Playoff oddity: Flyers struggle when scoring first

2 Comments

People like a good comeback, but Flyers’ fans would probably appreciate it if their team could hold onto a 1-0 lead sometimes too. Philadelphia has a 4-0 record in the playoffs when their opponent scores first, but they’re just 1-4 in games were they’ve taken a 1-0 lead.

Wednesday’s contest was another example of that anomaly. Brayden Schenn scored the opening goal for the Philadelphia Flyers, but Patrik Elias and Ilya Kovalchuk both found the back of the net to give the New Jersey Devils a 2-1 lead going into the first intermission. The Flyers managed to send the game to overtime, but they never retook the lead.

The only other teams that have won just two or fewer games after scoring first have been eliminated from the playoffs. The flip side is that no squad has successfully overcome more 1-0 deficits.

Of course this is a relatively isolated statistic. It’s not that the Flyers are incapable of holding onto a lead in general – although they certainly could use a bit of work in that department too. They have a 2-2 record when leading after one period and a 2-1 record when leading after 40 minutes.

Really, it’s probably more of a product of a small sample size than a genuine area of concern, but the Flyers scoring first is starting to turn into a bad omen.

Fight video: Flyers’ Manning vs. Penguins’ Gaunce

Leave a comment

Breaking: the Pittsburgh Penguins and Philadelphia Flyers don’t like each other.

The stakes might be higher for the Penguins than the Flyers – aside from those who still believe Philly has a shot at a playoff run – their rivalry rarely subsides.

With that in mind, it’s no surprise that Sunday featured at least one fight, with Cameron Gaunce squaring off against Brandon Manning in a pretty spirited bout.

Manning isn’t shy about fighting, by the way; this was his seventh bout of the season, according to Hockey Fights.

Higher on the radar for the Penguins is the situation for Conor Sheary, who has been absent from the ice since about midway through the first period. PHT will keep an eye out for updates on what could be yet another injury for the health-challenged Pens.

Dreading the work week? Watch this dog get ‘ice time’ with puck

Leave a comment

Life is difficult, complex and confusing. Good thing we have dog videos.

Forgive this video being one night late, but for those of us who watch cute animal clips, time is a furry circle. Or something like that.

Anyway, this golden retriever got a little “ice time” before the Washington Capitals’ game against the Arizona Coyotes on Saturday in what would end up being a 4-1 win for the Caps. It’s an excellent video featuring a top-notch, hilarious pooch.

Alternate joke: Now that is some puck retrieval.

Patrik Laine’s out sick for Jets on Sunday

Getty
Leave a comment

Patrik Laine and Auston Matthews are locked with identical goals (34), assists (27) and points (61) on Sunday, which is remarkable since Laine has played in 67 games versus 75 for Matthews. He won’t get a chance to beef up his numbers on Sunday, either.

It looks like the high-scoring rookie is missing the Winnipeg Jets’ contest against the Vancouver Canucks because of an illness, according to TSN’s Sara Orlesky.

The Jets are almost assured to miss the playoffs, so seeing Laine lose a chance to bolster his Calder argument adds a little extra sadness to the night.

NHL schedules hearing for Micheal Haley’s sucker-punch on Calle Jarnkrok

5 Comments

The NHL’s Department of Player Safety announced a Monday hearing for San Jose Sharks tough guy Micheal Haley for his “roughing/sucker punch” on Calle Jarnkrok of the Nashville Predators.

The league didn’t specify if Haley will face a telephone or in-person hearing on Monday afternoon. They did, interestingly, use the phrase “sucker punch” in that official announcement.

Haley received a match penalty during the game. Sharks head coach Peter DeBoer was highly upset about the hit that inspired Haley’s actions.

“When you run someone from behind in a game like that, you probably deserve to get a punch in the mouth,” DeBoer told reporters.

In other bad news for the Sharks, CSN Bay Area’s Kevin Kurz reports that Logan Couture‘s situation isn’t looking promising after he was hurt on Sunday.