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

26 Comments

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.

Video: Josh Ho-Sang’s creativity gives Islanders a shot in the arm

Leave a comment

Honestly, after 10 games, the question shouldn’t be “can Josh Ho-Sang stick with the Islanders full-time?” Instead, the feeling is … what took so long for him to get this chance?

For all the grumbling about Ho-Sang sporting number 66, he’s provided serious bursts of brilliance and creativity for the Islanders, whether he’s been supporting or even setting up John Tavares.

The video above is some really good stuff, as it walks through his confident comments – and undeniable uncertainty – during the night he was drafted, all the way through him getting his chance with the Isles this season. Some of the best stuff comes from Doug Weight, who raves that Ho-Sang is a “five out of five” from an offensive standpoint.

Auston Matthews’ 33rd goal includes a dash of comedy (Video)

Leave a comment

This wouldn’t have been worth a chuckle if not for the correction. (Well, maybe a chuckle at Auston Matthews‘ expense.)

On the 33rd goal of his brilliant rookie season, Auston Matthews made it 2-0 for Toronto on the power play. Crusty “act like you’ve been there” types might grumble that he actually celebrated before a goal really happened, only to tap it in for real the second time around. The rest of us, again, get a mild chuckle.

William Nylander‘s pass was nothing to laugh at, however. That one just gets a big thumbs up.

Hnnngmgghh indeed.

That goal could end up being key as the Blue Jackets quickly scored to start the second period, shrinking Toronto’s lead to 2-1 on Wednesday.

Video: Leafs’ Carrick delivers thunderous hit on Blue Jackets’ Anderson

1 Comment

Both the Columbus Blue Jackets and Toronto Maple Leafs have motivation to win their Wednesday game, but the Maple Leafs need it more.

So far, it shows, too.

The Maple Leafs have raced off to a 2-0 lead, with Auston Matthews scoring his 33rd goal of the season. If generating such offense didn’t highlight the urgency, Connor Carrick‘s huge hit on Josh Anderson makes a compelling argument. Witness that big impact in the video above.

There was also another high-impact moment when Nick Foligno went crashing into the boards:

Ouch, Blues consider Paul Stastny out week-to-week

Getty
1 Comment

The St. Louis Blues announced that Paul Stastny is out week-to-week with a lower-body injury.

Stastny was limited to less than four minutes of ice time during last night’s 4-2 win against the Colorado Avalanche. Initially, head coach Mike Yeo indicated that the issue wasn’t serious.

There are only about three weeks left in the regular season, so it’s tough to tell if “week-to-week” would mean that the Blues will be without Stastny for any playoff time.

With Stastny out for an expended period of time and other injuries affecting Blues forwards, it sounds like Nail Yakupov gets another chance to prove himself:

Stastny generated 18 goals and 40 points in 66 games so far this season. He has played more of a defensive role this season (46.2 offensive zone start percentage after being closer to 50 earlier in his Blues days) and has been impressive in the dot, winning 53.8 of his faceoffs.