One to watch: Flyers vs Rangers Preview


Tonight’s game at the Garden between the Flyers and the Rangers is a story of two teams that have rebounded from adversity to sit a point apart from a playoff place. It will be the first time the Flyers have been to the Garden this season.

Both teams have seven wins in there last ten (Philadelphia 7-3-0; New York 7-2-1) and will be looking to push on.

The Flyers have won 5 out of their past 6 road games but tend to struggle at the Garden. Nevertheless, the Flyers won the first meeting this season in a heated affair, beating the Rangers 2-1 Philly behind a stellar 30-save performance from Steve Mason.

With his two assists on Saturday, Claude Giroux now has 21 points in his past 15 games. He will need to fire up the Flyers for arguably their most important game of the season so far.

The Rangers powerplay is red hot at 6th in the NHL after a slow start. The Flyers on the other hand have killed off 22 consecutive penalties over the last seven games.

In a high stakes game The Flyers could move back into second place with a win of any kind against New York if the Capitals loss against Buffalo or if the Flyers take the game to OT

The Rangers could to rise from fourth to second and back into a playoff space.

Simmonds has recorded at least one point in 10 of his last 12 games and looked back to his best on the PP. He certainly was not happy with the Flyers defensive display against Tampa last night.

“I think we played like garbage defensively,” Simmonds said. “I thought we had all the chances in the world offensively, we were clicking. We just have to get that defensive game back tight. We have to get it tight going again.”

I am betting on a low scoring tight checking game tonight which could swing the momentum of the Metropolitan division. OT anyone?


Mason gets Berube’s Flyers off to a winning start


Steve Mason made 33 saves to lead the Flyers to victory

Steve Mason made 33 stops to help secure the Flyers first win of the season against the Florida Panthers 2-1.

It wasn’t the prettiest of games and neither of the Flyers goals are going to win goal of the season, but a win is a win!

The main reason for that win was the seller play of Steve Mason in net for the Flyers and the unfortunate play of Tim Thomas in the Florida net.

Brayden Schenn and Braydon Coburn scored the goals for the Flyers that were virtually carbon copies of each other. Schenn tapped in a rebound from a wide shot that cannoned off the boards and back into the slot. This appeared to injure Thomas who was unable to prevent the tamest of wrist shots from Braydon Coburn on another odd bounce off the boards.

From a Flyers perspective it was nice to see a bit of luck when things aren’t going your way. This is especially true against Thomas who has dominated in Philly, previously going 8-0.

Claude Giroux continued his dry spell without a point all season and in all honestly didn’t look like scoring, I am still skeptical about playing Wayne Simmonds and Scott Hartnell on the first line with Giroux, who needs a more “technical” linemate to compliment his play. (I will save that for another article)

It’s nice to see Flyers net getting some positive praise rather than the other way around.

So well done Steve Mason!

Bruins take a leap of faith with Tuukka Rask for 8-years $56m


The Boston Bruins have put their faith in Tuukka Rask for 8-years who had a fantastic season on a one year contract at $56m.

Firstly I am a big fan of Tuukka.

Even so I do not believe goaltenders should be signed for such long periods due to their known inconsistency. I am sure some people will disagree but you only have to look around the league to see why it’s never a good idea.

Still on a positive note if I was going to offer such a long contract to a goaltender Tuukka would be first on the list. Boston’s ever solid defense means that he does not have to carry the team with the likes of Chara defending the crease. The system that Boston plays also helps goaltenders if you compare them to what has happened at Vancouver or Philadelphia.

Only time will tell if this is a good move or not, but Bruins GM Peter Chiarelli has made some smart moves so far this off season and Tuukka has proven himself in this season’s playoffs.

This deal will probably see Tuukka see out the prime of his career in Boston, which much like Claude in Philly I am sure most fans will be happy about.

More to come from our Bruins writer ukbruins… – Bill Meltzer – Meltzer’s Musings: Are Flyers Finally Turning a Corner in D Development? – Bill Meltzer – Meltzer’s Musings: Are Flyers Finally Turning a Corner in D Development?

Great article by Bill Melzer, one of the best sports writers about Philly sports.

Whether the Flyers can bring through their defensive players as well as their forwards will be interesting to watch.

Flyers fans will be happy that they have not traded their draft picks and can start the process of rebuilding that prospect pool.