PHILADELPHIA, PA - NOVEMBER 01: Claude Giroux #28 of the Philadelphia Flyers instructs teammates Jakub Voracek #93 and Scott Hartnell #19 during a stoppage in play against the Washington Capitals on November 1, 2013 at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The Capitals went on to defeat the Flyers 7-0. (Photo by Len Redkoles/NHLI via Getty Images)

Holmgren: Flyers are tough to watch


Philadelphia Flyers GM Paul Holmgren hopes the team has hit rock bottom. It seems hard to think that they could sink any lower after last night’s 7-0 loss to the Washington Capitals.

The game broke down into a massive brawl in the third period that involved Flyers goaltender Ray Emery skating the length of the ice to force netminder Braden Holtby to fight him.

If the game itself wasn’t bad enough, the Flyers also lost newly acquired forward Steve Downie (concussion) and Vincent Lecavalier (facial injuries).

“It’s tough to watch,” Holmgren told CSN Philly. “I’m sure the players are very embarrassed like we all are. We’ve got to do better than that.”

Captain Claude Giroux was didn’t dispute Holmgren’s claim that their performance was embarrassing.

The only silver lining is that the Flyers will play against the New Jersey Devils tonight, so at least they won’t have to wait long for a chance to redeem themselves.

Diaz could leave Rangers for Europe

Raphael Diaz, Mike Sislo
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Could Raphael Diaz be on his way back to Switzerland?

We’ll know in a month.

Diaz, who lost out on the Rangers’ final blueline spot in training camp, has reported to the club’s AHL affiliate in Hartford but doesn’t seem pleased with his current situation, per the Post:

The 29-year-old Diaz, who cleared waivers last Saturday after the Blueshirts opted to keep rookie Dylan McIlrath as the club’s seventh on the blue line, is interested in the European option if he is not in the NHL.

The Blueshirts have told Diaz they will revisit the situation at the end of October, but have not promised to release him or assign him to a European team at that point.

If Diaz, a Swiss native who represented Switzerland in the 2014 Olympics, does play in Europe during the season, he would have to go through waivers in order to return to the NHL.

Diaz’s agent, Ritch Winter, told the Post that Diaz signed a one-year, $700,000 deal with the Rangers “to play with the Rangers.”

And it’s understandable if Diaz — a journeyman offensive defenseman — isn’t happy with this situation.

While some believe McIlrath earned his roster spot on merit, some think it’s because of his contract status. McIlrath, who’s only 23 and a former first-round pick, would’ve needed to clear waivers to go back to Hartford, and it’s believed he would’ve been claimed by another club.

Canucks say Markstrom (hamstring) out another week — could it be longer?

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Bit of uncertainty out of Vancouver regarding the health of backup goalie Jacob Markstrom.

Markstrom, a late drop from the Canucks’ 5-1 opening-night win over Calgary, has suffered a hamstring injury that will keep him sidelined for another week, the club announced on Thursday.

With Markstrom out, backup duties will stay with AHL call-up Richard Bachman, who served as Ryan Miller‘s No. 2 on Wednesday.

Now, the focus turns to how long Bachman keeps those duties.

Per a Sportsnet report, Markstrom could miss up to three weeks of action with his injury. If that’s the case, Bachman will almost certainly be called into action; the Canucks will play eight games in 17 nights starting with Saturday’s home-opener against the Flames, which includes back-to-backs in Los Angeles and Anaheim on Oct. 12 and 13.

It would be asking a lot of the No. 1, 35-year-old Ryan Miller, to shoulder that entire load.

Bachman does have some NHL experience, with nearly 50 games to his credit. That includes a 3-2-0 record with the Oilers last year, in which he posted a 2.84 GAA and .911 save percentage.