Last weekend, the Flyers played back-to-back road games, and we're currently in the middle of 4 long days off, followed by back-to-back games this weekend in Jersey and Toronto (where, incidentally, the league offices are located and schedules are written, but I digress). The '07-'08 Flyers are a good team on the brink of being great. The primary issue holding them back has in my opinion been spotty work on the defensive end, but another roadblock is that their best scorer has spent more time in Keith Jones' bathtub than on the ice this season. Gagne's return is thought to be imminent, but with recurrent symptoms being unpredictable, the Flyers may look to add another scorer at the trade deadline—or they may court the league's most popular free agent.
It's been a while since we've heard anything of substance about ol'
Blue Eyes, and the last news included conflicting reports about his
phantom foot. However, Glen MacNow reported on his show tonight that Forsberg may still be interested in returning
to the NHL this season. TSN in Canada says that he has acknowledged
particular fondness for the three franchises he's played for, and also
that "sources close to the Flyers believe Philadelphia to be Forsberg's
destination of choice."
Earlier in the season, when the Flyers couldn't be stopped, there might
have been worry that adding a player of Forsberg's caliber could cause
chemistry problems. But the Flyers have fallen off somewhat and are
currently hovering above .500, so there's room for improvement. Also,
although Forsberg is one of the best to ever play the game, he's not
the type to make waves in the locker room or make enemies of teammates.
The reports are definitively unsubstantiated, but it's not out of the
question to think he could return to Philly this year. He's likely have
to take another number though. The 21 is taken.
>>Forsberg potentially preparing for return [TSN]
Two bizarre goals less than two minutes apart ruined a special night for the Flyers on Thursday at Wells Fargo Center.
Martin Hanzal scored a tie-breaking goal simultaneously while teammate Jakob Chychrun was being pounded in a fight with Brayden Schenn during a 2-2 game.
Then, rookie defenseman Ivan Provorov tackled Brad Richardson, who fell into goalie Steve Mason for a shorthanded goal that counted after review for interference.
That’s one way of losing as hockey game, 5-4.
Brandon Manning, who has been outstanding on both sides of the puck, tried an ill-advised clearing pass up the high slot and it was picked off by pinching defenseman Oliver Edkman-Larsson for a quick turnaround shot to make it a 2-0 lead.
A huge save on Anthony Duclair in the first period by Mason after a turnover from Andrew MacDonald. Mason didn’t look great on the fifth goal. Rushes to the net were a problem in front of him.
The Flyers scored three against Buffalo. In this one, they had five scattered shots over their first three power plays. That's not going to get it done. But they did get it done on their fifth power play with Schenn diving with his stick extended hit the ice as he tipped Shayne Gostisbehere’s point shot home to tie the game, 2-2. The Flyers were 2 for 8 on the power play.
Claude Giroux leads with six overall.
There was no Boyd Gordon in this one to take PK draws. That went to Pierre-Edouard Bellemare. Roman Lyubimov had a nice shorthanded move for a possible scoring chance but couldn’t complete it.
You've got to like Sean Couturier upending Duclair during the opening minutes of play along the left boards. Duclair later had a fine assist on Jamie McGinn’s goal that gave the 'Yotes a 1-0 lead.
Ryan White had a goal that made it 5-3 late in the game.
The new third line with Nick Cousins centering Schenn and Dale Weise scored in the second period. All three picked up a point with Cousins banging home the Schenn rebound to make it a 2-1 game.
Chychrun lost to Schenn, who had sent Michael Stone to the boards hard with a legal shoulder check. Stone still assisted on Hanzal's goal that began the madness that saw Arizona get two quickies.
Injured: Forwards Scott Laughton (knee) and Michael Raffl (abdominal pull), defenseman Michael Del Zotto (knee). Healthy: forward Gordon and defenseman Nick Schultz.
The Flyers will practice Friday at Skate Zone in Voorhees, N.J., and host the defending Stanley Cup champion Pittsburgh Penguins on Saturday night at the Wells Fargo Center.
The Sixers' meeting on Thursday to address the national anthem situation on opening night was led by VP of Content and Integrated Marketing Jason Wiley, John Gonzalez reported.
Wiley and team executives decided not to have Sevyn Streeter perform the national anthem because she wore a "We Matter" shirt, according to the report. The team had concerns Streeter would have further protests.
A member of the Sixers' dance team performed in her place.
Wiley helped book Streeter, according to the report, and had previously worked for Bad Boy Records and had music industry contacts.
CBS3 reported Thursday that Streeter had signed a contract that barred her from making a political statement during the performance (see story).
The Sixers discussed the incident and are considering options on how to address it (see story).
“I think the team, not only do we want to speak up on the matter that happened yesterday, but I feel like we’re now starting to push, like it’s not just about saying something, it’s about making a difference,” Nik Stauskas said. “It’s about going out there and doing something. So we don’t really know what we’re going to do yet, but I know a lot of guys on this team are eager to go out there and make a difference one way or another.”