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Penguins vs Flyers - 1/19/2013


Digityman
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Penguins vs Flyers Game #1  

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  1. 1. Who will win game #1 ?



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Yesterday evening's Flyers practice session in front of 15,202 fans at the Wells Fargo Center was destined from the start not to be a run-on-the-mill practice.

Of course, no one minded. Everyone associated with the hockey team realized that the event was the least they could do to acknowledge Flyers fans after the lockout. Similar events -- sometimes in the form of scrimmages, sometimes as "regular" practices -- were held around the NHL.

In a large-venue event designed for the fans, it was impossible for the coaches to conduct business in a normal manner as they would at the Skate Zone in Voorhees or for the players on the ice to be fully focused on the task of preparing for the season opener on Saturday afternoon. There were simply too many distractions.

But as hockey practices less than 48 hours before a clash with the Pittsburgh Penguins go, well, if it was a morning session in Voorhees, Peter Laviolette would not have been quite as content as he was last night. The tempo never hit a tight rhythm. The passing was downright awful at times early in the sessions, as the Flyers players were a bit distracted. There were jitters to work through, to an even higher degree than on Sunday, when roughly 3,000 people came out Voorhees for the opening morning of the six-day training camp.

That was to be expected. Laviolette said afterward with a straight face that he wanted it to be just like a regular practice in Voorhees, with simulated game conditions. In reality, the coach seemed to understood that, by its nature, the event last night was as much about public entertainment as team preparation.

Yes, the team ran the standard drills and special teams work that have been a staple of the latter-half of each day's practices throughout this week. But during the session, the team also mixed in a set of 5-on-0 rushes against the Flyers goaltenders (something that had better NOT be a "game condition" come Saturday or Laviolette will have a coronary right on the bench). There was also a shootout session at the very end.

Laviolette said that there was some practical value to the event in terms of letting the team's new players get used to the Wells Fargo Center and for everyone to get used to working again in front of a big Philadelphia crowd.

Above all, it was a chance for the crowd to give a big ovation to newly appointed captain Claude Giroux and for his teammates to prank him as he took to the ice with no one else following out behind him. It gave Scott Hartnell a chance to play to the audience by deliberately tumbling to the ice at the end of a liine rush rep so people could make "Hartnell down!" cracks.

In short, the open practice was a way to thank fans for their support, to promote the season and to announce that NHL hockey is finally back in Philly.

By the way, as if the Flyers needed any little extra motivation for Saturday or little reminders about last season is now a distant memory, the folks at NBC Sports unwittingly provided a little extra incentive. Most every Flyers fan on the internet has seen -- or at least heard about -- the game-promo commercials that say the Flyers will "have their sights set on revenge for their playoff loss" to the Penguins last year.

My memory may be faulty here, but I vaguely remember a different outcome to that series. I also kinda sorta recall that the clinching game was broadcast by... oh yes, the very same television network that is now so collectively unaware of the outcome that the commercial made it on the air without anyone noticing the mistake.

*************

The Flyers will announce their season opening roster this afternoon. Assuming the injured Danny Briere is placed on injured reserve to start the season, the club will not need to make any more immediate roster cuts. When Briere is activated, a roster move will be necessary. A forward (most likely Tom Sestito) will be sent to the Phantoms or else rookie Scott Laughton may be returned to his OHL team.

In addition to Briere likely being placed on IR, the Flyers will place defensemen Chris Pronger (post-concussion issues), Matt Walker (back, groin and abdominal injuries) and Marc-Andre Bourdon (concussion-like symptoms) on the long-term injured reserve list.

It appears, but is not absolutely confirmed, that Andrej Meszaros (Achilles tendon surgery) will start in tomorrow's opener, despite not yet being fully recovered. If he does not play, Bruno Gervais will make his Flyers' debut in Meszaros' place.

Based on the line combinations used in practice the last couple days, tomorrow's starting lineup will likely look this:

Scott Hartnell - Claude Giroux - Brayden Schenn

Max Talbot - Sean Couturier - Jakub Voracek

Matt Read - Scott Laughton - Wayne Simmonds

Ruslan Fedotenko - Eric Wellwood - Zac Rinaldo

Kimmo Timonen - Luke Schenn

Nicklas Grossmann - Braydon Coburn

Andrej Meszaros - Kurtis Foster

Ilya Bryzgalov

[Michael Leighton]

Healthy scratches: Jody Shelley, Tom Sestito, Bruno Gervais.

Meltzer

Looks like we will get to see Laughton play.

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Love that Scott is getting this opportunity, I thought he would not have been ready, hope he proves me wrong. He's got some NICE wingers to work with in Simmonds and Read...that will be a feisty in your face line if I ever saw one!! I didn't think it was more possible, but I'm more pumped up for tomorrow than EVER!!!

You know what I'm really liking? Toughness, all though the line-up, on every line, on every defensive pairings....one thing for sure, you will pay a physical price for playing the Flyers this year, and that's exciting.

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I'm in Lake Placid to watch the game so I'll try to check all of your posts as we go.

There actually is an in game chat if you feel so inclined to join in real time. Just look at the Chat & Games tab on the menu bar. Cheers.

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@Digityman

I saw on the shout box the other day, a couple of additional streaming sites that were not on my list. I forgot to write them down. Can anyone list these additional sites and I will put them in my file and send an update for the board??

Thanks

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@Digityman

I saw on the shout box the other day, a couple of additional streaming sites that were not on my list. I forgot to write them down. Can anyone list these additional sites and I will put them in my file and send an update for the board??

Thanks

This is my go to site to watch sports http://www.atdhe24.n...rts/Hockey.html

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Love that Scott is getting this opportunity, I thought he would not have been ready, hope he proves me wrong. He's got some NICE wingers to work with in Simmonds and Read...that will be a feisty in your face line if I ever saw one!! I didn't think it was more possible, but I'm more pumped up for tomorrow than EVER!!!

@jammer2,

I'm glad the Flyers are giving him a look. I think the new rule is he can play 5 games before being sent back to Junior without burning a year on his contract. That isn't a very long audition. Obviously, if he plays well he will stay. If Homerr sends him back to Junior, who fills his roster spot??

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I'm glad the Flyers are giving him a look. I think the new rule is he can play 5 games before being sent back to Junior without burning a year on his contract. That isn't a very long audition. Obviously, if he plays well he will stay. If Homerr sends him back to Junior, who fills his roster spot??

Briere

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@Vanflyer I added 2 more this morning. Check it out My Menu --> Hockey Streaming (Live) -->

You are working way too hard. But- as always, thank you. Let me know if I can do anything additional. The russian site is an excellent one for those that are abroad. (Live.ru.en).

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P.S. Love lake placid. My father had a cabin on Siranac Lake. Loved to boat and fish there in the summer time.

Thanks for the heads up on the chat but I doubt I'll get there. I'm hoping for a rowdy time and my iPhone connection is hit or miss here!

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Well I do have to sell her on the sport, so it's better than watching the Blue Jackets play the Coyotes or something horrid.

I get where you are going with that. It would be like trying to get her interested in this forum and having her start out by reading a few Jack Straw posts. Horrid.

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