Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Flyers' vaunted offense looks sleepy

NEWARK, N.J. _ As he rode an exercise bike after Sunday’s lackluster 4-1 loss in New Jersey, Flyers center Claude Giroux had his sore left hand wrapped in an ice pack.

Flyers' vaunted offense looks sleepy

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   NEWARK, N.J. _ As he rode an exercise bike after Sunday’s lackluster 4-1 loss in New Jersey, Flyers center Claude Giroux had his sore left hand wrapped in an ice pack.

    In a way, it was symbolic.

    The Flyers’ offense, for one of the few times this season, is in a deep freeze.

     They managed just 19 shots _ their second-lowest total of the season _ and spent little time in the Devils’ end. They scored one goal, total, in two weekend games.

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     “We’ve got to find a way to get more shots on net,” said Giroux, who scored the Flyers’ lone goal, his 25th.

     The Flyers began the night leading the league with an average of 3.22 goals per game, but the offense seemed out of sync during the two weekend games, including a 1-0 shootout win over Toronto.

     The offense better awaken Tuesday in a rematch against the Devils, this time at the Wells Fargo Center. Another loss would push the Flyers behind the Devils and into sixth place in the East.

     The sixth-place team will likely face Florida or Washington in the first round of the playoffs.

     The fifth-place team, as it stands now, would face fourth-seeded Pittsburgh. Then again, the streaking Penguins are getting closer to the New York Rangers and could finish No. 1 in the East.

      The Flyers are tied with the Devils for fifth with 85 points; the Flyers have a game in hand.

      Someone suggested to defenseman Braydon Coburn that the Flyers looked tired, perhaps as a result of playing their fifth game in eight nights.

     Coburn bristled at the idea.

     “We have a fit team here,” he said. “…There’s no excuse for not having our legs under us.”

     In order to rebound Tuesday, the Flyers need to contain a Devils power-play unit that was 2 for 5 Sunday. The Flyers have had only two power-play chances, total, in their last two games.

    Breakaways. Andreas Lilja led the Flyers with six hits, followed by Brayden Schenn (5) and Zac Rinaldo (4). The Flyers outhit New Jersey, 36-17…..Does injured winger Jakub Voracek, who sat out again on Sunday, have a concussion?  GM Paul Holmgren declined comment…..Rinaldo was given a double-minor for high-sticking in the third period. The NHL may take action....Danny Briere is goal-less in his last 23 games _ 16 of those games were after he suffered a concussion.

    Marty Legend. Devils goalie Martin Brodeur recorded his 650th career wiin.

    "It's an amazing number," New Jersey coach Peter DeBoer said. "You don't have the words to do that justice, that type of body of work."

    Future wih Flyers? Defenseman Nick Grossmann, who has played extremely well since the Flyers acquired him from Dallas last month, can be an unrestricted free agent on July 1. The Flyers will try to sign him. Will Grossmann, 27, who will get a major increase from his $1.75 million salary, oblige?

    “I don’t want to put it in black and white already,” he said. “….But on the positive side, the things I’ve seen in only a couple weeks have been good. There’s nothing to complain about. It’s a great group of guys that play hard and play to win _ and that’s why you started to play hockey when you were a kid.”

     Follow Sam Carchidi on Twitter at BroadStBull.

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