The start of the season for the Philadelphia Flyers has been less-than great. They’re currently 1-7-0 with just two points, fewest in the league. Their offense isn’t getting things done and it’s happening at a historically bad rate.
Sam Carchidi of the Philadelphia Inquirer shares a brutal factoid for Flyers fans to revel in about their miserable start.
Thursday’s 4-1 loss to visiting Pittsburgh marked the eighth straight time they had failed to score more than two goals since the season started. That’s the first time that has happened since 1964, when the Boston Bruins did it in the first nine games, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.
Even the Buffalo Sabres and New Jersey Devils aren’t having that much trouble scoring goals in bunches this season.
The Flyers have just two players who have more than one goal scored this season (Tye McGinn, Brayden Schenn) and just eight players in all who have even scored a goal at all. Oddly enough, both the Devils and Sabres also have just eight goal-scorers on the season.
Perhaps what they say about bad news coming in threes is true.
Thursday night saw an ugly incident in Denver when Colorado Avalanche forward Cody McLeod hit Detroit Red Wings defenseman Niklas Kronwall from behind and injuring him.
Now McLeod can fly to New York City to discuss the play with the NHL.
The Avalanche forward has been offered an in-person hearing with the league because of the hit. That opens up the possibility of a suspension of six games or more. McLeod hit Kronwall from behind just 2:13 into the first period of Thursday’s game and earned a five-minute major for boarding and a game misconduct for it.
Red Wings coach Mike Babcock said following the game that Kronwall had a “mild concussion” and McLeod’s hit are the types of hits the league has to eliminate.
In case you missed it, here’s the play in question with video from Colorado’s Altitude Network.
PHT’s Morning Skate takes a look around the world of hockey to see what’s happening and what we’ll be talking about around the NHL world and beyond.
Martin Erat is now a fourth line winger in Washington and that’s a bit of a problem for both him and the team. (Washington Post)
Editor’s Note: ProHockeyTalk’s partner FanDuel is hosting a $1,500 Fantasy Hockey league that includes Friday and Saturday’s NHL games. It’s just $10 to join and first prize is $400. Starts Friday at 8pm ET. Here’s the link.
You weren’t seeing things, Thursday night was a weird one in the NHL as Eric Duhatschek writes. (The Globe And Mail)
Evander Kane may be back in time to face the Blues tonight. (Winnipeg Free Press)
How bad is the Flyers offense? It’s the worst since 1964 Boston Bruins. (Broad St. Bull)
Tim Thomas says he has no grudges or regrets about how his time in Boston came to an end. You expected otherwise? (CSNNE.com)
Martin St. Louis discussed his injury following the Lightning’s win over the Wild. (Tampa Bay Times)
NBCSN continues its coverage of the 2013-14 campaign tonight when the Washington Capitals host the New York Rangers at Verizon Center in Washington, D.C. at 8:00 p.m. ET. In addition to NBCSN, you can also watch the game online.
It’s safe to assume the New York Rangers didn’t envision the start of the season like this. Through their first five games, all on the road, they have just one win (1-4-0). In those losses they’ve allowed an average of six goals per game including a 9-2 loss to San Jose that saw rookie Tomas Hertl score four times.
For new head coach Alain Vigneault, it’s been a rough introduction to life as the Rangers’ boss. More importantly, it’s been a disturbing start for star goalie Henrik Lundqvist.
Lundqvist sporting a goals-against average over 4.00 and a save percentage under .900 will give anyone’s head a shake and worse still, they’ll be hurting for offense with Rick Nash out with a concussion. That sets up for a potential rough night against a Capitals team that has reigning MVP Alex Ovechkin leading the way.
Ovechkin’s start to the season has been strong having scored six goals with nine points through the team’s first six games. Centers Nicklas Backstrom (8) and Mikhail Grabovski (6) have been right there with Ovechkin on the point production as well.
Goaltending hasn’t been Washington’s strong point to start the season either, but they’ve had better production with 17 goals compared to New York’s 10. If nothing else, that puts the onus more on Lundqvist to play strong tonight to save his team from yet another road loss. With Brad Richards and Derek Stepan providing the only consistent offensive punch, King Henrik will need to seize the throne.
These two teams have met in the postseason in four of the past five seasons. They should have each other’s strengths and weaknesses down pat.
Update (12:20 p.m. ET)
Rangers defenseman Michael Del Zotto is out with the flu. John Moore will reportedly take Del Zotto’s spot on the power play.
To say the San Jose Sharks were upset about St. Louis’ Maxim Lapierre hitting Sharks defenseman Dan Boyle from behind and injuring him would be understating the issue.
One player who had harsh words for Lapierre following the Sharks’ 6-2 win over the Blues was Joe Pavelski as Kevin Kurz of CSNBayArea.com shares.
“Things like that happen, especially when idiots are idiots,” Joe Pavelski said. “Dan’s a world-class defenseman, there’s straight numbers (from behind) – there’s guys in this league that will target that. It doesn’t matter. They just go. It sucks.”
It’s expected the league will take some kind of action against Lapierre for the hit. His history against the Sharks is something some current players are familiar with as he was suspended for four games back in 2010 for a late hit on then San Jose forward Scott Nichol while with Montreal.
Logan Couture was aware of Lapierre’s past and was even tougher in his assessment of him. More from Kurz:
“A player that probably shouldn’t even be in the league is taking out one of the best players in the world. That guy’s got a history. After the first shift, he’s yelling at us from their bench that he’s coming after us, and then he does that. I don’t even know. It’s pretty gutless. Then he turtles. Be a man if you make a hit like that. Don’t turtle and run behind the linesman.”
Boyle was sent to the hospital for treatment and tells ESPN.com’s Pierre LeBrun he’s going to be OK.