Philadelphia Flyers news and stories from around the web…
October 30 Philadelphia Inquirer:
“Superstar Sidney Crosby and his Pittsburgh Penguins teammates do not like the ice at their spiffy new arena, the Consol Energy Center.
The ice is so choppy that Crosby said he has to “work twice as hard” to skate as fast as he does at the team’s practice rink in suburban Pittsburgh.
The Flyers have complained about it, too. But there were no gripes after they continued to frustrate the Penguins on Friday night.
For the second time in as many games here this season, the Flyers defeated their hated cross-state rivals.
Getting two goals from Claude Giroux (shorthanded and on the power play), along with solid goaltending from rookie Sergei “Bob” Bobrovsky, the Flyers beat the Penguins, 3-2, in a physical, fight-filled matchup.
It marked the first time since 2005-06 that the Flyers had won two in a row in Pittsburgh. Back then, the Pens played at the place they called the Igloo, an arena that was primarily a house of horrors for the Flyers.
Igloo II is more to their liking.
Giroux, who is emerging as one of the league’s elite players, scored his fifth and sixth goals to tie Danny Briere for the team lead – and steer the Flyers (5-4-1) into first place in the Atlantic Division.
“Every game, he seems to get more confidence,” coach Peter Laviolette said. “He’s started to really bust out, it seems. Last year in the playoffs, I think, is where you started to see him [produce] in big games.”
October 30 Philadelphia Daily News:
“If Mike Richards was Batman, Matt Cooke would his Penguin – the antagonistic supervillian, and one of his oldest, most persistent and most elusive enemies.
Richards and Cooke have faced off 21 times since Cooke signed with the Pittsburgh Penguins as a free agent in 2008.
Cooke has talked trash, caused gashes, and even snacked on Arron Asham’s finger once in a scrum last season when Asham was a member of the Flyers.
But Richards and Cooke have never fought. Richards said 2 weeks ago, when the Penguins routed the Flyers, 5-1, at the Wells Fargo Center, that he “chased” Cooke around, but he “wouldn’t have anything to do with” fighting.
Last night, only 6 seconds after the puck dropped, Batman got ahold of the Penguin. And brought him to justice.
Richards and Cooke threw off their helmets in a spirited brawl, followed by Jody Shelley and Deryk Engelland 17 seconds later, popping the cap on one of the most memorable recent matchups in the Flyers-Penguins rivalry. It ended with the Flyers escaping with a 3-2 victory at Consol Energy Center.
“I think the things that were said last game probably just carried over,” Richards said. “I was just trying to get the guys going. It was a big game for us.”
Was it nice for Richards to finally take his anger out on the perpetually slippery Cooke?
October 30 Philadelphia Inquirer:
“Flyers goalie Michael Leighton continues to make progress since undergoing back surgery on Oct. 11, and Saturday he will be on the ice for the first time since the operation.
Leighton traveled to Pittsburgh to be with his father, Terry, as part of the Flyers‘ father-son bonding trip this weekend.
“I’m going on the ice Saturday to skate around and see what I can do,” Leighton said after watching the Flyers‘ morning skate Friday.
Leighton said he was doing “a lot of core workouts, and it’s feeling pretty good. I just have to give it some more time and let it heal up. There’s still a lot of things I can’t do, but the things I can do I’m doing at almost 100 percent. It’s feeling pretty good.”
His original goal was to return in about six weeks after the surgery. That would be Nov. 22 against visiting Montreal.
“It depends on how things go after I get on the ice,” he said. “The doctor said after a certain time, they’ll give me the OK to start doing everything – butterflying (dropping to his knees on low shots), going down. When I start doing that stuff and feeling good, they’ll probably give me the OK to start playing.”
Leighton’s father watched proudly as his son had a breakout year and helped the Flyers get within two wins of the Stanley Cup last season.”
October 30 Pittsburgh Post-Gazette columnist Dave Molinari:
“Those with a really keen eye for detail — OK, anyone with even a faint pulse — probably noticed over the years that the Penguins and Philadelphia Flyers don’t care much for one another.
They surely share some degree of professional respect, because both teams employ some high-quality talent, but there isn’t a whole lot of mutual admiration, and both sides likely would bristle at the suggestion the teams have much in common. But as October winds down, they share at least one trait: Neither has played the way it wants with any sort of regularity this season.
The Penguins’ game Friday against the Flyers at Consol Energy Center was their 11th, and coach Dan Bylsma acknowledged after the game-day skate that the first 10-game segment of 2010-11 did not establish the standards of performance his club wants.
“Generally, I don’t think our team has really carved an identity yet, on how we’re going to play games and how we’re going to win games,” he said.
“We’ve certainly played some really tough games — the Nashville game was a tough game, and we worked really hard, battled hard to get that win in overtime — but we haven’t played a game where we’ve dictated the pace of the play for 60 minutes.”
PhillySportsCentral.com – Philadelphia sports news, rumors, blogs, & message board discussion forums