Archive for July 2020

Caps reload for Season 31

Wheelin' and dealin' pays dividends for Washington

The Washington Capitals had a busy off-season after a quick exit from the playoffs. The Metropolitan division is the toughest in the league and we needed to shake things up. The team was retooled for season 31 by making some personnel changes in getting younger and more skilled. All available options were maximized: entry draft, trade market, free agency, waiver draft, and farm call-ups.

Entry Draft

The Caps made six selections from the 2018 NHL entry draft coincidentally only from odd numbered rounds of the draft (rounds 1, 3, and 5). Most notable from the new recruits is winger Martin Kaut who has already played in nine NHL games with the Colorado Avalanche.

Trade Market

Five trades were made during the draft – with the St. Louis Blues, Carolina Hurricanes, San Jose Sharks (2x), and Montreal Canadiens – which helped to re-stock some draft picks and add key players. Those acquired include Ben Hutton, Ondrej Palat, and Devon Toews, while Nick Paul left.

Following the draft, the Caps inked three deals – with the Florida Panthers, New Jersey Devils, and Chicago Blackhawks – that led to the departure of Patric Hornqvist, Mikko Koivu, Craig Anderson, and Erik Gustafsson. Mike Smith returned to the District of Columbia in one of the moves.

Altogether, these moves made the team younger, created roster space, and balanced out the cap.

Free Agency

Two young free agents were signed by the Caps – defenceman Cam Lee and goaltender Kyle Keyser – which provided organizational depth for the Hershey Bears. We were also in contention for a seasoned free agent.

Waiver Draft

Washington picked-up forward Joakim Nygard while losing two Bears, Buddy Robinson and Kevin Connauton.


Three players – Nick Suzuki, Madison Bowey, and Christian Wolanin – were promoted to the big league. Suzuki was playing an important role upfront prior to his injury (collecting 7 points in 13 games played), while both Bowey and Wolanin are providing depth on the backend.

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Wachovia, Wachovia how I love thee!

This Week in Philadelphia

Greeting Flyer fans, this week your Philadelphia Flyers of the WCHL had a bounce back week. The Flyers played 6 games and recording a 4-2 record. Both losses were in the Wachovia Center, in front of the home town fans. The Flyers did get an impressive win at home against the vaunted Colorado Av's, 5-1. The other three wins came on the road a place not particularly friendly to the Flyers this season. The Flyers won games in Nashville, Pittsburgh and Florida this week.

Gm Bourque
" It was nice to see the team bounce back from the disappointments of last week, even better to see the boys get things turned around on the road, a tough place to win in this league, it also looks like our offense is starting to heat up 5 on 5, our power play took a bit of a dip, but we will take that for better 5-5 scoring."

The defense should get a big boost very soon as Esa Lindell, who has been injured for weeks, having only played 5 games this season, is due back anytime now his health is at 99 %. Lindell had 4 points in those 5 games and looked like he might have a terrific season underway. It will be interesting if he picks up where he left off, that would be a big boon for the Flyer offense from the blue line, which already boasts the #1 scoring defenseman in the WCHL, Colton Parayko. Parayko has amassed 26 points in 19 games and leads the Flyers in scoring and as mentioned all defencemen in the league. The Flyers have Alex Biega ready to go, after he too suffered from the injury bug. The Flyers have hung in there amid the shortage on the blue line and the additions of Lindell and Biega are a welcome sign,that maybe the team can once again be healthy and whole. Having said that the team does not expect Cameron Gaunce back anytime soon.

Captain Zdeno Chara
" Esa has been a real loss for us, he was a big off season signing, the kid can play defense, he is a very good player, he improves us defensively, great on the penalty kill and he adds some offense, I really enjoy playing along side of him, the game is just easier when you like the guy you play along side with, thats not saying I dont respect all the guys I play with, I do, I am just excited to get my battery mate back."

Esa Lindell
" That was just untimely, I have never been out that long before, I will be working on getting back to where I was, in game shape, but playing defense with the big Z, is like wearing a warm sweater on a cold day in Finland its just really comfortable, I dont know if I will be back for the next game, but surely the one after that looks good."

The Flyers coaching staff wants Esa completely recovered before putting him back in the line up, bringing guys back have bitten the Flyers before, they are much more cautious now. But no doubt the Flyers are a better team with Esa in the line up.

This Weeks Games
1.(200) Philadelphia 3- Nashville 1
2.(216) Philadelphia 3-Pittsburgh 1
3.(232) Pittsburgh 4- Philadelphia 2
4.(243) Philadelphia 7- Florida 3
5.(260) Washington 2-Philadelphia 0
6.(273) Colorado 1-Philadelphia 5

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Flyers treading water as season gets underway

Philly looks for consistency during four game skid

This Week in Philadelphia

The Philadelphia Flyers will enter the coming week with a pedestrian 7-6 record. The Flyers started strong but injuries now on the teams fourth, all to defensemen has taken its toll in the last four games. The last two acting as a microcosm of the situation, as in both games the Flyers entered the third period with the lead only to surrender three goals in the third in each of the two contests. The Flyers went 2-5 this week after going 5-1 in the first week.

Gm Bourque
" What we are learning, is that when you take this many defensemen out of your line up, nobody has that kind of depth. The circumstances are foreboding and we are trying to stay positive, but its difficult to do when you are counting on guys to play minutes they are just not ready for. We know we can compete when its an even playing field, but injury can tilt that field and makes it a constant uphill battle. Hopefully in the coming weeks we can put this injury bug behind us and get down to playing winning hockey.

There are definitely some things working in Philadelphia,the team is 7th in league scoring even after a bad week and boast the #1 power play with an impressive success rate of over 30%. The Flyers also are 3rd in the WCHL in shots, which means eventually those chances will turn into goals. The team is also 2nd in the league in hits so they are playing a hard strong game.Jonathan Huberdeau and Elias Lindholm have found some chemistry, they lead the team in scoring with 17 and 16 points respectively in 13 games. Even though Horvat and Ovechkin are off to slow starts they are still a point a game players and Colton Parayko has been excellent from the blue line, with 16 points in 13 games, which has him tied for 2nd among the leagues defensemen.

Elias Lindholm
" Hubey is really easy to play with, he has great hands and his passing skills are elite, I am sure we will have a good run together and Nealy he is a great winger with a great shot, we are playing with a lot of confidence, we just need to tighten things up defensively."

Captain Zdeno Chara
" We need to stay positive we are really early in the season, streaks both positive and negative are part of the game, yeah we have had some bad luck with the injuries after a terrific start, but this too shall pass we just need to keep at it, put the reps in, focus on our jobs, it'll all work itself out."

This Weeks Games

1.(103) Carolina Hurricanes (2) vs Philadelphia Flyers (4)
2.(117)  Philadelphia Flyers (1) vs Ottawa Senators (2)
3.(132) Calgary Flames (3) vs Philadelphia Flyers (6)
4.(153)  Philadelphia Flyers (2) vs New Jersey Devils (5)
5.(156)  Pittsburgh Penguins (3) vs Philadelphia Flyers (2)
6.(173)  Philadelphia Flyers (3) vs Carolina Hurricanes (4)
7.(186)  Florida Panthers (6) vs Philadelphia Flyers (4)

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Blast from the Past Bradley takes the helm

A day that may live in infamy

July 8 2020 may be a date long remembered in Senators history. For the fans sake hopefully it will be remembered fondly. Ownership has gone thru the history of the WCHL and hired one of the original GMs Andy Bradley.

Thankfully the League Board of Governers have poor memories and Bradley himself refuses to comment, so we're not sure if he was shit-canned, ran out of town, tarred and feathered or simply slipped out quietly on his own over 10 years ago.

What we know of the 'new' GM is that he's more known for icing powerhouse teams and not so much for being present on draft day. When asked about this reputation, "My priority is always the entertainment value for the fans and a commitment to the players that post season success is the ultimate goal," seemed his mission statement.

The start has raised some eyebrows as Head Coach Naserdine was given his walking papers today. Expect to see a more NHL quality Coach announced shortly. Bradley claims that discussions went south with the Coach when discussing icing Draisitl on the Wing and how Barzal playing third line seemed to be a waste in talent. "More experience is needed behind the bench, as well as a GM that can grow with our younger players and give our vets the responsibility they deserve," said the new GM.

"This is a solid team, I need some time to see how they perform before I think about changes to the on ice product." The win last night was a great step forward for this team. It will be interesting to see if over the next few games they can string together some wins to move the team closer to the playoffs.

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Flyers off to hot start

This Week in Philadelphia

The first week of Season 30 is in the books and the Flyers played some fine hockey this week. Your Philadelphia Flyers went 5-1,with a 3-0 record at home and 2-1 on the road. New Flyer goalie Ben Bishop turned in a perfect record at 5-0, while back up goal tender Jake Allen took the only loss of this part of the schedule. At one point Zdeno Chara the ageless sensation lead the Flyers in scoring with 4 assists in 4 games. However the team lead is now held by Bo Horvat with 8 points, while Colton Parayko has 7 points. Four other players, Lindholm, Huberdeau, Ovechkin and Zuccarello are all at a point a game pace with 6.

Ben Bishop
" It was the kind of start you want as a goal tender when you come to a new team, you want the boys to know they can rely on you to give them a chance to win every night, Jake and I, thats what we are all about."

The Flyers both pro and farm team were hit hard by injuries in the first week of play. Down on the farm for Lehigh Valley, both Ryan Donato and Danil Yurtaykin missed considerable time and up on the Pro team in Philadelphia, half of the starting top six, were injured, as Dimitry Kulikov is getting ready to return and both Alex Biega and newly acquired top defender, Esa Lindell have been sidelined for a month.

Gm Bourque
" Its a tough way to start the season, when half your top six go down less than a week into the season. Injuries are a part of the game, sometimes its a failure on the part of the player to make sure they are physically ready and other times its just the roll of the die, shit happens as they say. Claude will work the team with the players we have, this is an opportunity for some guys to step up and play to their potential and a chance for a new guy to show he belongs with the big club."

The injuries have forced some line up juggling on the both squads as call up were the word of the day. Defense-man, Ashton Sautner is the latest to get a chance on the blue line, Colin White who spent extended time last season with the big club was called up once again, its really just a matter of time before White is an everyday pro roster player.

Colin White
" I am excited every time I laced em up for the Flyers, I belong here and I will keep working to prove that point and make it hard for them to send me down. Playing with Gaborik is a blast, he's old enough to be my father, but he plays a lot better than my Dad....hahaha"

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