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http://www.csnphilly.com/blog/flyers-talk/post/Tonights-game-notes-Flyers-at-Avalanche?blockID=615074&feedID=695

Flyers at Avalanche, 9 p.m., CSN

Records

Flyers: 20-8-3 (First in Atlantic Division, First in Eastern Conference)

Avalanche: 15-17-1 (Fifth in Northwest Division, 13th in Western Conference)

Previous games

The Flyers were shutout, 6-0, by the Bruins at home on Saturday, snapping their seven-game win streak in the process. Ilya Bryzgalov allowed five goals and was pulled in the second period.

The Avalanche beat the Capitals, 2-1, on Saturday and have now won two of their last three games. Erik Johnson netted his first goal of the season and added an assist in the Avs' win over the Caps.

Who's hot?

Matt Carle had his point streak snapped over the weekend. He has one goal and six assists in his last five games.

For the Avalanche, Johnson is riding a three-game point streak. He has one goal and three assists in that span.

Storylines

Rookie center Sean Couturier was released from Pennsylvania Hospital on Sunday, after being struck on the left side of his head by a shot from Kimmo Timonen during Saturday's 6-0 loss to Bruins. Couturier is not expected to attend Monday's matchup against the Avs.

Claude Giroux on Sunday participated in practice for the first time since suffering a concussion on Dec. 10 against the Lightning. Giroux is not expected to play until after Christmas.

The Flyers beat the Avalanche, 4-2, at Wells Fargo Center in the two clubs' only meeting last season.

The Flyers are 12-3-1 on the road this season -- best in the NHL.

In net

Ilya Bryzgalov will start for the orange and black.

Injuries

Flyers: Sean Couturier (head), Claude Giroux (concussion), Brayden Schenn (mild concussion), Chris Pronger (concussion), Erik Gustafsson (wrist).

Avalanche: Kyle Quincey (groin), David Jones (groin), Brandon Yip (groin), Chuck Kobasew (head) Ryan Wilson (head).

Sound off

The Flyers start a five-game road trip when they take on the Avs Monday. How many games will the orange and black win on that trip?

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From an Avs blog:

After dispatching the Capitals on Saturday, the Avalanche have a giant opportunity tonight as they host the Eastern Conference's current top team (statistically speaking). Although they'll need some help, the Avs can pass as many as three teams (Calgary, Edmonton and Los Angeles) with a win tonight. The Avs won on Saturday by having Erik Johnson and Cody McLeod both break their 2011 goal cherry. Matt Hunwick and Brad Malone...looks like you guys are up.

Both teams are very banged up. You know about the injured Avs; the Phillies are in a similar boat, with Claude Giroux, Chris Pronger and Sean Couturier among the names on the injured list. Oh, and that Ian Lapperiere guy. We still miss you, Lappy.

On paper, this one doesn't look great from a goaltending standpoint. Both J.S. Giguere and Semyon Varlamov have their worst career GAA against the same team. Yep, the Flyers. Giguere is 2-6-2 with a 3.73 GAA all-time, while Varly is 0-0-1 with a 4.79 GAA. Oh, and the Flyers are the highest scoring team in the league right now. On the other side of the ice, Ilya Bryzgalov is 7-4-3 with a 2.43 GAA all-time vs the Avs. Thankfully, the game isn't played on paper. That's right, it's played on ice. Shocking, but true.

And another:

The Colorado Avalanche played some of their best hockey of the season last week, and yet only came away with a 2-1 record after blowing a two goal lead late against the San Jose Sharks. The Avalanche return home for the next week and will play some fierce opposition. Monday night's opponent is none other than the Eastern Conference leaders, the Philadelphia Flyers.

The Flyers may lead the conference, but there are some serious issues developing in the City of Brotherly Love. Captain and future Hall of Fame defenseman Chris Pronger will miss the remainder of the season with a concussion. Leading scorer and blossoming superstar Claude Giroux has also suffered a concussion. The league's leading scorer is out indefinitely, and the Flyers will absolutely miss his scoring presence.

In goal, the Ilya Bryzgalov experiment is not quite working out as expected. Philadelphia traded away two of their top centers this offseason, clearing space for the 31 year old Russian goaltender. So far this season, Bryzgalov has a very average 2.92 GAA and .896 SV%. Then again, Philadelphia cannot complain about his 14-6-2 record in net.

For Colorado, Kevin Porter finally returns to the lineup after serving a four game suspension for his hit on Vancouver Canucks' forward David Booth. Jean-Sebastian Giguere will start his second straight game in net for the Avalanche after a quality performance against the Washington Capitals this past weekend.

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Both teams are very banged up. You know about the injured Avs; the Phillies are in a similar boat, with Claude Giroux, Chris Pronger and Sean Couturier among the names on the injured list. Oh, and that Ian Lapperiere guy. We still miss you, Lappy.

The Phillies? Wow.

They only partially redeemed themselves by giving props to Lappy.

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3 stars -

Voracek

Coburn

Read - his whole line really. Very steady line

3 goats -

Briere - where were you on Landeskog's goal? You need to be carrying this team at this point. Simmonds got your goal by the way.

JVR - try playing during the game not just the shootout.

Bryz - just because

Why did Lavy use Read as the 3rd shooter? Why not Jagr?

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View PostDigityman, on Dec 20, 2011 - 09:16 AM, said:

Why did Lavy use Read as the 3rd shooter? Why not Jagr?

DALLAS -- Danny Briere went first. James van Riemsdyk followed. And then Peter Laviolette tapped... Matt Read try his luck in the lottery game known as the NHL shootout?

The most obvious question is: why would Laviolette not opt to leave the NHL’s active, all-time leading goal-scorer sitting on the bench during a breakaway competition? Jaromir Jagr has 656 career goals on his resume.

Because of tight newspaper deadlines, this reporter didn’t get a chance to ask Laviolette after the game - a question that can be answered after the Flyers’ noon practice at American Airlines Center in Dallas - but if we had to guess, it would be that he has seen the numbers.

They aren’t pretty.

Among the 6 active Flyers who have had at least 6 attempts in the shootout, Jagr ranks last with a 22.7 percent success rate. That is a list that includes defenseman Kimmo Timonen. For his career, Jagr is 5-for-22. Yikes!

In his defense, Jagr has not taken an NHL shootout attempt in more than 3 full seasons, so he hasn’t exactly had much practice.

And that’s the thing - the Flyers, as a whole, haven’t had much practice with the shootout. That could explain why they are the NHL’s worst team in the shootout since it was instated in 2005-06. To my knowledge, and I am at practice nearly every single day, the Flyers haven’t worked on it since training camp.

They are 0-2 in shootouts this season.

Here is where they stack up all-time:

FLYERS: 19-36 (34.5 win percentage)

Florida: 26-48 (35.5)

Ottawa: 21-35 (37.5)

Washington: 27-39 (40.5)

Calgary: 23-33 (41.1)

Columbus: 32-44 (42)

St. Louis: 30-40 (42.8)

Vancouver: 27-35 (43.5)

Montreal: 31-34 (47.6)

It pales in comparison to a team like the Avalanche, who live and die by the shootout. They have won 17 of their last 18 shootouts and they are 6-0 in shootouts this season. On Monday, the Avalanche went 3-for-3, just the 5th time in 55 all-time shootouts for the Flyers that the opponent has made all 3.

Most of the rest of the NHL - the other 21 teams - are either hovering around .500 all-time in shootouts or are well above that mark.

But what does that mean in terms of an impact on the standings? Here are the points the Flyers have given up over the years by not picking up that one extra point.

2010-11: 7 points

2009-10: 3 points*

2008-09: 6 points

2007-08: 6 points

2006-07: 6 points

2005-06: 6 points

*= only year with a winning (4-3) record in shootout

Coincidentally, Laviolette gave van Riemsdyk a chance - for the first time in his career - on Monday night and he converted with a beautiful, top-shelf shot. In fact, van Riemsdyk is now one of 11 active NHLers to be 1-for-1 in the shootout.

That pretty much explains why Bryz and Bob stink at the shootout. Those two points so far aren't worth the time spent for practice.

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