The league won't be too happy with some of the storylines coming out of the encore to the Winter Classic announcement, a preseason game between the Flyers and the Rangers that had all the bitterness of a playoff elimination game. Another Flyer could be on his way to a suspension, and worse, less than a week after being on the receiving end of a hateful act of prejudice, Wayne Simmonds is alleged to have yelled a homophobic slur at Sean Avery of the Rangers. More on that here.
It's a shame to be focusing on Simmonds' embarrassing decision rather than what we tune in for—the game itself. There is plenty we'd rather be talking about, with Jaromir Jagr making his debut in front of Flyer fans (as one of their own, anyway) and tallying a pair of powerplay goals and an assist. The Flyers won by a 5-3 count, and Matt Read impressed once again.
Video highlights below.
Claude Giroux and Danny Briere, who lined up with Jagr on a powerplay unit, notched three assists each, and Matt Read, Braydon Coburn, and Simmonds each scored (the latter came on the empty net, but via a great steal by Read).
Another game, and another couple of reasons Read makes this team. In four preseason games, Read leads the team in scoring with a pair of goals and four assists. He played more than 4 minutes each of powerplay and penalty killing shifts, and 21:34 overall. The Flyers are giving him a long look, and he's responding about as well as a guy could.
Jagr Photo by Christopher Szagola-US PRESSWIRE