doesn’t seem to have that kind of firepower at even strength and seems to be shorthanded a lot more than they are on the power play. So was does coach Peter Laviolette need to do? Keep the troops from imploding inside the dressing room and get players healthy for the playoffs. If we’ve learned anything in the last few years in all sports it’s about being hot at the end of the season and in to the playoffs. When the Flyers made their latest run to the Stanley Cup Finals they didn’t make the playoffs until winning a shootout in the last game of the season. We watched the St. Louis Cardinals come to town on fire down the regular season stretch and beat the heavily favored Phillies and go on to win the World Series. The Dallas Mavericks were not better than the Miami Heat the entire season but they were in the NBA Finals on the way to the championship. The same can be said for the New York Giants who had to win the last week of the season to take their 9-7 record to the playoffs only to whip everyone they played to win the Super Bowl, and going back a few years, how many times did we see Martin Brodeur stand on his head in the playoffs and carry his teams.

With that said, the team is still 2nd in the Atlantic Division, but losing ground to the Rangers, behind by 7 points right now and they are last in goals allowed in the Atlantic but they are still 3rd overall in points in the Eastern Conference. Another reason not to panic! There are 26 games left on the schedule so, in my opinion, they have 12-14 games to get it together and hit stride for the last 12-14 games heading in to the playoffs. They need to continue to get healthy. The young legs of Claude Giroux, Matt Read and Sean Couturier must stay strong as they go in to the longest season of their careers. On the opposite end Jaromir Jagr, Danny Briere and Scott Hartnell must continue to play well and get healthy. The defense must get better across the board so Timonen, Matt Carle and Braydon Coburn aren’t required to play so many minutes. Most importantly a goaltender needs to stand up and be counted. Ilya Bryzgalov is 19-11-6 with a 2.78 goals against average. Sergie Bobrovsky is 12-7-1 with a 2.90 GGA. Those stats will not win a Stanley Cup.

Remember this, as hard as it is to do, the season is not a sprint, it’s a marathon. Many coaches break the schedule in to segments and try to win those segments while shuffling players, fighting injuries, fighting team and player scoring slumps and yes, goaltender slumps. The Flyers still have plenty of time to pull it together and get hot in time for the playoffs. From there we make our run!!!

GOOD NIGHT AND GOOD HOCKEY….Gene Hart

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!!!!

Philly Pressbox Weekly Sports Update – 1/22-28

In Misc Philly Sports on January 29, 2012 at 8:40 am

A quick review of Philly Sports for the week of January 22

  •   We lost Joe Paterno – RIP
  •   We lost Andy Musser – RIP
  •   We said goodbye to Brad Lidge. 2008 was a great season. There’s nothing like being perfect.

We said goodbye to Wilson Valdez. No more 19th inning pitching wins.

Phil Knight –Enough said!!

We found greatness in Penn State, Kenny Jackson, Charlie, Pittman, Jimmy Cefalo, Todd Blackledge, Chris Marrone, Michael Robinson, Michael Mauti, Lauren Perrotti, Jeff Bast, Susan Welch, Kurtis Cleckner and Jay Paterno, Sue Paterno and the Paterno family.

The Phils welcome Juan Pierre. Could he be the leadoff hitter we need?

Congrats to Flyers Claude Giroux, Kimmo Timonen and Scott Hartnell for making the NHL All Star team. Especially Hartnell making his 1st appearance in his 11th season.

Claude Giroux goes to the All Star break 2nd in the league in points

The Flyers go to the All Star break in 2nd place in the Atlantic Division 3 points behind the Rangers.

The 76ers finished the week 3-1 and lead the Atlantic Division by 4 games.

Congrats to Shady McCoy, Jason Peters and Jason Babin for making the Pro Bowl in Hawaii. A special shout out to former Eagle David Akers for another trip to Honolulu.

Temple (15-5) whipped St. Joe’s (13-9), 78-60 at the Liacouras Center. I wish those games were still at the Palestra.

Drexel is 17-5 and has won 9 in a row.

Penn is 11-9 and has won 3 in a row.

LaSalle is 16-6 and has won 3 in a row.

Villanova lost to Marquette falling to 11-12.

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