Kubina set to make Flyers' debut against Jets
Monday, 02.20.2012 / 3:02 PM
Adam Kimelman - NHL.com Deputy Managing EditorFLYERS (32-19-7) at JETS (29-26-6)
: CSN-PH, TSN-JETS
: Philadelphia 3-5-2; Winnipeg 6-4-0.
: The Jets have a chance to sweep the four-game season series Tuesday. In their most recent meeting, Bryan Little
scored the only goal of the shootout as Winnipeg won 2-1 in Philadelphia.
: With five wins in their last seven games, can they keep the heat on the Capitals and Panthers in the playoff race? Or can the Flyers get back on track after a rough loss to the Penguins on Saturday?
: Pavel Kubina
didn't have a lot of interest in leaving Tampa Bay, but when he learned the destination would be Philadelphia, he decided a move north in both geography and the standings was OK with him.
"I got drafted by Tampa Bay and I won a Stanley Cup over there (2004), so that team is always going to be special for me," he told reporters Monday, following his first practice with the Flyers. "But when I had the phone call and I heard that this team wants me, I heard that this was a great organization. This team has always been one of the top teams in the League. I'm 34 years old and it's a great opportunity to play for a team like that."
Kubina was paired with Matt Carle
at Monday's practice, and likely will start there for Tuesday's game in Winnipeg.
Coach Peter Laviolette liked what he saw Monday.
"He's a big, hulking type guy that provides a presence back there," he said. "He plays with a little bit of an edge. He's got a big shot on the back end, a right-handed shot. That's something different to our back unit. We don't have any right-handed defenseman back there."
: It may be cold in Winnipeg, but the Jets are getting hot at just the right time.
Sunday's 5-1 win against the Colorado Avalanche was the Jets' third straight and moved them ahead of the Washington Capitals for second place in the Southeast Division and ninth place in the Eastern Conference.
"We're right on the bubble here of making the playoffs," forward Blake Wheeler
told the Winnipeg Sun. "For this organization to be right in the mix with (21) games left is a huge stepping stone.
"I've had some experience with these playoff runs and having to kind of battle to the very end to get in and I'm telling you, if you end up getting in the tournament, playing in these close games like we are right now, and you're having success in them, anything can happen. That's the goal right now."
Helping the Jets will be a schedule that sees them play 12 of their final 21 games at MTS Centre, where they're 18-9-2.
: Wheeler's strong play has been a big reason for the Jets' recent success. He had four assists in Sunday's win and in his last seven games has one goal and 10 assists. … Flyers forward Jaromir Jagr
had one goal in 16 games before scoring twice in 18 seconds in Saturday's game against the Pittsburgh Penguins.
: Flyers forwards Claude Giroux
and Jakub Voracek
left practice early Monday, but both are expected to play Tuesday. … Jets defenseman Zach Bogosian
is questionable with a foot injury.
: After combining for 17 goals in their first meetings, the Flyers and Jets have scored a total of 13 goals in their last two meetings.
: The road has been a good place to the Flyers this season, and their hoping a road that starts Tuesday in Winnipeg is just what they need.
They're 2-5-1 in their last eight games, with six of those games at home.
"Hopefully this road trip comes at the right time, we get to bond a little bit," forward Danny Briere
told CSNPhilly.com. "For some reason we play really well on the road, so hopefully we can continue that trend."
The Flyers are second in the East with 18 road wins; they're just 14-10-5 at home.
The trip, which includes stops in Edmonton, Calgary and San Jose before they return home March 1, also will be a chance for recently acquired defensemen Kubina and Nicklas Grossman
to get to know their new teammates.
"It could (help), because players spend more time together on the road," Laviolette told CSNPhilly.com. "They go to dinner, they hang out, they go to breakfast together. So there's no question that they spend more time together."