Flyers vs. Devils: The fans are getting into it

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With the New Jersey Devils surprised — and honestly outplayed — by
the Philadelphia Flyers in game one on Thursday night, there’s a bit of a
rift forming between the two opposing fan bases. Not that that’s much
of a surprise when it comes to the NHL playoffs (San Jose Sharks fans
absolutely loathe the Dallas Stars and their fans, because of playoff
games), but what’s interesting is the subject this debate is about.

how many Devils fans were there at the game on Thursday?

Hughes and Ben Rothenberg at Broad Street Hockey have
pointed out a number of times
the past few days about the alarming
number of empty seats at the game, and how it seemed that Flyers fans
were overwhelming the Devils fans in their own arena. It started
with a look at how tickets
to the first two playoff games at
Prudential Center were selling below face value.

This has led to
some jabs fired back at the Flyers fans, and in particular BSH,
from John Fischer at the Devils blog In Lou We Trust:

few quick thoughts about tonight’s game after jump. If you want Flyers
coverage, go to Broad
Street Hockey
. But don’t trust them with anything about, say, the
crowd at the Rock. I’ll be there in my seat. They won’t.

the crowd was any indication on Thursday, there were certainly a number
of Flyers fans in attendance. ILWT is playing it off as the crowd
“booing” Brian Boucher when he touches the puck, but anyone who’s been
to Flyers game knows that “BOOOSH” call when they hear it; it certainly
seemed to this third-party observer that there was a strong contingent
of Flyers fans in attendance.

You can’t fault John for getting
defensive; after all, who wants their fanbase attacked in the midst of a
playoff series? But it certainly seems there’s some merit to the
Flyers’ fans point about the lack of Devils fans, and straight out
denying it all comes across as a bit petty.

But I wasn’t
physically there so I can’t vouch for the atmosphere. Travis
Hughes will certainly be there tonight
(as a Flyers fan) and will
have a first-hand report on the fan situation.

Alumni rosters announced for Bruins-Habs at Gillette Stadium

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The Winter Classic Alumni Game is back this year, scheduled for New Year’s Eve at Gillette Stadium between former members of the Montreal Canadiens and Boston Bruins.

Today, the NHL announced the rosters and coaching staffs.

Famous ex-Habs that will take to the outdoor ice include Larry Robinson, Guy Carbonneau, and Mats Naslund. Behind the bench will be Yvan Cournoyer, Jacques Demers and Guy Lafleur, among others.

The home side will counter with Bruins legends Ray Bourque, Cam Neely, and “Nifty” Rick Middleton, while Don Cherry, Mike Milbury, and Derek Sanderson will be among the coaches. (Quite a trio of personalities right there.)

Here are the full rosters:


NBCSN will broadcast the alumni game nationally in the United States, while Sportsnet and TVA Sports will have it in Canada.

The 2016 Winter Classic will be played the next day (on NBC).

Goalie nods: Andersen’s ‘flu-like symptoms’ mean Khudobin starts versus Flames

Anton Khudobin, Frederik Andersen
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With Frederik Andersen experiencing “flu-like symptoms” (PHT diagnosis: it might be the flu), the Anaheim Ducks will turn to backup Anton Khudobin for tonight’s home game versus Calgary.

Khudobin could, in turn, be backed up by Josh Gibson, recalled today from AHL San Diego. The Ducks have officially listed Andersen as “questionable.”

Khudobin (3-3-0, .917) has not started a game in over a week. His last action came exactly a week ago, after Andersen got the hook versus Nashville.

Andersen may or may not travel with the Ducks for tomorrow’s game at Arizona.

The Ducks, of course, are coming off a 5-0 loss to Tampa Bay, a result that produced the following quote from Ryan Kesler:

After a four-game winning streak to start November, Anaheim has since dropped five of its last seven.

Karri Ramo will be in net for the Flames. After a terrible start to the season, he’s been much better lately, allowing just eight goals combined in his last four starts.


Craig Anderson for the Senators. Antti Niemi for the Stars.

Torts: Jackets still need more ‘bite’

John Tortorella

The hope was that the Columbus Blue Jackets would be jolted into a great, long winning streak, and their season would be saved.

The reality of John Tortorella’s first month behind the bench has been, well, reality. The Jackets are 8-7-0 since Todd Richards was fired. Better than 0-7-0, sure, but at 8-14-0 overall, they remain last in the Eastern Conference.

Fifteen games into his tenure, Tortorella is still trying to get his message across.

“A big reason why we bring them in (to practice yesterday and today) is because we don’t have a full understanding of the standard we need to be at in all areas of the game,” he told The Columbus Dispatch. “Some things you can’t control in our game, but it’s how hard you play, how hard you are with your bite as a team, and the pace you play with – you can control that.”

The Jackets play Wednesday in New Jersey, where they’ll look to shake off Sunday’s disappointing home loss to San Jose. Columbus held a 3-1 third-period lead in that one. The Sharks scored four straight to win 5-3.


— The Canucks need ‘more bite’

The Rangers are better when they have ‘more bite’

Sharks sign Zubrus, because DeBoer


The San Jose Sharks have signed forward Dainius Zubrus to a one-year, two way contract, the club announced today.

Zubrus was given a tryout with the Sharks last week.

The 37-year-old played 74 games with the Devils last season, scoring just four goals with six assists. His contract was then bought out.

According to a Mercury News source, the decision to sign Zubrus lay “mainly” with his former coach in New Jersey, now San Jose’s bench boss, Pete DeBoer.

“He looks good,” DeBoer said of Zubrus last week, per CSN Bay Area. “He looks close. It’s tough to find six-foot-four, 215-pound guys who can play. … He’s an easy guy to play because he’s defensively reliable. He plays a big possession, heavy game. There’s a lot to like there.”

In a related move, the Sharks have reassigned forward Nikolay Goldobin to the AHL.

Related: Where’s the depth in San Jose?