Peter Laviolette said on Sunday, after Andreas Nodl scored just the Flyers’ third power play goal in 45 chances, that he might need to consider Nodl on the power play full-time.
At Tuesday’s practice, Nodl was back on the Flyers’ top power play unit with Mike Richards and Jeff Carter.
But don’t read too much into that, since Ville Leino missed practice because he is “under the weather,” according to general manager Paul Holmgren. Leino has a fever, aches and cramps. Holmgren did not think it was anything that could keep him out of the lineup when San Jose visits the Wells Fargo Center on Wednesday.
That wasn’t a knock to Nodl, but Laviolette said Leino “hasn’t done anything to lose his power play” time.
“I used him in key situations last year, in the big games in the playoffs, with 3 or 4 minutes left. I counted on him to do the right things with the puck, and he did,” Laviolette said. “That was the real turning point for me, in our relationship. You’ve got to remember, he was an offensive guy in college. I think playing with Mike Richards has really help, Mike does a really good job of making everyone better around him.”
Recently, Nodl has been on a line with James van Riemsdyk and Richards. And he has the stats to show for it, posting 7 goals and 5 assists in 19 games this season – a far cry from 5 points he totaled in his first 48 NHL games. Sunday was the first power play goal of his career.
“We have a lot of really skilled players, so it’s hard to crack that power play lineup,” Nodl said. “So if I ever got the chance, that would be sweet. But I’m not sure.”
The other unit on Tuesday consisted of Claude Giroux with Danny Briere and Scott Hartnell. It was Hartnell who unexpectedly came off the ice on Sunday, giving Nodl a crack at the last 20 or 30 seconds of the Flyers’ advantage. That was all he needed.
“Hartsy took a short shift and I hopped out there. I was just kind of in the right spot at the right time,” Nodl said. “I’m one for one, I guess.”
OTHER NOTES: Peter Laviolette turned 46 today … Laviolette would not comment on his starting goaltender against the Sharks, but did say that he takes things like former teams into consideration when considering the starter. Brian Boucher spent 2008-09 with San Jose, appearing in 22 games, mostly as Evgeni Nabokov’s backup … Wednesday is Bernie Parent banner night, where the Flyers will present Parent with the banner bearing his name that hung in the Spectrum rafters. All fans will receive a replica banner.
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