Blogs > In The Room with Anthony SanFilippo

Daily Times beat writer Anthony J. SanFilippo takes you inside the locker rooms of the Philadelphia Flyers and the rest of the NHL.

Friday, February 27, 2009


It'll be Jared Ross getting the call up to play tonight instead of Danny Briere.

Ross will center the fourth line while Lasse Kukkonen plays his last game for the Flyers on defense.

Kukkonen will be sent down to the Phantoms once Kimmo Timonen is healthy enough to return the lineup from his flu.


Ossi Vaananen was claimd by Vancouver.
Glen Metropolit was claimed by Montreal.

The Flyers now have to use Lasse Kukkonen to replace the sick Kimmo Timonen and Danny Briere can't play because the Flyers can't fit him under the cap.

The Flyers are also short one forward now.

What a miscalculated mess the Flyers are in right now.


The Flyers have said Danny Briere will be a game-time decision for tonight's game against the Canadiens.

In classic Flyers fashion they are dragging this out to the bitter end.

If Briere doesn't go tonight, methinks it has something more to do with a personnel/financial problem than it does his groin.

Believe me when I tell you, Danny wants to play tonight.

The thing is, I don't think he will.

Here's the problem: Kimmo Timonen. Yep he's still sick. He won't play tonight. As a result, the Flyers have to keep either Lasse Kukkonen or Ossi Vaananen on the roster to replace him.

As a result, they can't send three players down to the Phantoms because they would leave themselves a skater short.

So Briere, who wants to play, probably can't because the Flyers have left themselves in an absolute salary cap mess.

I'll keep you posted.

Thursday, February 26, 2009


The Flyers waived both Glen Metropolit and Ossi Vaananen this afternoon in order to make room for the return of Danny Briere tomorrow night.

Both Metropolit and Vaananen make $1 million this season, although Metropolit is signed through next season as well.

If both players go unclaimed, the Flyers will have the ability to send them to the Phantoms of the AHL if need be.

This leaves the Flyers with a few options.

They most likely will send a combination of three of Metropolit, Vaananen, Lasse Kukkonen and Darroll Powe to the Phantoms to clear space for Briere.

Kukkonen makes $875,000, while Powe counts for $450,000 against the cap.

Briere makes $6.5 million and the Flyers need to clear a little more than $2 million to bring him back.

If either Metropolit or Vaananen are claimed off waivers, the Flyers would still get salary cap relief.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009


Heard this one in the press box tonight:

Jim Smith, an AHL official who will be working the Phantoms game Friday night, was boarding a flight with his wife and two small children.

As he was boarding, an airline employee taking their tickets suggested they take a later flight because this one could “get bumpy.”

He declined saying that his luggage was already on this particular flight.

The employee told him the luggage would be there waiting for him if he took the next flight.

He and his wife decided to wait.

The flight he decided not to get on was the one which crashed in Buffalo two weeks ago.

Sometimes you have to wonder why things happen the way they do...

Tuesday, February 24, 2009


To do what the Flyers did tonight in Washington was perhaps their most impressive performance of the season.

Give them an Oscar!

Really, to go into Washington, the toughest arena for a visitor in the East this season, get down two goals and then fight back to win without your best defenseman is a statement-and-a-half.

Kudos to the following for really strong or gutsy performances....

Antero Niittymaki continues to be the better Flyers' goalie. I'm almost at the point where I'm ready to say he should start in the playoffs. I'm not there yet, but I'm getting close.

Joffrey Lupul played through a painful thigh contusion to rejoin his mates on the second line and set up both the game-tying and game-winning goal.

Mike Richards gets better and better each game. He played physically (burying Tom Poti behind the Caps net) and with finesse (making a sweet pass to Claude Giroux for a goal).

Ryan Parent did a tremendous job of shutting down Alex Ovechkin. Sure Ovie scored, but that was because of a Jeff Carter giveaway. Parent wasn't on the ice for that shift either. Good game by the youngster.

Here's some notes and quotes:

This was the first game the Caps have lost in regulation when Ovechkin has scored multiple points (21-1-1).

The Flyers' snapped Washington's 13-game home winning streak against the East.

The Flyers have scored eight third period goals against Washington this season, the most of any Washington opponent.

Scott Hartnell now leads the NHL in minor penalties with 41.

Ossi Vaananen only played 9:20 but was a team-best plus-2 for the Flyers.

Riley Cote had one assist in his first 42 games, he has two in his last four.

Caps' coach Bruce Boudreau on his team not playing with any fight in the third period:

"I don't like the word fight because that implies we quit and we didn't quit... Instead of getting back to the basics and doing the things like coming out together and doing the things that make us successful, everybody wanted to do it themselves and they started cheating. When you start cheating, bad things happen and you start taking selfish and stupid penalties. That's not losing the fight, that's playing stupid."


Kimmo Timonen did not make the trip with the Flyers to Washington, staying home as the latest victim of the flu bug.

This makes at least seven players who have missed time this season with the flu - if my math is correct.

Several others have played through their illness.

Jeff Carter plans to do that tonight. He has been saddled with flu symptoms since Saturday.

Ossi Vaananen will replace Timonen on defense, but probably will play with Andrew Alberts on the third unit while Randy Jones moves up to the top pairing with Ryan Parent.

Expect Braydon Coburn to get most of the assignments - when possible - against Alex Ovechkin.

Thursday, February 19, 2009


Thinking of going to the Olympics next February in Vancouver?

If you are there should be plenty of Flyers' representatives playing for their respective countries.

Based on the current roster, the following players will most likely be playing for a gold medal:

Team Canada:
Mike Richards
Jeff Carter
Simon Gagne
(Braydon Coburn has an outside chance; Danny Briere is a longshot)

Team USA:
Matt Carle
(If the U.S. decides to bring a veteran or two, Mike Knuble will get consideration).

Team Finland:
Kimmo Timonen
Antero Niittymaki
Ossi Vaananen
Lasse Kukkonen

Team Austria:
Andreas Nodl

Team Latvia:
Oskars Bartulis

Team Switzerland:
Luca Sbisa

* NOTE: For the past two weeks I had a nasty virus on my computer that wasn't letting me post anything online. Emailing was not a problem, but on line posts were problematic. My apologies for delays in publishing to this blog. All systems are hopefully go from here through the end o the playoffs.

Thanks for your patience and understanding.

Sunday, February 8, 2009


Back with you guys after being away from the team for most of the past week...

Here's the latest on the goalie controversy that coach John Stevens insists is not a controversy at all....

When asked to talk about the goaltender situation before today's game with the Thrashers, Stevens declined to talk about it.

He said he would save it for conversation later this week.

Sounds like he doesn't want to address the obvious.... Right now, Niittymaki is better suited to get more work than Biron as the Flyers try to accumulate as many points as possible.

We'll see how he plays it, but my prediction is Niittymaki starts three of the next four games, starting with today.

On another note, the Thrashers, in an effort to snap their 13-game losing skid to the Flyers, switched goalies themselves and will start Johan Hedberg against Niittymaki today.

Normal starter Kari Lehtonen has lost all 12 games he's played against Niittymaki dating back to their days in the AHL.

One other item...

Philips Arena is more than half empty nine minutes before game time.

Has the southeastern hockey experiment failed yet?