jagr giroux

Jagr on Giroux slump: “Nobody should worry about it”

1 Comment

With just one goal in his last 10 games and mired in a three-game pointless streak, Philadelphia’s Claude Giroux is going through his most difficult stretch of the season.

Just don’t expect linemate Jaromir Jagr to worry about it.

Jagr spoke with CSN Philadelphia’s Tim Panaccio today about Giroux, slumps, perceptions and how to handle adversity.

“No matter how good you are, you are going to go through this,” Jagr said. “I was pretty good and went through it. When you are not the top [scorer], nobody really cares about it. You don’t score for 10 games? Nobody knows that.

“But when you’re a top guy, they expect you to score every day. I don’t worry about it. Nobody should worry about it. The good thing about this team is when our line doesn’t score, we’re still winning.”

To a certain degree, Jagr’s right. The Flyers have won four of six despite the fact he, Giroux and Scott Hartnell have seen their production plummet — Giroux and Hartnell have three points each over that stretch, Jagr just one.

The Flyer wins have been largely due to solid play from the third and fourth lines and a couple of stellar efforts by backup netminder Sergei Bobrovsky, keeping Philly in fourth spot in the East and just four points back of the Rangers for top spot in the Atlantic.

As for Giroux? Jagr said the former NHL scoring leader (he’s now in fifth, with 49 points) is facing two major challenges. One, the difficulty of maintaining his high level of success from the first half of the season. Two, increased ice time and a grueling schedule.

“If someone had told him after half the season he’d be leading the league and if anybody would tell you guys [that], you would take it,” Jagr said. “Nobody would say, ‘ah, we don’t know.’ And he was [leading].

“And because he was playing so good, you kind of taste it. And he liked it and he don’t want to [lose it]. You get tired a little bit, off your game a little bit, it’s going to happen. You play 25 minutes a game. The schedule is tough.”

Goalie nods: Niemi expected for Stars against Penguins

Antti Niemi, Jonathan Toews
1 Comment

Talk about getting thrown into the fire.

Antti Niemi is expected to be the starting goalie tonight in Dallas when his Stars host Sidney Crosby, Phil Kessel, Evgeni Malkin and the rest of the Pittsburgh Penguins.

Niemi has, not surprisingly, been given the assignment over Kari Lehtonen, the latter of whom struggled badly during the preseason, allowing 15 goals on 84 shots.

Not that Niemi was razor sharp himself. He allowed eight goals on 65 shots, for a save percentage of .877.

Considering the Stars have a combined $10.4 million in cap space tied up in those two veteran netminders, it’s no wonder the number-one question facing the club is whether the goaltending has indeed been fixed.

We’ll start to find out tonight.

Marc-Andre Fleury will undoubtedly be in goal for Pittsburgh, though that hasn’t been confirmed.


Craig Anderson, the goalie the Senators decided to keep, versus Robin Lehner, the one they traded to the Sabres.

Cam Ward will start for Carolina when the Hurricanes visit the Predators, who will obviously go with Pekka Rinne. The consensus is that Eddie Lack will eventually supplant Ward as Carolina’s starter, but that apparently hasn’t happened yet.

Brian Elliott goes for the Blues versus Cam Talbot for the Oilers. Elliott was excellent in the preseason, stopping all but two of the 57 shots he faced, while Jake Allen allowed six goals on 60 shots.

Steve Mason for the Flyers versus Ben Bishop for the Lightning.

Ondrej Pavelec for Winnipeg versus Tuukka Rask for Boston.

Devan Dubnyk likely for the Wild versus Semyon Varlamov for the Avs.

Flyers want to prove doubters wrong

Jakub Voracek, Claude Giroux
1 Comment

Jakub Voracek totally understands why nobody’s expecting much from the Philadelphia Flyers. When a team finishes 14 points out of the playoffs the year before, that’s typically going to be the case.

“We weren’t good enough last year, let’s face it,” Voracek told CSN Philly. 

So, no, it doesn’t upset him that the Flyers aren’t considered among the Stanley Cup favorites.

That being said, “it makes you feel you want to prove them wrong.”

The Flyers get going tonight with a tough game against the Lightning in Tampa Bay. They also play Saturday in Florida against the Panthers, before a rematch with the Panthers Monday in Philadelphia.

“My biggest concern would be getting off to a good start,” GM Ron Hextall said. “That’s one thing that we need to do.”

That’s something they didn’t do last year. In fact, they won just once in their first six games. By the end of November, they were 8-12-3 and in a big hole — one that proved too deep to climb out of.

Related: Flyers to start season with seven defensemen