The Canadian Olympic ice hockey team was announced today.
Much like the displeasure of many American fans on the snubbing of certain athletes such as Ottawa's Bobby Ryan, the Islanders' Kyle Okposo and Phoenix's Keith Yandle, a few Canadian exclusions have people upset, including an entire fan base of Flyers fans.
Claude Giroux, team captain and "best player in the world" according to Peter Laviolette, was left off the Canadian team. A lot of people are seeing red, or orange for that matter.
For a guy who was a healthy scratch just five weeks ago, Michael Raffl has made the most of the opportunities presented to him since returning to the lineup on Nov. 27.
In fact, December may have been the best month in the 25-year-old’s professional hockey career.
During the final calendar month of 2013, Raffl notched 10 points (2 G, 8 A) in 14 games played, including his first career NHL goal against Ottawa on Dec. 9. Prior to the beginning of December, Raffl had just one point in 14 games played.
The Philadelphia Flyers couldn't have ended the 2013 portion of their season any better.
The Flyers defeated the Calgary Flames, 4-1, and head into 2014 winners of four straight and six of their last seven. At 20-16-4, they sit one point behind the Washington Capitals for second place in the Metro with both teams having played 40 games.
Ray Emery got the start for the Flyers, stopping 23 shots for the win. He didn't need to be overly impressive as the Flames didn't provide much pressure, but he came up with key saves late in the game to preserve the lead the Flyers built.
The Flyers allowed a season-high 44 shots, all while taking just 27.
With numbers like that, it's hard to fathom them being able to steal one point, let alone two. Steve Mason did just that.
Mason stopped a season-high 41 shots and the Flyers came back to force overtime before winning in a shootout, 4-3, in Vancouver. It's their fifth win in the last six games, and they now sit three points behind the Washington Capitals for second place in the Metro.
(Photo: Steve Mason makes a save on David Booth. Photo by Jeff Vinnick/NHLI via Getty Images)
Just four minutes into the hockey game, it already seemed as if Ilya Bryzgalov was on his way to exacting revenge on his former team.
But there were 56 more minutes of hockey, and the Flyers didn't allow that to happen. Sparked by Wayne Simmonds' two-goal night, the Flyers came back to win in a shootout, 4-3, over Edmonton Saturday night.
Simmonds now leads the Flyers with 12 goals. Just three games ago, he had only half of that total.
(Photo: Michael Raffl scores the winning shootout goal on Ilya Bryzgalov. Photo by Marko Ditkun/NHLI via Getty Images)
Five games ago, Flyers winger Wayne Simmonds scored just five goals along with ten assists.
Not bad totals by any stretch, but not spectacular for a productive winger known for hard work, physical play, and most importantly, timely scoring.
Since going goalless for 10 straight games dating from Nov. 27 until Dec. 17, Simmonds has scored five goals and two assists, doubling his goal total, and giving a team that looked hopeless in terms of secondary scoring months ago a chance to be lethal in that department.
It was not as if "Wayne Train" wasn't capable. He scored 28 goals two seasons ago, and if a lockout-shortened 2013 season spanned 82 games, Simmonds could have replicated that goal total again, scoring 15 goals in 45 games.
(Photo by John Russo/The Checking Line; October 24, 2013)
Every time Steve Mason steps on the ice with the Blue Jackets things go bad.
It was the case when he played there, and it was the case Thursday night when the Flyers hosted the jackets. At least through the first two periods it seemed that way.
Mason was beat twice outright in the first and second periods respectively, giving the Blue Jackets a 2-0 lead. At the end of the second, Columbus scored a third goal off a mad scramble that highlighted Mason's bad luck.
(Photo: Steve Mason makes a save against his former team. Photo by Len Redkoles/NHLI via Getty Images)
Claude Giroux didn't even know how the puck went into the net.
He'll be watching replays of it for sure. Not only because it was the game-winning goal, but because it was the 100th goal he's scored in his career.
It came just under three minutes after his 99th career goal tied the game up. His two tallies earned the Flyers a 5-4 comeback win over the Columbus Blue Jackets Thursday night.
“To be honest I haven’t seen the replay or anything so I don’t know what happened," Giroux said. "I was just trying to get it on net, and it was at the end of the shift so I was a little tired, so I was just trying to get it on net.”
(Photo: Columbus' R.J. Umberger and David Savard skate away as the Flyers celebrate Claude Giroux's game-winning goal in the third period. Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)