Thursday, December 18, 2014

Philadelphia Flyers vs. Florida Panthers December 18, 2014



A special sidebar to all readers as 2014 draws to a close...My fellow media members serve as positive role models who always advance my hockey knowledge whenever I cover Philadelphia Flyers home games at the Wells Fargo Center. The media, as a whole, represent hard-working people, in both old, new and hybrid media forms. Their efforts help the public to better analyze one of the globe's greatest sports.

There are plenty of quality hockey resources available. Bill Meltzer's ever-great HockeyBuzz blog, David Strehle's always-insightful Twitter feed @DstrehleTFP and connected articles, and new colleague Charlie Flowe's WorldSportsShow.com are worth regular digital reads.

Iced Pregame Tidbits

Entering tonight's action the Florida Panthers front a 13-8-8 mark (34 points), while the Philadelphia Flyers have a record of 11-14-5 (27 points).

This is the last date of a four-game homestand for Philadelphia. Next, the Flyers are off to Toronto (Dec 20), Winnipeg (Dec 21), and Minnesota (Dec 23) before a short Christmas break. Philadelphia continues its eight-game road trip in Nashville (Dec 27), Phoenix (Dec 29) and Colorado (Dec 31), Carolina (Jan 2, 2015) and finally, in New Jersey (Jan 3). While this road trip won't seal the season. The available points to be gained could determine playoff viability in the very near future.

Steve Mason started in goal for the Flyers. His 6-10-4 record is reflective of the Flyers' team issues this season, as his .918 save percentage and 2.58 GAA are both better than his counterparts were entering the game.

Roberto Luongo started in net for the Panthers. He had a 11-6-6, .908 save percentage and a 2.70 GAA.

First Period

9:47: Scottie Upshall (4). Assists – Tomas Kopecky and Dylan Olsen.

Shots: 12-8 Panthers.

Flyers looked sluggish. 

Lecavalier back in action. Little to report in this first frame.


Second Period

4:07 Jacob Voracek (12). Assists – Nicklas Grossmann and Pierre-Edouard Bellemare.

Number 93 continues to open eyes around the League this season. His off-season focus and career maturity are evident on nearly each shift. He also recently became only the sixth Flyer in team history to record 10 multi-point games over the first 19 games of the season, joining Peter Forsberg, Brian Propp, Tim Kerr, Mark Recchi and Bob Clarke.



Total shots: 23-17 Panthers.

Third Period

No goals.

Back-and-forth action. Flyers had some scoring chances, but were unable to push the puck past Luongo to secure the extra point. 

Total shots: 30-22 Panthers.

Overtime

Total shots: 32-26 Panthers.

Flyers had sustained pressure. Luongo made a few key saves, including a sharp glove save with less than a minute to go in the game. However, it was on to the...

Shootout

Panthers scored first (Brandon Pirri).
Lecavalier missed.

Panthers missed.
Giroux missed.

Panthers missed.
Voracek scored.

Panthers missed.
Read missed.

Panthers missed.
B. Schenn missed.

Panthers scored (Dave Bolland).
Couturier missed.

Panthers win 2-1.

Final thoughts

The Flyers continuing inability to finish during the shootout is costing them valuable points. It seems challenging to believe that Craig Berube's team will suddenly become more than what it is at this moment in time.


General manager Ron Hextall has limited options as he moves through his first season. Some players may be dealt by trade deadline day. But, the long-term strategy story number 27 told when he was hired surely means that a few-season rebuild is underway.

The Flyers travel to face the Maple Leafs at 7pm on Saturday night. At 19-10-3, that Canadian team will provide another point of measure for an organization that continues to develop its future plans. 

Insight Overtime

Here's a past post about some past transactions in history...


5 Stunning Philadelphia Flyers' Trades

The Philadelphia Flyers have made many trades in franchise history. Here are ten of their most surprising. Some of these deals are only known by the hardest of hardcore fans. Others, are enlightening because of the historic names that are about to be mentioned.

This list has been prepared in chronological order, verses that of chosen importance.

#5: Rick MacLeish “traded” to the Boston Bruins - October 18, 1967

Yes, this trade took place in the 1960s, but MacLeish didn't officially become a member of the Bruins until 1970.

The Flyers obtained Rosaire Paiment from the Boston Bruins for their number one pick in the 1970 National Hockey League amateur draft. That number one pick was used to select MacLeish with the fourth pick.

#4: Barry Ashbee obtained for two no-names – May 22, 1970

A vital part of the Flyers' first Stanley Cup team, Ashbee suffered a career-ending eye injury in April 1974. He was originally acquired from the Pittsburgh Penguins for Darryl Edestrand and Larry McKillop in the spring of 1970.

#3: Bernie Parent traded to Toronto Maple Leafs – January 31, 1971

Parent told me directly, during my one-on-one interview with him at his business office in the fall of 2010, that being traded from the Flyers to the Maple Leafs helped his career. While in Toronto he asked Hall of Fame goaltender Jacques Plante, who was the Maple Leafs' starting netminder at the time, to teach him how to play goal.

Plante's lessons helped Parent to turn his career around and helped him to set the bar for excellence upon his return to the Flyers in May 1973.

#2: Reggie Leach obtained from the California Golden Seals five days after the first Cup was won – May 24, 1974

It's not just that the Golden Seals dealt Leach after he had scored 51 goals for them in slightly over two seasons of play. But, they traded him to the Flyers for Larry Wright, Al MacAdam and the Flyers 1974 first-round draft pick. That draft pick was held by the team that had just won the Stanley Cup five days earlier.

Wright, who was a free agent, re-signed with the Flyers in September. MacAdam had only played five games for the Flyers until that point, but did later score 240 goals in his NHL career. The first round draft pick was used to select Ron Chipperfield, who jumped to the World Hockey Association and never played for the Seals.

#1: Fred Shero traded to New York Rangers – June 2, 1978

The Flyers received a first-round draft pick, as agreed upon compensation, in return for Shero being allowed to accept a job as the Rangers' head coach. The Flyers selected Ken Linseman with the seventh pick in the 1978 NHL amateur draft.

(My feature, which I hold all rights to, originally appeared on Yahoo Sports-YCN.)


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Let's connect on Twitter @SeanyOB, through Facebook, or on LinkedInVisit my Examiner Contributor Page.

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My illustrated children's book: Maddie: Teaching Tolerance with a Smile officially became a Top 10 Amazon best-seller as of January 29, 2014. The print and ebook editions were initially released in August, 2014.

Children's Alopecia Project

50% of all proceeds from the sale of our book (in both print and ebook forms) are being donated to the Children's Alopecia Project (CAP).

What a ride

This incredible and unexpected ride began in the spring of 2011. By August 2013, the book was published by the Children's Alopecia Project in print form. We have been very pleased with sales of that edition. Use, or share, this link --->>Maddie: Teaching Tolerance with a Smile to purchase the printed book directly from CAP.

I published a special ebook edition within weeks of the print book release. After starting in the tens of thousands (in terms of Amazon's children's book rankings), Maddie broke into the Top 50 just prior to Christmas. It climbed through the 30s and settled in the upper 20s before breaking into the Top 10.  

Use, or share, this link --->>Maddie: Teaching Tolerance with a Smile to see a 'free-view' of the special ebook edition. I've included extra bonus features in this version that provide background information, extra photos, and illustrations. Each item helps to tell the complete story of this book's birth. 

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Here's a link to this great (print and online) article that the Reading Eagle recently published about our story Maddie: Teaching Tolerance with a Smile: Book chronicles Wyomissing teen's journey since being diagnosed with alopecia

Thank you to Stacey Stauffer (Fox 29 Philadelphia). She interviewed Madison Woytovich, her parents (Jeff and Betsy Woytovich) and me about the latest chapter in this inspiring story. Here's a video link to Stacey's wonderful feature. 

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Amazon.com is the number 1 online publishing platform in the world. That's why I used it to publish my first ebook: Fast Fiction and Other Stuff.
This mini-tome is a collection of stories and poems for readers who don't take themselves too seriously. I hope that you enjoy it and am always interested in your feedback. 

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Former member of the Philadelphia Phillies' Triple-A front office staff. Currently a teacher and the published author of the illustrated children's book Maddie: Teaching Tolerance with a Smile.