Category Archives: Flyers

Flyers make 2 key signings hours apart

The Flyers made some noise today just before the playoffs begin on Thursday in New York.

First, they extended pending free agent, Andrew MacDonald to hefty new deal. Reportedly worth 30 million over a 6 year span. The 27-year old was set to become an unrestricted free agent this summer.

The second move made came just moments ago.

After speculation about him returning for his Senior year, Union defenseman Shayne Gostisbehere, signed his entry-level contract with the Philadelphia Flyers. Gostisbehere will report to the Phantoms this coming weekend.

The signing comes a few days after Gostisbehere’s monster performance in the NCAA National Championship against Minnesota. Posting a +7, a goal and two assists in the 7-4 victory.

What are your thoughts on the signings Flyers fans? Overall positive?

Flyers beat Panthers; Clinch Playoffs

Last night, the Philadelphia Flyers took on the Florida Panthers in game 79 of the regular season. After a shaky 1st period, the Flyers stormed out in the 2nd period and scored 4 unanswered goals, leading the way to a 5-2 victory and solidifying their spot in the 2014 Stanley Cup Playoffs.

After the teams 0-3-0 start, firing of the their then head coach, Peter Laviolette, hiring Craig Berube, and even then going 1-7-0. That is when the captain, Claude Giroux, made a bold statement. A statement that most of us, myself admittedly included, thought was a silly promise and will end up a broken one.

 “We’re not far off at all. How many points are we out, six? To think of the start that we had and we’re that close. We never thought about not making the playoffs. We’ve got to go game by game and we will make the playoffs.” -Claude Giroux

Man,are most of us laughing at ourselves and really would apologize to Giroux for doubting his prediction.

The issue now for the Flyers becomes where will they land in the seeding. They still have a game in hand against the New York Rangers and are just 2 points behind them.

For the Flyers, a team that has struggled largely in Madison Square Garden, getting ahead of the Rangers in the Metro is their next step.

Comparing the remaining schedules for the Flyers and Rangers, it’s a difficult task for the Flyers. They will likely need to win out against Tampa Bay, Pittsburgh, and Carolina.The Rangers have Buffalo and Montreal left on their docket. As of today, the Rangers own the tiebreaker over the Flyers with 40 ROW wins compared to the Flyers 38.

No matter how we break down the remaining schedule, the Rangers are the nearly guaranteed opponent for the Flyers. I don’t agree with a few fans I’ve overheard saying to lose out the rest of the season of snag a wild card and face the Penguins in the first round.

That is entirely too risky, you could easily end up playing the Boston Bruins instead of the Penguins, and that will end miserably for the Flyers.

The best case for the Flyers right now is to win out and take on the Rangers, preferably on home ice, but anything can happen in the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

Let the playoff beards flow my fellow hockey enthusiasts.

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Take a Deep Breath Flyers

The 3 games for the Philadelphia Flyers hasn’t exactly gone in the direction of the Flyers. They’ve gone 0-2-1 in the 3 game stretch, three games against a top team in Boston and St. Louis, along with a playoff desperate team in the Columbus Blue Jackets. They probably should have beaten the Boston Bruins having completely out played them and out shooting them with 52 shoots to Boston’s 30. But like all top teams in the NHL, Boston grinned it out and won ( in a skills competition but still a win.)

Flyers would then drop the next two games, again in a shootout to St. Louis and in regulation to a very beatable Columbus. The biggest concern I took form the Columbus game was their was no urgency from the Flyers bench at all. Columbus is right on their heels in the Metro division and they came out like they had a playoff spot locked up with 7 games to play.

That is obviously not the case for the Flyers. They are in 3rd place in the Metro 4 points behind the Rangers. Points against teams like Columbus should come easy for a team that played well against two teams that could very well be facing each other come June.

Now I think a lot of Flyers fans need to take a deep breathe, however, because sometimes these games happen. It’s obviously not ideal but sometimes teams have an off night or the opposing teams goalie has a out of body game and stops everything in their path. (Bob did that for Columbus.) They have a back-to-back this weekend, with Boston and Buffalo. If they can grab 3 points out of this weekend, they’ll be sitting pretty. Especially with the scheduling easing up after the Boston game on Saturday. The Flyers will be in the Stanley Cup Playoffs this year, don’t worry about that.

What Flyers fans should worry about is home ice for the playoffs first round. The New York Rangers will be the very likely opponent for the Flyers in the first round. The Flyers are a terrible team recently inside Madison Square Garden. It’s not going to be a short series either way, but I will not be betting on the Flyers to take the Rangers in 7 if they have a game 7 in the Garden.

Unless the Flyers get very very hot again like in the month of March.

Breathe deep Flyers fans, it’s about to get interesting.

 

Giroux has a Serious Argument for Hart

Leaving the Wells Fargo Center Saturday afternoon after yet another impressive Flyers win, this one over the St. Louis Blue 4-1. I thought one simple thing, Claude Giroux has a serious shot at winning the Hart Memorial Trophy this year.

Giroux added 2 assists to his stats this season against the Blues, hitting the 50 assist mark this season and 74 points overall. He also added 8, uncharacteristic, penalty minutes on the day. However, the penalties are nether here nor there in this argument for Hart. The 26-year old center, is the most valuable player on the Philadelphia Flyers. Which by definition of the Hart Memorial Trophy qualifies a player for the award.

74 points by Giroux has him tied for third in the league in point total with Phil Kessel. Sidney Crosby is the league leader with 94. A lot of writers seem to look at point totals as the biggest factor in achieving the Hart Trophy. I don’t look at it like that. Yes points are a big factor in it but something else is just as important, if not more important.

Where would that player’s team be if he wasn’t on the team?

Giroux could win the Hart (USA TODAY IMAGE)

Giroux could win the Hart (USA TODAY IMAGE)

Can you imagine a Flyers team playing this well without the contributions of Claude Giroux? Simple answer…

NO

We saw for nearly a full season 2 years ago and then some a Pittsburgh Penguins team without Crosby and they were still a top team in the league. I have even said (before I joined the Wooder Cooler) that Malkin has bigger value than Crosby for that team.

Scott Hartnell, Wayne Simmonds, Jake Voracek, and the rest of the Flyers feed off Giroux’s production and leadership. That is the difference when comparing Giroux and Crosby. If Crosby was forced to retire a few years back due to his concussion issues, the Penguins probably would of been just fine. The Flyers would not be in that scenario.

Since December 11 of this season, Giroux leads the league in points and the Flyers have one of the best records in the league since then as well. See the correlation? Yeah that is called value of a player. Giroux playing well= a competitive Flyers team.

Imagine where the Flyers and Giroux would be if they and him didn’t have that extremely slow start. They might be in the hunt for the top seed out of the Metro division.

Now I’ve discussed Crosby being a value to his team and I almost forgot about the other probable Hart finalist, Alex Ovechkin. Ovechkin leads the league in goals at 46, a very impressive stat for the Washington Capital. Corey Perry, of Anaheim, is in 2nd for league goals and he’s at 36.

But other than Ovechkin’s 46 goals, is there really anything else that is more impressive than Giroux? Ovechkin has 23 assist, Giroux has 50. Ovechkin is a -31! How can you be in the discussion for Hart if you can’t play both ends of the ice. -31 isn’t bad, it’s abysmal for a player like Ovechkin. Giroux is a +7 by the way.

The Hart Trophy is awarded to the player that is most valuable to his team’s performance in a season. Claude Giroux has 74 points on the year, most coming from assists (50), and continues to carry the Flyers after a very slow start.

That is a pretty high value if you ask me.

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Around the Cooler 3/20/14: Locker Room Politics

rollins200517 Here’s what we’re talking about:

  • The curious cases of DeSean Jackson and Jimmy Rollins (0:00)
  • The Flyers are heating up! How does their next week look? (22:00)
  • March Madness, draft prospects, and the importance of winning (29:30)
  • The viability of two sport athletes in today’s game (39:00)


Play on your Mobile Device or Right Click to Download: Around the Cooler 3-20-14

What are you talking about around the wooder cooler this week? Leave us a comment!

Follow us on Twitter @TheWooderCooler

Musical theme written by Matthew Schwalm.

Flyers Sweep the Pens in Home and Home

The Philadelphia Flyers took home 2 more points Sunday afternoon in Pittsburgh, in addition to the 2 points they claimed the day before in Philly. The Flyers were able to hold off the top Metropolitan team in back to back games and now sit in 2nd in the metro division pending the Rangers game later Sunday.

The Flyers came out Sunday exactly how they finished on Saturday, physical and puck control. Brayden Schenn opened up the scoring on the rebound after Fleury made a nice save against Wayne Simmonds.

Fleury kept the Penguins in the game but didn’t get much help in front of him causing him to give up 3 goals in the first period before getting hooked for backup goaltender Jeff Zakoff. The pull of Fleury wasn’t for poor performance but mostly for his on mercy. The Penguins defensive play was the definition of awful and didn’t give Fleury any help.

Close to the end of the 1st period, the Pens finally put in their first goal of the weekend after 77 minutes of play through the 2 games. The Pens came out of both games like a team that wasn’t playing their arch rival. The Flyers did.

It’s very odd for a team, even as good as the Pens, to come out flat against a rival as big as the Flyers. No matter what the record the two teams play as if it is game 7 of the Eastern Conference Finals. The Pens didn’t convert a single power play over the weekend, going 0-9. Sidney Crosby, didn’t even register a point during the weekend.

The Flyers special teams were a big factor overall in the weekend sweep. Not only killing off all 9 penalties they committed but also converting on the power play themselves, going 3 for 7 over the weekend.

Claude Giroux had 4 assists during the series and is now tied for 4th in the league in points. Crazy to say after his slow start to the season. The captain is now back in the conversation as one of the top players in the league.

The schedule doesn’t get much easier for the Flyers from this point on, starting on Tuesday against the Chicago Blackhawks. The Fly Guys have 15 games left on the season and are right in the mix to get into the playoffs. With the Metropolitan division so tight the 4 points gained this weekend have a huge factor. Now it’s just a matter of did the Flyers play well because it was the Penguins or was it just a normal pace of play to expect here on out? Tuesday is the tell all moment for that analysis.

Around the Cooler 3/11/14: Can you Smell?!?!?!

the rockHere’s what we’re talking about:

  • FREE AGENCY! Woo!!!!!! (0:00)
  • In a word, the Flyers are _______ (20:00)
  • Nerlens Noel, Tanking, and Inventing the NBA Wheel (28:35)
  • WWE is changing the game in media as we know it! You gotta check this out! (49:20)


Play on your Mobile Device or Right Click to Download: Around the Cooler 3-11-14

What are you talking about around the wooder cooler this week? Leave us a comment!

Follow us on Twitter @TheWooderCooler

Musical theme written by Matthew Schwalm.

Flyers Holding Steady

In a season where the Flyers looked at times dead in the water to potential Cup contenders, it’s been an up and down season for the Fly Guys to say the least.

But recent form shows that the team is finally starting to piece together a nice pace of play and holding steady in the ultra tight Metropolitan division. The Flyers entered the Olympic break with a 4 game win streak including wins over the Sharks and Kings.mason

Coming out of the break they put on a clunker and got demolished by the Sharks 7-3. But they didn’t panic, didn’t make a drastic trade or fire their coach. No, they continued to grind won their next 3 and have a 4 game point streak after another 3rd period comeback against the Toronto Maple Leafs came up just short in overtime last Saturday.

Being one of the hottest teams right now in the NHL at 7-2-1 certainty helps the Flyers stay in contention for the playoffs. This years competition might be one of the closest in recent memory and with a new playoff format that is exactly what the NHL wanted. In the Metro division alone the point differential between the second place Rangers and sixth place Devils is a mere 5 points. 5!

The recent play by the Flyers has shown me one key factor compared to their play in the beginning of the season under Berube; the concept of team defense. Since the first game out of the break, the Flyers have not given up more than 4 goals in each game. Steve Mason has really started to find a groove in his play as well and is continuing to get better as the defensive play in front of him improves as well.

Along with defensive play, the special teams play has held steady as one of the better units in the league. The Flyers are 11th and 10th on the power play and penalty kill, respectively. So even with the occasional dumb penalty the team commits, the team as a whole in confident in their own abilities to keep themselves in the game throughout.

Of all their progress they’ve had, one still huge blemish remains. Their abysmally slow starts in the first period. The start of a game won’t win you the game necessarily but a slow start, like the one we saw against Toronto, will certainly help you lose the game. If the Flyers hadn’t given up those 2 goals against the Leafs Saturday in the first 1:30 of the game, they most likely would have won that game. But following what Mason did following that loss, just skate off the ice and move on to the next matchup.

This season has certainly been a roller coaster ride, But get ready Flyers fans because were climbing to our highest point at this stage in the season Flyers fans. Are we in for another regular season finish like the one in 2010? Just looking at the current Metro standings will point to yes. Will the Flyers continue to climb the roller coaster or drop to the end?

The Wooder Cooler Presents: The First Annual Golden Gabbys!

Awards have been handed out everywhere you look over the last few weeks in the world of entertainment. The Pro Bowl, The Grammys, The Olympics, The Oscars, The Dundees, and more. And given that we’re a pillar of the community it’s time for The Wooder Cooler to enter into the fray with our first annual presentation of The Gabbys! The Gabbys are intended to represent the most talked about stories from the past year in Philly sports and are made out of solid gold stolen from Fort Knox. It’s a truly special award for an extraordinary set of categories!

And now, what you haven’t been waiting for because you didn’t previously know it existed!

Gabbys

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From the Bench: I Survived Three Weeks Without the Flyers

[Note from Vince: This is the first article from Flyers addict Chris Imbrogno, who will be gracing us with his hockey thoughts from time to time. As a contributor, Chris gets the privilege of doing the first installment of our contributor piece From the Bench! Give him a round of applause (in the comments...because he can't hear you)]

 

With the end of the Olympic break and the last 23 games of the Flyers schedule looming (as well as nothing to do at lunch since I finished Game of Thrones), I wanted to write a bit about my take on how the Flyers have looked so far this season.

masonNeedless to say, the start to the season was as bleak as could be. For fans, it caused a mix of anger, disappointment, and confusion. Confusion as to how a team that manhandled one of the best teams in the league, the Pittsburgh Penqueens, in the playoffs just a short time ago could be doing so poorly.

However, the way the Flyers have turned the season around is nothing short of miraculous. I could only imagine in the first 8 games, it’s what it feels like to be a Florida Panthers fan (do they exist?). What Berube and the other coaches have done to turn this struggling team around is extremely impressive. They still have a lot of work to do, and the defense is clearly still lacking, but they’re moving in a very good direction.

Some credit for the turnaround has to go to Steve Mason. Let’s be real, Mason has stolen games for the Flyers that they’ve had no right winning. The man has surely earned the nickname Stonewall Mason.

When we first acquired Mason, watching him play excited me. It excited me to see someone who would come out of the net and play the puck. It excited me to see someone who was not only big, but extremely athletic and, at this point, he has my exceeded expectations by far.

If the offense can keep putting up the points they were generating consistently going into the break, then, paired with Mason’s play, the Flyers have a very good chance to get into the playoffs.That’s where the captain comes into play.

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