Flyers likely minus Pronger, Jagr vs. Habs

Briere

The Canadiens are in Philadelphia for a mid-afternoon game against the Flyers, the second meeting of the year between these teams. The Habs downed Philly 5-1 at the Bell Centre on Oct. 29, a big turnaround game: it broke a six game winless streak, starting a four-game win streak, was Carey Price’s 100th win and saw Max Pacioretty — who was not expected to play — score twice, all in their first game after the firing of assistant coach Perry Pearn.

But that was then, this is now and the Flyers are 7-3-2 since that game while the Habs are pretty much in win one-lose one mode at the moment. Philly is fourth in the East with 27 points, four ahead of the Habs and the Canadiens have played one more game.

They’ll face a Flyers team that looks as if it will be without both Jaromir Jargr and Chris Pronger.

The Flyer captain, Pronger also missed that first game vs. Montreal with an eye injury. This time he may be scratched because of a virus, which has kept him out of the last two games. When he’s out, the Flyers are 4-3-1; they are 8-3-2 with Pronger in the lineup. Last season, they won only 16 of their 32 regular-season games without him.

Jagr reinjured his groin in Wednesday’s game vs. the Islanders, a 4-3 OT win for Philly and a game they trailed 3-1. Jagr had injured himself three games earlier and it was his first game back. He believes he wasn’t ready to return and now will miss this game and the Flyers next, against the Rangers on Saturday. The last time Jagr was out of the lineup, against the Jets last Saturday, rookie call up Harry Zolnierczyk took his spot with Claude Giroux and Scott Hartnell and tough guy Jody Shelly dressed to get fourth line duty.

Regardless, the Flyers still have most of their big guns up front firing. Who’s hot for Philly? Briere is averaging a point a game over his last 13. James van Riemsdyk has 12 points in his last 11. Claude Giroux has eight points in his last five. Rookie Matt Read has six points in his last five games — and he’s also the team leader at plus-9 and had a goal in five straight matches until the Islanders game. Hartnell has five points in the last three games; he’s plus-8 on the season. Even some of their depth guys are contributing: Max Talbot has six points in the last eight games.

Who will be in goal for the Flyers? It’s not clear at the moment. After Ilya Bryzgalov stopped only six of nine shots on Long Island, Sergei Bobrovsky came in and got the victory. Danny Briere had two goals in that game. Bryzgalov is 0-3-1 with a 3.75 GAA in lifetime against Montreal. Bobrovsky is 2-1-0 with a 2.68 GAA against the Habs.

As Dave Stubbs tweeted earlier today, the Flyers are most penalized team in NHL (nothing new there), averaging 17.1 minutes per game. The Habs power play is ranked 23rd at 14.1 percent. The Flyers PK is just average, 83.3 percent 13th in the NHL.

The Habs PK continues to be a strength. They are now third in the league at 89.9. Despite all their firepower, the Flyers PP is not overwhelming: 18.6 percent, 12 in the NHL.

Here’s how the Flyers could line up this afternoon:

Scott Hartnell, Claude Giroux, Harry Zolnierczyk
James van Riemsdyk, Danny Briere, Wayne Simmonds
Matt Read, Max Talbot, Jakub Voracek
Jody Shelly, Sean Couturier, Zac Rinaldo

Andrej Meszaros, Matt Carle
Kimmo Timonen, Braydon Coburn
Marc-Andre Bourdon, Andreas Lilja

Sergei Bobrovsky
Ilya Bryzgalov

16 Comments

  1. nova scotia vees says:

    Hey Boone…How about doing a feature on the conditioning program the Canadiens use during the season. I still can’t get over Cammy saying that he did NO off-ice cardio training during the off-season!!
    I feel the team is out of shape.
    Being from Halifax I know what Sidney Crosby does in the off-season as I have even seen him work-out. A whole lot of cardio in his routine both on and off ice.

  2. Neutral says:

    where can I find todays lineup for the Habs

  3. Forum Dog says:

    Habs PP needs to improve. Gotta think it might be time to end the Plekanec-at-the-point experiment. The roster has no shortage of skilled D-men (Subban, Diaz, Weber – good mix of LH an RH shots), and I think even Emelin might surprise if given a chance on the 2nd unit. Not sure if Martin would ever check his ego and make a change, but it sure seems like he is trying force a square peg into a round hole…..not too mention the fact that Pleks is gonna have to transition back when Markov returns….won’t he?….

    • savethepuck says:

      Our PP is now at 14.1% for the season, we are 23rd. It wasn’t that long ago that it was around 8% for the season and we were around 29th. That tells me our PP has improved over the last few weeks and we are probably closer to a respectable 20% over that time. Too many people look at season stats, those are not going to change drastically from game to game. I am seeing improvement in our PP except for a few games that it has looked bad, which is normal.

      “They don’t hang Conference Championship Banners from the rafters here”
      Carey Price

      • Forum Dog says:

        Fair enough, but Montreal’s PP is 6 for 37 during the month of November. That is 16%. 2 of those 6 goals came against the Rangers, who were sleepwalking. So if you eliminate that game (where they went 2-6), they are 4 for 31 (or 13%). I have watched enough to see that they are discombobulated a lot of the time, whether breaking out of their own zone, or breaking into the offensive zone. Plekanec does not look all that comfortable to me, especially when he’s pressured. Nitpicking I guess, but if it ain’t working, try to fix it.

        • sevenman says:

          good point Dog….I’m not necessarily a JM basher, but Plex on the point during the PP should end….also been a proponent of giving Emmelin a little more responsibility and some PP time on the second unit would be a good start.

  4. jerjerbigs44 says:

    That should even things out a little with Markov for Pronger, AK for Jagr. I’m thinking Price shines today and Cammy finally breaks out of his funk. As much as AK gets bashed on here, Cammy is a sissy in the corners and agaisnt the boards and is afraid to take a hit. I would take AK anyday over Cammy. I’d like to see a package deal for Cammy and Gomez to get them out and bring in some cheaper younger talent. I like Cammy but I’ve seen enough.

    • Arrow77 says:

      I’d prefer to keep both if possible. AK is better in the corners but he also plays much better when he’s paired with Eller. Cammalleri fits better on the top line and he’s still the most likely of our wingers to explodes with a bunch of goals. Also, he’s constantly our best player in the playoff.

      I would only put him in a trade package for a potential true #1 center only. Otherwise, it would be hard to find better.

  5. sampson12 says:

    Holy Moses…

    Can I have some help with the pronunciation of ‘Zolnierczyk’.

  6. RGM says:

    Out of the frying pan and into the fire – Blake Comeau picked up off waivers by the Flames.

    ———————–
    GO HABS GO! 2011-12 is our year!
    RGM’s Movember page: http://mobro.co/RGM81

  7. JoeC says:

    Just like playing the Islanders is a guaranteed win?


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