Greetings from the press box at Citizens Bank Park, where I am here to help cover the Phillies. I was at Voorhees this morning at Flyers practice. Here are some quick hits to keep you in the Flyers loop on a busy sports Sunday:
-There is still no news on Simon Gagne. He will meet with a new doctor, Dr. William Meyers, at Hahneman University Hospital on Monday to finally develop a concrete plan. They are trying to decide between surgery for his two small hernias and letting Gagne play through the pain.
-Ryan Parent did not practice. He will be out at least one week. He re-aggravated his right groin that was originally injured on Oct. 19 in Florida. Parent returned on Saturday, and skated with Kimmo Timonen, before leaving after the second period.
-Flyers GM Paul Holmgren told me that Danny Briere is feeling better. He received a PRP (platelet rich plasma) injection in his groin on Friday, which is supposed to aid the healing process. The good news is that his injury is unrelated to the groin injury that sidelined him for 53 games last season.
-The Flyers had a brisk 45 minute workout on Sunday at the Skate Zone, which was surprisingly well-attended by fans. They worked on the power play and general neutral zone re-grouping plays, among other things. Unfortunately, they did not work on face-offs or the shootout. They need help on both. The Flyers will not have a morning skate on Monday because of the earlier start time.
-REMINDER: The game time of Monday’s tilt against Tampa is 5:00 pm instead of the normal 7:00 pm. This was done to accommodate Game 5 of the World Series at Citizens Bank Park between the Phillies and Yankees. At last check, about 1,700 tickets remain for the game. Fans with a World Series ticket stub can buy tickets to the Flyers for $25.
-David Laliberte has a sweet French accent. It’s probably more pronounced than Claude Giroux or Gagne. He says his name is officially pronounced like: “LA-LEE-BURR-TAY.” He scored his first NHL goal in his first NHL game on Saturday. Laliberte is from St-Liboire, Quebec, which is a small town an hour outside of Montreal. Laliberte says he thinks he is the first player from his town to play in the NHL, which he said only has one rink. Interestingly, Flyers prospect Marc-Andre Bourdon is from St-Hyacinthe, which is only 20 minutes away.
-Ray Emery looked sharp in net on Saturday and in practice on Sunday. He allowed his first-ever goal to Carolina (Brandon Sutter) on Saturday in the second period. Emery will get the start on Monday against Tampa Bay.
-The Flyers will likely face former backup Antero Niittymaki on Monday evening at the Wachovia Center. Niittymaki and the Lightning shutout the Sabres, 5-0, on Saturday night.
-Here are Sunday's lines from practice:
Giroux – Richards – Hartnell
Van Riemsdyk – Carter – Laliberte
Powe – Pyorala – Asham
Laperriere – Betts – Carcillo
Extra man: Cote
-With Ryan Parent out on Monday, that means Ole-Kristian Tollefsen is back in the lineup.
Enjoy the Phillies.
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