Tag-Archive for ◊ Philadelphia Flyers ◊

16 Sep 2010 Kovalchuk Trains in Moscow

Here you can watch a video from the Russian news about New Jersey’s Ilya Kovalchuk who is training in Moscow.

The correspondent says Ilya looks as if there wasn’t this loud story on Ilya’s contract. Ilya was in a good mood because he had been right back from his hometown — Tver — and was heading to Miami, Florida to his wife and kids.

In this video you can also see Nikolai Zherdev now of the Philadelphia Flyers, who is training at the same arena.

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05 Jun 2010 Surely You’re Joking. No, and Don’t Call me Shirley!

Chris Pronger

Flyers D-man Chris Pronger works his magic in a room full of lights, cameras and stupid questions.

Not only am I a big supporter of the boys of the junior ranks; but for the last 30+ years I’ve been a fangirl of the big boys too. For the most part, I’ve leaned towards the good guys like Nicklas Lidstrom, Teemu Selanne and of course my beloved Captain Canuck aka Trevor Linden. But once in a while I would go for someone who didn’t fit that mold … he did what he damn well felt like and f*@% you if you don’t like it. For a long time, that was Mark Messier … well until he went to New York and started a reign of terror over my Trevor, but that is another story for another day. The last couple of years, though, someone piqued my interest. Someone whom I never ever thought I’d find interesting — until he became a member of one of my teams. That man is Chris Pronger.

Christopher Robert Pronger has been on the radar for quite some time but as we came more and more into the Internet age; things that you wouldn’t read about other than in local papers or see on ESPN/TSN for 30 seconds would cross the globe (especially for those of us in the Pacific Time Zone). What kept my attention on him was the whole “Pronger wants to be traded” thing that got started in Edmonton after the Oilers lost to the Carolina Hurricanes in 2006. There were all sorts of stories concocted from the actual reason that was given by the man himself which was “personal reasons,” to his getting a local celebrity knocked up; and the one that most of the media ran with, which was that his wife hated life there. I’ve been to Edmonton. Sure, it’s not the mecca that St. Louis is; but it’s not that bad. You just have to like miles and miles of flat land and build your kids’ Halloween costumes around snow suits that look like the little brother in “A Christmas Story.” Other than that, it seems like a very lovely town.

Once the Oilers found a buyer for their disgruntled boy, he went to a place that might possibly be the photo negative of Edmonton and that is Southern California. I wasn’t sure what to think when he was traded to the Ducks. I was happy to have a player of his caliber on my team; but I wasn’t sure what sort of mischief he was going to get himself into. What we found out is that, yeah, he’s really good at what he does but part of what he does is knock people around. He is also kind of an ass sometimes. Sometimes, though, you are willing to accept the “con” of his being an ass, for the “pro” of what else he can bring to the team. Namely, he is a player who is not only skilled at what he does, but he was willing to step into a leadership role, taking over the captaincy of the Ducks while Scottie Nieds made up his mind about retirement.

So I guess what I’m trying to say, and may get rotten fruit thrown at me for saying it, is that Chris Pronger doesn’t owe anything to anyone; and least of all the media. As a professional, he has missed the post season only four times; and one of those was because no one else in the league was working. During those playoff runs, three separate teams in the last five years went to the Stanley Cup Finals, with one winning it all — and the team he’s on this year has a good chance.

And for a very large defenseman, he’s scored a fairly respectable 661 points in a little more than 1,100 games, as well as being a six-time All-Star and owning one of those cute little copies of the Hart and the Norris Trophies. On top of that, he’s helped Team Canada win a World Championship and two Olympic gold medals. What more do you want from the man?

It amuses me reading different blogs and watching various sports shows. It appears that the media, both here and on the northern side of the 49th parallel, expect that since he’s a veteran and a Stanley Cup champion that he’s in the same vein of interview as Sidney Crosby or Johnny Toews. Well, kids, he ain’t. He never has, never will be; and for God’s sake stop having the nerve to look so surprised.

Photo: Chris Pronger from The Associated Press/The Canadian Press, Ryan Remiorz


03 Jun 2010 Pronger’s Head Games — Amusing ‘Little Minds’
Chris Pronger

"Look into my face and know, to look into my face is to look into the face ... of EVIL!" so said comic Kevin McDonald of The Kids in the Hall as Sir Simon Milligan. Does the same go for Chris Pronger?

Oh Chris! Yes, I mean the Chris of the Philadelphia Flyers: Pronger. I have to hand it to him for bringing the controversy to the Stanley Cup Finals. I love that in losing efforts he raced over to snap up the “winning” (er, losing?) puck after both games in Chicago, then claimed he threw them in the trash can “where they belong.” Total asshole thing to do? Maybe. But it’s also a dash of genius in a weird, twisted Dr. Evil kind of way.

Pronger has always known how to poke and prod and push his way onto the “hate” lists of opposing players on the ice. Now, here he goes doing the same thing skating off the ice — and I love it.

I am a firm believer that pretty much any press is good press. If this gets people talking about the NHL — great! If it fired up the Flyers for Game 3 (which they did win in overtime) — also great! If it got under the skin of the Blackhawks and caused them to lose focus — way to go Chris. The mind of an NHL agitator works in mysterious ways.

NHL players say Pronger is one of those guys you loathe — unless he’s on your team. Now he’s making off with pucks and infuriating certain members of the Blackhawks (hello Ben Eager!), going so far as to remark to the media (in regard to Eager’s eager interest in his puck-snatching ways) that “apparently, it got him upset. So I guess it worked, didn’t it? It’s too bad. I guess little things amuse little minds.”

Oh Chris! You are truly evil! With such a remark, you zing not just Eager, but all of us who find your unique brand of gamesmanship so amusing.

(No word yet on who grabbed the Game 3 puck.)

So gamesmanship or disgrace? We want to know what YOU think!

Photo: Chris Pronger by The Associated Press.


29 May 2010 Facing Off on the Stanley Cup, Playoff Beards and More

It’s a Goddess smackdown! Ha ha! Just kidding. But it is that time again. Time for the Hockey Goddesses to make their fearless predictions. Much like we did with our Olympic pick off 1 and 2, read the tea leaves and let you know what we see. We’ll also share our thoughts on some marginally related — but fun — items, like our vote for the “best playoff beard.”

We made our selections before the first game of the Stanley Cup playoffs without consulting one another. So, now that I have kept you in suspense — here are the results! After you read, let us know what you think!

Goddess Face Off

Stanley Cup Winner Conn Smythe Prediction
Amy Blackhawkscheck Michael Leighton Blackhawks in 7
Annalisk Blackhawkscheck Antti Niemi Blackhawks in 6.check
Kaat Blackhawkscheck Antti Niemi Blackhawks in 6.check
Sasha Philadelphia Michael Leighton Flyers in 7.
Savvy Blackhawkscheck Jonathan Toewscheck Blackhawks in 5.

Watercooler Chatter

The Goddesses want to give a special award to Scott Hartnell. We appreciate irreverence. We appreciate the desire to make a bold statement, but none of us seems to appreciate Scott Hartnell’s special brand of wolfishness. (We prefer the Peter Forsberg kind of wolf.)

Scott Hartnell

Scott Hartnell takes the prize -- worst hair, worst beard, biggest beast. Thank you Mr. Hartnell.

Goddess Amy

  • Ugliest player: * I don’t think either team has anyone truly stomach turning in the looks department; but I think that Scott Hartnell has to be the player who best personifies ugly in the way he plays.
  • Prettiest player: Blackhawks- Niklas Hjalmarsson You would think being a Swede would give him a head start; but hi!, you’ve met Daniel Tjärnqvist and the Sedin twins right? Patrick Sharp is a very close second as the brunette contender, but I think Nikky is just lovely.
    Niklas Hjalmarsson

    The Blackhawks' Niklas Hjalmarsson.

  • Disappearing act: I don’t know if there has been one from the Flyers, which is probably one of the reasons they’re in the Finals. On the Hawks though, I have to go with Brian Campbell. He’s being paid a lot of money and, though his regular season was pretty good, in the playoffs his plus/minus is higher than is point total.
  • Best shirtless: I’m sure there are more out there, but I was in a time crunch and I remembered this one. Yeah, he’s a douche sometimes, but he helped my Ducks win a Cup and he’s pretty built too. I give you Chris Pronger (pictured, left, with former NHLer Eric Lindros).

    Chris Pronger

    Chris Pronger, left, and Eric Lindros

  • Best hair: ** It has to be the mullet on Pat Kane. OMG … it’s so bad that it’s fabulous.
  • Best playoff beard: Best playoff beard — I hate him but Scott Hartnell has to win. He also comes second to Pat Kane in the best hair department.
  • Worst playoff beard: It’s gotta be Danny Briere. It’s just only a tiny bit thicker than Sidney Crosby’s but Sid is 10 years younger.
  • Best goalie mask (of those goalies remaining): Cristobal Huet. It’s beautiful with the Native American headdress on it. I do miss Patty Lalime’s mask with his signature Marvin the Martian wearing the headdress though.

Goddess Kaat

  • Ugliest player: * It’s so predictable that I hesitate to select him, but Scott Hartnell, come on down!
  • Prettiest player: * Marian Hossa. When he was traded away, it was like they traded away my best friend and I suddenly had to find a new best friend. I am still looking. He’s pretty when he is playing well. He’s Magical Marian and I hope to see that gorgeous play come out to, well, play. I hope he silences the critics.
  • Disappearing act: I predict one of the two starting goalies goes AWOL. It would be so easy to cherrybomb on Hossa, who is having a rough go.
  • Best shirtless: My selection is the Michael Jordan statue outside the United Center. Someone has placed a Blackhawks jersey and helmet on it and it just ain’t right as we say down South. Jordan deserves to be left in his old Bulls jersey, not dolled up like the famous Manneken Pis in Brussels, Belgium whom they love to dress up in costumes. No, no. MJ deserves the respect of being in his own gear. Therefore, he’s my pick for “best shirtless” — or would be best shirtless. He shouldn’t be in that jersey!
    Blackhawks jersey on Michael Jordan statue outside of the United Center.

    A Blackhawks jersey was placed on the Michael Jordan statue outside of the United Center.

  • Best hair: ** I am kind of loving Marian’s shag. He’s got a nice looking Beatles vibe going and I dig it. Enough of the spiky. He’s going all sleek and silky. Nice! (His beard looks well looked after too. Extra points!)

    Marian Hossa

    Marian Hossa's new 'do.

  • Best playoff beard: Yeesh, that’s a tough one. I am not much of a beard fan in general, but I rather like the beards that haven’t come in all the way or are patchy — you just know that bothers the poor guys. I find it endearing and, dare I say it? Cute. There, I ruined my rep.
  • Worst playoff beard: Chris Pronger. I am baffled by his lack of a beard at all. Come on!
  • Best goalie mask (of those goalies remaining): Cristobal Huet. I really like the feathers and the continuity of a theme. It just looks cool. I know some people will think that makes me uncool and that I am stereotyping or being otherwise rude. Not in the least. I just think it looks awesome. Only great love is intended.

    Cristobal Huet

    Cristobal Huet's beautiful, colorful mask.

Goddess Sasha

  • Ugliest player: *I’m interpreting like I always do. Literally. It is a close race between Scott Hartnall and Ian LaPerriere.
  • Prettiest player: * Niklas Hjalmarsson. Just check him out.
  • Disappearing act: I will predict that Patrick Kane does the disappearing act .
  • Best shirtless: Riley Cote. I’m not sure what is best, but it’s best something.
    Riley Cote

    Riley Cote's sexy chest.

  • Best hair: ** Patrick Sharp always has great hair.

    Patrick Sharp

    Patrick Sharp and his fabulous hair.

  • Best playoff beard: Arron Asham – he looks Asian with his..so much so the third search suggestion when you start to type in your google toolbar is “Arron Asham Asian.”
  • Worst playoff beard: Simon Gagne — Because it’s just ugh.
    Simon Gagne.

    Simon Gagne, left, and Danny Briere were both tagged as having the worst playoff beard.

  • Best goalie mask (of those goalies remaining):Both are very un-inspiring I think.
  • Thoughts: I think Philadelphia will win — a bunch of no names, barely squeaking in and have scratched and clawed their way to the finals.

Goddess Savvy

  • Ugliest player: * Hmmm… Carcillo or Hartnell… Carcillo or Hartnell… oh great. Now I have to go wash my brain out with soap.
  • Prettiest player: * Patrick Kane. I like pretty boys with curly blond mullets. Reminds me of my college days.
    Patrick Kane

    Patrick Kane wears hockey hair nouveau (and a fauxhawk?).

  • Disappearing act: Chris Pronger. Wishful thinking, I know. But I’m hoping somebody does this to him:

  • Best shirtless: [Editor's note: Goddess Savvy is cheating again! Ha ha! -- Admin] The Boston Bruins aren’t in the final. :-( He’s pretty anyway: Matt Hunwick.
    Matt Hunwick

    He's not in the finals, but he still looks good with his shirt off: Matt Hunwick.

  • Best hair: ** Kane, of course.
  • Best playoff beard: Danny Briere, because it’s so… sad. Like a little lost playoff beard.
  • Worst playoff beard: Jonathan Toews, hands down. He looks like he’s molting.
  • Best goalie mask (of those goalies remaining): Tuukka Rask. He’s not remaining? He SHOULD be!
  • Thoughts? Blackhawks in five. (I wonder if Stan Bowman, the Blackhawks GM, will cap off the series win by hoisting the Stanley Cup and saying, “Après moi, le deluge”?)

* Note 1: Prettiest/ugliest player was open to interpretation. It could have meant looks, style or play, however the goddess chose to interpret that question.
* Note 2: There is not a “worst hair” category as it is clear that Scott Hartnell would sweep it.

Photos: Patrick Kane by Getty Images; Matt Hunwick by Stuff Boston; Marian Hossa by The Associated Press; Michael Jordan statue by The Associated Press; Niklas Hjalmarsson from NHL.com; Chris Pronger and Eric Lindros from deadspin.com; Riley Cote from fllyers07-08.blogspot.com; Patrick Sharp by NHL.com.


01 Apr 2010 The Kiss of Death

An April Fool's Day joke came via e-mail to Atlanta Thrashers fans. Cruel.

An April Fool's Day joke came via e-mail to Atlanta Thrashers fans today. Cruel.

April Fools.

That’s the Thrashers.

The Boston Bruins lost tonight. The Philadelphia Flyers lost. Both teams have 82 points. The Thrashers are chasing both of these teams and guess what? They lost too! The Thrashers remain at 80. Going nowhere fast. This isn’t the first time this has happened. The Thrashers have had their chances to climb into eighth place and pass some teams, but they just can’t or won’t (or a combination of both). As a matter of fact, all three teams I mentioned seem not to want to grab those last few playoff spots, but as a Thrasher fan I am so incredibly frustrated. They could have pulled closer — even in points tonight. But no. Of course not. These are my Thrashers. This is April. It’s time to take the pieces of my heart that I’d cobbled together after losing Heatley, Savard, Hossa and Kovalchuk and shatter them to bits.

I partially blame their failure on the fact that today the marketing department sent out information for playoff tickets. Kiss of death.

Playing the Washington Capitals didn’t help either.

As I say every year: “Oh Thrashers!” :-(

Photo/Image: From Atlanta Thrashers marketing e-mail, April 1, 2010.

21 Oct 2009 New from Philly

Check out new Philadelphia Flyers pictures from Goddess Kelles. Onward to the photos!

15 Jul 2009 Hockey in July
There aren’t too many things I like better than hockey during the summertime. Okay, maybe that’s stretching the truth just a little but there aren’t too many things that are as much fun as hockey any time of the the year. Last week I got a chance to attend the Flyers’ prospect camp for the first time. My only regret is that I waited so long.
Since the Flyers season ended in the first round of the playoffs I have been missing hockey — a lot. I’m not sure if I was more excited about seeing some of my favorite players from the Flyers’ AHL affiliate, the Adirondack Phantoms, or to see some of the prospects I read and heard about all last season. And no, I’m not talking about the Flyers’ 1st round, No. 2, overall draft pick from 2007, James van Riemsdyk. If you live in Philly, he’s pretty much all you hear about.

Me? I’m not really impressed. But, what excited me most besides just being there, at the rink and watching hockey, was the chance to see two French-Canadian defenceman and the goalie prospects. I wasn’t disappointed at all.

A few random things that amused me about camp
Listening to the coach

Listening to the coach.

#1 The prospects looked way more dead on Sunday morning than they did on Wednesday. Maybe they had a little bit too much fun in Philly on Saturday night?
#2 On the 2nd to last day of camp the players practice jerseys had changed from boring orange/white/black to a google rainbow!
#3 Things were getting a lot more physical by day 6. Not amusing but fun.

The Old
A little less than half of the guys on the ice played for the Phantoms last year and most of those were forwards. The only Phantom d-man invited to the prospect camp was Mike Ratchuk. The main reason for that is some of the defenceman were free agents. We’ve already lost Nate Guenin. But, it seems like the only d-men that were invited to the first camp were those players who are trying to make the Phantoms or Flyers for the first time. Mike Ratchuk, looked impressive for his style of game he plays. He’s not your shut-down defenseman and isn’t the most physical guy on the ice. But, he’s a great skater, has excellent puck handling ability, and that boy can score! He reminds me a little of Mike Green but less physical. The second day I was there he took a nasty fall during a scrimmage and it looked like he might have been really hurt. He got up on his own and managed to get to the bench on his own. He didn’t come back for awhile but I was relieved to see him back on the ice.
Who will make the team out of camp?

Who will make the team out of camp?

Most of the Phantoms at camp were forwards and most of them looked impressive. JVR was a Phantom for seven games last season so I suppose I should include him here. He scored his team’s only goal in the first scrimmage but overall I was disappointed in his play. I barely noticed him during the scrimmage. He is a great skater, especially for someone his size and he can score but he didn’t stand out as much as some fo the other guys. He just didn’t play hard. The guy who impressed me the most was one of my favourite Phantoms, Pat Maroon. He was easily the best forward on the ice. His skating, which was his only real weakness last season, has improved a lot. He won most of his battles along the boards for the puck, and was great with the puck. Pat scored a goal and had an assist at the first scrimmage. It made me more than a little happy to see Pat get recognition from Paul Holmgren, the Flyers stoic GM. During his interview on the Flyers’ webcast, he said Pat had the best hands at camp.

The one thing I noticed about the different abilities and style of play was for the most part the guys who played a full season with the Phantoms last year played a lot more physical and harder than the younger prospects who were coming from juniors and college. There were a few almost fights between the Phantom players. Aww, come on refs, let them fight at least once? No? Last year I know Matt Clackson got into a few fights with the other “tough” guys. He had at least one with Steve Downie and another with fighter Garrett Klotz. I was really hoping for at least one but the “ref’s” broke them up. Maybe I’ll get lucky during regular camp.

Kevin Marshall skates at Flyers Prospect Camp

Philly defense prospect, Kevin Marshall.

The New

As excited as I was about seeing my favorite Phantoms, I was even more hyped to see our defensive prospects I’ve been hearing so much about. It made me more than a little bit happy that two of my favorites, were the two standouts in camp. I find it interesting that both of them come from the QMJHL. It seems like the QMJHL doesn’t get as much respect as the OHL which doesn’t make a bit of sense to me because some pretty amazing players have come out of that league. But, the Flyers seem to like drafting from that league. I think maybe it’s because they can get some highly skilled players with their usually later picks. Claude Giroux was a steal at 22. His performance in the playoffs is proof of that. And another standout in camp, Kevin Marshall, was drafted in the 2nd round (2007).

The Prospect Camp was my first chance to see Marshall play and just watching him was worth the trip. He’s known as a gritty, stay-at-home defenseman with a mean streak, but at camp he showed some offensive skills too. He scored a goal and blocked several shots during the first scrimmage. He’s not a big guy but more than makes up for it with how hard he plays. Comcast interviewed him for their webcast and Kevin said he worked the entire off-season with Ian LaPerrierre, the tough and gritty forward that the Flyers signed this month. It’s impressive that LaPerrierre would spend his off-season to help a young kid he didn’t really know. But, it’s kind of funny that fate has put them both on the same team. It can only mean great things for Kevin.

Flyers 2009 fifth round draft pick, Nicola Riopel

Flyers' 2009 fifth-round draft pick, Nicola Riopel.

The third stand out at camp was a draft pick from this year, goalie, Nicola Riopel. Yes, I know another French Canadian. Nicola is another interesting story. He wasn’t selected in the draft for the past two year but worked hard and improved each season. I think part of the reason he was skipped over is he was undersized. Reportedly, he had a growth spurt and is listed at 6’0. Last season was the best of his junior career. He set records with a 2.01 GAA and won the QMJHL player of the year. He’s another steal, not drafted until the 5th round. Even though I expected him to be good, he impressed me, maybe even more than the other players. This was Nicola’s first camp and he was best goalie on the ice. Joacim Eriksson, and Michael-Lee Teslak were both at camp last year. Jeremy Duchesne has been at camp the last few years. I only got a chance to see him play in a scrimmage on my first day at camp but he had a shut out. I’m really hoping this kid makes the Phantoms as the backup. With the loss of Scott Munroe, I think his chances are good.

Now comes the hard part. Waiting till September for the real training camp to start and the start of pre-season. I just wish it didn’t seem so far away.

Photos: By Goddess Kelles. Copyright 2009. All Rights Reserved.

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