It’s been a busy week for the Flyers on and off the ice. I’ve been slacking a bit on my blogging duties due to the World Junior Championships but its time to get back to the Flyers. We received the Leighton news this week that he had been placed on waivers, which he cleared, then was sent down to the Phantoms. Everybody knew that a move had to be made in regards to the goalie situation. Some were shocked it was Micheal Leighton being sent down and not Brian Boucher or Sergei Bobrovsky but I think it was the right decision. Leighton was great for the Flyers last season in the playoffs and carried the Flyers to the Stanley cup final. We are grateful for that. Leighton has been in and out of the game since arriving in Philadelphia in 2009 off waivers from the Carolina Hurricanes. In my opinion, at this point in the season we can’t afford to take a chance on Leighton or wait till he “shakes off the rust”. The Bottom line is Boucher and Bobrovsky are the dependable choices. Its half way through the season and the Flyers needed to establish consistency between the pipes. Both Boucher and Bobrovsky have been solid so far this season and deserve to be in the lineup.
Chris Pronger was approved to start skating again after under going foot surgery. This is great news for our blue line. We likely won’t see him for a couple of weeks yet but this is welcoming news for the Flyers. Our defense has clearly been missing him. He provides net presence like nobody else on the team and our goals against have certainly suffered since he has been out.
Nikolay Zherdev is day to day with a pulled groin. He has not recorded a point since December 18th when the Flyers played the NY Rangers. Zherdev didn’t play against Detroit or New Jersey on this road trip. It is yet to be determined if Zherdev can put in a consistent effort this season. It appears that his struggles with the coaching staff continue. Of course I don’t know this as fact but his ice time minutes and his press box visits indicate there may still be problems. I can only hope that Zherdev can jump on board and utilize his skills to help this team moving forward.
The Flyers are coming off a decent road trip taking three of the five games played. They came away with 6 points with wins against the LA Kings, Detroit Red Wings and tonight versus New Jersey. They currently sit 4th in the Eastern Conference and 2nd behind Pittsburgh in the atlantic division. They have managed to stay close in the standings only one point behind Pittsburgh. They will finally be home on Saturday to face the NJ Devils then are back on the road to face the Buffalo Sabres and the Bosten Bruins next week.
I think we will see a lot of movement in the coming weeks with all the NHL teams. It is half way through the season, (already) and its time for the teams to establish who is going to stay and who is going to go. This is all part of the business of hockey. Its important now to ensure your team has consistency moving forward and team chemistry to create the kind of synergy required to win a Stanley Cup. Whether it involves player changes or coaching changes teams can’t afford to wait much longer. I don’t anticipate many changes to the Flyers lineup but it’s hard to predict and you just don’t know what’s going on behind closed doors. Whatever decisions are made I’m sure it will be what’s best for the Flyers organization moving forward into the second part of the season.
Thanks for reading!
Karla Garrow Feel free to follow me on Twitter @puckoholic18