BUFFALO, N.Y. -- Five percent of the Flyers' season is gone, and they've yet to register a point in the standings. That's the unfortunate reality of the NHL's shortened, 48-game season.
Almost all of the Flyers' troubles on their opening weekend could be attributed to shoddy special teams play. Buffalo scored separate power play and shorthanded goals over the final 6 minutes to break a 2-2 tie, dropping the Flyers, 5-2, in their home-opener at the First Niagara Center.
The Flyers were back on the ice early Sunday for their second nationally-televised game of the weekend, less than 20 hours after going 0-for-5 on the power play while allowing 2-of-3 power play goals against Pittsburgh on Saturday.
The Flyers’ first period on Saturday afternoon was just about the exact one you could expect after not skating together since May 8.
With 7 minutes remaining, the Flyers had more icing calls (4) against them than they had shots on goal. Passes were sloppy, bouncing off skates. Players were repeatedly whistled for being offsides.
Heading into Sunday’s back-to-back matinee with Buffalo, the Flyers have plenty of positives to build on for Game 2. They dominated most of the second-half of Saturday’s clash with the Penguins, but fell short.
During the NHL’s marathon, 119-day work stoppage, NHL Players Association executive director Donald Fehr loved to say that he was “not in the prediction business.”
Unfortunately, us media-types do not have the same luxury.
In a shortened season such as this 48-game sprint for Stanley’s mug, some predictions will indeed prove foolish. That’s never stopped me before.
It has been 272 days since Claude Giroux delivered that thundering shoulder to Sidney Crosby on April 22, 2012, leading the Flyers to a 5-1 rout that officially rendered the Penguins a flightless fowl.
The cast of characters is largely the same for both teams, as they meet on Saturday at 3:30 p.m. on NBC.
One thing that will have a slightly different look: Pittsburgh’s power play.
With the Flyers’ first test of the season against Pittsburgh less than 24 hours away, they submitted the following 23-man roster to the NHL on Friday afternoon:
On Thursday, the Rangers will wipe their hands clean of Wade Redden and move on.
The much-maligned defenseman, who never lived up to a 6-year, $39 million deal signed in 2008, is expected to clear waivers around noon on Thursday. At that point, the Rangers are expected to buy out Redden from the remaining two seasons on his deal.
(Canadiens forward Scott Gomez is expected to receive a similar fate.)
Claude Giroux has been named the 19th captain in Flyers' history as the team prepares for the season opener vs. the Penguins. The Daily News' Frank Seravalli and CineSport's Noah Coslov discuss.
To the surprise of no one, the Flyers named Claude Giroux the 19th captain in franchise history on Tuesday night.
‘G’ officially has the ‘C.’
Kimmo Timonen will serve as the Flyers’ associate captain, with Danny Briere and Scott Hartnell serving as alternates.
With so few players in the Flyers’ abbreviated training camp, Eric Wellwood can do the math. Wellwood, who played important minutes in all 11 Stanley Cup playoff games, is no stranger to competition as he hopes to win back the job he ended last season with.
“I know that it comes down to a numbers game at some point,” Wellwood said. “I’ve been in this spot many times before. I know what I need to do to be successful at this level.”
Wellwood said he hasn’t had many conversations with coach Peter Laviolette about his role, or where he might fit in the Flyers’ plans.
Do you forget what happened around the NHL over the summer? We don't blame you. If it feels like free agency happened so long ago, you are not wrong. July was 6 months.
Luckily, the NHL's PR department sent out a release highlighting new faces in new places.
Here's a refresher: