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.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009


Just when you thought you've seen it all in sports comes this wacky possibility - The Flyers' next game might be rained out.

Yep, the National Weather Service is calling for a "weather Event" of sizable proportions to roll into New England late tomorrow night and into Friday and Saturday that could postpone the Winter Classic slated for Fenway Park.

The league has plans in place to deal with these issues, but for now the Flyers' brass is still feeling confident the game is going to go on as planned.

"The Boston guys are telling me it looks like there'll be a window to get the game in," said Flyers' President Peter Luukko. "I'm from New England, and you can never predict the weather up there, so who knows, but I think they'll see what the forecast is that morning and make the decision then."

I think Luukko was simply regurgitating league-fed info - it is a league-run event after all - and the likelyhood of the game being a wash out Friday is greater than you might think.

We'll know more tomorrow, but I'm betting on a final decision on New Year's breakfast.


Interesting stats from the Flyers 6-0 win:

- Mike Richards was plus-4 while Brandon Dubinsky was minus-4.

"Tonight is not a night for me to talk about how the team played. I'm one of the go-to guys here, one of the guys the team relies on and a performance like that is unacceptable," Dubinsky said. "It was probably my worst game as a New York Ranger."

- Scott Hartnell played just 9:58, a team low for the Flyers.

Not sure if this was injury-related, discipline related, or rest-related with the Flyers having a comfortable lead, but I'll certainly look into it tomorrow.

- Blair Betts won 69 percent of his faceoffs against his former team. Most of his wins came against Rangers captain Chris Drury.

Betts is proving to be an integral part of the Flyers roster. He's their best faceoff guy, he's their best penalty-killer, He's a quality checking line center, in short, he's been a strong offseason addition.

Three Stars

I voted for Gagne, Briere and Carter and that's exactly how they played out. They were really good offensively.


Finally, I think Michael Leighton deserves a shot at the start in the Winter Classic.

In his four starts he's 4-0 with a 1.48 GAA and .952 save percentage. That's stellar.

Sunday, December 27, 2009


Danny Briere should have had his second goal of the game.

Instead, it was waved off by replay which insisted there was a distinct kicking motion by Briere after his initial shot hit the post and caromed back out.

Briere wasn't even looking at the puck when the supposed kicking motion happened, was being checked from behind and was in mid celebration.

But, somehow, much like the single-bullet theory, the geniuses in the Toronto war room where video replay decisions are made, determined Briere was adroit enough to still knowingly kick the puck into the net.

Horrible call.

If the Isles come back and tie, or win this one, part of the blame is going on the league for employing dunces in such important official positions.


Scott Hartnell gets a lot of criticism for the lunk-headed decisions he makes. Whether it's taking a bad penalty or making a dumb pass.

Usually, it's deserved.

But, he often doesn't get credit for the fine plays he makes, and Jeff Carter's goal was one of those.

Hartnell led a 2-on-1 break out of the zone and made a smart pass to Carter for the goal. He waited for defenseman Brendan Witt to go down to block it, dragged the puck behind him and was able to make the pass across to Carter after Witt slid past.

Marty Biron, who is in goal for the Isles, should have made the save, but Carter found his usual weak spot - under his glove arm - for his 14th goal of the season.

2-1 Flyers after two... but I'm still not overly impressed.


Forme Flyer (and all-around good guy) Jon Sim just tied the score for the Isles, but it looked like a high stick to me.

Not Sim's goal - which was clean, but the assist credited to Mark Streit.

That puck was above Chris Pronger's shoulders - and those are some pretty tall shoulders - and Streit swatted it down from their with his stick.

Sim beat Matt Carle to a spot and just like that, the game's tied.


On a side note, I'm tired of people proposing to fiancee's at sporting events. It's not cool, and it's the guy's way of assuring she'll say yes, because it's in front of thousands of other people and she doesn't want to look bad.

I wish someone could track the stat of how long those in-arena proposal marriages last. I'd bet the divorce rate is even higher there than more traditional propsals - like the guy who puts the proposal on a piece of paper inside a fortune cookie.


Danny Briere staked the Flyers to their third straight 1-0 lead when he beat Marty Biron with a shot to the top shelf short side.

Briere was in the right place at the right time to gather a puck lost by line mate Jeff Carter as Carter was attempting to dodge a check.

It was Briere's 13th tally of the season.

But, despite the early lead the Flyers have not looked great.

Michael Leighton has been lucky, with one shot beating him to the five-hole but trickling wide, while his teammates still are turning the puck over waaaay too much in their own zone - Danny Syvret and Scott Hartnell with a couple especially awful blind passes that could have led to goals.

Even if the Flyers win this one, no one should consider them completely out of their funk. They are still playing down to the level of their competition - Tampa Bay, Carolina and the Islanders are by no means a measuring stick.


Peter Laviolette chose Michael Leighton over Brian Boucher to start this afternoon's game with the New York Islanders.

Boucher has not played since last Monday when he suffered a laceration on a finger on his glove hand, meaning Michael Leighton made his third straight start in goal.

Leighton has been O.K. for the Flyers, winning his last two starts.

Laviolette's ideology was that Boucher has not had a chance to practice and since the team had some travel problems getting into New York from Raleigh, N.C., their morning practice was canceled.

Boucher will likely be back in net Wednesday for the Flyers' next game in New York City against the Rangers.


Ryan Parent missed his second straight game with a vague back injury. Danny Syvret was recalled from the Adirondack Phantoms of the AHL to take his spot in the lineup.

Mika Pyorala was a healthy scratch along with Riley Cote.