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Capitals @ Flyers, 27/2/2013


brelic
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http://www.hockeybuzz.com/blog.php?post_id=49593#.US38hB2mgud

PREVIEW 7 AM EST

Hoping to salvage a second win from a four-game homestand, the Philadelphia Flyers (9-11-1) host the Washington Capitals (11-8-0) at the Wells Fargo Center. The game starts at 7 p.m. EST and will be televised on CSN Philly.

This is the second of three meetings between the teams this season. On Feb. 1 in Washington, the Flyers fell in regulation, 3-2.

In that game, Philadelphia's Bruno Gervais broke a scoreless deadlock midway through the second period but a late-period puck management mistake by Sean Couturier with a line change going on behind him led to a breakaway goal for Nicklas Bäckström. In the third period, the Flyers killed off a lengthy 5-on-3 disadvantage and then flatlined.

Washington's Troy Brouwer and Wojtek Wolski (breakaway after stripping Luke Schenn of the puck on a neutral zone faceoff) forged a 3-1 lead for the Capitals. Brayden Schenn got one goal back midway through the final period, but the Flyers never came up with a tying goal.

As a result of the loss to Washington, who had been struggling even worse than the Flyers had been entering the game, Philadelphia fell to 2-6-0 on the season. They have been two games above .500 in the span of games since then (7-5-1) but have been unable to put together winning streaks of any substance. On Monday, the Flyers dropped a 4-2 decision to Toronto.

Yesterday, the Flyers traded a conditional 2013 3rd/4th round pick to the Los Angeles Kings to reacquire longtime fan favorite Simon Gagne. The former All-Star forward had dressed in 11 games this season for the Kings, failing to score a goal but registering five assists. With Matt Read (torn muscles near ribcage) out until April, the Flyers needed another two-way winger with speed. Gagne had playoff success in 2010 under Peter Laviolette after a difficult and injury-plagued regular season.

Flyers' right winger Jakub Voracek has been the hottest player in the entire NHL over the last week plus. He has racked up 14 points (five goals, nine assists) in the last six games.

Apart from Read, the Flyers remain without defenseman Andrej Meszaros (shoulder). Rookie winger Tye McGinn suffered a fractured orbital bone in a first-period fight with Toronto's Mike Brown in Monday's game.

The Capitals have gone 5-2-0 after starting out the season 2-8-1. They've won five of their last seven games, including a 3-0 home win over Carolina last night. The Caps got goals from Bäckström, John Erskine and John Carlson. Alexander Ovechkin had an assist in last night's game on the heels of a hat trick and assist in the Caps' win over New Jersey on Saturday.

On the injury front, forwards Brooks Laich (groin) and Marcus Johansson (upper body) and defenseman Jack Hillen and Dmitry Orlov (upper body) are out for tonight's game.

With the Flyers having not played last night, they hope to have the fresher legs as tonight's game progresses. That won't happen automatically, though. Philly needs to press the issue.

PROJECTED LINEUPS

FLYERS

19 Scott Hartnell - 28 Claude Giroux - 93 Jakub Voracek

48 Danny Briere - 10 Brayden Schenn - 17 Wayne Simmonds

12 Simon Gagne - 14 Sean Couturier - 36 Zac Rinaldo

25 Max Talbot - 26 Ruslan Fedotenko - 9 Mike Knuble

44 Kimmo Timonen - 22 Luke Schenn

8 Nicklas Grossmann - 5 Braydon Coburn

29 - Erik Gustafsson -27 Bruno Gervais

30 Ilya Bryzgalov

[33 Brian Boucher]

CAPITALS

25 Jason Chimera -9 Mike Ribeiro - 8 Alexander Ovechkin

16 Eric Fehr - 19 Nicklas Bäckström - 20 Troy Brouwer

17 Wojtek Wolski - 85 Mathieu Perreault - 42 Joel Ward

26 Matt Hendricks - 83 Jay Beagle - 15 Joey Crabb

27 Karl Alzner - 52 Mike Green

4 John Erskine - 74 John Carlson

3 Tom Poti - 36 Tomas Kundratek

70 Braden Holtby/ 30 Michal Neuvirth

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with the way Lavy likes to shuffle lines around...I'm sure in due time we will see this line combo! :)

We could also have a two-timers line:

Gagne/Fedotenko/Knuble

Sponsored by Cialis.

EDIT: On an slightly related note, I'm just excited that we'll see references to Lamborgagne again :)

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@Digityman

37 tallies last year on the top line is "waste of space"... why you heff to be mad.

i'll concede his broka foota might be hurting him some, but the limited action i saw him in he didn't look terrible, a click slow but heck the guy hasn't played this year.

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Agreed. One thing that Gagne could always do was finish. Let Jake and G set him up.

Plus it gets Hartnell off that line. He's a waste of space on the top line IMHO

Yeah, Gagne did get 47 and 41 goals playing with Forsberg. And he's still only 32.

So, if he's healthy, and if he can find some chemistry with G and Voracek, he could end up being a good choice for the top line. Otherwise, he will also be great with Coots I'm sure.

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Don't like it one bit:

19 Scott Hartnell - 28 Claude Giroux - 93 Jakub Voracek

48 Danny Briere - 10 Brayden Schenn - 17 Wayne Simmonds

12 Simon Gagne - 14 Sean Couturier - 36 Zac Rinaldo

25 Max Talbot - 26 Ruslan Fedotenko - 9 Mike Knuble

Instead:

19 Scott Hartnell - 28 Claude Giroux - 93 Jakub Voracek

12 Simon Gagne - 48 Danny Briere- 17 Wayne Simmonds

25 Max Talbot -10 Brayden Schenn - 36 Zac Rinaldo

12a Harry Z- 14 Sean Couturier - 9 Mike Knuble

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Don't like it one bit:

19 Scott Hartnell - 28 Claude Giroux - 93 Jakub Voracek

48 Danny Briere - 10 Brayden Schenn - 17 Wayne Simmonds

12 Simon Gagne - 14 Sean Couturier - 36 Zac Rinaldo

25 Max Talbot - 26 Ruslan Fedotenko - 9 Mike Knuble

Instead:

19 Scott Hartnell - 28 Claude Giroux - 93 Jakub Voracek

12 Simon Gagne -48 Danny Briere- 17 Wayne Simmonds

25 Max Talbot -10 Brayden Schenn - 36 Zac Rinaldo

12a Harry Z- 14 Sean Couturier - 9 Mike Knuble

Why would you move away one of our most productive players over the last few weeks - B. Schenn - and stick him with weak wingers, while moving Briere to the middle?

The only thing I would touch on Meltzer's take is to swap Hartnell with Gagne. At least for tonight. His homecoming game... stick him on the first line and see if he can find his sniper touch with two incredible playmakers.

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@brelic

This is all the more reason why the Flyers need to part with a center. There is far too many on this roster. Briere has proven 1,000x over that he is not an effective winger. The way I see it, is maybe he can start to produce with Gagne on his wing.

Schenn is great and has been playing well, but with the lack of any depth on the wing, that is the way I see it.

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@Digityman

37 tallies last year on the top line is "waste of space"... why you heff to be mad.

i'll concede his broka foota might be hurting him some, but the limited action i saw him in he didn't look terrible, a click slow but heck the guy hasn't played this year.

I can't stand Hartnell most nights. No doubt, he's great at getting to the front of the net and every team needs someone like him but it's not a coincidence that he has 37 tallies (career year) on a line with Jagr & Giroux.

I still don't think he deserves to be on the first line with Giroux. I know it's not a popular opinion but.....

If Hartnell was replaced with a *more* skilled winger this summer.... Iginla, Perry, Horton (all UFA's)... I think you'd instantly see the difference between having Hartnell on the first line versus a true #1 winger. Again, just MHO.

post-3-0-74681200-1361979588_thumb.jpg

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Gagne did get 47 and 41 goals playing with Forsberg. And he's still only 32.

Gagne HAD / WAS / MIGHT STILL:

1) Very accurate wrist shot

2) Clinical on break-aways and shootouts

3) Above average puck possession

If he's honest in saying that surgery cleared him of all of his symptoms than he will quickly replace Hartnell on the top line.

My lines would be:

Gagne - Giroux - Jake

Hartnell - Schenn - Simmonds

Talbot - Coots - Danny B

Rinaldo - Rusty - Knuble

1st line is all skill with Jake setting up Giroux/Gagne

2nd line is skill + bruisers

3rd line is 2/3's of a line + Danny B

4th line can hopefully just have an even +/- at the end of the night.

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Don't like it one bit:

19 Scott Hartnell - 28 Claude Giroux - 93 Jakub Voracek

48 Danny Briere - 10 Brayden Schenn - 17 Wayne Simmonds

12 Simon Gagne - 14 Sean Couturier - 36 Zac Rinaldo

25 Max Talbot - 26 Ruslan Fedotenko - 9 Mike Knuble

Instead:

19 Scott Hartnell - 28 Claude Giroux - 93 Jakub Voracek

12 Simon Gagne -48 Danny Briere- 17 Wayne Simmonds

25 Max Talbot -10 Brayden Schenn - 36 Zac Rinaldo

12a Harry Z- 14 Sean Couturier - 9 Mike Knuble

No way do you demote Schenn when he is really starting to roll. Him and Giroux will be a great 1-2 punch for years. He's part of our future, a huge part. Briere can play D for all I care.

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We could also have a two-timers line:

Gagne/Fedotenko/Knuble

Sponsored by Cialis.

EDIT: On an slightly related note, I'm just excited that we'll see references to Lamborgagne again :)

Earlier I heard someone call the Gagne-Fed-Knuble line "The Viagra Line" haha. Thought that one was pretty good.

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Seems like he's been 32 for quite a while.

Is he playing tonight?

He's born on Feb 29th. How weird would that be to look at a calendar, and the majority of the time, your birthdate is not even on there. It doesn't exist. Like you don't matter at all. The universe conspiring against you.

Sorry, had a Bryz moment there...

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