After all the worrying Flyers faithful did over Kimmo Timonen’s hurting wrist, it turns out all is well.
Timonen started this afternoon’s game against Ottawa after the Flyers were prepared to potentially go without him. The Flyers skated seven defensemen in warmups as Matt Walker got the call up from Adirondack, but Timonen was good to go and started the game.
The Flyers’ defensive issues this year have been many thanks to Chris Pronger’s season-ending concussion diagnosis. Timonen became the go-to guy on defense with Pronger out and a bad injury would’ve been a crushing blow to the team. Those worries are gone for now however as Timonen appears to be all right.
According to ESPN Chicago’s Jesse Rogers, Blackhawks head coach Joel Quenneville won’t face disciplinary action after blasting the officiating in a 2-0 loss to Los Angeles last night.
Quenneville felt both L.A. goals should’ve been disallowed and said the work of referees Ghislain Hebert and Tom Kowal was “tough to watch.”
Harmless comment? Maybe, but two things to consider:
1) The NHL has a history of stiff punishments for GMs and coaches that publicly criticize officials (most recently, Kings GM Dean Lombardi.)
2) Quenneville previously ran afoul of the league for — you guessed it! — publicly criticizing officials.
The incident occurred during the 2009 playoffs, when Quenneville was fined $10,000 for blasting officials after ‘Hawks defenseman Matt Walker was whistled for a roughing call.
“I think we witnessed probably the worst call in the history of sports there,” Quenneville said. “Nothing play. They scored, it’s 3-0. They ruined a good hockey game and absolutely destroyed what was going on the ice…never seen anything like it.”
Perhaps Quenneville escaped punishment this time by backing off his comments.
“It’s over. It’s done with,” Quenneville told Rogers earlier this afternoon. “I said what I had to say.
“I think I was a little excited after the game but it’s a new day and we’re moving on.”
If the way the Flyers defensemen Andreas Lilja and Matt Walker played last night against Montreal in a 5-1 loss is a sign of how things are going to be without Chris Pronger, it’s about to get real ugly in Philly.
Lilja saw just over 15 minutes worth of confidence-sapping ice time while Matt Walker wasn’t trusted enough to see double-digit minutes. The rest of the defenseman struggled to keep up with play, especially Matt Carle who looked lost without his usual defense partner in Pronger.
Topping off the crappy sundae was the play of Ilya Bryzgalov who couldn’t corral his rebounds while Canadiens forwards went uncovered to pounce on them for goals. Bryzgalov hasn’t looked at ease yet in Philadelphia and fans are already grumbling about it.
Do Peter Laviolette or Paul Holmgren have any backup plans to cover things while Pronger is out? Not yet, but they may have to start exploring options if things continue like this. Rolling with essentially five defenseman (Walker played just over seven minutes last night as the sixth) that have no confidence defensively nor the defensive dedication that Pronger does could mean the Flyers start working the phones.
There’s no help in the AHL for Philly so either they run with what they have or it’s time to look for a trade. All we know is that if we were Scott Hartnell, we might not be looking to buy a house in eastern Pennsylvania until things get figured out.