Knee Jerk Reactions: Flyers Hot Going Into Olympic Break
By Andrew Porter
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – The Flyers are scorching hot, winners of four in a row and five of their last six games, after beating the Flames 2-1 today. The last thing they want is an 18-day Olympic break.
- Claude Giroux, who was controversially snubbed for the Canadian Olympic team, tallied an assist on the Flyers second goal of the game.
- Originally, the goal was credited to Giroux, but upon further review it actually deflected off of the leg of Scott Hartnell.
- It would have been Giroux’s fourth straight game with a goal.
- Giroux has 13 points in his last nine games, and actually leads the entire NHL in scoring since December 11th.
- He now has 57 points on the season, good for 11th best in the NHL heading into Saturday night’s action.
- Somehow Hartnell has 14 goals this season, much thanks to Giroux.
- Brayden Schenn came into today’s game on a six game pointless skid, and only had one point (goal) in his last ten games.
- However, today, he was one of the Flyers best players, scoring their first goal, winning seven of 12 face offs, and consistently putting pressure on the Calgary defense all day.
- Simmonds had a nice game as well, accumulating four shots on goal, although he was unable to score.
- He did record an assist and heads into the break with four points in his last three games.
- Schenn, Simmonds, and Vincent Lecavalier have seemed to find a nice rhythm together….they certainly do not need a break.
- Today was Ray Emery’s first start since January 23rd, where he allowed five goals in a 5-2 loss at Columbus
- Today was Emery’s first start at home since November 21st.
- Steve Mason was on a three game win streak of his own, where he only allowed three goals, so he was given a much deserved day off.
- Emery dazzled all day, especially with his glove, stopping 32 of Calgary’s 33 shots, with their lone goal coming late in the third period.
- Zac Rinaldo had a shift in the second period where he leveled two different Flames players within seconds, igniting the crowd.
- The Flyers fourth line, of Rinaldo, Michael Raffl, and Adam Hall has been playing very well.
- Andrej Meszaros, who didn’t play in the Flyers last game against the Avalanche due to Kimmo Timonen returning from injury, played instead of Erik Gustafasson today (coach’s decision).
- Mez tallied two assists and was named the second star of the game.
- Gustafasson and Mez are both playing well, and with Timonen back, the Flyers are completely healthy and have some depth on defense now.
- Steve Downie looks lost. He has eight points since December 2nd and hasn’t scored a goal since December 11th.
- The Flyers head into the Olympic break 30-23-6 (66 points) on a four game winning streak, and winners of five of their last six.
- Oh, and they have two hot goalies and one of the hottest players, in Giroux, in the league.
- The have 18 days, yes, 18 days off.
- Their next game is February 27th at home, against the San Jose Sharks.
- Mezaros, Timonen, Raffl, Jakub Voracek, and Mark Streit are representing the Flyers in the Olympic games.
Andrew Porter is the Audio Roadshow Coordinator for SportsRadio WIP, editor and writer for The School Philly, and a contributing sports blogger for CBS Philly. You can follow him on Twitter @And_Porter.