Hide ya’ kids. Hide ya’ wife. Well, don’t. But hide any Philadelphia Flyer not playing on the first line, as he’s not safe.
The Philadelphia Flyers are synonymous with the term rollercoaster. We’re used to drama there. Coaches get fired early in seasons, as we’ve seen in recent years with Ken Hitchcock, John Stevens and Peter Laviolette. Goalies turn in a good season here and there – right, Brian Boucher, Roman Cechmanek, Robert Esche and Ilya Bryzgalov? – only to turn into pumpkins and get run out of town. Star players get shipped out at the drop of the hat, as we’ve seen with the likes of Jeff Carter and Mike Richards.
But even by Flyer standards, what’s happening in Philadelphia right now is downright strange. Jakub Voracek continues to light up the scoresheet with help from linemates Claude Giroux and Brayden Schenn. But the rest of the Flyers’ forward lines have produced two goals in their last nine games, eight of which the team has lost.
In a stunning twist, owner Ed Snider isn’t mincing words about the scoring drought.
“I’ve never seen anything like it in all the years I’ve been in hockey,” he told the Philadelphia Inquirer. “Even when we were an expansion team, somebody chipped in here and there.”
Entering December trade rumors continue to dog the struggling Edmonton Oilers, who finished November winless in nine games. Various reports claim Oilers GM Craig MacTavish continues to seek help for his floundering team.
The Edmonton Journal’s Jim Matheson reports Oilers winger David Perron was rumored being shopped to the Columbus Blue Jackets for center Artem Anisimov, but the Jackets seem reluctant to part with Anisimov. Matheson also cites sources claiming right wing Nail Yakupov was offered to an Eastern Conference club, but given Yakupov’s current performance (only seven points in 24 games) his trade value is low right now. Read more
NHL teams shopping around for veteran depth should get in touch with Florida Panthers GM Dale Tallon. According Sun-Sentinel.com’s Harvey Fialkov, a team source claims the Panthers want to ship out some “unnamed veterans” to make room for youngsters Vincent Trocheck, Rocco Grimaldi and Quinton Howden.
Fialkov believes forwards Tomas Fleischmann, Tomas Kopecky and Sean Bergenheim are the likely trade candidates. The trio were part of Tallon’s mass acquisition of veteran talent during the summer of 2011. They become eligible for unrestricted free agency in July. Fleischmann could interest clubs seeking a skilled scorer while Kopecky and Bergenheim could prove worthwhile additions for those seeking checking-line help. Read more
As the American Thanksgiving weekend approaches, the NHL trade market has slowly returned to life. The past two weeks saw the Dallas Stars and Montreal Canadiens swing a couple of deals, including one in which the Stars shipped defensemen Sergei Gonchar to the Canadiens for forward Travis Moen. Factor in last week’s meeting of NHL GMs in Toronto and there’s growing speculation more deals are on the horizon.
A recent six-game losing skid has the Edmonton Oilers the hot topic of trade chatter. Pascal Dupuis’ blood-clot diagnosis could add urgency to the Pittsburgh Penguins search for a scoring winger, while the San Jose Sharks recent slump has generated talk of a possible roster shakeup. Read more
There are always early season surprises. That’s just the nature of hockey. A lucky bounce here and there, and you have Jon Sim fighting for the lead in preseason scoring, which is something that has actually happened in the past.
Over the course of the year, however, these things tend to even out. At the quarter mark of the season, trends are starting to develop. Of those trends, you’ll notice some are related, while others, not so much. These are the ten most unexpected stats at the quarter-pole. Read more
When I think of Pat Quinn, I harken back to the dark days of February, 1999. Quinn was just months into his tenure as coach of the Toronto Maple Leafs and I was equally green as the Maple Leafs beat reporter with The Toronto Star covering him.
I had found out not long before that my father was dying of cancer. Word somehow got to Quinn and one day during a post-practice scrum when I think he could see I was smiling on the outside and dying on the inside and was being cajoled by my colleagues, he pulled me into him with his big right arm and held me close for just a second. He never mentioned a word of it ever again, and neither did I. Read more
Superstars never intimidated Pat Quinn.
That much was evident when he laid out Bobby Orr with one of the most devastating and celebrated open ice hits in NHL history in 1969.
Right in the Boston Garden, no less! Read more
In the Swedish third league on Wednesday, one of the most incredible comebacks in hockey history happened.
Down 3-0 in the third period, IFK Arboga scored with just under 12 minutes left in the third period. Then they scored again 20 seconds later. And again nine seconds after that. And once more 30 seconds following their third goal. In less than two minutes, Arboga had erased a three-goal deficit to Grastorps, and held on for a 4-3 victory.
While there are no four-goals-in-two-minutes comebacks in NHL history, these are the five best. Read more