AROUND THE NHL
Marty Brodeur made 24 saves and the New Jersey Devils shutout the Philadelphia Flyers, 3-0, on Tuesday night. The Flyers fall to 0-3 and have scored just 3 goals on the season, giving up 11.
IS IT PANIC TIME IN PHILLY?
The Flyers miss Danny Briere, especially on the power play as they don’t have that other player aside from Claude Giroux who can slow the play down and let things develop. They are really rushing things right now and the Flyers are 1 for 15 on the power play through three games and just 65.2% on the penalty kill. Special teams has been a big issue and the goals are eventually going to come for this group but even watching them in Saturday’s game against Pittsburgh, they get caught way to much with three forwards deep. With the way Ilya Bryzgalov is playing, that’s a recipe for disaster.
If things continue to go south for Laviolette, could Laviolette find himself on the hot seat? Unlikely as management really believes in him and this team is built for his style, but in the NHL you never say never.
The one situation I’m interested to watch is in New York if the Rangers start out of the gates slow in the first 15 to 20 games. Could John Tortorella eventually become a coach the Rangers brass feel the players have tuned out and go the Penguins route they did with Michel Therrien in 2009 in that while he got this group to one point, he isn’t the right guy to get them to the next step (winning Stanley Cup). Tortorella is a highly regarded coach and right now his seat isn’t warm but coaches like him have an expiration date.
Chicago (3-0), Pittsburgh (2-0), Anaheim (2-0), Buffalo (2-0), Boston (2-0), Ottawa (2-0), New Jersey (2-0) are among seven teams unbeaten to start the year and the eighth team to join that list is going to be San Jose as they lead Edmonton 6-2 at the end of the second period.
In the West, Chicago looks great with all of their top end talent clicking, Anaheim is averaging 6 goals per game through two games with the Ducks under Bruce Boudreau looking like the Capitals did under him pre 2010-2011 season, while in the East, New Jersey (1 GA), Ottawa (1 GA), Buffalo (3 GA), and Boston (2 GA) have been getting great goaltending to start the year.
THERRIEN GETS FIRST WIN; TROUBLE IN CAROLINA, WASHINGTON
Michel Therrien earned his 78th career win as Montreal Canadiens coach and first during his second stint with the Habs. The Canadiens who looked extremely flat in Saturday’s season opener loss to Toronto, got two goals from Andrei Markov, en route to a 4-1 win over the Florida Panthers who fall to 1-2 on the season…….Trouble in Carolina as the Canes lost to Tampa Bay 4-1 on home ice. Carolina regarded by many as a breakout team in 2013, fall to 0-2. Jordan Staal had an assist in the loss. The Canes have just 2 goals, giving up 9 in two games. They have some work to do in their own end……In Washington, the Capitals are off to an 0-2 start, losing at home to Winnipeg, 4-2.