For the Flyers, Operation Playoff Push needs to go into overdrive.
They have 13 games to climb over four teams in the Eastern Conference playoff hunt.
Physical left winger Jay Rosehill, acquired from Anaheim on Monday for speedy winger Harry Zolnierczyk, figures to play in some of those game, giving the Flyers their first heavyweight enforcer in nearly two months.
He’s a player you hate to play against,” captain Claude Giroux said after the Flyers practiced in Voorhees on Tuesday, preparing for Wednesday’s game against visiting Montreal. “I remember when he was in Toronto and we were playing against him, you know when he’s on the ice.”
Will the Flyers make the playoffs?
The 6-foot-3, 215-pound Rosehill participated in his first practice with his new team Tuesday, but isn’t expected to play until Thursday in Toronto. He was acquired because the Flyers have lost their two heavyweight enforcers during the season (an injured Jody Shelley and a waived Tom Sestito) and they don’t want their skilled players fighting.
In Sunday’s 5-4 win over Washington, Jake Voracek _ who is tied for the club’s scoring lead _ got into his first career fight while protecting Giroux. Voracek won the fight against Steve Oleksy, but was accessed 19 minutes in penalties.
“He did good, but I would rather have Jake on the ice scoring some goals,” said a smiling Giroux.
Rosehill, 27, is on the Flyers’ roster and called it a “good opportunity” after spending the entire season with Anaheim’s AHL team, Norfolk.
“I’ve played against this team and organization for a long time,” said Rosehill, who spent parts of three seasons in Toronto. “I’ve always liked their style of play, and it’s good to be in their jersey now and hopefully I get a chance to get in soon and play their style of hockey….That’s kind of always been their tradition here and the way they like to go, and I’m happy to be one of those guys.”
Flyers defenseman Luke Schenn, who has been a standout in the last two games, was Rosehill’s teammate in Toronto.
“He’s one of the best guys I’ve ever played with, as far as in the locker room and being a good character guy,” Schenn said. “Obviously, losing Shelley and having Sestito picked up, he adds that element of toughness. He’s a great fighter, but not only that, he’s a good hitter and strong on the forecheck and he wins battles out there. And he used to be a defenseman, and you have to know how to pass a little bit if you’re a defenseman.
“Every night, he’ll do whatever it takes for the team,” Schenn added. “He’s definitely a welcome addition.”
The Flyers entered Tuesday 12th in the Eastern Conference.
“We can’t be thinking ‘the Rangers have to lose’ and that kind of stuff,” Giroux said. “We just need to focus on what we have to do and be in control of our game. If we play good and start winning games, we’re in control as to whether we make the playoffs or not.”
The Flyers play Montreal on Wednesday, then face the Maple Leafs in Toronto on Thursday.
“It seems like every night we’ll have a chance to tie a team or pass a team because it’s such a close race,” Hartnell said. “This is where you cipher between the boys and men.”
Trade talk. The trade deadline ends at 3 p.m. Wednesday, and the Flyers are still pitching for San Jose winger Ryane Clowe.
Shortly before Jaromir Jagr was dealt from Dallas to Boston on Tuesday, Hartnell said the Flyers would welcome him back. “I think just his presence was especially missed _ his leadership, the guy that he is around the room. His smiles are infectious.”
Breakaways. Based on practice, Tye McGinn will replace Max Talbot (broken leg) on a line with Sean Couturier and Zac Rinaldo as the Flyers aim for their first three-game winning streak of the season…….The Flyers waived spare defenseman Kurtis Foster, perhaps indicating Nick Grossmann is close to returning from an upper-body injury. Grossmann practiced in a non-contact jersey Tuesday …..Montreal handed the Flyers and Brian Boucher a 4-1 defeat (including an empty-netter) Feb. 16 in the teams’ only meeting this year……Coach Peter Laviolette on Zolnierczyk: “Harry was a good soldier here; he brought a lot of energy and a positive attitude to our lineup when he was up here.”
Contact Sam Carchidi at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow on Twitter @BroadStBull.