Wednesday, April 23, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

Flyers avoiding shootouts

WINNIPEG, Manitoba -- The Flyers may have found a way to solve their shootout problems: by avoiding it totally.

Flyers avoiding shootouts

Flyers´ goalie Ilya Bryzgalov watches the puck go past him. (Yong Kim / Staff Photographer)
Flyers' goalie Ilya Bryzgalov watches the puck go past him. (Yong Kim / Staff Photographer)

WINNIPEG, Manitoba -- The Flyers may have found a way to solve their shootout problems: by avoiding it totally.

When the puck dropped on overtime in the MTS Centre on Tuesday night, the Flyers’ lineup was not out of the ordinary. Claude Giroux, James van Riemsdyk, Pavel Kubina and Matt Carle were on the ice in the traditional two forwards and two defensemen, 4-on-4 setup.

That changed after about 54 seconds, when the Flyers went with 3 forwards and 1 defenseman, in order to try and pressure for a goal. They flip-flopped shift-by-shift with their setup.

When Jaromir Jagr scored with 43.4 seconds to go in OT, which garnered him a new NHL record with 16 career overtime goals, he did it with other forwards Danny Briere and Jakub Voracek joining him on the ice with Andrej Meszaros.

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Was the goal to avoid the shootout? As has been well documented, the Flyers are 20-39 all-time in shootouts, by far the NHL’s worst record since 2005.

“That’s why we put 3 forwards on the ice,” Jagr said with a smile. “Not too many teams [do that].

“If that doesn’t work, we’ll put 4 forwards out there.”

15 SOLID TANDEMS: Former NHL goaltender and friend of the Daily News, Kevin Weekes, ranked the Top 15 teams who are solid in net heading into the playoffs.

Not surprisingly, the Flyers weren’t on the list of teams.

New York, Boston, St. Louis, Vancouver and Los Angeles rounded out the Top 5. You can read Weekes’ full list on CBC’s Hockey Night in Canada web site.

Jets goaltender Ondrej Pavelec, on that list, was nominated for Save of the Year by NHL.com for his stop on Jakub Voracek on Tuesday night. Video of that is here

9.7 SECONDS FROM FIRST: For much of the last half of the third period on Tuesday night, the Jets appeared destined to jump all the way from 9th place in the Eastern Conference to 3rd place with the help of the Southeast division lead.

Wayne Simmonds changed all of that with 9.7 seconds left. Read our full game recap here.

Check out the vulgar reaction from Winnipeg, as this one picture captured by Deadspin says it all.

BROAD STREET BLITZ: Two great reads from our friends at BroadStreetHockey.com:

 

  • -Does Ilya Bryzgalov really need to get into a rhythm with consecutive starts? As stat guru Eric points out, that’s not the case.
  • -How would Sergei Bobrovsky handle a trade? Teemu translates a Russian story from Sovetsky Sport.

 

WATCH OUT! As broadcasters are quickly learning, adding color commentary from between the benches can be hazardous to your health - and your wardrobe. On Dec. 23, Flyers color guy Steve Coates was grazed by Matt Read’s flying skate at Madison Square Garden.

In Winnipeg on Tuesday night, TSN Jets commentator Mike Johnson - standing next to Coates between the two benches - found out the hard way. He took an inadvertent slash to the wrist from Claude Giroux, which wound up cutting the band of his expensive-looking watch. Johnson played 11 years in the league.

You can watch Johnson’s reaction for yourself below.

Props to our friends at Puck Daddy for that “Watch Out” headline. Brilliant.

For the latest updates, follow Frank Seravalli on Twitter: @DNFlyers

About this blog
Frequent Flyers is your home for news and analysis of all things orange and black. Reach Frank at seravaf@phillynews.com.

Frank Seravalli Daily News Sports Columnist
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