kimmo timonen

Timonen on difference between Flyers and Rangers: “The goalie”


As CSN Philadelphia’s Tim Panaccio notes, Flyers head coach Peter Laviolette never singles out players in defeat.

The same cannot be said for Flyers defenseman Kimmo Timonen.

Following Sunday’s 5-2 loss to the New York Rangers, Timonen took a rare — and pointed — shot at his teammate, Ilya Bryzgalov.

“I thought we played a decent game — it didn’t go our way,” Timonen said following the Flyers’ fourth straight loss against the Rangers. So, what was the major difference in the game?

“The goalie,” he replied.

That quote is obviously in reference to the canyon-sized discrepancy in shot-stopping between Bryzgalov and New York’s Henrik Lundqvist.

Lundqvist ranks first in save percentage, second in GAA and fifth in wins.

Bryzgalov ranks 41st, 37th and 14th in the same categories.

While Timonen’s comment was brief — and, let’s be honest, fairly accurate — it’s an intriguing one because it’s a public critique of Bryzgalov by someone within the room. As mentioned above, Laviolette’s had Bryz’s back throughout the year and the Flyers have mostly toed the company line, offering up a myriad of excuses for his inconsistent play (system adjustment, new team, new city, increased exposure), followed by the usual platitudes: “Bryz is one of the best goalies in the league,” and “Bryz has done it before and we have faith he’ll do it again.”

But the reality is this: Philly is 0-5-1 in its last six against elite Eastern Conference teams in Boston and New York. The common theme? The Rangers and Bruins have outstanding goaltending in Lundqvist and Tim Thomas, while the Flyers are still deciding who’s the lesser of two evils — Bryzgalov or Sergei Bobrovsky.

Metro’s best? Capitals keep winning, pass Rangers for division lead

Jonathan Bernier; Matt Niskanen; Pierre-Alexandre Parenteau
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If you want to summarize the Capitals – Maple Leafs game in one sentence, you could do worse than:

“Washington is hot as Jonathan Bernier is cold.”

The Caps reeled off a 4-2 win against Toronto on Saturday, giving them five straight wins. They also jumped into first place in the Metropolitan Division today, as they keep climbing while the New York Rangers are experiencing some growing pains.

Again, James Reimer can’t get healthy and back in Toronto’s net too soon:

With this win, Washington is now 17-5-1, leading the Metro by one point with 35 standings points. They also hold a game in hand against the Rangers, and no other Metro team even has 30 right now.

Measuring stick stretch begins

Tonight’s game began a “prove-it” month-and-change for Washington.

This contest began a three-game road trip, and they’ll also play six of seven away from Washington.

It’s pretty rough through the start of 2016, really. The Capitals will only enjoy three home games through Jan. 9.

In other words, the Capitals seem like a convincing East contender, but look out if they remain hot through the next 5-6 weeks.

Video: Evgeni Malkin leaves Oilers spinning


Yes, there’s a lot of drama surrounding the Pittsburgh Penguins, whether it’s founded on serious problems or merely speculation.

It’s easy to get swept up in all of that and ignore the fact that, hey, they still have Evgeni Malkin and Sidney Crosby. Those two can really heal wounds with their on-ice play, and in Saturday’s case, Malkin is taking over against the Edmonton Oilers.

His spin-o-rama goal above was a real jaw-dropper. He also scored Pittsburgh’s second tally:

These highlights feel like Malkin’s way of saying “It’s going to be just fine.”

Update: It wasn’t enough for a win, however, as the Oilers beat the Penguins 3-2 via a shootout.

Lightning’s first fight this season: Ryan Callahan vs. Kyle Okposo

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Fighting is down more or less across the board in the NHL, but the Tampa Bay Lightning might be the franchise least interested in dropping the gloves.

Ryan Callahan vs. Kyle Okposo already has some name recognition to it, yet it gets some bonus points for being the Bolts’ first fighting major of 2015-16.

It … probably loses those bonus points in being run-of-the-mill.

Hey, be fair; the Lightning are clearly out of practice.

Oilers GM doesn’t want to force a trade for the sake of a trade

Peter Chiarelli

It must be a helpless feeling to sit idly by while your team continues to flail, but such emotions are what opposing GMs love to prey on.

Edmonton Oilers GM Peter Chiarelli hasn’t been around through much of the suffering for this hapless franchise, yet that doesn’t mean he’s immune to the calls for improvement. To his credit, he’s not buckling under that pressure.

You can see and hear his full comments below:

If you don’t feel like playing the video, the message is simple enough.

Chiarelli isn’t happy with Edmonton’s record – he hasn’t “seen progression” in ways that he was expecting, but again … he doesn’t want to force moves.

Long story short, he can “sleep at night,” even if he’s disappointed.

Is he right to take a relaxed approach, though? Maybe it’s time to blow up a part of what isn’t working? Have some fun armchair GM’ing on this one.