Flyers Notes: Bryzgalov shows frustration in loss

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Flyers Notes: Bryzgalov shows frustration in loss

Ilya Bryzgalov threw his stick in anger twice during Thursday’s 5-2 loss to the Florida Panthers (see game recap).

He threw it first after giving up the penalty shot goal to Jonathan Huberdeau in the first period, which gave Florida an imposing 3-0 lead.

The Russian goalie threw it again when pulled from the game after the fourth goal. This time he skated to the bench and hurled it in the tunnel.

At the morning skate in Pittsburgh on Wednesday, Bryzgalov threw it at the glass after three Flyers had scored on him in a scrum.

Bryzly Bear coming unglued here?

“I was mad because I just missed him on the poke check a little bit and he [Huberdeau] goes through his legs and I can’t regroup fast enough,” Bryzgalov said.

“It was 3-0. There is a big difference. I knew it. I almost had it and [bleep], it’s in the net, and I was so upset.”

Huberdeau is a very talented rookie. He also scored on Bryzgalov in the shootout during the Flyers' 3-2 loss to the Panthers on Feb. 7.

“I love being in the shootout,” Huberdeau said. “So, I protect my puck and they gave me the opportunity to have a shootout, so I just took it and I’m glad I scored a goal for the team.”

Bryzgalov said he could see the Flyers were emotionally spent from their victory in Pittsburgh.

“I think we spent lots of emotions and energy on [Wednesday’s] game,” he said. “All of us. Maybe we were playing today like … a little bit tired, without emotion. Games against Pittsburgh take lots of energy and emotions to beat them.”

He also said the team discussed not having a letdown before the Panthers game.

“You try to tell yourself everyone is fine, everything is OK. We’re ready to go and we’re absolutely fine,” Bryzgalov said. “We step onto the ice and maybe everybody start to feel differently.”

Read goes down
Matt Read will miss a projected six weeks with a rib cage tear suffered in Pittsburgh (see story).

Every time a winger goes on the top line with Claude Giroux, they end up getting injured -- Scott Hartnell, Wayne Simmonds and now Read.

The line of Read, Giroux and Jakub Voracek had been strong in the past couple games.

“It’s tough,” coach Peter Laviolette said. “That line had gotten put together and there was so much chemistry with it.

“You go back at the end of the game and look at the scoring chances that line created and they were in the teens together. When that gets pulled apart, it’s a little difficult to stick somebody in there.

“I thought Tye [McGinn] did a good job tonight. He went out and tried to give us some skating and physicality on the line, but certainly there was some chemistry with Matt.

“To take him out of the lineup, he is a guy that we just answered question a couple days ago, that he is a guy that does everything. He plays point on the power play. He can play left wing, center and right wing on penalties, so he’s a valuable piece to the puzzle.”

Record-setting rivalry
Wednesday night's wild 6-5 Flyers victory over the Pittsburgh Penguins was the highest-rated regular-season game in the history of NBC Sports Network, scoring a 0.55 household rating.

In addition to the rating score, the game averaged 901,000 viewers, making it the second-most watched game in the station's history.

Locally, the game was the highest-rated for NBC Sports Network in both Pittsburgh and in Philadelphia, earning a 14.50 household rating in Pittsburgh and a 4.84 rating here. The channel was rated No. 1 overall in Pittsburgh during the game, and was tops among cable channels in Philadelphia.

Loose pucks

The Comcast Network will air Friday’s Adirondack Phantoms vs. Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins live at 7 p.m. Calling the game will be Brian Smith and Todd Fedoruk. ... The Phantoms' new home in Allentown -- it opens for the 2014-15 season -- got its name on Thursday: PPL Center, as in the electricity carrier in Pennsylvania. ... Nick Grossmann dropped gloves with heavyweight George Parros in the second period and lost. Grossmann has three NHL fights now -- two against Parros. ... Luke Schenn scored late in the third period. He has two goals as a Flyer. ... Florida’s Peter Mueller had two goals. ... The Flyers had 34 shots on Panthers goalie Scott Clemensen. ... Giroux had 10 attempts at the net but only two officials shots. … Voracek has a four-game scoring streak. … Grossmann had five of the Flyers' 12 blocked shots.

With Hall of Fame election, it all comes 'full circle' for Eric Lindros

With Hall of Fame election, it all comes 'full circle' for Eric Lindros

Eric Lindros’ career did not come with a storybook ending.

Concussions and injuries authored the final chapter of his playing days.

But on Monday afternoon, No. 88 “got his day,” as Ron Hextall put it.

In many ways, this was Lindros’ storybook finish.

“I haven’t stopped smiling,” Lindros said.

Lindros on Monday was elected to the Hockey Hall of Fame as part of the 2016 class (see story).

A rare breed of size and skill, Lindros quickly became an NHL star with the Flyers and now finishes as one.

“It kind of feels full circle if you can understand that," Lindros said, via conference call. 

That feeling especially resonates when he laces 'em up at 43 years old.

"I play hockey a couple times a week just to try to fit in the jeans, and to have this honor right here at the end of things when my game is certainly on the downslope," Lindros said with a laugh, "it’s a great feeling, a great honor and I’m super happy.”

Sergei Makarov, Rogie Vachon and Pat Quinn join Lindros as the 2016 group.

“I would like to thank the selection committee, things are just starting to sink in and I’m certainly honored to be a part of this class,” Lindros said. “Congratulations to Rogie, Sergei and Pat Quinn’s family. It’s a real special honor.”

Lindros, an owner of 372 career goals, 493 assists and 865 points, won the 1994-95 Hart Memorial Trophy, joining Bobby Clarke as the only Flyers players to ever take home the MVP award.

Ironically, Lindros and Clarke clashed as player and general manager, respectively.

It led to a breakup on not-so-good terms.

“When it’s all said and done, everyone wanted to win,” Lindros said. “That was the main focus.”

However, the past is now the past for both. Clarke pushed for Lindros’ Hall of Fame bid and the latter was grateful.

“Certainly there were some times of friction,” Lindros said, “but to have Bob’s voice in support, next to so many, I’ve got to thank them.”

Flyers GM Hextall played with Lindros and saw the uniqueness firsthand.

“It was terrific being on his team,” Hextall said. “The package of skill and size and aggressiveness, he’s got a big shot. I think at the time, he was the hardest guy in the league to defend.”

Team president Paul Holmgren said you don’t see many like Lindros, still to this day.

“Eric had a shortened career due to injuries but the impact he had on the game was phenomenal,” Holmgren said. “We are all still looking for 6-5, 245-pound guys who can skate and play a skilled and physical game like Eric could. 

“This is great news for the Flyers organization and great news for Eric Lindros and his family. I’m very happy for him.”

Hextall admitted he still wonders what would have been if Lindros stayed healthy to close his career.

“He probably was in [the Hall of Fame] a couple years ago, right, if he didn’t have the injuries,” Hextall said. “Injuries happen but I can say this, when Eric played with us, he was clearly one of the most dominant players in the league at the time and probably one of the most dominant ever.”

And it all came full circle.

Lindros got his day.

Flyers make qualifying offers to Brayden Schenn, 4 other restricted free agents

Flyers make qualifying offers to Brayden Schenn, 4 other restricted free agents

The Flyers on Monday made expected qualifying offers to restricted free agents Brayden Schenn, Nick Cousins, Brandon Manning, Jordan Weal and Petr Straka.

Right wingers Brandon Alderson and Derek Mathers, both RFAs, did not receive qualifying offers. Alderson played 18 games for the Phantoms last season, while Mathers appeared in just three.

Qualifying offers must be made to restricted free agents from their respective clubs by the first Monday following the NHL draft. They cannot be accepted before July 1, the start of free agency. If a team does not extend a qualifying offer to a restricted free agent and the player is not eligible for/offered salary arbitration, he becomes unrestricted.

Essentially, qualifying offers, mandatory by this day, officially kick off the negotiation process. Now with a qualifying offer, the restricted free agent must notify their club of an offer from a pursuing team and allow it to match the offer in seven days.

If the prior team does not match an offer, it receives draft compensation from the player’s new club. A qualifying offer expires July 15 at 5 p.m. Eastern Time unless an extended deadline is agreed upon.

It goes without saying that Schenn is the Flyers’ most notable and important restricted free agent.

“I venture to guess that it's not going to be the first thing we get done, but in the end, we'll get it done,” Flyers general manager Ron Hextall said in late April of re-signing Schenn.

Hextall expressed significant interest in bringing back Cousins and Manning, as well.

Ryan White, an unrestricted free agent, is also a priority for Hextall.

The Flyers locked up Radko Gudas, who was a pending restricted free agent, last Thursday.

Former Flyers coach Pat Quinn elected to Hockey Hall of Fame

Former Flyers coach Pat Quinn elected to Hockey Hall of Fame

Pat Quinn, who took the Flyers to the Stanley Cup Final in 1980 and coached them to the longest unbeaten streak in NHL history — 35  games — was elected to the Hockey Hall of Fame on Monday in the Builders category.

He will be joined by former Flyers great Eric Lindros, who was selected in the player category (see story).  

The 6-foot-3 Quinn, a proud Irishman, who defined blueline toughness for two decades into the late 1970s, died after a long illness at the age of 71 in November of 2014.

His historic unbeaten streak occurred during the 1979-80 season.

Quinn succeeded fellow Hall of Famer Fred Shero in 1977-78 and stayed with the Flyers through all but the final eight games of the 1981-82 season when he was replaced by Bob McCammon.

Quinn had been an assistant under Shero previously.

Bill Barber was Quinn’s veteran left wing during their famed unbeaten streak — the same season the Flyers reached the Stanley Cup Final before losing to the Islanders in a controversial six-game series.

“I always put Pat Quinn up there with Fred Shero because he was a very big part of our success when he was there,” Barber told CSNPhilly.com.

“He was a huge part of the 35-game unbeaten streak. We didn’t have the most talent in the league but we had a team that worked together and Pat made sure everyone understood their role.

“He was a good communicator and he was quiet. He gave every player the opportunity to be themselves. He did not restrict or any of those other things within the game. I had the utmost respect for him.”

After he was fired by the Flyers, Quinn enrolled in Widener University to study law. He eventually earned his degree at the University of San Diego and would use his knowledge of law as a GM throughout the remainder of his career in hockey.

Quinn was Chairman of the Hockey Hall of Fame in recent years prior to his passing, and worked tirelessly to get Shero elected to the Hall in 2013.

He was just one of four men to win the Jack Adams Award as NHL Coach of the Year with two different clubs — the Flyers (1979-80) and Vancouver (1991-92).

He played over 600 games on defense — among the last of the original Atlanta Flames — and coached more than 1,400 games.

After leaving the Flyers, Quinn joined the Los Angeles Kings in 1984-85, then Vancouver (1990-91) and Toronto (1998-2006).

He also served as general manager in both Vancouver and Toronto. Upon leaving the Leafs, he took a few seasons off before returning in 2009-10 to coach the Edmonton Oilers.

Quinn was actively involved with Team Canada and the Olympics throughout his coaching career.

When the 2009-10 season ended, Quinn left the NHL to join the Hall’s Selection Committee. He assumed the role as board chairman in 2013.

At the 2012 Winter Classic played at Citizens Bank Park, Quinn served as the Flyers Alumni team coach.

The late Flyers’ chairman, Ed Snider, said of Quinn two years ago, “Pat Quinn was an outstanding hockey coach. He had an excellent career as a player, coach, general manager and hockey executive. He was terrific at everything he did, including Chair of the Hockey Hall of Fame. He truly knew how to get our players to play hard every night.”

Bob Kelly, a member of the 35-game unbeaten squad, said Quinn lived life to the fullest. People who knew him referred to him as “The Big Irishman.”

“He enjoyed St. Paddy’s Day to the fullest,” Kelly said. “I remember he always got dressed up. Just a fun guy and a positive guy, too. He had his cigars and Freddie used to have his beers. That’s what it was. You can’t change the era. Just a good guy to be around.”

Quinn was nominated for the Hall’s consideration last year, as well.

This time, he made it.

This story contains previous published information from Tim Panaccio on CSNPhilly.com.