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TGIF: Philly’s flying high, led by Giroux

Mar 21, 2014, 3:29 PM EDT

Washington Capitals v Philadelphia Flyers Getty Images

Saturday: St. Louis at Philadelphia (1 p.m. ET)

Since finishing January with a 26-23-6 record, the Flyers are 11-2-1 and have scored at least four goals seven times in a single game. The same team that started the season with just 11 goals in its first eight games now ranks ninth in NHL offense. Leading the charge? Claude Giroux. Philly’s captain has 22 points in his last 14 games, and the 26-year-old who didn’t score his first goal until Nov. 9 now has 24 tallies on the season. In case you were wondering, this is the team that Paul Holmgren intended to build. A high-scoring, aggressive club that needs good, but not spectacular, goaltending to win. Now, how the Flyers fare in the playoffs is anyone’s guess. And while that may be true of a lot of teams, doesn’t it feel especially true with this one? Just a total wild card.

Saturday: Montreal at Toronto (7 p.m. ET)

Assuming James Reimer is traded this summer — and I think that’s a pretty good assumption at this point — where will he end up? The Islanders are one option, but given how hesitant Garth Snow has been to address his team’s most pressing concern, it’s hard to say how good an option. Other teams that may want to address their goaltending by adding a likeable 26-year-old with a .914 career save percentage include Calgary, Ottawa, and Winnipeg. May be worth noting that Flames general manager Brian Burke was a big believer in Reimer back in their Toronto days together.

Saturday: Washington at San Jose (10:30 p.m. ET)

Adam Oates said the Capitals needed to sweep their three-game trip to California. Karl Alzner said they could afford to lose one. Well, if they beat the Sharks, they’ll split the difference, with two wins and a shootout defeat. Granted, that won’t be easy, given San Jose’s 26-5-4 record at the Shark Tank. But the Caps have definitely shown some backbone lately, and that hasn’t always been something you associate with this team. The Kings racked up 50 hits against Washington Thursday, after which Oates said, “I’m proud of our guys and the way they stood up to it.” The playoffs are still somewhat of a long shot for Washington (18.2 percent, per Sports Club Stats), but there’s more hope today than there was a week ago.

Sunday: St. Louis at Pittsburgh (1 p.m. ET)

A “good wake-up call” is what Blues coach Ken Hitchcock called Wednesday’s 4-0 loss to the Blackhawks. “They’re the Stanley Cup champions for a reason. They know when to turn the temperature up. No matter what happens in the regular season, everybody in the West, to even give (Chicago) a go, you’re going to have to dial it up. They’re getting ready and it’s up to us to get ready. That’s the task. They dialed it up and we didn’t play well.” You almost wonder if the ‘Hawks went into that game with a bit of a chip on their shoulders. With all the talk about the Blues, and how this might finally be the year for St. Louis, the champs appeared pretty motivated to hold on to their crowns.

Sunday: Minnesota at Detroit (7:30 p.m. ET, NBCSN)

The second of a weekend back-to-back between these two teams. We all know about Detroit’s desperation to make the playoffs and extend its postseason-appearance streak to 23. But Minnesota isn’t exactly sitting safe and clear. The Wild are just 2-2-4 in their last eight, and neither Darcy Kuemper nor Ilya Bryzgalov are going to make fans feel totally secure in the goaltending down the stretch. Oh, and get a load of Minny’s remaining schedule:

source:

Gulp.

  1. danglesnipecelly88 - Mar 21, 2014 at 3:39 PM

    Flyer are irrelevant. First round exit. Crosby >>> giroux. Flyers have no title chances. Get over yourselves.

    • deathbat20 - Mar 21, 2014 at 5:33 PM

      It’s like the trolls aren’t even trying anymore

    • broadstreetbeatdown - Mar 21, 2014 at 10:01 PM

      Smells like fear to me dingleberry.

    • biasedhomer - Mar 21, 2014 at 11:16 PM

      Luckily for you, the Pens are not the paper champions this season (unlike the previous 2), so they might actually get past the 1st round this time around.

      • courtjester1234 - Mar 23, 2014 at 2:39 PM

        We’ll you really can’t say until after the season ends if they are or not. They don’t play well against Philly this year or last or the year before. Just telling it like it is

  2. penguins87and71 - Mar 21, 2014 at 3:50 PM

    Why are talking trash on the Flyers? They just swept the Penguins this past weekend, and won the season series. I’m scared as hell to face them in the Playoffs.

    • narfmoo12 - Mar 21, 2014 at 4:17 PM

      Well done. It’s nice to hold a civilized conversation with a fan from a rival team.

  3. danglesnipecelly88 - Mar 21, 2014 at 3:55 PM

    The Blues Bruins Hawks Ducks Sharks Avs and kings would wipe the floor with Philly in a 7 game series. Flyers fans are delusional. 1 player and an awful goalie don’t get you too far in the playoffs.

    • mcphillthy - Mar 21, 2014 at 4:58 PM

      Considering we just beat 4 of those 7 teams you mentioned I have to point out that you’re an idiot and anything hockey related from you is now irrelevant. Nice job!

    • phillyphanatic77 - Mar 21, 2014 at 7:29 PM

      One player? How bout the fact we have seven players with atleast 15 goals… tied for most in the league. And before the season is over, once Streit and Raffl each get another goal, we’ll have nine players with double digit goals… that’s the definition of balance. And Steve Mason has been anything but awful.

  4. penguins87and71 - Mar 21, 2014 at 4:04 PM

    Yeah but those teams play in the Western Conference not the Eastern Conference.

  5. ufostomper - Mar 21, 2014 at 4:05 PM

    That’s the fear talking

  6. erbaker67 - Mar 21, 2014 at 4:06 PM

    Dangle can you give me the powerball numbers since you can see into the future. As a Penguins fan, the Flyers and Bruins are two teams that don’t match up well with the Penguins. The Penguins have a tough time keeping up with physical in your face teams (see this past weekends games). I love the Penguins but they aren’t playing great hockey right now.

  7. bricktop02 - Mar 21, 2014 at 4:07 PM

    Didn’t the flyers just beat Chicago?

    • jpelle82 - Mar 21, 2014 at 4:18 PM

      and just about everyone else too lately

  8. lilgurgi - Mar 21, 2014 at 4:34 PM

    Dangle…here’s the Flyers against your teams listed so far:

    Blues (haven’t played yet)
    Bruins 0-1
    Hawks 1-1
    Ducks 0-2
    Aves 1-1
    Kings 1-0
    Sharks 1-1

    I can see why you think Flyers fans are delusional (sarcasm). Ask Pens fans how they would feel going against the Flyers in the playoffs.

  9. phillysports1 - Mar 21, 2014 at 5:02 PM

    Philly just embarrassed Pittsburgh . Sounds like someone is really upset … Lmao

  10. phillysports1 - Mar 21, 2014 at 5:04 PM

    @danglesnipecelly88 just stay away from any cellular device for the rest of your life .Should be ashamed of yourself kid

    • danglesnipecelly88 - Mar 21, 2014 at 5:55 PM

      Why because I guarantee philly doesn’t make the 3rd round?

      • phillyphanatic77 - Mar 21, 2014 at 7:17 PM

        Only 1 team out of the 16 that make the playoffs, wins the Cup. So any IDIOT could say “team x won’t do diddly” and the odds are in favor of that IDIOT being right. But it’s laughable how little thought went into your asinine comments. Nothing more than trolling bc you hate the Flyers.

        Is it likely the Flyers make a deep run? Probably not, but any logical fan would tell you they don’t want to see this club in the playoffs with the way they’re knocking off top competition. Boston is the only team in the East playing as well or better than the Flyers. And Philly has a winning record against the West. Our captain is killing it, we’re rolling 4 lines, our D is playing their best hockey, and if you think goaltending is a weak link you haven’t watched the past two games (or most of the season for that matter). All you’re doing with these comments is exposing your lack of hockey knowledge, or knowledge in general.

      • flyerspsu - Mar 21, 2014 at 7:23 PM

        Oh the conference finals now, didn’t you leave a comment on an earlier article today saying they’d lose in the 1st round? Sounds like someone is trying to hide their fear of the flyers going far

      • biasedhomer - Mar 21, 2014 at 11:18 PM

        Haha, already backtracking. You don’t even believe what you are saying, but you want us to?

  11. mcphillthy - Mar 21, 2014 at 5:20 PM

    I also want to ask why everyone is making a bog deal out of Philly’s remaining schedule?
    In order to be the best you have to beat the best. Well bring it on.
    This gives berube and the flyers a chance to see how they stack up and they can make adjustments going forward.
    This is the best thing that could have happened for Philly. If we can’t beat the best we don’t need to worry about the play offs anyway.
    This team has found its identity and berube has a great system in placem

  12. 28giroux28 - Mar 21, 2014 at 5:22 PM

    Five other teams mentioned in this article, and yet PennsylvaniaHockeyTalk starts circlejerking the Flyers-Pens like every other damned comment thread.

    • mcphillthy - Mar 21, 2014 at 5:45 PM

      Screw the other five teams! You’re only relevant if you play in Pennsylvania :-P

      • mcphillthy - Mar 21, 2014 at 7:21 PM

        Hey…. I wasn’t being serious. Lol

    • phillyphanatic77 - Mar 22, 2014 at 12:34 PM

      To be fair the article’s headline is all about the Flyers, which subsequently causes the Penguin trolls to come out from under their rocks. They can’t seem to stand when the spotlight is off of them.

  13. antmel30 - Mar 21, 2014 at 5:33 PM

    Everyone just has let the season play out. The flyers are a good consistent team that’s just as capable as any other team. The good thing about playoffs is everyone record is the same when it starts. If you look at past 7 and 8 seeds are making runs with regularity. Flyers, kings and devils were all 7 or 8 seeds and just caught fire. That’s what’s awesome about hockey. I am scared of every team flyers play in playoffs because a bounce or two can change series. I hope flyers pull it out but you have to have a lot go right to win. That goes for any team that’s gets to round of 16.

  14. danglesnipecelly88 - Mar 21, 2014 at 5:54 PM

    Key phrase is a 7 game series. Philly is a mediocre hockey team. Unreal how overrated they are.

    • mcphillthy - Mar 21, 2014 at 6:29 PM

      Just shut up, dude. If Pittsburgh fans are saying Philly is the real deal, or even saying anything nice about the flyers at all, then the flyers must be playing very good hockey, hence your irrelevance…

    • atwatercrushesokoye - Mar 21, 2014 at 7:02 PM

      I’m not a Philly fan in any way but if we’re talking about overrated teams one could look at the media’s annual collective slow jerk towards the Penguins only to have them disappoint each year. Always talked about as the most talented team in the NHL, 5 years since they’ve been to a cup final.

  15. statsdolie - Mar 21, 2014 at 6:23 PM

    Hmm when’s the last time the pens made it past the conf. Finals ??

    • erbaker67 - Mar 21, 2014 at 6:48 PM

      Not sure why thats relevant.

      • mcphillthy - Mar 21, 2014 at 7:07 PM

        Its not relevant at all. It’s just harder for some people to carry intelligent hockey conversation. This is one of the few times Pitt/Philly fans talk civilized hockey. Don’t ruin it

      • erbaker67 - Mar 21, 2014 at 7:13 PM

        I wasnt trying to ruin it at all. Again, I enjoy civilized hockey talk which is rare on here, especially with Pens/Flyers fans.

    • mcphillthy - Mar 21, 2014 at 7:26 PM

      Erbaker- I was referring to that statsdolie dude about ruining it. You’re all good, erbaker. Intelligent hockey conversation, as rare as it is, is always welcome here.

  16. sumkat - Mar 21, 2014 at 7:03 PM

    Giroux should get the MVP, period. If they have a Player of the Year award, that should go to Sid. But the V is an important part in the MVP, and this Flyers team is trash when G isn’t playing well (as shown the first month of the season, when he wasn’t playing well)

    Pens without Crosby are a much better team than the Flyers without Giroux

    • mcphillthy - Mar 21, 2014 at 7:19 PM

      Agreed. Sadly. Giroux would definitely get my vote as MVP because I know where the flyers would be without him. I know people will say it’s biased since I am a flyers fan but this is honestly the first year I’ve thought Giroux has even been in the running for MVP. Real talk.

  17. wisdomnfl - Mar 21, 2014 at 7:50 PM

    Girouix has really improved. Probably one of the top 20 players in this league. I don’t understand why people underestimate him, he’s a really solid player.

    • biasedhomer - Mar 21, 2014 at 11:20 PM

      Probably top 20? He is a top 5 forward, most likely to 10 player.

  18. flyboystransport - Mar 21, 2014 at 8:53 PM

    As a flyers fan the only team that scares me is boston, they play a system that matches up really well against everyone particularly the flyers. Cant wait for the playoffs. With the 1st 2 rounds likely being within your own division, teams are gonna be beat up by conference finals so depth is whats gonna make the biggest difference

    • biasedhomer - Mar 21, 2014 at 11:21 PM

      Any team with a top tier goalie scares me, that includes the Rangers.

      • mcphillthy - Mar 22, 2014 at 1:25 AM

        Add Columbus to that list of teams, too. I don’t want any part of bobs. He can steal a series if he has to.

    • macjacmccoy - Mar 22, 2014 at 9:08 AM

      I’m with you when it comes to Boston. I would include the Red Wings on that list too. I know they arent anywhere near what they were in the west and could easily miss the playoffs, but its the Red Wings, they always seem to come out on top when it comes to the Flyers. Kind of like the reverse of the Flyers and Penguins of the last few years.

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