Flyers Rolling with What They've Got

Flyers Rolling with What They've Got

A couple of mid-level defensemen acquired days before the deadline even approached proved to be all the Flyers would do to tweak their team heading into the stretch run of the season. Paul Holmgren and his crew stood pat on Monday afternoon as the trade deadline came and went. Homer's statement on opting to stick with the guys they already have in the dressing room:

"We received some calls about a few of our players with some scenarios that we talked about, but nothing really made sense for us either in the short term or the long term," said Holmgren.

"I think we stated all along that anything we do needed to make sense both ways for us and nothing really came up. We made our moves a couple weeks ago and I think adding size and experience on defense that we were looking for with the absence of Chris Pronger for the rest of this year, we felt good with our group."

It proved to be a market with few highly coveted players on teams who appeared to be asking too much in return. A lackluster day for trade junkies, but a good day for those who liked the core parts of this current Flyers team, including much rumored trade bait JVR.

How do you feel after the trade deadline passed without the Flyers making a splash?

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More from the Homer conference call:

Q: Were you getting a lot of calls today about James van Riemsdyk?

We received some calls about some of our players, with some scenarios that we talked about.  But nothing really made sense for us in the short term or in the long term.  I think we’ve stated here all along that anything we do needs to make sense both ways for us, and nothing really came up.  We made our moves a couple weeks ago and I think adding the size and experience on defense that we were looking for with the absence of Chris Pronger for the rest of this year… we felt good with our group.  We really didn’t go into this trade deadline, since we made those two deals for Pavel and Nicklas, we didn’t really go in with anything that really felt we needed to do. We like our team and we were quite comfortable coming out of it like we did without doing anything more today

Q: So you’re not disappointed?

Absolutely not.  Not at all.  A couple weeks ago we felt we lacked some things on our back end just because of the absence of Chris, and we addressed those issues without giving up anyone off our team.  I like our team.  I think we’re a team that obviously the group for the most part has been together all year.  We’ve put some young guys into the lineup over the course of the year, and we like our team. We like the direction we’re heading and we didn’t want to do anything to disrupt anything long-term for sure.

Q: Does the goals-against still concern you?

Yeah.  It’s a function of how we’re playing. We’re still a little loosey-goosey from time to time, and obviously our goaltending needs to be better.  I think the coaches and the players have spent a great deal of time going over how we’re playing, and we’re trying to tighten things up.  That’s a situation that the team is addressing on a daily basis, and you hope getting down here where we’ve got 21 games left, we’ll start to tighten it up and play

Best of NHL: Last-place Islanders take down rival Rangers

Best of NHL: Last-place Islanders take down rival Rangers

NEW YORK -- Andrew Ladd scored in the second period and Jaroslav Halak stopped 36 shots to lead the New York Islanders to a 4-2 victory over the crosstown-rival Rangers on Tuesday night.

John Tavares, Jason Chimera and Scott Mayfield also scored at the Barclays Center to help the last-place Islanders improve to 4-0-1 in their last five games.

Jimmy Vesey and Marc Staal scored for the Metropolitan Division-leading Rangers and Henrik Lundqvist finished with 28 saves. The Rangers have alternated wins and losses in regulation in their last eight games.

Halak beat Lundqvist for the ninth time in their last 10 matchups. Halak had won eight straight -- including the last five after joining the Islanders before the 2014-15 season -- before Lundqvist ended the streak in the Rangers' 5-3 win in the season opener Oct. 13 at Madison Square Garden. Lundqvist is now 1-6-1 in his last eight against the Islanders (see full recap).

Schwartz lifts Blues over Canadiens in OT
ST. LOUIS -- Jaden Schwartz got his second goal of the game in overtime, leading the St. Louis Blues to a 3-2 victory over the Montreal Canadiens on Tuesday night.

Paul Stastny also scored for St. Louis, which has won four of five. The Blues rallied from a 2-0 deficit and have a point in their last 13 home games.

Tomas Plekanec and Paul Byron scored for Montreal, which completed a five-game trip 2-3.

Goalie Jake Allen made 28 saves to improve to 13-3-3.

Schwartz lifted a backhander past goalie Al Montoya with 1:22 left in overtime.

Stastny and Schwartz scored in a 2:51 span in the third period to tie it at 2 (see full recap).

Blackhawks blank Coyotes to snap modest skid
CHICAGO -- Marian Hossa had two goals, Scott Darling made 22 saves and the Chicago Blackhawks beat the Arizona Coyotes 4-0 on Tuesday night to snap a two-game slide.

Artem Anisimov and Dennis Rasmussen also scored to help Chicago maintain a three-point lead over St. Louis in the Central Division.

Darling made a handful of tough stops but wasn't heavily tested in his first shutout this season and third of his career. He started his third straight game in place of No. 1 goalie Corey Crawford, who had an appendectomy in Philadelphia on Saturday.

The 37-year-old Hossa scored his team-leading 13th and 14th goals in his 27th game -- surpassing his total of 13 last season in 64 contests (see full recap).

Best of NBA: Magic overcome Wall's 52 points to beat Wizards

Best of NBA: Magic overcome Wall's 52 points to beat Wizards

WASHINGTON -- Elfrid Payton scored 22 of his season-high 25 points in the first half and the Orlando Magic overcame John Wall's 52-point performance to beat the Washington Wizards, 124-116 on Tuesday night.

Wall had the highest-scoring game of his career and kept Washington in it with 33 points in the second half as the Wizards cut the lead below 10 in the fourth quarter. The guard made 18 of 31 from the field and added eight assists.

Payton went 8 for 8 from the field and 3 for 3 from the line off the bench in that first half, nearly matching his previous season best of 23 points in the first two quarters alone. Payton finished 9 for 12 and handed out nine assists.

Orlando won its third straight game and its 124 points were a season high (see full recap).

Spurs trounce Timberwolves to reach 13-0 on the road
MINNEAPOLIS -- Kawhi Leonard scored 31 points and the San Antonio Spurs improved to 13-0 on the road this season with a 105-91 victory over the Minnesota Timberwolves on Tuesday night.

Leonard hit 11 of 15 shots after not scoring at all in the first quarter and Patty Mills scored 15 points off the bench for the Spurs (18-4), who played without Tony Parker after he bruised his left knee against Milwaukee on Wednesday night. San Antonio overcame a slow start to shoot 52.7 percent.

The Spurs moved past the 1969-70 New York Knicks to take sole possession of the second-best road start to begin a season in NBA history. The Golden State Warriors started 14-0 last year.

Zach LaVine scored 25 points for the Timberwolves. Karl-Anthony Towns had 11 points and 14 rebounds, but shot just 3 of 16 (see full recap).

Anthony, Knicks blow past depleted Heat
MIAMI -- Carmelo Anthony matched a season high with 35 points, and the New York Knicks beat the injury-ravaged Miami Heat 114-103 on Tuesday night.

Kristaps Porzingis had 14 points and 12 rebounds for New York, which is three games over .500 for the first time since the end of the 2012-13 season. The Knicks lost Derrick Rose to back spasms in the third quarter.

Goran Dragic scored 29 points and Hassan Whiteside finished with 23 points and 14 rebounds for the Heat, who fell to 2-8 at home.

The teams were tied at 68 late in the third quarter, when the Knicks went on a 27-13 run over the next eight minutes to take control. Anthony finished 13 for 27 from the field, and Porzingis and Joakim Noah combined for 22 rebounds (see full recap).