Biron to the rescue

BUFFALO _ Late last month, this space said goalie Marty Biron needed to step up, needed to win some games on his own to help get the Flyers out of their doldrums.

Consider it done.

The Flyers weren't brilliant last night.

Biron was.

The 31-year-old goalie made 40 saves and nothced his 24th career shutout, defeating hios former club, Buffalo, 3-0.

Biron was coming off a superb effort in a 2-1 win in Montreal.

After a rocky first few weeks, Biron has regained the form he displayed in carrying the Flyers to the Eastern Conference finals last season.

Truth be told, the Flyers were just so-so tonight; they didn't have many scoring chances and they gave Buffalo far too many opportunities.

But Biron saved the night. Literally.

Look for John Stevens to stay with his hot goalie Saturday night against visiting Phoenix.

* * * * * * * * * *

   I've received a lot of e-mails from folks who wondered why I referred to Joffrey Lupul as "Vanilla Thunder" in Friday's Inquirer.

   I guess I'm getting older than I realized. I figured most people would get the reference, but younger readers apparently never heard of  "Chocolate Thunder." That would be former 76er Darryl Dawkins, who was known for breaking glass backboards with his thunderous dunks.

So when Lupul shattered the glass with a slap shot during practice the other day, he became "Vanilla Thunder."

   Actually, he was given the label by Delco Times sports editor Rob Parent, who mentioned it in the press room. I told him I liked it and asked him if I could steal it. "All yours," he said.

  Despite the readers' puzzlement, I STILL like it.

_ Sam Carchidi