Welcome |Account|Sign Out 
Username or EmailPassword
2014 NHL Draft
Posted On Thursday, 05.05.2011 / 2:53 PM

By Shawn P. Roarke -  NHL.com Senior Managing Editor /NHL.com - 2011 ECSF: Philadelphia-Boston Live Blog

Kampfer returns to practice for Bruins

There was a new face at Boston's light practice Thursday at TD Garden, defenseman Steve Kampfer.

The rookie was skating with the Bruins for the first time since injuring his knee on April 9, while playing for the American Hockey League's Providence Bruins.

"It's good to get back out there. It's been a long couple of weeks sitting by and watching, but it's good to get back out there skating, and skating with the guys especially," Kampfer said after practice. "It's definitely a perk. It's moving ahead, but it's always slow at this time."

And while Boston might still be in the market for a sixth defenseman after the injury to Adam McQuaid in Game 2 -- replacement Shane Hnidy played less than three minutes in Game 3 -- don’t expect to see Kampfer in the lineup.

"We had no contact in our drills, so [Thursday] was a very good skate for him. We're moving forward as we're being told by our medical staff," coach Claude Julien said Thursday. "He's looking better every day, so we just have to stay with it, but he's not ready."

Speaking of McQuaid, the defenseman did not skate for the third-straight day after injuring his neck in Game 2. But Julien said McQuaid is making significant progress.

"He is definitely getting better," Julien said. "I know we are still saying day-to-day, but there is improvement in him. We are getting very optimistic things are going to happen quicker. Right now, we are just keeping our fingers crossed. He seems to be doing well and, hopefully, we will have better news here in the next few days."

Even with the newfound optimism, there is no expectation McQuaid will recover sufficiently to play in Game 4, especially with Boston holding a 3-0 lead in the series. That means Hnidy will once again be in the lineup.

Despite using Hnidy for less than three minutes in Game 3, Julien said Thursday that he has full confidence in the veteran, who has just four games of experience this season.

"We definitely have confidence in him," Julien said. "We also understand he hasn't played much this year. Right now, the guys we had in our lineup last night were able to share our ice time last night. But having him as a sixth defenseman is something we are certainly comfortable with."

Full Story ›|Email & Share Options ›|Comment › |Print ›
Posted On Wednesday, 05.04.2011 / 3:58 PM

By Mike G. Morreale -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - 2011 ECSF: Philadelphia-Boston Live Blog

Birthday boy JVR hoping for encore effort in Game 3

What could James van Riemsdyk possibly do for an encore in a Game 3 that falls on his birthday that he didn't do in a Game 2 loss to the Boston Bruins in the Eastern Conference semifinal round?

Perhaps provide a similar effort in a victory this time around?
James van Riemsdyk #21 of the Philadelphia Flyers celebrates his goal against the Boston Bruins during the first period of Game Two of the Eastern Conference Semifinals during the 2011 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at Wells Fargo Center on May 2, 2011 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Paul Bereswill/Getty Images)

Van Riemsdyk was named the second star of the game on Monday night at Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia after scoring a pair of goals and posting eight shots on goal to extend his League-leading total to 59 this spring.

It marked the fifth game this playoff season of eight shots or more for van Riemsdyk, who had never posted more than seven shots in a game in his two-year career.

Van Riemsdyk, who turns 22 today, knows a victory in Game 3 will go a long way in helping the Flyers back into the series.

"We are just worrying about one game at a time and that's all it takes to win," he said. "We are down 2-0 now but if we take it one day at a time, one game at a time, I think we will be in good shape.

"Obviously, I had quite a few chances and some breakaways (in Game 2) that I maybe would like to have back and try something different," he added. That's the way the game goes sometimes. Hopefully, next time I can bury those chances."

The Flyers were very successful on the road this year and won two of three in Buffalo in their opening-round triumph against the Sabres. Van Riemsdyk is hoping that trend continues.

"I think we just have guys that step up and raise their game when our backs have been against the wall," he said. "Usually when you go on the road it's a little more of a hostile environment and you really need to step up a little more. We have been able to do that."

Full Story ›|Email & Share Options ›|Comment › |Print ›
Posted On Tuesday, 05.03.2011 / 11:37 AM

By Adam Kimelman -  NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor /NHL.com - 2011 ECSF: Philadelphia-Boston Live Blog

Jeff Carter on the ice

Flyers forward Jeff Carter was on the ice early Tuesday morning, skating on his own for about 10 minutes.

It was Carter's first time on the ice since he was injured April 20, during Game 4 of the Flyers' first-round series against the Buffalo Sabres. The Flyers have classified Carter's malady as a lower-body injury, but CSNPhilly.com has reported the injury is a sprained ligament in his right knee.

In four games before getting hurt, Carter had a goal and an assist. He was seventh in the League during the regular season with 36 goals.

As a team, the Flyers will not practice Tuesday, instead working out off the ice prior to departing for Boston this afternoon.

Contact Adam Kimelman at akimelman@nhl.com. Follow him on Twitter: @NHLAdamK
Full Story ›|Email & Share Options ›|Comment › |Print ›
Posted On Tuesday, 05.03.2011 / 11:25 AM

By Shawn P. Roarke -  NHL.com Senior Managing Editor /NHL.com - 2011 ECSF: Philadelphia-Boston Live Blog

Boston's McQuaid travels home with team

Boston defenseman Adam McQuaid, knocked out of Game 2 after a scary collision with the end boards in the first period of Game 2 against the Philadelphia Flyers on Monday at the Wells Fargo Center, was released from the hospital and made the trip back to Boston with the team, according to a report in the Boston Globe.

"He's coming back with us," Bruins coach Claude Julien told the Globe. "So that's a good sign in itself."

McQuaid was taken to Thomas Jefferson University Hospital in Philadelphia after the incident, at the 17:38 mark of the first period, and he remained there several hours for observation. On the play that led to the injury, McQuaid tried to throw a big check on Flyers captain Mike Richards near the Boston goal and missed, launching himself awkwardly into the end boards, where he struck head first before crumpling onto the ice.

He remained on the ice for several minutes before being helped off the playing surface by teammates Zdeno Chara and Milan Lucic.

Boston was forced to play the rest of the game with just five defensemen. Because of overtime, the workloads became significant.

Dennis Seidenberg played a game-high 36:26 and Chara played 31:35. Johnny Boychuk played almost 29 minutes and Andrew Ference was just short of 28 minutes. Tomas Kaberle played just under 20 minutes. McQuaid played just 4:04 before leaving the game.

McQuaid's status for Game 3 Wednesday (7 p.m. ET, VERSUS, CBC) is unknown, although it should be updated Tuesday following the Bruins' practice.

Full Story ›|Email & Share Options ›|Comment › |Print ›
Posted On Tuesday, 05.03.2011 / 9:48 AM

By Adam Kimelman -  NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor /NHL.com - 2011 ECSF: Philadelphia-Boston Live Blog

A thank you to Claude Julien

I'm not a fan of making things personal in my work, but I feel I have to give some credit to Bruins coach Claude Julien for something he did last night following Boston's 3-2 overtime win. During the post-game press conference I asked him a question regarding his team being up 2-0 in a series after winning both games on the road, similar to what happened in the first round when Montreal won the first two games in Boston.

He misheard what I said and assumed I meant last year's series with the Flyers, and while I could tell he was agitated -- can't blame him, I'm sure he's pretty sick of hearing about losing to Philadelphia after being up 3-0 -- he gave the same thoughtful answer he always seems to give every question.

After he answered I clarified and said I meant the last series, not last year's series. He apologized, then gave another nice answer, which you can read in this story.

But after the Q&A session ended, he walked up to me, and very quickly and quietly apologized for mishearing my question, and shook my hand. I told him not to worry about it, that I wasn't in the least offended. But he apologized again and then was on his way back to the locker room.

The encounter lasted all of maybe 10 seconds, but it's just one more reason why I say hockey people -- be they players, coaches, managers or owners -- are some of the best people in sports.

Contact Adam Kimelman at akimelman@nhl.com. Follow him on Twitter: @NHLAdamK
Full Story ›|Email & Share Options ›|Comment › |Print ›
Posted On Monday, 05.02.2011 / 10:19 PM

By Adam Kimelman -  NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor /NHL.com - 2011 ECSF: Philadelphia-Boston Live Blog

End of regulation: Flyers 2, Bruins 2

Brian Boucher was back in net for the Flyers to start the third. A bit of a surprise after Sergei Bobrovsky stopped all six shots he saw in the final 8:59 of the second.

However, he didn't have to do much in the third, as the Flyers out-shot the Bruins 22-7. The 22 shots are a Flyers record for shots on goal at home in a single period of a playoff game.

Boston's best chance came with 5:47 left when Nathan Horton got the puck on the right post, but Boucher slid over and stacked the pads to stop him.

The Flyers got a late power play after a Zdeno Chara roughing penalty with 2:39 left, but they managed just three shots.

They had another chance with 4.2 seconds left in regulation on an icing call on the Bruins. Mike Richards beat Chris Kelly on a faceoff, winning the puck to James van Riemsdyk. His shot bounced off Bruins defenseman Dennis Seidenberg and went right to Danny Briere. With Tim Thomas coming out to stop van Riemsdyk, Briere had an open net and about a second to shoot it, but fanned on the shot.

We're heading to overtime in Philadelphia.

Contact Adam Kimelman at akimelman@nhl.com. Follow him on Twitter: @NHLAdamK
Full Story ›|Email & Share Options ›|Comment › |Print ›
Posted On Monday, 05.02.2011 / 9:20 PM

By Adam Kimelman -  NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor /NHL.com - 2011 ECSF: Philadelphia-Boston Live Blog

Second period: Flyers 2, Bruins 2

Not as many fireworks in the second period, but we did get another in-game Philadelphia goalie change. This time, however, it appears to be due to injury. A Johnny Boychuk slap shot appeared to injure Brian Boucher somewhere. During a stoppage in play, he was checked by trainer Jim McCrossin, and left the game. He was replaced by Sergei Bobrovsky, who also replaced Boucher in Game 1. However, that came after Boucher allowed five goals on 23 shots.

Bobrovsky looked good, especially during about a 60-second span late in the period when the Bruins' top line of David Krejci, Nathan Horton and Milan Lucic turned the Flyers' zone into a shooting gallery.

He also got some help from the post, as Krejci dinged the left post late in the period after Bobrovsky had over-committed to his left.

The Flyers had their own chance to go ahead with 7:20 left in the period when James van Riemsdyk, falling down in the Boston end, centered a pass to Nikolay  Zherdev, but Tim Thomas made another outstanding save, going post to post to get his right pad on Zherdev's shot from in close.

The one thing that really stands out after two periods is how the Bruins' forecheck has really taken the measure of the Flyers and really pushed the play in the Philadelphia end. The Krejci-Lucic-Horton line has done an especially good job.

We'll have more after the game.

Contact Adam Kimelman at akimelman@nhl.com. Follow him on Twitter: @NHLAdamK
Full Story ›|Email & Share Options ›|Comment › |Print ›
Posted On Monday, 05.02.2011 / 8:39 PM

By Adam Kimelman -  NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor /NHL.com - 2011 ECSF: Philadelphia-Boston Live Blog

First period: Flyers 2, Bruins 2

That was a first period that had a little bit of everything.

First, the pre-game rendition of "God Bless America" by Kate Smith and Lauren Hart was something that had to be witnessed; words just won't do it justice.

The Flyers kept the fans rolling, getting the game's first goal just 29 seconds in. Nikolay Zherdev chipped the puck past a Boston player at the Philadelphia blue line to Claude Giroux to start a 2-on-1 break with James van Riemsdyk. Giroux centered a pass under Bruins center Patrice Bergeron to van Riemsdyk, who tipped it under Bruins goalie Tim Thomas for his sixth of the postseason.

Van Riemsdyk made it 2-0 with his League-leading seventh of the postseason. With the Bruins' Gregory Campbell off for holding, Kimmo Timonen fired a shot from the middle of the blue line that Thomas stopped, but couldn't control the rebound. Danny Briere had a few whacks at it, but the puck rolled to van Riemsdyk, who scored at 9:31.

It's the fifth straight game van Riemsdyk has a goal, and ties him with Briere for the League lead. 

The Bruins tied the game with a pair of goals in a 1:25 span.

Chris Kelly got the Bruins on the board with his fourth of the playoffs. Rich Peverley curled around the top of the Philadelphia zone and dropped a pass for Tomas Kaberle. Brian Boucher stopped Kaberle's shot, and Michael Ryder's attempt on the rebound from the crease, but Kelly crashed in to bang in the rebound at 12:50.

Moments later, Brad Marchand made great plays at both ends and was rewarded with the game-tying goal. First, he stepped in front of a Flyers player in front of the Boston net to break up a scoring chance. As the play went up the ice, Marchand followed and was in the perfect spot, above the right circle, to take a Patrice Bergeron shot and fire a shot that beat Boucher past his glove at 14:15 to tie the game.

Boucher kept the score tied with a save on a Daniel Paille breakaway attempt with three minutes left in the period.

The second period is about to start, so we'll be back with more in a bit.

Contact Adam Kimelman at akimelman@nhl.com. Follow him on Twitter: @NHLAdamK
Full Story ›|Email & Share Options ›|Comment › |Print ›
Posted On Monday, 05.02.2011 / 6:03 PM

By Adam Kimelman -  NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor /NHL.com - 2011 ECSF: Philadelphia-Boston Live Blog

Flyers ready for Chapter 2

Flyers coach Peter Laviolette says to him, every playoff series is a book. And after Saturday's 7-3 loss in Game 1, he's more than ready to turn the page.

"You look at a series as a book, and that was Chapter 1," the coach said two hours before Game 2. "Here's Chapter 2 tonight. We're excited to get going and try and write a different ending to a chapter."

Whether this chapter includes defenseman Chris Pronger, however, remains to be seen. Pronger didn't play the final five minutes of Game 1, but did practice with the team on Sunday. He was not on the ice during Monday's morning skate, and Monday afternoon TSN's highly respected Bob McKenzie tweeted that he was hearing Pronger would not be available for Game 2.

The Flyers refused to comment on anything regarding Pronger, referring to this morning's injury update, which listed Pronger as "OK."

Regardless of whether the big blueliner plays or not, Laviolette said his team needs to be better in all areas of its game to avoid heading to Boston down 0-2 in the series.

"It's really hard to get an assessment on Game 1," said Laviolette. "We watched it and it was worse than in real life. I don't think we played like that at all in the Buffalo series, even in the losses we had. I don't know how good they were or how bad we were. It's hard to get the right mix. The second part of it, we can be a lot better at what we do. We played some pretty good hockey this year. It didn't translate in Game 1 for us, in any aspect of our game."

Contact Adam Kimelman at akimelman@nhl.com. Follow him on Twitter: @NHLAdamK
Full Story ›|Email & Share Options ›|Comment › |Print ›
Posted On Monday, 05.02.2011 / 4:28 PM

By Mike G. Morreale -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - 2011 ECSF: Philadelphia-Boston Live Blog

Carle, JVR exhibit American pride

When the towers fell, Matt Carle was a sophomore in high school and James van Riemsdyk was a sixth grader. Now teammates with the Philadelphia Flyers, both players were glad to see that justice finally prevailed on Sunday night when President Barack Obama announced that Osama bin Laden had been killed in a firefight with U.S. forces in Pakistan.

"I think it's a time for everyone to rally and kind of unite again," said Carle, a native of Anchorage, Alaska. "I was 16-years-old when 9/11 rolled around and it was a huge turning point. It's one of those things where I don't think you'll ever forget where you were when the news broke on Sunday and that's going to be the case (Monday) night as well."
Lauren Hart Philadelphia Flyers anthem singer

It's probably fitting that Game 2 between the Flyers and Bruins is the only game on the docket and being staged in the City of Brotherly Love this evening. Fans will get an opportunity to witness anthem singer Lauren Hart perform her duet with Kate Smith prior to puck drop at 7:30 p.m. ET. It should be an extremely moving and emotional tribute.

"Everybody will kind of remember how they found out how Osama bin Laden was killed and it's one of those things in history that you'll never forget," Carle said. "All the thanks goes out to our troops and the guys who were there getting that done."

Van Riemsdyk, a native of Middletown, N.J., was certainly proud to be an American as he spoke to reporters, sitting at his stall after practice at Wells Fargo Center Monday afternoon.

"It's something that has been going on for the last 10 years … it's been a manhunt for this guy and he's done a lot of terrible things and to see him brought to justice, it definitely makes you proud to be an American," van Riemsdyk said. "He's affected not only the people in the U.S., but other countries too."

NHL.com certainly has all your pre-game reaction to the dramatic world-wide news regarding bin Laden covered. Hart is looking forward to offering up her rendition of 'God Bless America' for the capacity crowd on hand at Wells Fargo this evening.

Adam Kimelman also produced a story regarding former Flyers prospect Ben Stafford, who is currently serving in the Marines. There is also video with reaction from Andrew Ference of the Boston Bruins so check it out.

"I was watching a movie (Sunday) night and happened to check my twitter account and saw some rumblings of (bin Laden's death) so I turned the movie off and turned on the news and watched the President's speech," Carle recalled. "I think it was a pretty historic moment. I know a lot of people have given their lives and sacrificed a lot to be able to put him to rest, I guess. You wish it would have never have come to that, but this speaks volumes about our military and how relentless they were in never giving up. There's still a lot of work to be done, I think, but it's a step in the right direction."

Follow Mike Morreale on Twitter at: @mike_morreale
Full Story ›|Email & Share Options ›|Comment › |Print ›
Posted On Monday, 05.02.2011 / 8:59 AM

By Mike G. Morreale -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - 2011 ECSF: Philadelphia-Boston Live Blog

Ed Snider pays a visit to Flyers practice facility

The Flyers received a little surprise on Sunday morning when chairman Ed Snider strolled into the locker room of the Flyers practice facility to shake hands and offer some luck.

It certainly wasn't the first time Snider made his presence felt, but it was a nice surprise for the players to see him on an off-day at the team's training facility. When Snider walked into the room, the first player he approached was goalie Brian Boucher.
Ed Snider Philadelphia Flyers chairman

"He cares for sure," Flyers forward Claude Giroux said. "He's always around, and always after games he comes into the room and shakes guys' hands. He is always happy. I think he believes in us for sure."

The Flyers' regulars didn't skate on Sunday and, instead, spent the day watching film of their Game 1 debacle against the Boston Bruins. They're hoping to even up the best-of-7 series on Monday at Wells Fargo Center, 7:30 p.m. ET.

"It's pretty cool (to see Snider)," Danny Briere said. "That's why he is considered one of the best owners in any team sport. He is very passionate. He loves his team, loves his players. It's pretty cool to see him."

Full Story ›|Email & Share Options ›|Comment › |Print ›
Posted On Saturday, 04.30.2011 / 8:34 PM

By Adam Kimelman -  NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor /NHL.com - 2011 ECSF: Philadelphia-Boston Live Blog

Is Pronger healthy?

Philadelphia Flyers defenseman Chris Pronger had a major hand in the Flyers turning around their first-round series against the Buffalo Sabres. He hadn't played in seven weeks when he entered the lineup in Game 6, and just by playing less than five minutes, and all on the power play, he sparked the Flyers.

So it's notable that he didn't play a single shift in the final five minutes of the game.

He played 19:45, the most he's played in the three games since returning from the broken right hand that had sidelined him since March 8. He had two shots, blocked four shots and was a minus-3 on a night where the Flyers' defensive play as a whole was lacking.

Losing Pronger again, though, would be a major blow to the team.

Coach Peter Laviolette, when asked after the game if Pronger was healthy, only responded, "Yes."

Pronger did not speak to the media following the game.

Contact Adam Kimelman at akimelman@nhl.com. Follow him on Twitter: @NHLAdamK
Full Story ›|Email & Share Options ›|Comment › |Print ›
Posted On Saturday, 04.30.2011 / 8:25 PM

By Adam Kimelman -  NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor /NHL.com - 2011 ECSF: Philadelphia-Boston Live Blog

Somewhat-special teams

The Boston Bruins made history by becoming the first team in NHL history to win a Stanley Cup Playoff series without scoring a power-play goal when they went 0-for-21 in seven games in the first round against the Montreal Canadiens. They extended that line of futility to 0-for-26 with their 0-for-5 performance in Game 1 against the Flyers. They generated just four shots on their five opportunities.

"Our power plays aren't very good, I guess, but I think today there was some really good movement on our PP," said David Krejci. "We had some good chances, we just have to stay positive, take the positive things from this game today, and if we're going to play this way on the power play, it is just a matter of time and the first one is going to go in."

While their power play was ineffective, the Bruins' penalty killing was excellent. They killed off four of the Flyers' five chances, with their only slip-up coming in the third period, seconds after they killed off a 56-second two-man advantage for Philadelphia.

Their best man-down play came on two straight kills midway through the second period, with the Bruins clinging to a 3-1 lead. Back-to-back penalties on Brad Marchand and Johnny Boychuk gave the Flyers four minutes of power-play time in a 4:39 span.

The Bruins killed those penalties off, and 49 seconds later Krejci scored to make it 4-1.

"They did a great job tonight," Julien said of his penalty killers. "We had a lot of penalties to kill and our guys did a pretty good job. It's unfortunate they got that one goal (but) they did a great job. At that time of the game it's so important to kill those, you don't want to let them back into it. Had they scored it might have been a different game in the third period."

Contact Adam Kimelman at akimelman@nhl.com. Follow him on Twitter: @NHLAdamK
Full Story ›|Email & Share Options ›|Comment › |Print ›
Posted On Saturday, 04.30.2011 / 5:12 PM

By Adam Kimelman -  NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor /NHL.com - 2011 ECSF: Philadelphia-Boston Live Blog

Second period: Bruins 5, Flyers 2

The Philadelphia goalie carousel appears to be spinning again. Brian Boucher was chased after allowing Boston's fifth goal, replaced by Sergei Bobrovsky. It's Bobrovsky's first appearance since Game 2 of the first round against Buffalo.

Boucher's rebound control was not good, which led to a couple goals. Early in the second he kicked Patrice Bergeron's shot back into the slot, where Mark Recchi scored just 2:34 in.

After Krejci tipped Adam McQuaid's shot past Boucher, another big rebound this time allowed Bard Marchand to score to make it 5-1 and end Boucher's night.

James van Riemsdyk scored 16 seconds after Bobrovsky came into the game, and they nearly got another one when Kris Versteeg took the puck from Krejci deep in the Boston end. He dragged the puck around Tim Thomas and was looking at an empty net when Krejci knocked Versteeg off the puck.

We've got 20 minutes left here in Philadelphia.

Contact Adam Kimelman at akimelman@nhl.com. Follow him on Twitter: @NHLAdamK
Full Story ›|Email & Share Options ›|Comment › |Print ›
Posted On Saturday, 04.30.2011 / 4:12 PM

By Adam Kimelman -  NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor /NHL.com - 2011 ECSF: Philadelphia-Boston Live Blog

First Period: Bruins 2, Flyers 1

That was a fun, physical first period that had a little bit of everything.

David Krejci gave the Bruins an early lead, making a nice play to intercept a Nathan Horton shot (replay showed it never got to Brian Boucher), stepping away from the Flyers' Matt Carle and sliding it under Boucher just 1:52 into the game.

Midway through, Danny Briere made a similar play, stopping a Braydon Coburn shot just before it could get to Tim Thomas, pulling it away from the Boston goalie and then sliding it under him at 11:02. The teams were skating 4-on-4, and Ville Leino did a great job controlling the puck in the Bruins' end to set up the goal.

Then, with 35.7 seconds left, Horton banged in the rebound of Krejci shot from in front. He didn't get much on it, but it appeared to roll up Boucher's arm and over the top of his glove.

The Bruins had more shots, 12-8, but went 0-for-1 on the only power play of the period. They're still looking for their first extra-man goal of the postseason after going 0-for-21 against the Canadiens in the first round.

And in what should be a fun stat to watch this series, the Flyers out-hit the Bruins 14-9 in the first.

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

Full Story ›|Email & Share Options ›|Comment › |Print ›
Posted On Saturday, 04.30.2011 / 2:07 PM

By Adam Kimelman -  NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor /NHL.com - 2011 ECSF: Philadelphia-Boston Live Blog

Haven't I seen you before?

When Bruins forward Brad Marchand looks across the ice at Flyers forward Claude Giroux, it won't be their first matchup. The two went head-to-head for three seasons in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League when Giroux was with Gatineau and Marchand played with Moncton, Val d'Or and Halifax. The two also won gold medals together with Canada at the 2008 World Junior Championship.

"I think with (Giroux), he's such a good player, so offensive," Marchand said prior to Game 1. "He brings a lot of different attributes, plays on their PK, power play, 5-on-5 -- he's great. … The biggest thing for us is we have to be physical against him, can't give him time and space. He'll make a lot of great plays if we give him that time and space."

Besides seeing a lot of Marchand, Giroux also can expect to hear a lot of him, too. Marchand has developed a reputation for being a yapper on the ice. It's part of his role, which is agitating the opposition and prodding them into taking bad penalties.

"I think it's just going to be a timing factor," said Marchand. "They have a lot of guys over there who play the same kind of role. You want to try to use that to your advantage and try to get them off their game, but they're pretty good at it, too. If you let them get the better of you … you don't want to be the one taking penalties. I think we're going to see more of it as the series goes on just because it's going to be an emotional series."

Contact Adam Kimelman at akimelman@nhl.com. Follow him on Twitter: @NHLAdamK
Full Story ›|Email & Share Options ›|Comment › |Print ›
Posted On Saturday, 04.30.2011 / 1:43 PM

By Mike G. Morreale -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - 2011 ECSF: Philadelphia-Boston Live Blog

Seidenberg looks forward to playoff match with Philly

Bruins coach Claude Julien is certainly glad he'll have a healthy Andrew Ference and Dennis Seidenberg along the blueline against the Flyers this time around.

During last year's seven-game series loss to Philadelphia, Ference played hurt after missing 17 of the last 21 regular-season games due to a groin/hernia injury and finished a minus-5 with 4 penalty minutes against the Flyers. Seidenberg didn't play at all after suffering a lacerated tendon in his left forearm late in the season.

Julien knows the importance of having fresh, capable defensemen on the ice against the physical Flyers. That said, the Flyers are also a better defensive team following the off-season acquisitions of Andrej Meszaros and Sean O'Donnell.

"They're two experienced guys that you get into your lineup and that's certainly going to help," Julien said of Ference and Seidenberg. "I know Seids (Seidenberg) has played there in Philly and always seems to play well against them."

Ference had 2 assists and was a plus-3 in the deciding game against Montreal and had a goal and 3 assists in the last four games of the series. Seidenberg, drafted in the sixth round (172nd overall) by the Flyers in 2001, will be meeting his former employer for the first time in the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

"It's definitely different playing here again, especially for a playoff game, and just it's something special for me," Seidenberg said."It's going to be exciting and I'm really looking forward to it."

"He's had a pretty good start to the playoffs, so you hope that continues," Julien said. "But we're going in there this time probably with a healthier squad so we hope that's going to help our hockey club. But I think last year is last year and this year is this year. As you mentioned, a lot of people are going to want to bring up the past and if anything, it's like Montreal. All the stats are probably against us with the odds and how the Bruins had fared against them in the past and down 2-0.

"It's always a new situation, a new opportunity, and that's how we're looking at it," Julien added. "Just a new opportunity for us to get past these guys and hopefully win this series."

Seidenberg has 2 goals and 9 points in 26 career playoff games and Ference has 4 goals and 26 points in 81 contests.

Follow Mike Morreale on Twitter at: @mike_morreale
Full Story ›|Email & Share Options ›|Comment › |Print ›
Posted On Saturday, 04.30.2011 / 12:17 PM

By Mike G. Morreale -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - 2011 ECSF: Philadelphia-Boston Live Blog

Bruins need to resolve power-play woes

In addition to answering questions about last year's seven-game meltdown to the Flyers, the Boston Bruins are also getting an earful regarding their powerless power-play.
The club is confident they'll straighten things out beginning with Game 1 against Philadelphia in Saturday's Eastern Conference Semifinals here at Wells Fargo Center (3 p.m. ET, NBC, CBC, RDS). The matchup marks the sixth series between the teams with the Flyers holding a 3-2 lead after rallying for a seven-game series triumph last spring.
Boston set an NHL record for futility with the man advantage during their seven-game victory over the Montreal Canadiens in the conference quarterfinal round when they went 0-for-21 -- becoming the only NHL team to win a seven-game playoff series without scoring a power-play goal.
Full Story ›|Email & Share Options ›|Comment › |Print ›
Posted On Saturday, 04.30.2011 / 11:28 AM

By Adam Kimelman -  NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor /NHL.com - 2011 ECSF: Philadelphia-Boston Live Blog

Let's get physical

The rivalry between the Bruins and Flyers historically has been nasty and physical, with big hits going both ways. The first fight in a Winter Classic came when the Flyers' Daniel Carcillo and the Bruins' Shawn Thornton dropped the gloves at the 2010 game.

"This is probably going to be a physical series," said coach Peter Laviolette. "They are a hitting team. We can play that game as well."

To that end, the Flyers could dress one of two physical players to fill out their fourth line for Game 1 Saturday -- veteran Jody Shelley or rookie Zac Rinaldo.

The 35-year-old Shelley hasn't played since suffering a broken orbital bone during a March 21. GM Paul Holmgren has said Shelley is healthy and cleared to play, but Laviolette has yet to use him.

Shelley is wearing a visor to protect his face, and told the Philadelphia Inquirer on Friday that he will be "ready to do what I have to do pretty soon."

In 10 NHL seasons, the 6-foot-3, 230-pound Shelley has played 596 games and is eighth among active players with 1,474 penalty minutes. He's skated in just seven Stanley Cup Playoff games.

"(Shelley) is just a big, physical guy," linemate Blair Betts told CSNPhilly.com. "I think that's it. I think maybe there's an intimidation factor with him in the lineup. I think he's underrated as a player. He's great on the forecheck, he uses his body well and his size to protect the puck and create room for the rest of us, and that's what expect out of him."

Rinaldo, who spent the regular season with the Adirondack Phantoms of the American Hockey League, made his Stanley Cup Playoff debut in Game 5 of the first round, playing three shifts totaling 1:56, but he had three hits. However, his ice time was more the result of the score, as the Flyers fell behind 3-0 in the first period.

"We fell behind early in that game and the game plan kind of went out the window," said Laviolette. "We had to get our guys that score goals out there as much as we could.  I thought he was good.  He had a couple good shifts. He only had a minute and 20 or a minute and 30 in ice time, but he had three hits -- three hard hits."

Rinaldo was second on the AHL with 331 penalty minutes, and had more suspensions (four) than goals (three). However, the 5-11, 169-pounder believes those numbers don't properly describe what kind of player he wants to be.

"I'm misunderstood, for sure," he told the (Camden) Courier-Post. "I hit and I hit hard, and some guys don't like it. When they don't like it, they want to come after me and fight and I don't back down. I don't go looking for the fights, but since I hit so hard and hit so big, guys want to fight me and that's what racks up the penalties."

Which one plays? True to form, Laviolette wasn't saying. Shelley and Rinaldo split time on the fourth line with Betts and Darroll Powe in practice, so there was no clue there. And with Saturday's 3 p.m. ET start (NBC, CBC, RDS), there was no pre-game skate to evaluate.

There were reports that Rinaldo's equipment was shipped from the Flyers' practice site in Voorhees, N.J. to the Wells Fargo Center, and since he only has one set, that could be the cue that he's playing. But the morning of Game 5, Ben Holmstrom skated with the fourth line during practice, only to see Rinaldo play, so everything's up for debate until game time.

Contact Adam Kimelman at akimelman@nhl.com. Follow him on Twitter: @NHLAdamK
Full Story ›|Email & Share Options ›|Comment › |Print ›
Posted On Friday, 04.29.2011 / 9:00 PM

By Mike G. Morreale -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - 2011 ECSF: Philadelphia-Boston Live Blog

Flyers aware of Horton heroics

It's a pretty good bet that at least one of the games in the Eastern Conference Semifinals pitting the Flyers and Bruins goes to overtime. After all, two of the seven games in last year's epic showdown needed an extra period.

This season, Nathan Horton has been an overtime gem for the Bruins. The 6-foot-2, 229-pound wing connected for the double-overtime winner in Game 5 against the Montreal Canadiens and the OT clincher in the decisive Game 7.

Needless to say, the Flyers are well aware of Horton's heroic efforts.
Nathan Horton #18 of the Boston Bruins celebrates scoring the over time game winning goal against the Montreal Canadiens

"He is a natural goal scorer," Flyers captain Mike Richards said. "When you have that, it's always a threat when he's on the ice. He is a good forward with a great shot. I can remember in juniors (when Horton played with the Oshawa Generals), he always had that knack to be around the net and find those quiet holes. He has a good shot to go with that."

Horton was acquired in a trade with the Florida Panthers that sent he and Gregory Campbell to Boston in exchange for Dennis Wideman and draft picks during the offseason. In addition to Horton's major contributions with the top line, Campbell has been a steady center on Boston's fourth line all season.

"He scored a couple of big goals for them," Pronger said of Horton. "Obviously the two overtime winners and he's a guy that gets to the net. He has a great shot and you got to take away his time and space and kind of be strong on the puck."

Full Story ›|Email & Share Options ›|Comment › |Print ›
Posted On Friday, 04.29.2011 / 11:26 AM

By Adam Kimelman -  NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor /NHL.com - 2011 ECSF: Philadelphia-Boston Live Blog

No job concerns for Chiarelli

Bruins GM Peter Chiarelli has done well in his five seasons, making the playoffs four times but never advancing past the second round. There also was last season's historic seven-game loss to the Flyers, and a nail-biting seven-game first-round series against the Canadiens.

Coach Claude Julien also has done well in his four seasons, guiding the team to the playoffs each season, and finished atop the Eastern Conference in 2008-09. However, the Bruins had lost two straight Game 7s going into Wednesday's game against the Canadiens.

There were many in the media who believed that if the Bruins had lost Game 7, either Julien, Chiarelli or both could have lost their jobs.

Chiarelli said he heard and saw all the reports, but none of it fazed him.

"I'm certainly supportive of Claude. I think he's a terrific coach," said Chiarelli. "I read everything and what everyone says, or I try to, just to keep abreast of things. And that's what I see, so I mean, I'm comfortable where I am. We want to win, we went out and got pieces to win, and I will try and do things to continue to win. So whatever, wherever the chips fall, they fall. But it hasn't really dawned on me. I read it, but you just get used to reading that stuff."

Contact Adam Kimelman at akimelman@nhl.com. Follow him on Twitter: @NHLAdamK
Full Story ›|Email & Share Options ›|Comment › |Print ›
Posted On Friday, 04.29.2011 / 7:46 AM

By Mike G. Morreale -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - 2011 ECSF: Philadelphia-Boston Live Blog

DOOP-ing it out at Wells Fargo Center

In case you missed it, the Philadelphia Flyers and their fans are singing a new tune within the Wells Fargo Center these days.

Thing is, to those Major League soccer fans throughout the city, the song is an all-too familiar chant each time the Philadelphia Union pops home a goal at PPL Park in Chester, Pa. Now, the Flyers have added the DOOP song to their menu of musical overtures each time they light the lamp at Wells Fargo Center.

And, yes, it's become a hit.

Basically, all it consists of is: "DOOP DOOP DOOP da da DOOP DOOP DOOP da DOOP DOOP DOOP da da DOOP DOOP DOOP."

Not of lot of words, just one syllable throughout the entire chorus. But the switch has received positive feedback for the Flyers.

Flyers forward Danny Briere gave it his thumbs up -- and that's a good thing since Briere leads the Flyers with 6 playoff goals this spring.

"I thought it was great, and it really fired up the crowd in the last game," Briere said. "We played it a few times and the guys liked it. All I asked (Flyers president) Mr. (Peter) Luukko was that it had been four years since I came over to Philly and we had played the same song after a goal. There had to be something else out there to get the crowd fired up … a few guys noticed it and so far it's been very positive."

Follow Mike Morreale on Twitter at: @mike_morreale

Full Story ›|Email & Share Options ›|Comment › |Print ›
Posted On Thursday, 04.28.2011 / 9:07 PM

By Mike G. Morreale -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - 2011 ECSF: Philadelphia-Boston Live Blog

Challenging Chara

Before dealing with the unorthodox but extremely effective Tim Thomas in goal for the Boston Bruins, the Philadelphia Flyers know 6-foot-9, 255-pound defenseman Zdeno Chara will be waiting.

It's a challenge in itself for those quick and aggressive Flyers' forwards. In his team's seven-game series triumph over the Montreal Canadiens, Chara notched just one assist, but he also delivered 19 hits and blocked eight shots.

"He is six feet and nine inches and is extremely strong," Flyers captain Mike Richards said. "He makes it tough to go around the corners and has a big shot. He has a great hockey sense and makes it tough to play against him. He finishes his checks and plays strong."

And in order to have success, Richards admits "we're going to have to lay the puck in behind him and make him
move a little bit, make his life back there a little difficult."

Danny Briere, who was tied for the League-lead in goals (6) through one round of the playoffs, admits the Flyers must force the big Bruin to skate and chase in his own end.

"It was kind of the same way with (Tyler) Myers with Buffalo," Briere said. "You have to find ways to make him work. It's not going to be easy and we know that. I have had the chance to face (Chara) a few times in the playoffs. He's going to make it tough on us, but we are not going to back down. That's the only way to approach it, and you have to be willing to compete against him."

Briere feels forcing Chara to move as often as possible might be the secret to generating chances when he's on the ice -- which is quite often as he's averaged a League-leading 28:48 of ice time in these playoffs.

"You have to go around him and make him work," Briere said. "When you're as big as him, it uses a lot of energy to try to chase you. I guess that's the idea with a guy like Chara."

Full Story ›|Email & Share Options ›|Comment › |Print ›
Posted On Thursday, 04.28.2011 / 4:33 PM

By Adam Kimelman -  NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor /NHL.com - 2011 ECSF: Philadelphia-Boston Live Blog

Bruins' power outage

Bruins GM Peter Chiarelli met the media Thursday and talked about a number of topics. You can listen to the press conference here, or you can read this little bit about the Bruins' roster makeover since last year's series with the Flyers ended here.

One of the topics that came up was the Bruins' power play, which was perfect in the first round against the Canadiens -- 21 chances, 21 missed opportunities.

The Bruins were the first team in NHL history to win a playoff series without scoring a power-play goal.

The only surprise to Chiarelli was that it took 13 questions into Thursday's press conference before anyone brought up the power play.

"Trust me, this is a topic that we have addressed all year, every day," said Chiarelli. "I see a group of guys that … beaten down is the wrong word. We've been on them so much to succeed and have different looks. And you reach a point where you are diminishing returns as far as trying to make changes, so it's been a frustrating exercise."

The acquisition of Tomas Kaberle at the trade deadline was supposed to fix any deficiencies in the Bruins' extra-man attack, which finished 20th in the League at 16.2 percent. However, the Bruins now are 7-for-87 (8.0 percent) in 31 regular-season and playoff games with Kaberle, compared to 36-for-199 (18.1 percent) without him.

However, Chiarelli wasn't ready to pin the blame on the defenseman.

"I know Tomas has been under some heat, too, and it's not his fault," said Chiarelli. "He's in the mix with everybody and we're trying to figure it out. Part of it I think is nerves. Part of it is maybe, this is an extension of nerves -- they are squeezing their sticks too much. It's not fluid and these players have, if you go player to player, they have some fluidity to their game as far as making plays. So we have to figure it out. It's going to be an important component again in this next series."

Chiarelli said one reason for the power play's lack of success has been the absence of Marc Savard, whose season ended Jan. 22 due to a concussion.

"That's a huge point," said Chiarelli. "He's got the eyes and the sense. And you're right, he makes those plays. He's, and I'm not saying that the guys who filled his spot aren't worthy of that, but that's Savvy's bread and butter. So definitely we miss him."

Whatever the problem, Chiarelli said finding the power for their power play is at the top of the organizational to-do list.

"It’s frustrating for me to watch," he said. "I know these guys want to succeed at it, I know the coaching staff, that's been at the top of their list. … And we’re going to figure it out."

Contact Adam Kimelman at akimelman@nhl.com. Follow him on Twitter: @NHLAdamK
Full Story ›|Email & Share Options ›|Comment › |Print ›
Posted On Thursday, 04.28.2011 / 3:32 PM

By David Kalan -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - 2011 ECSF: Philadelphia-Boston Live Blog

EA SPORTS predicts second round full of upsets

With four Game 7s in a 30-hour span, the first round of the 2011 Stanley Cup Playoffs went out with a bang, and given the win-or-go-home nature of each of those games, the chances that postseason brackets in office pools across North America would stay intact were tenuous at best. Having an opening round record of 7 correct picks would be pretty impressive. Even getting just 5 series right, as the writer of this very story did, isn't terrible.

Of course, going 8-for-8 isn't bad either.

The wizards at EA SPORTS did just that with their EA SPORTS NHL '11 simulation engine, which accurately tabbed such upsets as Tampa Bay's win over Pittsburgh and Nashville's first-ever postseason series victory. Rather than walk off into the sunset, however, EA SPORTS is back at it for round two of the postseason, and this time those predictions are a little gutsier than usual.

Taking three of four lower seeds to advance to the 2011 conference finals would make another perfect projection a pretty remarkable example of clairvoyance, but that's just what EA SPORTS is banking on, as its latest round of predictions has Vancouver as the lone higher seed advancing. For the Canucks to do so after a draining seven-game win over Chicago could be difficult, but EA SPORTS' simulations expect it -- and in just five games. If all goes according to plan, the Canucks will be facing Detroit, which is predicted to topple San Jose in overtime in a decisive seventh game.

In the East, Tampa Bay is picked to complete what would be the upset of the playoffs thus far, as EA SPORTS has the Bolts eliminating the No. 1-seeded Capitals in seven games, while the Bruins get a measure of revenge for last year's historic ouster at the hands of the Flyers with a six-game win over Philadelphia.

EA SPORTS will continue to run simulations after each round of the playoffs, but in addition fans are invited to make their own predictions in the EA SPORTS NHL 2011 Playoff Bracket Contest at www.facebook.com/EASPORTSNHL. Participating fans can accrue points for correct predictions with the ultimate prize at the end of Stanley Cup Final of two tickets to the 2012 NHL All-Star Game in Ottawa on the line.

Second Round fan voting opens today at http://www.facebook.com/EASPORTSNHL, when fans can make predictions for the postseason's opening round. Start dates for subsequent rounds will be announced at the conclusion of each series.

EA SPORTS NHL 11 Round Two Predictions: Conference Semifinals

Western Conference

(1) Vancouver vs. Nashville (5)
Game 1: Nashville 3 @ Vancouver 1

Game 2: Nashville 2 @ Vancouver 5

Game 3: Vancouver 2 @ Nashville 1

Game 4: Vancouver 4 @ Nashville 2

Game 5: Nashville 0 @ Vancouver 2

Vancouver wins series 4-1

(2) San Jose vs. Detroit (3)

Game 1: Detroit 3 @ San Jose 2

Game 2: Detroit 2 @ San Jose 4

Game 3: San Jose 3 @ Detroit 4

Game 4: San Jose 5 @ Detroit 4 [OT]

Game 5: Detroit 2 @ San Jose 3

Game 6: San Jose 2 @ Detroit 5

Game 7: Detroit 4 @ San Jose 3 [OT]

Detroit wins series 4-3


Eastern Conference:

(1) Washington vs. Tampa Bay (5)

Game 1: Tampa Bay 1 @ Washington 3

Game 2: Tampa Bay 4 @ Washington 6

Game 3: Washington 3 @ Tampa Bay 4

Game 4: Washington 2 @ Tampa Bay 3 [OT]

Game 5: Tampa Bay 2 @ Washington 5

Game 6: Washington 0 @ Tampa Bay 2

Game 7: Tampa Bay 3 @ Washington 1

Tampa Bay wins series 4-3

(2) Philadelphia vs. Boston (3)

Game 1: Boston 4 @ Philadelphia 2

Game 2: Boston 2 @ Philadelphia 3

Game 3: Philadelphia 1 @ Boston 2[OT]

Game 4: Philadelphia 1 @ Boston 4

Game 5: Boston 1 @ Philadelphia 4

Game 6: Philadelphia 2 @ Boston 3

Boston wins series 4-2

Full Story ›|Email & Share Options ›|Comment › |Print ›
First | Prev | 1 | 2 | 3
Quote of the Day

With this being the last year [at the Coliseum], we'd love to try to get back to the dance like we did against Pittsburgh and prove ourselves and go even further. It's an important year.

— New York Islanders coach Jack Capuano