Philadelphia Flyers news and stories from around the web…
December 8 Camden Courier-Post:
“Back when he was averaging more than a point a game at St. Cloud State, the knock on Andreas Nodl was that he could score goals but wasn’t very good at preventing them.
When he turned pro after his sophomore year, it was drilled into Nodl that if he hoped to play in the NHL he needed to commit himself to playing just as strong in his defensive zone as he did in the offensive zone.
To his credit, Nodl worked hard to become defensively responsible, but scored just one goal in his first 48 NHL games and earned the nickname “No Goal.”
Today, the 23-year-old native of Vienna, Austria, seems to have found the perfect balance. In 19 games with the Flyers this season he has seven goals — two more than New Jersey’s Ilya Kovalchuk — and is a plus-10. He also leads all NHL players with a shooting percentage of 22.6.
“We all know last year how many games he played and he was not able to score,” Flyers center Danny Briere said. “But the one thing he had was the respect of his teammates because of how hard he works. When we practice our power play, he always seems to be in the way. We’re all happy to see him showing his scoring touch.”
As a result, Nodl has found a permanent home in the Flyers‘ lineup and has become a fixture on a line with center Mike Richards and left wing James van Riemsdyk.
“It’s no secret I struggled my first couple years (as a pro),” Nodl said Tuesday as the Flyers prepared for tonight’s visit from the San Jose Sharks. “There’s some doubt in your mind if you can play here. If you want to score goals in this league you’ve got to go to the crease. Eighty percent of the goals in this league are rebounds or stuffing something in, and that’s where I get most of my goals.”
December 8 Philadelphia Daily News:
“DANNY BRIERE did not hesitate.
He cannot remember the last time life was this good. Even though he has missed three games due to suspension, Briere leads the Flyers with 14 goals, he is completely healthy, and – for the first time in a long time – everything is falling into place off the ice.
For the last 2 years, Briere struggled with a divorce that he admits sometimes affected his play. But the Flyers‘ highest-paid player – and at times, most lethal weapon – says that’s behind him.
“There were a lot of things going on that probably didn’t go the way I wanted to,” Briere said in a candid November interview. “Right now, my life is a lot easier. The last few years have been tough, with a lot of energy wasted away from the rink. Now, I can focus that energy on my time at the rink and my kids. It’s positive energy. All the negative energy is out of my system.”
It has shown on the ice, where Briere’s 14 goals have him on an early track to hit the 40-goal plateau for the first time in his 12-year NHL career. Quietly, Briere entered last night tied for fifth in the NHL in goals.
And his goals have come at clutch times: the first-ever goal scored at Pittsburgh’s new Consol Energy Center on opening night, at least three in an attempt to spark comebacks in games in which the Flyers were down, and two game-winners last weekend in wins over the Islanders and Devils.
He looks like the same Briere who tallied 12 goals and 18 assists in 23 playoff games last year. It took him 37 games last regular season to post the 30 points he did in 23 playoff games.
December 8 Philadelphia Inquirer:
“Two of the NHL’s top candidates for rookie of the year – Flyers goalie Sergei Bobrovsky and San Jose center Logan Couture – figure to oppose each other when their teams meet Wednesday at the Wells Fargo Center.
Flyers coach Peter Laviolette, as is his custom, said on Tuesday he would not announce his starting goalie until game day. But Bobrovsky, 22, who is among the league leaders in wins (14, third in the league), goals-against average (2.21, seventh), and save percentage (.925, seventh), is expected to get the call.
San Jose (13-9-4) is coming off Monday’s impressive 5-2 win in Detroit, a game in which Couture scored his 11th and 12th goals. The 21-year-old Couture, selected ninth overall in the 2007 draft, leads NHL rookies in goals, face-off percentage (53.3), and game-winning goals (4).
As for Bobrovsky, he could become the first Flyer to win the Calder Trophy, awarded to the league’s best rookie.”
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