The NHL is back, and there is no better way to celebrate the return of hockey in Pennsylvania than to have its two bitter rivals battle in the City of Brotherly Love.
The Pittsburgh Penguins will travel to Philadelphia for a 3PM show down at the Wells Fargo Center. The arena will be filled to capacity with nearly 20,000 orange-and-black-clad Flyers fans, with a little yellow sprinkled in the mix.
It has been made official today that Claude Giroux has become the 19th captain in Flyers history. He replaces Chris Pronger, who has not played in 15 months, nor looks like he ever will return to the ice due to post-concussion symptoms.
Hockey will finally resume on January 19, but the talks concerning a certain letter in the alphabet has already begun for the Flyers.
Chris Pronger is nowhere nearing a return to the ice. And with his retirement inevitable - but not official due to his contract - the designated captain slot will remain vacant until the Flyers decide to finally fill the void.
Three names have been on the lips of fans during the 2011-12 season: veterans Danny Briere and Kimmo Timonen, and the young leader of the team, Claude Giroux. Only one of those players has remained a hot topic for the captaincy and it's the one who many around the NHL view to be the future of the Flyers and the league.
Sam Carchidi threw up a tweet that shouldn't come to a surprise to anyone. Giroux's best friend and locker room leader Scott Hartnell said that "Giroux is ready to be captain."
The NHL fined the Isles last year $100,000 for the brawl game vs. the Pens, but the Pens did not get fined anything despite a player leaving the bench as a sixth skater to join a fight on the ice - which, by the way, means the head coach should be suspended for one game - he wasn't. But owner Mario Lemieux stated that the NHL didn't do enough to punish the Isles for that disgrace of a game.
Keep in mind that Matt Martin and Trevor Gillies received suspensions. They rightfully deserved them, and Godard got the 10 games required for leaving the bench, but the Penguins didn't receive any other suspensions or fines of any kind.
Lemieux, despite the one-sided disciplinary action, still felt that the league didn't do enough.
Mother Nature had her way with just about everyone this past week, amping up the temperatures to trick everyone into thinking they were in mid-playoff form. Unfortunately, this was the week that the Canadiens discovered (for real) that there is no chance of that for them this year.
Shut Out: Wednesday, March 21st, 2012
Cody Hodgson scored his first goal as a Buffalo Sabre and added another in the third period to procure the Sabres a win, Tuesday, against the Canadiens.
The Sabres once were where the Canadiens are, and are now where they usually tend to be at this time of year, fighting for a playo...
Making Ilya Bryzgalov the story for every game has become tiresome to the fans, the front office and Bryzgalov himself.
But when he does something as special as he's done the past couple of weeks, it's hard to just take all the focus away from the Russian netminder, nicknamed the $51 Million Man.
The Flyers have been winning, and they have been playing a brand of hockey many expected them to play down the stretch. Scoring, defense and goaltending - those are the three things that win championships.
So why does the focus all come back to Bryzgalov? Because of the franchise shutout streak that he just broke that stood tall for 13 years midway through the second period.
Both the Philadelphia Flyers and Detroit Red Wings are racking up the injuries. Absences on both teams are taking their toll. The Wings have fell out of first place in the league and in the Central Division, so it is very important for the Wings to rack up the points.
The Wings are missing many defensemen, including star Nicklas Lidstrӧm. Jonathan Ericsson is still out from a fractured wrist. Jakub Kindl left the game against Chicago early due to an upper body injury. Pavel Datsyuk is still missing from the line up. Jimmy Howard and Todd Bertuzzi both have groin strains. Danny Cleary did not practice due to some issues with his knees, but is said to be fine to play against the Flye...
Sunday, Kimmo Timonen’s consecutive game streak ended at 248 games. Fellow defenseman Andrej Meszaros was also ruled out indefinitely with a lower-body injury. James van Riemsdyk was on the shelf for 6-8 weeks with a foot injury.
The Flyers? Well, they made due without.
Philadelphia turned in a playoff-like performance in a 1-0 win over the Capitals in Washington.
How’d they do it? They blocked shots, much-maligned goalie Ilya Bryzgalov was flawless, and the call-up for van Riemsdyk, Eric Wellwood, scored the game’s only goal.