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.
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)
Flyers forward Brayden Schenn will be in tonight's lineup as his team gets set to host the Blue Jackets tonight.
The news comes to a bit of a shock as just 48 hours prior, Schenn was blasted into the boards by Capitals forward Tom Wilson. Wilson got a five-minute major for charging and had a hearing at noon today. (UPDATE: There will not be any supplemental discipline for Wilson.)
Schenn said he is shocked he is able to play tonight so shortly after the dangerous hit he received on Tuesday.
(Photo: Capitals forward Tom Wilson checks Brayden Schenn into the baords in the second period of Tuesday's 5-2 win over Washington.
Photo by Len Redkoles/NHLI via Getty Images)
Philadelphia came to Chicago tonight looking for a game against one of the league’s top teams to use as a measuring stick for their own success. After an embarrassing 7-2 thumping by the Hawks, they may want to reconsider that statement. 13 Blackhawk players would finish the game with at least a point, and Antti Raanta finished with a .933 SV%, proving yet again that he is a very capable goaltender. Ray Emery, who started against his former team, would allow six goals on 18 shots.
The game got off to a rough start right away, when Sheldon Brookbank and Wayne Simmonds dropped the glove a...