NHL News & Notes: Jagr reportedly to test FA, Jackman resigns with Blues


Some afternoon NHL tidbits: — Another coveted free agent won’t be hitting the open market. Defenseman Barrett Jackman has resigned with the St. Louis Blues, agreeing to a three year, $9.5 million deal. Jackman was fully expected to attract interest and probably left some money on the table. Jackman was a +20 last season in 81 games played and has played his entire career in St. Louis. — The sense inside the Flyers organization since their second round ouster is that Jaromir Jagr will test free agency, and that appears to be the plan, Darren Dreger of TSN reports. According to Dreger, Jagr also intends to alter his off-season training to get faster and lose some weight. Jagr is coming off a 19 goal, 54 point season in 73 games played. Jagr loved his time in Philadelphia but was not happy with his diminished role late in the season whereRead More »

Morning Pens/NHL Buzz: On Devils ousting Flyers in 5; Bylsma’s job security considered strong but…


MORNING NHL BUZZ There was a feeling around the league (more so pointed at the favorite Penguins at the time) prior to the Flyers – Penguins first round matchup that the winner of the series would be so emotionally drained that they would be due for a big let down in round 2 from a mental standpoint. Did it just happen to the Flyers who dismantled the Penguins in six games last month that now seems so long ago? The New Jersey Devils have ousted the Philadelphia Flyers in stunning fashion, eliminating the Flyers in five games in the second round of the Eastern Conference Semifinals after a 3-1 Game 5 victory Tuesday night on the Flyers home ice. After Philadelphia got on the board first on a goal from Max Talbot, the Devils completely dominated play and following an Ilya Bryzgalov gaffe on David Clarkson’s first period goal, Philadelphia was never inRead More »

Latest NHL Buzz: On Devils – Flyers; Kings Cup Favorite? & Latest rumors on Carle, Jagr, Luongo & Staal


DEVILS LEAD FLYERS 2-1 Alexei  Ponikarovsky and the New Jersey Devils have the favorite Philadelphia Flyers in a 2-1 hole. Ponikarovsky scored the OT winner putting home his own rebound on a 2-on-1 rush giving New Jersey a 4-3 OT win on Thursday night and a 2-1 series lead. Ilya Kovalchuk reportedly playing with a herniated disk in his back, had a goal and two assists in his return to the lineup and set up Ponikarovsky’s tally with 2:39 left in overtime as Kovalchuk caught the Flyers on a horrible change. Kovalchuk was exceptional in the game dictating the play, as was Zach Parise who was a force in the offensive zone. The storyline for the Flyers in the loss was their struggling power play that failed to convert two golden power play chances in overtime. The Devils who struggled in Game 1 on the PK and gave up aRead More »

Pens – Flyers Post-Series Fallout: On Failed expectations, Staal’s future & more


POST-SERIES FALLOUT: 5 THOUGHTS 1 EXPECTATIONS – When a team regarded as a Cup favorite by ownership is eliminated in the first round and hasn’t advanced past the second round since 2009, it’s going to lead to a rumor filled summer, but it’s way, way too early to predict whether the Penguins might look to make a major shakup. “Expectations for our team is high, and no matter what your season looks like, the expectation was very high with this group and getting Sidney back with 14 games and to have a full compliment with players, with what this group has done, could have even set the expectations higher, ” head coach Dan Bylsma said. “There’s not a lot of words to describe this group, expectations, and what we thought with this compliment of players, ” he said What I’d expect from Penguin management is a long evaluation process and they have toRead More »

Game 4 Fallout: As series shifts back to Pittsburgh, focus is back on the goaltending for both teams


GAME 4 FALLOUT “Embarrassed” had been a common word surrounding the Penguins through the first three games of the series. Following Game 4, it was a word coming out of the Flyers locker room following the Penguins 10-3 rout on the Flyers home ice to force a Game 5. “Lost 10-3 in front of our fans and obviously we’re embarrassed, ” Flyers center Claude Giroux said afterwards. “ Our fans didn’t deserve that and I’ll tell you one thing, it’s not going to happen again!”. “It is embarrassing, Flyers defenseman Kimmo Timonen said. For the Flyers though when you’re up 3-0, you can have a let down game. “Yeah we gave them a little life but at the same time we’re still up 3-1 and we’re aware of that and we just need to shut the door down in Pittsburgh and we’ve been successful in Pittsburgh, ” Giroux said. SidneyRead More »

Pens – Flyers: Entering pivotal Game 3, Pens clearly have a “mindset problem”


GAME 3 Buzz On the brink of falling down 0-3, we’ll find out a lot about the Pittsburgh Penguins hockey club this afternoon when the puck drops at 3:08 p.m. [instory] For the past couple weeks, even after wins, a common theme coming out of the Penguins locker room has been frustrations among key players about the Penguins looking to “out-score teams than out-defend”. All the frustrations from players though, has just been lip service as it’s defensive breakdown after defensive breakdown for the Penguins with the same issues being there on a nightly basis. The Penguins are giving up 4.2 goals against in their last nine games, and some of it’s personnel but the big issue according to at least one scout I spoke with this weekend is the Penguins “mindset”. “They clearly have a mindset problem, ” an NHL source said. “It’s in their identity to push the play in transitionRead More »

Post-Game Reactions: Flyers give Pens a lesson on how to play with a lead


POST-GAME REACTIONS *Analysis and Locker Room Reactions from Bylsma, Crosby, Staal, Lovejoy, Adams, Malkin, Jagr, Couturier, Giroux & Laviolette* PITTSBURGH — The Philadelphia Flyers were able to do something the Penguins haven’t been able to do through two games; close out a game when holding a lead. After Jaromir Jagr put the Flyers up 6-5 with 10:47 remaining in the game, the Flyers locked down defensively, making things difficult on the Penguins to mount a comeback and force overtime. “They stacked three across the blueline there real effectively and made it tough to get through with the puck, ” head coach Dan Bylsma said. “They trap well, ” center Jordan Staal said. “we had tough time getting through neutral zone, and around the net they did a good job boxing us out, ” he said. Frustrations once again were in the Penguins locker room regarding the failure to play withRead More »

Philadelphia 8 – Pittsburgh 5: Flyers take commanding 2-0 series lead putting on offensive display


Philadelphia 8 – Pittsburgh 5 Claude Giroux and Sean Couturier each scored three goals and Jaromir Jagr netted the game winning goal as the Philadelphia Flyers defeated the Pittsburgh Penguins 8-5 in Game 2 on Friday night in the Eastern Conference Quarterfinal to take a commanding 2-0 series lead. [instory] Looking to play a track meet, the Penguins once again had no answers for the Flyers defensively in the 8-5 defeat and couldn’t hold a lead. Couturier who came into the series with resonsibility of shutting down Evgeni Malkin, had a breakout game offensively with 3 goals and an assist but the star of the night was Claude Giroux with 3 goals and 3 assists in the victory. The Penguins got off to a quick start as Sidney Crosby scored 15 seconds into the game and Chris Kunitz added a power play at 9:27 of the first period, giving Pittsburgh a 2-0Read More »

Pens – Flyers Game Day Report: Bylsma concerned with Flyers getting pucks behind Pens D; Crosby says he’s “more comfortable” down low on power play


GAME DAY BUZZ Not a whole lot going on for the Penguins this morning who held an optional skate and only 9 skaters and goaltenders Marc Andre Fleury, Brent Johnson participated. Among those not to skate included the likes of Evgeni Malkin, Sidney Crosby, Jordan Staal, Brooks Orpik, Paul Martin, James Neal, Zbynek Michalek, Steve Sullivan, Matt Cooke, Pascal Dupuis, Kris Letang. Some Pre-Game Buzz: — Defenseman Matt Niskanen had a scheduled day off and won’t be an option to return to the lineup, still hindered by a shoulder injury. In playoff mode, Bylsma called his lineup “game time” but the sense around the arena tonight is that we might see a change on the 4th line. — What came out of Bylsma’s media session today is a big area of focus tonight is limiting the Flyers ability to get pucks behind the Penguins D. After reviewing the tape, BylsmaRead More »

Pens – Flyers Game 1 Fallout: Breaking down what went wrong for Penguins & their early dominance in 1st period


  PENS – FLYERS FALLOUT What Went Wrong: Breaking down Penguins 4-3 Overtime Loss In Game 1 One reason I haven’t been ready to jump on the Penguins bandwagon in recent days and proclaim them as heavy favorites to win the Eastern Conference and even the Stanley Cup like many NHL pundits have, has been because of their defensive issues and Marc Andre Fleury’s inconsistent play in the post-season since 2010 where he’s 10-11 in his last 21 playoff games with an .891 save percentage. After game 1, I’m still not sold on both. [instory] What has plagued the Penguins for a while now is poor puck management in the neutral zone, struggles to defend the cycle and losing players in space in the defensive zone. They all showed up Wednesday night. Opposition Getting Behind Penguins: The first issue to attack for the Penguins is how susceptible they are toRead More »