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Posted On Tuesday, 11.01.2011 / 1:12 PM

By Adam Kimelman -  NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor /NHL.com - At the Rink blog

Briere, Read out for Flyers

The Philadelphia Flyers today called up forwards Ben Holmstrom and Harry Zolnierczyk from AHL Adirondack, and they'll play Wednesday in place of forwards Danny Briere and Matt Read, who are out with upper-body injuries.

Briere sat out Saturday's game against Carolina, and while he definitely won't play tomorrow against the Sabres, there's a chance he could play Thursday against the Devils. Read won't play again until Saturday's game against Columbus, at the earliest.

Holmstrom, a 24-year-old center, was scoreless in two games with the Flyers last season. He had 4 assists and a minus-3 rating in eight AHL games.

Zolnierczyk, a 24-year-old left wing, had a goal in his first NHL game, Oct. 18 against Ottawa. In 10 AHL games, he has 5 goals and 4 assists.

The Flyers also sent defenseman Matt Walker to the AHL. Walker had been waived Oct. 4 but after clearing waivers never was sent down. He was scoreless in three games, with a minus-2 rating and 16 penalty minutes.

Flyers General Manager Paul Holmgren also said the plan for tomorrow was to have defenseman Chris Pronger skate by himself, the first time he'll be on the ice since suffering an injury to his right eye Oct. 24. Holmgren had said the night of the injury that the hope was Pronger could return to skating within 7-10 days and rejoin the team within 2-3 weeks.

Contact Adam Kimelman at akimelman@nhl.com. Follow him on Twitter: @NHLAdamK

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Posted On Monday, 10.31.2011 / 3:47 PM

By Adam Kimelman -  NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor /NHL.com - At the Rink blog

Flyers limiting Bryzgalov's media access

Few players are more entertaining for the media to cover than Philadelphia Flyers goaltender Ilya Bryzgalov, but that fun is going to be curtailed a bit.

The Flyers today announced a new policy limiting the goaltender's media availability. As of now, Bryzgalov will speak on off-days, but not on days before a game or the day of a game. He will, however, talk after all games.

Flyers goalie coach Jeff Reese had told reporters Friday that he felt Bryzgalov's recent struggles -- prior to Saturday's win against the Hurricanes, he had lost four straight, allowing at least four goals in each game -- were due in part to distractions that included his daily interactions with the media.

The new policy went into effect today, so while Bryzgalov did not speak to reporters today -- the original version of the policy said Bryzgalov would talk only after games he played in and at no other time -- the next time Bryzgalov will meet with the media will be Wednesday night, if he plays in Buffalo.

Contact Adam Kimelman at akimelman@nhl.com. Follow him on Twitter: @NHLAdamK
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Posted On Thursday, 10.27.2011 / 7:09 PM

By Adam Kimelman -  NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor /NHL.com - At the Rink blog

Fehr skating again with teammates

PHILADELPHIA -- Eric Fehr skated for the third straight day with his Winnipeg teammates, but the big forward is far from ready to play this season. While he can skate and shoot, he's not quite ready to start taking contact yet.

While he'd like to be out there, Fehr said he just hopes to keep making progress.

"You have your good days and your bad days," he said. "As long as you have a couple good days in a row it's positive. I'm hoping just to continue with that. Not have any steps back."

On a team lacking for offense -- the Jets entered the game tied for 22nd in goals -- adding another scorer would be a good thing.

Fehr said his conditioning is in a good place, he just has to keep building up the strength in his shoulder.

"Conditioning-wise I feel great," said Fehr. "I've been working with the trainer for the last month and a bit. It feels strong, but the shoulder needs to come back around a little bit more before I get back into action.

"I'm shooting and everything but by the end of practice my shoulder gets fatigued, and that's something you can't have if you're in a game situation. I think the basics are there, you just have to build on it."

Contact Adam Kimelman at akimelman@nhl.com. Follow him on Twitter: @NHLAdamK
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Posted On Thursday, 10.27.2011 / 6:55 PM

By Adam Kimelman -  NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor /NHL.com - At the Rink blog

Bobrovsky in net for Flyers

PHILADELPHIA -- Philadelphia coach Peter Laviolette said because the team played last night in Montreal, he was planning all along to use Sergei Bobrovsky in net tonight, and that the decision had nothing to do with how Ilya Bryzgalov played.

"We looked at the schedule and this was an opportunity to get him some time," said Laviolette.

Bryzgalov has three straight poor starts, allowing four goals in each, including five last night against the Canadiens. However, Laviolette wasn't ready to pin the blame on his netminder.

"We've got to do a much better job of playing in front of him than we did the last three," said Laviolette. "Far too careless with the puck. We need to tighten it up."

When asked if he thought Bryzgalov looked "comfortable" with the defense in front of him -- a defense missing it's leader, Chris Pronger -- Laviolette said, "I think if we tighten things up in front of him I  think he'd have a little more comfort. We turned it over, there's too many odd-man rushes coming back the other way, too many times we're chasing things down."

Laviolette said because last night's game was so disappointing, he's actually happy to have another game tonight.

"It's a good thing," he said. "We can get right back at it and go play a game and try to fix some of the things we need to do better. That's a good thing."

Contact Adam Kimelman at akimelman@nhl.com. Follow him on Twitter: @NHLAdamK
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Posted On Thursday, 10.27.2011 / 6:42 PM

By Adam Kimelman -  NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor /NHL.com - At the Rink blog

Couturier staying with Flyers

PHILADELPHIA -- No one told Sean Couturier not to come to the game tonight, so the rookie forward did the same thing he's done for the first nine games of his initial NHL season -- show up for work.

"I sort of figured it out," he said prior to the game. "I haven't talked to anyone. I'm doing what I have to do."

What he's done so far has been pretty impressive. The 18-year-old center has 2 goals and 2 assists in nine games, but also leads the team with a plus-4 rating, and his average of 4:06 per game shorthanded is third among all NHL forwards.

"He's been really good," said coach Peter Laviolette. "He's been solid. Defensively he's been responsible, offensively he's given us what we've asked for. I think we put him in a lot of situations where he's handled it and done a good job."

Couturier was unsure of what to expect when he arrived for training camp, but figured if he worked hard, he'd be able to find a spot.

"I've always taken price in taking care of little details," he said. "The coach has confidence in me and it's fun to see. I'm just doing whatever I can to help the team. … I've just been doing my little thing and trying to work hard and get better every day and do what I can to stay here."

Couturier said while he knew tonight was his 10th game, it's not something he spent time worrying about.

"I knew there was a 10-game rule," he said. "I never really thought too much about it. I tried to take it one game at a time, one day at a time and see where it brings me."

Where it's brought him is to the NHL on a full-time basis, and as a key contributor on a team with Stanley Cup hopes.

Danny Briere, who has invited Couturier to live with him and his three sons this season, said there's no chance he could have played in the NHL as an 18-year-old coming out of junior hockey.

"You don't see guys with his maturity at such an early age usually," Briere told NHL.com. "His defensive game, his positioning -- he's always in a good position, and it's impressive. When you're a coach, there's no worries to send him on the ice. You're safe when he's on the ice. He's definitely ahead of the curve in that department."

Contact Adam Kimelman at akimelman@nhl.com. Follow him on Twitter: @NHLAdamK
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Posted On Thursday, 10.27.2011 / 2:45 PM

By Adam Kimelman -  NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor /NHL.com - At the Rink blog

Burmistrov a year older, a year much better

PHILADELPHIA -- Eight games into last season, Jets forward Alexander Burmistrov was an 18-year-old rookie still looking for his first NHL point. Eight games into this season, he's the team's leading scorer with 7 points, including at least a point in five straight games.

"He's been one of our best forwards," said Jets captain Andrew Ladd. "He's such a dynamic player. The way he handles the puck, his speed, he creates so much. He's been great for us so far. He's been put in a lot of different situations, he's penalty killing, getting a lot of ice time. He's taken that next step."

"I think it's just maturity," added coach Claude Noel. "He's been one of our better players. He has real good chemistry with (Nik) Antropov. He just looks patient on the ice, he looks like he has the puck a lot. I think he feels more confident making plays. He's way more effective with the puck. I think it's just a maturity thing with him. It's what happens when you get a year's experience under your belt."

Burmistrov said the biggest change for him is going not being awestruck by some of the players he would take the ice against.

"Last year I was coming on the ice and watching the stars, these unbelievable players to play against," he told NHL.com. "I just enjoyed playing against them. This year I try to play hard against them. I want to be like them or better than them. I want to beat them on the ice."

Contact Adam Kimelman at akimelman@nhl.com. Follow him on Twitter: @NHLAdamK
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Posted On Thursday, 10.27.2011 / 2:34 PM

By Adam Kimelman -  NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor /NHL.com - At the Rink blog

Kane trying to find way back onto score sheet

PHILADELPHIA -- After scoring 19 goals last season, Evander Kane looked like a player on the rise, a rapidly developing power forward with speed and skill.

This season, however, it's been a bit of a struggle, as he has just 1 goal through his first seven games.

"There's more to the game than scoring," Kane said following yesterday's morning skate. "At the same time, I want to produce. I want to produce consistently, I want to produce nightly."

Jets captain Andrew Ladd said Kane's scoring woes are more endemic of the entire team, rather than one particular player not pulling his load offensively. As a team, the Jets are tied for 22nd with just 17 goals.

"There's lots of guys (not scoring)," said Ladd. "I've only scored twice. My line hasn't produced as much as needed. Evander has had a little trouble putting the puck in the net. He's still doing some good things. He's a strong skater, powerful, takes the puck to net."

Coach Claude Noel said the key for Kane, in his third season, still is learning how to best make use of his vast array of talent.

"What we're trying to do is teach him the way we feel is the best and most efficient way for him to play to be an effective player," he said. "For us, he has to play with some physicality and use his speed and drive and get to the net. He does that well."

Getting physical is something the 6-foot-2, 195-pound left wing enjoys -- he's second on the team with 20 hits.

"For myself, I like to be involved physically … in all aspects of the game," said Kane. "When I'm being physical and taking the puck to the net and getting lots of shots, that's one of the big things for my game."

In the Jets' last game, he was shifted onto a line with leading scorer Alexander Burmistrov and center Nik Antropov, and that trio will be together again tonight.

"I think he's been good," said Noel. "He was good with Burmistrov and Antropov, we moved him up there. He's like a lot of guys, trying to get on the board. The last few games he's played with some real physicality and some real energy and has been real good for us."

Contact Adam Kimelman at akimelman@nhl.com. Follow him on Twitter: @NHLAdamK
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Posted On Thursday, 10.27.2011 / 2:09 PM

By Adam Kimelman -  NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor /NHL.com - At the Rink blog

Flyers' Schenn out 4-6 weeks with broken foot

PHILADELPHIA -- The Philadelphia Flyers announcement that rookie forward Brayden Schenn has a broken left foot and will be out of action for 4-6 weeks.

In four games since being recalled from the team's AHL affiliate, the Adirondack Phantoms, Schenn was scoreless with a minus-5 rating and seven shots. He had been playing left wing on a line with center Danny Briere and right wing Wayne Simmonds.

The Flyers have called up forward Zac Rinaldo and defenseman Erik Gustafsson from the AHL to fill out the roster.

Rinaldo started the season with the Flyers and had 1 assist and 28 penalty minutes in five games prior to being sent down when Schenn was called up from the AHL and Jody Shelley finished serving his season-opening five-game suspension. In four AHL games, Rinaldo has a goal and an assist and just 11 penalty minutes.

Gustafsson, who was scoreless in three games with the Flyers last season, has 4 assists in eight AHL gamest this season.

Contact Adam Kimelman at akimelman@nhl.com. Follow him on Twitter: @NHLAdamK
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Posted On Thursday, 10.27.2011 / 2:05 PM

By Adam Kimelman -  NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor /NHL.com - At the Rink blog

Jets hope to start long trip in positive way

PHILADELPHIA -- Tonight marks the first game of the Jets' season-long seven-game, 14-day road trip up and down the East Coast.

Following tonight's game, they'll head south for two games in Florida, and then come back north for four games in six nights against the Islanders, Devils, Rangers and Sabres.

Coach Claude Noel said the key to surviving so long on the road is not to think about how long the total trip is; rather, just focus on the next game.

"For us, you have to focus on the task at hand," he said. "You take one game at a time and go from there. We're not going to deal with the amount of time that we're away. We just deal with one game and try to win the game that's in front of us and go from there."

At 0-3-1 away from MTS Centre this season, picking up a win in a tough building -- even against a team like the Flyers that's coming on having just played on the road the night before -- would be a nice start.

"We understand it's a long (trip)," said team captain Andrew Ladd. "We're going to be playing in some tough buildings. At the same time, it's a good test for us, coming in here tonight and playing one of the top teams in the League and seeing what we have."

As the Atlanta Thrashers last season, they won three of four games against the Flyers, including both games in Philadelphia.

Ladd is hoping past results bode well for tonight's game.

"We played a lot of our best games last year against top teams," he said. "They seemed to bring the best out of us."

Contact Adam Kimelman at akimelman@nhl.com. Follow him on Twitter: @NHLAdamK
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Posted On Thursday, 10.27.2011 / 1:00 PM

By Adam Kimelman -  NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor /NHL.com - At the Rink blog

Potential lineups for Flyers, Jets

PHILADELPHIA -- Coming off last night's 5-1 loss in Montreal, the Philadelphia Flyers opted not to skate today, so there's no real guarantee on what their lineup could look like heading into tonight's game against the Winnipeg Jets. The Jets, meanwhile, will play the first game of their season-long seven-game road trip tonight, and had every player on the ice this morning.

Here is what the Flyers might look like, and what the Jets will look like tonight:

FLYERS
Scott Hartnell - Claude Giroux - Jaromir Jagr
Brayden Schenn - Danny Briere - Wayne Simmonds
James van Riemsdyk - Matt Read - Jakub Voracek
Maxime Talbot - Sean Couturier - Andreas Nodl

Kimmo Timonen - Braydon Coburn
Andrej Meszaros - Andreas Lilja
Matt Carle - Matt Walker

Coach Peter Laviolette was non-committal on his goaltender for tonight, but the guess is Sergei Bobrovsky gets the start, considering Ilya Bryzgalov played last night, in addition to the fact that he's given up at least four goals in three straight games.

The other change in the lineup could be Jody Shelley drawing in on the fourth line in place of Nodl.

JETS
Alexander Burmistrov - Nik Antropov - Evander Kane
Andrew Ladd - Bryan Little - Kyle Wellwood
Kenndal McArdle - Tim Stapleton - Blake Wheeler
Tanner Glass - Jim Slater - Chris Thorburn

Tobias Enstrom - Dustin Byfuglien
Mark Stuart - Zach Bogosian
Johnny Oduya - Randy Jones

Ondrej Pavelec will start in goal, with Chris Mason serving as the backup.

Ben Maxwell will be a healthy scratch, as Slater returns to the lineup after missing Monday's game with an upper-body injury suffered Oct. 22 against Carolina.

Eric Fehr also skated with the team; check back in a bit for more on him and his recovery from offseason shoulder surgery.

For more on tonight's game, check the preview here.

Contact Adam Kimelman at akimelman@nhl.com. Follow him on Twitter: @NHLAdamK

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Quote of the Day

Great players need great players to play with. That's why we'll have a training camp and we'll find who the best two guys are suited to play with Stamkos.

— Tampa Bay Lightning associate coach Rick Bowness on Steven Stamkos' potential linemates for the 2014-15 season