Flyers: overtime recap

Next goal wins. There is no shootout in NHL playoffs so if no one scores in this overtime, they will play overtime until someone does. It’s getting kind of late so I’m hoping the Flyers score early.

For some reason, the Flyers have become afraid of just shooting the puck. They are holding onto it for too long and losing so much opportunity to capitalize on this overtime.

A few sloppy plays have been made lately, sloppy passes and sloppy shots on goal. If the Flyers don’t clean up and sharpen their game, they are never getting out of this alive.

And with that said, Tyler Ennis and has scored in overtime and the Sabres have taken game five.

The Flyers had their chances and just couldn’t get it done. I’m not losing faith, but frustration would be a better word.

The Flyers now face elimination on Sunday.

NHL playoff updates

In the Washington, New York series, the Capitals lead the Rangers three games to one. Mike Knuble of the Washington Capitals missed game four and will also miss a possible series clinching game five. Their next matchup is on Saturday, 4/23 at 3:oo p.m.

The Boston Bruins and Montreal Canadiens are tied at two games a piece. The Bruins won the last game in overtime, evening up the series and lessening their elimination chances. Their next game is Saturday, 4/23 at 7:00 p.m.

The Pittsburgh Penguins lead the Tampa Bay Lightening three games to one. The Lightening need a win on Saturday to bring the series back to Tampa Bay. The teams play at 12:00 p.m. tomorrow.

The Vancouver Canucks lead the reigning Stanley Cup Champions, the Chicago Blackhawks three games to two. Vancouver was going for the sweep when they led three games to one, but the Blackhawks came back to bring the series within one game. This series belongs to either team at this points. Their next game is Sunday, 4/24 at 7:30 p.m.

The San Jose Sharks, who leads this series three games to one, could clinch this series with a win over the Los Angeles Kings on Saturday. They play at 10:30 p.m.

The Detroit Red Wings have swept the series against the Phoenix Coyotes, on Coyotes home ice not to mention. This is the second straight year that the Red Wings have knocked them out of the playoffs.

The series between the Nashville Predators and Anaheim Ducks is all tied up at two games a piece. They are currently in the first period of game number five and the Predators have the lead 1-0. Ducks player Jarkko Ruutu is out tonight after being suspended for one game after a hit on Marting Erat in game four.

Flyers:period 3 recap

The third period starts off with the teams pretty evenly matched. The first minute of the game up until an icing call was basically spent down in the Sabres zone with the Flyers in control of the puck.

With 16:24 remaining in the game Danny Briere has tied the game at 3!

The pass to Briere from Richards was at an impossible angle and was so lightening fast to Briere on the side of the net. Briere basically stopped the puck in midair and then shot it in the net for the goal. Amazing. The crowd is on their feet as it is now anyone’s game.

Both teams were crowding the net about halfway through allowing a couple of close calls for Leighton. But that, of course, didn’t last very long as the Flyers regained control.

Leighton has been getting a lot more action this period so far. I don’t think that means the Flyers are slacking, the Sabres maybe just got a wake up call as the Flyers did in the second period. Now the Flyers are going to have to try to offset that with as much power, speed and agility as they had in the second period, and possibly more.

Buffalo is on power play with 12:20 remaining because of an interference call on Danny Briere.

In hopes to avoid overtime and the always dreaded shoot out, with nine minutes remaining, the Flyers need to score within the next four or five minutes. This will give them the momentum and hopefully carry them through the end of the game not giving the Sabres a chance to regain control.

As the clock winds down the game gets increasingly more stressful. The Flyers have had many shot on goal in the last couple of minutes but have been unable to sink any of them into the back of the net. The Sabres have, however, out shot the Flyers 11-5 in this period although it doesn’t seem that way.

Ville Leino had control of the puck and moved it all the way up the ice and instead of shooting the puck, he held on to it and in turn, gave the puck away to Buffalo. With 2:22 left, the Flyers go to a PECO power play because of a hooking call on Jordan Leopold.

One thing the Flyers have seemed to forget how to do in this series is score on the power play. This would be a really good time to insert that back into their memory. The Flyers stay close to the net making sure not to let anything get taken away from them. Miller, despite his slip-up in the second period, is a brick wall and not letting anything past him despite amazing efforts by the Flyers.

Leighton is also on his game as he has stopped all 18 shots that have come his way since he replace Boucher earlier in the game.

The Flyers call a timeout with 1:13 left in the game in hopes of squeezing a little bit of a pep talk to get these guys through the game, hopefully with a win and a lead in the series.

Well, it looks like three periods was not enough so we head to over time. Stay tuned for a recap of that as well.

It has also just been reported that Jeff Carter will also be out for this entire series against Buffalo.

Flyers: period 2 recap

With 12:29 remaining the period has been pleasantly uneventful. The Flyers seem to be more aggressive.

James VanRiemsdyk scores with 11:48 remaining to make the score 3-1 in favor of Buffalo. The net was pretty much wide open as Miller was just to the right of the crease leaving JVR plenty of room to net the puck.

You can physically see the amount of excitement the whole team has now after that goal. The momentum has shifted and now the Flyers are back in the game. So is the crowd not to mention. When a team is down 3-0, the crowd tends to get restless and not as enthusiastic.  The chanting has started again and everyone is back in it. The building is alive again.

HERE THEY COME. Andrej Meszaros scored with a one-time laser to the net to make the score 3-2. It was deflected off of someone but it is hard to tell who. He scored with 10:03 remaining in the game.

As I said previously, whatever Laviolette said to them in the locker room really resonated with them.

Laviolette is easing up too, as I noticed he was eating a little snack right after JVR’s goal. He reserves a little reward for getting this team back into shape.

This second period feels like a completely different game than the first period. The Flyers are swarming the net and Ryan Miller doesn’t know what to do with himself. The orange jerseys are just flying all over the ice.

The hits are coming left and right. The Flyers are checking the Sabres on the boards like no other. With 6:15 left in the second the Flyers go to the PECO power play a cross checking call on Marc-Andre Gragnani. The Flyers are out shooting the Sabres 13-1 in this period.

Leighton hasn’t been getting any action this period which is a good thing. The Flyers have managed to do what they didn’t do in the first period which is not let the Sabres get close to their goalie.

Philadelphia Sixers player Evan Turner is in attendance of tonight’s game showing his support for the Flyers as they Flyers often do for the Sixers. This is the city of brotherly love after all.

With about a minute and half left in the game, this is the first time in the period that the Sabres have spent and substantial amount of the time in the Flyers zone, and it lasted about 15 seconds. The Flyers managed to get the puck back down the ice.

Some pushing and shoving in front of the net took place at the start of the remaining minute of play. The Flyers remain in control until the end of the period. I’m not going to call this a comeback because in my mind they were never out of contention they just needed to get their heads in the game.

Stay tuned for the third quarter recap and final game remarks!

Flyers: period 1 recap

Game 5 begins with Brian Boucher in net for the Flyers, and Ryan Miller in for the Sabres. 2 minutes into the game, Rinaldo already has 2 hits on the boards.

Tyler Ennis of the Sabres scores with 17:36 remaining in the game. There was a delayed penalty against flyers on Nikolai Zherdev. The team that has scored first has won those respective games in this series.

After scoring the first goal, the Sabres crowding the net and the Flyers have barely been down to the other end of the ice.  The Flyers seem to be a little shaken up after giving up such an early goal. Little do they know, it’s about to get worse.

With 16:09 remaining in the game, Thomas Vanek scores the second goal for the Sabres making it 2-0 Buffalo. Both of Buffalo’s goals have been scored through the five-hole. Boucher has been taking a wide stance in the goal so far in this game, which has allowed the Sabres to score early. All of the momentum is with Buffalo as of right now.

The Sabres got a power play with 11:10 remaining in the game because of a tripping call on Andrej Meszaros.

Since the Sabres last goal, Boucher has learned his lesson and has kept his legs closed as he faced plenty of shots toward the middle of his legs. The Sabres caught on to the trend and hoped it would be just as easy to keep scoring through the five-hole.

The Flyers are all over the place.  There has been a silly penalty, an off-sides call and two players collided with each other which allowed a 2-on-1 down the ice for Buffalo, which thankfully did not result in a goal.

The Flyers get a PECO power play with 8:17 remaining from a high sticking call on Steve Montador.

During a 4 on 4 another penalty was called on Flyers’ Danny Briere. That was a bogus call because he got tangled with Miller but he was shoved in there by a Sabres player. It is now 4 on 3 in favor of the Sabres.

The Sabres score on the  4 on 3 with 4:24 remaining.  The Goal is scored by Marc-Andre Gragnani. Boucher has been taken out of the game and makes room for Michael Leighton. Leighton carried the Flyers all the way to Stanley Cup Finals last season.

The first period ends with all of the momentum in the Sabres corner.  The Flyers need to come back and really push it. There is not doubt that during intermission, Coach Peter Laviolette is going to have a few things to say to the team as he always does. After one of his “talks”, if you want to call it that, even though it is more like yelling, the Flyers always seem to come back as if they have just experienced some kind of epiphany, reality check type thing.

Whatever Laviolette says to them in the locker room HAS to get them back in the game.

Flyers call up Rinaldo

The Philadelphia Flyers have called up center Zac Rinaldo from the Adirondack Phantoms. Jeff Carter and Chris Pronger are both out for tonight’s game against the Sabres, so they need some help.

Rinaldo has 331 penalty minutes in 60 games with the Phantoms.  He is a fast player and he hits…everything.

Not like the Flyers need more penalties but the do need someone to pump up their energy. They are on home ice tonight and the Wells Fargo Center is going to be jumping.

Fans decked out in “seek and destroy” orange T-shirts create a sea of orange in the seats. There will be no shortage chants, fights, and overall energy in tonight’s game.

The series is tied 2-2. The Sabres have their goalie to thank for this being such a tight race. Just like baseball teams can win games with pitching and defense, hockey teams can win games with goalies.

The Flyers have by far outplayed the Sabres but letting just one goal pass Boucher or Bobrovsky can make a difference.

In reality, the Flyers couldn’t be playing any better.

Boucher has a 1.44 goal per game average, which is pretty outstanding. And yet, the series is tied.

With Pronger and Carter being out tonight, the team will definitely feel the absence but it hopefully will not deter the success they have been having.

Carter is listed as day-to-day while Pronger will most likely not be returning this series.

A five minute major?

I can’t even believe my eyes but Mike Richards of the Philadelphia Flyers has just been given a five minute major for something that, at most, should have been a roughing call.

Chris Kaleta was coming at Richards on the boards and, in natural self defense mode, Richard put his elbow up to defend himself. Kaleta went down to the ice holding his head.  I’m not saying that he was faking, but this is not the only instance in this game where a member of the Buffalo Sabres has exaggerated a play or a check to make it look like they are the victim.

Ian Laperriere said during intermission that a play like that used to be considered a good play because you are defending yourself.

Earlier in the game, in front of the Sabres net, a Sabres team member accidentally hit his own goalie with his stick, but since there was a Flyers player right next to him, he decided to play it off like he was the one who high-sticked the goalie.

Both players received a penalty for roughing when the real play showed that no one really should have gotten a penalty.

That is the same case in this latest call. If anyone should have gotten a penalty it should have been Kaleta, but just the fact that Richards got a five minute major is mind-blowing.

The refs are known for not necessarily liking the Flyers.  They think they are too rough and apparently think that every Flyers team is the Broad Street Bullies. Because of this, it always seems like the refs have it out for the Flyers.

The Flyers will start the third period one man down, and one goal down.

‘Melo carries team

Despite the Knicks losing to the Celtics on Wednesday, Carmelo Anthony put on quite a show for the fans. It was a tough loss, as they only lost by three points.

The Knicks scored 93 points, and Anthony had 42 of them.  They were forced to play the second half of the game without Amare Stoudemire because he was suffering from back spasms.

They were also without Chauncey Billups who missed the entire game with a sore left knee.

The Knicks were down 63-74 with 45 seconds left in the third. In the start of the fourth, Carmelo Anthony single-handedly brought the Knicks back into the game when he scored the first even points of the fourth quarter.

Unfortunately, the Knicks couldn’t hold on to that lead, but it was without a doubt and entertaining game.

Boston leads the series two games to none.

Phils falling

The Philadelphia Phillies have had a rough couple of games. They started off hot averaging around seven runs per game. While everyone knows they could not stay on that path all season, it seems like they have gone from hot to cold almost over night.  It is a well known fact that throughout the season the offense goes through slumps where the bats just aren’t making the kind of contact they need.

The starting pitchers all need run support and as of late they have not been getting it.

In last nights game, Cole Hamels took the mound in hopes of carrying on the success that the starting rotation and the Phillies in general have been having.

The Phils ended up losing that game in 12 innings by a score of 6-3.  They only had nine singles in the whole game, but what really did the Phils in was Kyle Kendrick’s less than ideal 12th inning.

The Brewers, on the other hand,

With the top ace Roy Halladay starting it for the Phillies on Wednesday, the fans and the team had high hopes.  Those hopes were quickly shot down when Halladay had over 60 pitches in the fourth inning.  He gave up 10 runs on six runs over 6 2/3 innings.

Teams can win games solely based on pitching and defense.  The Rockies did it in the 60’s.  But the last couple of games, the pitching has been lacking and that is when the bats need to be on fire.

Romero on DL, robot to throw out first pitch

Yes you read that right.  A robot will be throwing out the first pitch at Wednesday’s Phillies game against the Milwaukee Brewers. The robot was created by students at the University of Pennsylvania.

In other news, J.C Romero has been placed on the 15 day disabled list with a strained right calf.  They have recalled Mike Zagurski from Triple-A Lehigh Valley.

Roy Oswalt is also on point to make his next start despite leaving his last game early with a lower back strain.