When the Flyers decided the direction of the franchise was one that wasn’t going to be influenced by Jeff Carter and Mike Richards, outcry and uproar ensued.
The core of the team that made it within two games of hoisting the Stanley Cup and a second-place finish in the Eastern Conference the next year was sent packing.
Obviously, Carter and Richards were the biggest shoes to drop. The captain and his close friend were supposed to be the faces of the team for years to come. Not so much.
Ville Leino wasn’t re-signed and few had issue with it. Most could see that his deal in Buffalo was baseless and far too big.
Blair Betts and Darroll Powe were waived and traded respectively, and that was a sticking point with some. The two soldier-like penalty killers were given away and some feared the franchise couldn’t find anyone to replace their strong play.
Kris Versteeg? Traded. Dan Carcillo? See ya. Nikolay Zherdev? Of course he was free to go.
With so much emphasis placed on the production of the first line, it often gets lost at how talented the Flyers subsequent lines are. Although the first line will most likely continue to be the team’s most productive line, it doesn’t mean that the other lines won’t sprinkle in production when need to be.
The Philadelphia Flyers (24-12-4) have struggled since the start of the New Year. They have surrendered leads in all four of their games in the month of January and are 1-2-1 during that span.
Tonight they will look to turn things around against the Carolina Hurricanes (14-22-7), a team who they have dominated in the past. The Flyers have won two of the three meetings this season and are 35-13-7 overall and 17-3-3 since the 2006 season (9-1-1 in Carolina).
In order to keep this trend going the Flyers will need a bit more production from their top line as they did not manage a point in the weekend series against Ottawa.
The last time that the Chicago Blackhawks played on Philadelphia ice, they did it hoisting aloft the Stanley Cup in June of 2010.
The two teams met late last January, too - when the Flyers readily beat the Blackhawks 4-1 at the United Center. At the time, Chicago had turned over half its roster in the post-Cup win salary cap purge, and the team was struggling to find its footing; they've come a long way since then.
This year, the Flyers know what the Blackhawks went through - they, too, turned over a great deal of their roster this summer following another disappointing year in the playoffs, and were thoroughly rebuilt. When the Blackhawks and Flyers drop the puc...
As Claude Giroux’s beautiful backhanded flip went over the shoulder of Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist, Philadelphia’s Winter Classic seemed like it would be a total success. The Flyers had taken a 2-0 lead on Giroux’s team-high 18th goal in front of their home fans. In Citizens Bank Park, the majority of almost 47,000 people were ecstatic.
With just 5:39 remaining in the second period, the Flyers were in the driver’s seat to victory.
Instead, they let the Rangers sit behind the wheel for the last 35 minutes en route to a 3-2 New York victory.
Mike Rupp scored his second goal of the season just 30 seconds after Giroux’s pretty tally which brought New York within a goal after two periods. A little under three minutes into the third period, Rupp doubled his season goal total and tied the game at 2-2.
Claude Giroux is a bona fide star and he has the numbers and the highlights to prove it.
But his contributions to the Flyers go much further than his stick handling, tight passing and dazzling goals.
When the Flyers traded Mike Richards and Jeff Carter over the summer, the expectations for Giroux grew exponentially. With an NHL-leading 43 points in 30 games, it’s safe to say that Giroux has not only risen to the challenge, but has far exceeded it.
Giroux excels on the ice no matter the circumstance. He is a brilliant playmaker, a calculated goal-scorer, and his smarts and flexibility help him on defense when the situation calls for it.