Archive for 2019

Flyers keep making moves

This Week in Philadelphia

We are 28 games into the Flyer season, here in S 29. The Flyers currently sit in the last playoff spot in the Eastern Conference with a record of 15-10-3 for 33 points. The Philadelphia Flyers went 4-2 for this past week. The team is playing solid two way hockey emphasis on defense one would think, but the Stats to date tell a wider lensed story. The Flyers do have the 4th best goals against in the league, which is also the best GA in the Eastern Conference. The Flyers boast the league's best PK unit at 90.12 %. They are also 9th in the league in shots against. They are the 4th least penalized team in the league at 7.29 PIM per game. Their face off win percentage is 11th at 52.03 %. But the Flyers have been playing offense, they are #1 in the league in shots for at 39.0 per game. The teams GF and GA differential is at 123,53%, while the teams shot differential is at 126.36%. The PP is only 17th in the league at 15.24%. What do the numbers say? The top thing that stands out is although the teams top scorers at 90 or better are shooting only about 8% and that has held the team back on some nights, which has in turn cost the Flyers valuable points in the standings. The team is playing outstanding hockey generating almost 40 shots a night, but are averaging just 3.0 goals a game. If they can start generating at 9 or 10%, the Flyers could be a dangerous team.

The Flyers are trying to make some moves, this week they traded Frankie Vatrano to LA for a future 2nd round pick as the try to improve their draft capital to make a move or two.

Gm Bourque
" We are out there making calls trying to see what is available, we thought we had closed a deal to bring in a power forward but our trade partner is having cap issues and the deal fell through, but we are still very active and will keep looking at what is possible."

The Games

1.(342) The last place Edmonton Oilers traveled to Philadelphia for the first tilt of the week. They gave the Flyers everything they could handle, shots were equal at 38. However David Backes gives 3 point performance and Grubauer makes 37 of 38 saves and Philadelphia escapes a trap game with a 3-1 win.

2.(362) The Flyers are on the road heading west to San Jose. The Flyers fired 47 shots at San Jose and received 33. The Flyers never trailed but this was a tight game Raanta stops 31 of 33 and the Flyers manage a 3-2 win against a very good team.

3.(374) Columbus comes to Philadelphia and once again for the 3rd time it is the Jacob Markstrom show. He stops 30 of 31 and the Blue Jackets down the Flyers yet again, 3-1.

4.(391) Philadelphia travels to Motown to take on an extremely good Detroit Red Wings team. Once again the Flyers hit the 40 shot mark, out shooting the Wings 42-32. Detroit opens the scoring in the first, but the Flyers get a shooting % close to 10 and drive 4 past Detroit, numbers 9,10 for Parise. Grubauer has a strong game stopping 31 of 32 shots.

5.(401)Philadelphia travels to Toronto for the first leg of a home and home.The Flyers out shoot the Leafs a whopping 44-17. Including 30-5 in the 1st period. The Flyers escape the 1st period with a 3-2 lead, as Grubauer has an off night giving up 3 goals on just 17 shots. The Flyers need a 3rd period Kessel PP goal to escape with a 4-3 win.

6.(418) It Toronto's turn to travel to the Wachovia Center in Philadelphia. The shots were much more even at 36-28 in favor of the Flyers. Brendan Perlini scores twice for the Flyers, regulation end with a 2-2 tie. Overtime solves nothing and Toronto wins it in a shoot out. Flyers take the loss but get a loser point.

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Rangers revamp roster

Club focused on rebound after first round defeat

Well it has been an eventful offseason for the Rangers, as is the case for all teams when it is an offseason involving the draft. The Rangers had more selections in this 2017 draft, than they have ever had previously, in any other draft, but we will talk about the draft at another time. 

For the immediate future, the Rangers made a few moves, but nothing earth shattering. The Rangers will return next season with the same top 6 forward group, the same top 4 dmen, and the same starting goalie. It was the bottom 6 and the bottom pairing that received some tinkering, after the Rangers were eliminated in the 1st round of the playoffs last season. 

The Rangers first moves off the offseason saw them shore up the backup goaltender position, which is essentially a door opener, in Jeff Glass. Glass will likely see under 60 minutes of action this season, and for 650k, how do I sign up for that job? The Rangers have been notorious for calling up Juuse Saros when Henrik Lundqvist needs a breather, leaving Glass to sit and watch both the present, and future goalie of the team. 

The other move was for the Rangers to sign Chris Conner to Hartford, to replace the veteran leadership on the farm, which the Wolfpack lost with Erik Condra moving along. 

The Rangers then dipped into the trade market, acquiring Markus Granlund from the Flyers and Dan Hamhuis from the Capitals, both in exchange for 4th rd picks. Granlund will see limited minutes at 5v5 on the 4th line, but should see a bunch of PK time. Hamhuis will be the veteran stay at home defenceman on the 3rd pairing for the Rangers. 

Finally, the Rangers added 2 more pieces near the tail end of free agency, securing Jason Pominville and his veteran presence for the bottom 6, as well as Cal O'Reilly, who will likely be the 13th forward on the Rangers. When all is said and done, the Rangers will likely be icing an opening day roster which looks like the following: 

Gabriel Landeskog / Anze Kopitar / Patrik Laine 
Jake Guentzel / Mark Scheifele / Alex Steen 
Alex Tuch / Erik Haula / Jason Pominville 
Markus Granlund / Ben Street / Troy Brouwer 

Alex Pietrangelo / Rasmus Ristolainen 
Cam Fowler / Matt Dumba 
Dan Hamhuis / Brad Hunt 

Henrik Lundqvist 
Jeff Glass 

There wasn't too much turnover on the Hartford Wolfpack either, although the teams 2 leading scorers, Devin Shore and Alex Tuch, have either been promoted, or moved along. The goaltending should be extremely strong with Juuse Saros and Carter Hart between the pipes. There is still some tinkering to be done by Wolfpack management, as there will likely be players brought in on tryouts, but here is a rough idea of what fans can expect down on the farm. 

Ivan Barbashev / Dylan Strome / Jack Roslovic 
Chris Conner / Jakob Forsbacka-Karlsson / Aleksi Saarela 
Marcus Power / Chris Mueller / Dmitry Sokolov 
Brett McKenzie / Mitch Hults / J.J. Piccinich 

Samuel Girard / David Makowski 
Olli Juolevi / Kyle Wood 
Peter Stoykewych / Louis Belpedio 

Juuse Saros 
Carter Hart

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