Flyers Notes: Valuable points quickly slipping away

Flyers Notes: Valuable points quickly slipping away
February 25, 2013, 11:30 pm
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Scott Hartnell said it.
 
Claude Giroux didn’t exactly disagree.
 
Nor did goalie Ilya Bryzgalov.
 
Unless this Flyers club gets its act together, there won’t be a postseason. Points are slipping away quickly.
 
Teams both ahead and behind the Flyers have many games in hand. A double-whammy for any “bubble” team -- and that’s what the Flyers are at this point.
 
“It’s a tough year for us,” Bryzgalov said of Hartnell’s assessment.
 
“I definitely agree with him. We need to do lots of work and we need to play every day is like our last chance. Otherwise, we’re going to be watching the playoff games on the TV.
 
“We were five games under at the beginning of the season and I guessed we sort of dug ourselves out of the hole. We have lots of work in front of us.”
 
Is this more a mental or physical thing with the players?
 
“You know, I can’t answer for everybody,” Bryzgalov replied. “You have to ask the coach.”
 
JVR’s return
Other than the penalties, Toronto Maple Leafs coach Randy Carlyle said James van Riemsdyk played “fine” in his first game in Philadelphia since being traded by the Flyers last summer.
 
But the penalties -- two penalties, one for holding and a second for hooking -- both at 11:18 of the third period, put the Leafs in a tough spot.
 
Jakub Voracek scored 24 seconds into the first of van Riemsdyk’s penalties, but because of the nature of the calls, the Flyers still had two minutes left on the man advantage.
 
They weren’t able to score again, but they came very close. Van Riemsdyk sat in the box practically biting his nails with anxiety.
 
“I don’t wish that feeling on anyone,” he said. “The first call was suspect, but the second one was definitely a penalty for sure. It’s not a good feeling to have in that kind of game, this late in the game, to be in the box like that.”
 
He wasn’t thinking about how his friends and family were sitting in the crowd watching him, but he did call the feeling of being sidelined by those penalties “uneasy.” Especially considering that he’d never been called for two offenses at once ever before.
 
“That’s a first,” he said. “Hopefully a last, too.”
 
The Flyers did a good job at quieting van Riemsdyk. By matching him up against their shutdown line of Zac Rinaldo, Sean Couturier and Max Talbot, the Flyers limited the Leafs’ leading goal-scorer to just once shot.
 
Rinaldo shadowed just about his every move and thought he frustrated him.
 
“I wouldn’t want myself breathing down someone’s neck,” Rinaldo said.
 
Van Riemsdyk smiled when asked about that. He wasn’t frustrated.
 
“No it’s fun -- that’s hockey out there.”
 
Meszaros not close
Andrej Meszaros took the morning skate with the Flyers without contact. His return from a left shoulder injury remains unclear. He hasn’t been given the OK for contact.
 
The club put a 7 to 10-day time frame on Meszaros' return last week, but as we’ve seen lately, returns are subject to unexpected turns.
 
“It's up and down,” Meszaros said. “Sometimes it's good, sometimes it's sore, I don't know. I hope that's what it's going to be like.
 
“If not ... you obviously don't want to push injury and come back too soon because it might happen again and you're out awhile. I'm going to try to stay positive and work on it.
 
“One day I feel pretty good, one day it's sore a little bit. One day it's sore more. I have good days, too, so that's positive. Sometimes you feel good, then you come back and you get frustrated because it's sore.”
 
Leighton update
Goalie Michael Leighton, recovering from what he said was multiple small fractures in his stick hand, took shots for the first time, but experienced pain.
 
Leighton has no idea when he can return to the lineup, but said it can’t be until the pain is gone.
 
"It’s one of those things it hits the stick and rattles through your whole hand,” he said.
 
Shelley surgery
Jody Shelley will undergo left hip surgery on Wednesday.
 
He had been on injured reserve for eight games.
 
Shelley appeared in one game this season. His hip began bothering him weeks ago, general manager Paul Holmgren said, even though he continued to practice and skate with the team.
 
Loose pucks
Outstanding fight in the opening period between the Flyers' Tye McGinn and Toronto’s Mike Brown. ... Rinaldo seems to be getting better at picking his spots. Rather than fight Brown after being pushed into the ice when already fallen, he turned his cheek to draw a roughing penalty. ... Wayne Gretzky was a visitor in a suite along with Bernie Parent. Gretzky was here doing some promo work for TD Bank. Parent also does the same. ... Giroux’s two assists extended his scoring streak to five games. ... Meanwhile, Danny Briere and Wayne Simmonds had five-game and four-game scoring streaks, respectively, end. ... The Flyers had 37 hits. It was the fourth time they’ve had 35 or better. ... Rinaldo had six hits in 7:49 of ice time. ... The Flyers were 4-for-4 on the penalty kill. They are now 53-for-58 (91.4 percent) over their last 13 games.

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