Flyers Notes: Luke Schenn ready for return to Toronto

Flyers Notes: Luke Schenn ready for return to Toronto
February 10, 2013, 11:00 am
Share This Post

Luke Schenn has had a dozen games now to settle into his new role as Kimmo Timonen’s defensive partner.

The 23-year-old leads the club with 46 hits and is second with 27 blocked shots following Saturday’s 4-3 overtime win against Carolina.

Maybe that should help ease things for him when he goes into Toronto for Monday’s encounter against his ex-teammates – the Maple Leafs.

“Yes, it has gone a little bit better as a team and I have a little more confidence going in there for sure,” Schenn said. “It’s going to be exciting, but the whole team needs to be prepared and play hard. It’s a tough place to play in and a tough crowd.”

Monday's matchup will be the first in a six-game road trip – the Flyers' longest of the season.

“When the schedule came out, with this being the first game out, it’s something you look forward to,” Schenn said.

“One that you definitely look for on the calendar is the return to Toronto. I think both teams have obviously moved on and they’re both having success too and we are starting to too. There is no question that I look forward to going back there.”

Schenn never gained fan approval during his four seasons in Toronto. Good games, bad games. His turnover ratio was high.

As a Flyer, so far, he’s played very well, albeit two of his turnovers have led to two game-winning goals against the orange and black. His lack of puck skills is his only drawback.

James van Riemsdyk, whom Toronto acquired in the deal, is playing very well for the Maple Leafs with seven points (six goals) so far. He was an up-and-down player in three years as a Flyer.

Schenn knows this is all about who wins the deal in the trade. He knows of JVR’s presence there, as well.

“I wouldn’t say every night no, but he plays in Toronto so you’re going to see it, whether you check or not,” Schenn said of JVR.

“It looks like he is having a lot of success, and I know him a little bit and obviously wish him the best. He’s getting a few goals and that’s good to see.”

It’s never easy for a young player to return to his original team’s hometown the first time – especially in a hockey mecca like Toronto.

“It’s always a little bit challenging when you got back to a team that you started with or that you played for,” coach Peter Laviolette said.

“But he’s really found a nice home here and he’s really become a valuable player for us on the back end. Every night you look at his hits and his blocked shots.

“[Against Carolina] I thought he was terrific with the puck. He made a lot of nice exits out of our zone. He joined and skated the puck up the ice at times.

“You probably have to talk to him more about Toronto, but I’d like to see him keep doing what he’s doing, keep it simple and play a good steady defense game for us.”

Bryz’s points
Ilya Bryzgalov picked up his second assist in Saturday's win. This season, he has two points, which was one more point than Nashville’s Shea Weber as of Saturday.

Bryz with more points than Weber? Whodathunk?

“I didn’t know that,” Laviolette said. “I’m glad you do, though.”

Simmonds' return
Wayne Simmonds returned to the lineup after missing three games with a concussion and played on the top line with Claude Giroux and Danny Briere.

Simmonds logged 15:41 of ice time with two shots.

“It was alright,” Simmonds said. “I think I had to shake off the dust out there a little bit. I felt pretty decent out there.

“I haven’t played for a week. Obviously, I think probably a little jump in my step, probably ahead of the play a couple times too much. Obviously we got a lot of games coming up now.”

Giroux’s line wasn’t very effective.

“I felt like we could have been a lot better,” Simmonds said. “I thought we had some chances there, but we also turned the puck over in the neutral zone. I think I had two myself. Obviously we’ve got to tighten up on that.”

Loose pucks
Giroux was 16 for 24 (67 percent) on faceoffs. He has now been 50 percent or better in nine of the Flyers’ 12 games. He is 63.5 percent (87 for 137) in the last five games. ... Danny Briere scored his 39th career game-winning goal (regular season) and his 14th as a Flyer. It was the 11th overtime goal of his career (regular season) and fourth as a Flyer. ... Max Talbot was 8 for 11 (73 percent) on faceoffs, a season-high. … Over the past five games, the Flyers have killed 20 of their last 22 shorthanded situations (90.9 percent). ... The Flyers blocked 20 shots, giving them a total of 52 blocks against the Hurricanes in the two games this past week. ... Zac Rinaldo recorded six hits in 8:22 of ice time. ... Bryzgalov had a 2.20 GAA and a .921 save percentage over the four-game homestand.

More Team Talk