Tag Archives: Claude Giroux

Flyers Scoring Slump Continues in Loss to Pittsburgh

18 Oct

By Chris Murray

For the Chris Murray Report and the Philadelphia Sunday Sun

Flyers Forward Wayne Simmonds deflects a shot from Claude Giroux past Pittsburgh's Marc-Andre Fleury for the Flyers only goal of the game. Photo by Webster Riddick.

Flyers Forward Wayne Simmonds deflects a shot from Claude Giroux past Pittsburgh’s Marc-Andre Fleury for the Flyers only goal of the game. Photo by Webster Riddick.

PHILADELPHIA—Coming into Thursday night’s game, Flyers captain Claude Giroux said that a win over the Pittsburgh Penguins would be a turning a point for a Flyers team that is at the bottom of the Metropolitan Division standings.

For a 1-7 Flyers squad, the ability to put the puck in the net on a consistent basis would be the first step to salvage a season that appears to be going nowhere fast.

The Flyers 4-1 loss to the Penguins at the Wells Fargo Center wasn’t what Giroux was hoping for because his team, in spite of its best efforts, simply could not score more than one goal.   It was yet another night of trying to make sense of a scoring slump that seems to have no end in sight.

“I think if we would have won that game, it would have been a big turning point, but it didn’t happen,” Giroux said. “We gotta lot of time to look at tapes and look at what we’re doing wrong. I think if we play 60 minutes, responsible and disciplined about our game, we’ll be fine. We’ll start winning games. It’s just a matter of time. We just need to start believing it before we start playing.”

The good news for the Flyers is that they are off for the next six days and will have some time to figure out a way out of their scoring slump.

“You’ve got to pick your head up and come to work and get ready to play,” said Flyers head coach Craig Berube. “They’re the only guys that are going to dig us out of this hole- the guys in the locker room. They gotta start believing in each other and believe in themselves and playing hockey like they can.”

Meanwhile, Flyers goalie Steve Mason did everything he could to keep the Flyers in the game. He had 32 saves, but allowed three goals. When you’re offense is not scoring, a goalie’s best efforts are not enough.

“It’s not easy right now. We’re struggling to create offense and I’m trying to make the save I need to make and just be patient and eventually, it’ll come,” Mason said. “When you’re only scoring one goal a game, it’s tough to win hockey games. It puts pressure on us in the defensive zone and we’re going have to start creating opportunities to score.”

After a scoreless first period, the Penguins jumped out to a 2-0 lead on goals by Jussin Jokinen on a pass from center Eveni Malkin with 10:17 left in the period. Malkin snatched the puck away from Michael Raffl near the blue line and passed it to Jokinen, who slapped the puck past Mason for the score.

Three minutes later, Penguins forward Chris Kunitz rebounded a shot by Matt Niskanen past Mason for Pittsburgh’s second goal of the period.

In that second period, the Flyers played poorly on both offense and defense. They managed just five shots on goal in the period and just seemed lifeless.

“We were brutal,” said Flyers forward Wayne Simmonds. “We weren’t executing, weren’t getting pucks deep. We turned over pucks in the neutral zone. They’re a good transition team. We couldn’t break the puck out of our zone and they took advantage of that.”

The Flyers finally got on the board on a power play with just two seconds left in the period when Simmonds deflected a shot from Giroux into the Pittsburgh net past goalie Marc-Andre Fleury (24 saves).

That goal the Penguins cut the lead to 2-1 and that’s as close as the Flyers would get because it was back to the salt mines of their never-ending scoring drought. The Flyers managed work harder and had several chances to score, but just came up short

“We score a late goal with three or four seconds left, so we had momentum going in (to the third period),” Simmonds said. “We tried to build on it … But nothing ever came of it.”

On a night when the Flyers held the Penguins to 0-for-4 on the power play, they didn’t put anything together offensively.  When you don’t score, a good offensive team like Pittsburgh is going to put you away. Late in the third, a goal by Sydney Crosby and empty-net goal by Malkin sealed the Flyers fate while sending fans to the exits.

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Flyers Do Everything But Score in Season-Opening Loss to Toronto

3 Oct

By Chris Murray

For the Chris Murray Report and the Philadelphia Sunday Sun

Wayne Simmonds shot is stuffed by Toronto goalkeeper Jonathan Bernier. The Flyers had 32 shots, but scored just one goal in loss to the Maple Leafs. Photo by Webster Riddick.

Wayne Simmonds shot is stuffed by Toronto goalkeeper Jonathan Bernier. The Flyers had 32 shots, but scored just one goal in loss to the Maple Leafs. Photo by Webster Riddick.

PHILADELPHIA—There was an old coach who once said defense with no offense is like working all day and not making any money.

In their season-opener against the Toronto Maple Leafs, the Flyers worked their butts offs and did everything they could to put the puck into the net.  They outshot the Maple Leafs 32-25 and stayed on the attack for the most of the game. They had several chances to score, but just could not finish it off.

“When you’re up 30 shots on net, usually you get two or three goals,” said Flyers center Vincent LeCavalier. “We just couldn’t capitalize.”

But in the end, your hard work has to pay off with goals and the Flyers didn’t have enough of them as Toronto came away with a 3-1 win in front of a sellout crowd of 19,872 fans at the Wells Fargo Center.

“Offensively, that’s the best we’ve looked, but at the end of the day, we’ve got to put more goals in than one,” said Flyers head coach Peter Laviolette. “Like I said there were lots of pucks, they blocked a lot of shots. I thought we missed the net a lot tonight. It seemed like we had some zone time.

“Give Toronto credit. I thought that they played hard through the second and third and they made it difficult to find better chances or better scoring areas we had to work for those spots. They played pretty good defensively tonight.”

If anything else, the effort was there for the Flyers, but the execution was flawed as they were constantly attacking Toronto goaltender Jonathan Bernier with shots and did not score enough goals to win. The Maple Leafs goalie had 31 saves.

Even when the Flyers had the man-advantage on the Maple Leafs, the didn’t do much with it and were just one of six on the power-play. Claude Giroux said the Flyers inability to take advantage of those power-play opportunities were a boost in momentum for the Maple Leafs.

“When you kill a penalty, you get momentum,” Giroux said. “We had our chances and it’s frustrating, but we have to stay positive. It’s one game. We have 81 more.”

The Flyers dominated the first period and spent most of the first 20 minutes attacking Bernier. The Flyers broke through for what turned out to be their only goal of the game on the power play when Brayden Schenn took a pass from LeCavalier and shot it past Bernier to give the Flyers a 1-0 lead.

Toronto evened the game in the second period on a goal center Phil Kessell with a little over three minutes left.

Perhaps the biggest momentum killer for the Flyers and the biggest boost for the Maple Leafs was the missed penalty shot by right winger Wayne Simmonds, who got to go one-on-one with Bernier when he was tripped on a break away by Toronto’s Paul Ranger.

Bernier stuffed Simmonds shot and that was emblematic of the Flyers first evening of the 2013-2014 season.

“I missed it. It would have been the difference in the game, I think,” Simmonds said. “When you get to a penalty shot situation, obviously it’s one-on-one, he got the better of me that time.”

Toronto would go ahead for good early in the third period on a goal by center Dave Bolland. He would add a power-play goal late in the game to close out the scoring for the Maple Leafs.

Despite giving up the last two goals of the game, goaltender Steve Mason was solid in goal with 22 saves. Laviolette said he was satisfied with his performance.

“I thought Mason was good,” Laviolette said. “He made a couple of big saves in the second period. A couple of point-blank chances that they had.”

Fading Fast: Flyers Lack of Offense is Killing Their Postseason Chances

12 Apr

By Chris Murray

Claude Giroux scored the only Flyers in the loss to the Ottawa Senators.

Claude Giroux scored the only Flyers in the loss to the Ottawa Senators.

For the Chris Murray Report and the Philadelphia Sunday

With season dwindling down to just eight games left in the season, the Flyers playoff chances on are on life support and are about to fade to black.

The Flyers are seven points behind the New York Rangers for the final playoff spot in the NHL with three teams ahead of them. From this point forward they have no margin for error.

“I think everyone’s still going to put in a good effort right up to the end. There’s no question about that,” said Flyers defenseman Luke Schenn. “Guys still have a lot to play for, but obviously everybody’s a little bit frustrated.

“I think guys are probably squeezing the stick too tight. Obviously, we’re not scoring very many goals. I know everyone’s working and competing and we’re going to do it to the very end.”

It was another night the Flyers couldn’t get anything going offensively and the Ottawa Senators came away with a 3-1 victory at the Wells Fargo Center Thursday night.

“All losses are tough,” said Flyers coach Peter Laviolette. “We’re in the business of winning hockey games. Not getting that done is frustrating at this point.”

Ottawa got what turned out to be the winning score on a power-play goal by left winger Colin Greening. The Flyers were a man down because of a high-sticking double minor on Claude Giroux whose stick ended up on the face of Ottawa’s Mika Zibanejad.

The Senators added an empty by Daniel Alfredsson in the last 10 seconds of the game.

Not only was it the Flyers third straight loss, it was also the third consecutive game in which they could muster no more than one goal.  In a season that has been hot and cold, it was another frustrating night of not being able to put the puck in the net.

“We got to find a way of getting more pucks to the net, more traffic and we have to be a little bit more  hungry than we are right now,” said Flyers center Claude Giroux. “We’re not getting the job done right now and so we have to figure out something there.”

For a team that was fighting for whatever faint playoff hopes it supposedly has, the Flyers didn’t come out with a sense of urgency in the first period.

Ottawa jumped on the board with a breakaway by center Zack Smith, who took a pass from Mark Methot and slid the puck past goal Ilya Brzygalov. Smith was able to have a clear shot at Brzygalov because the Flyers were in the middle of a line change and simply caught got napping.

With the exception of the two goals, Brzygalov did a good job of guarding the net for the Flyers. He had 31 saves.

But later in the period, the Flyers evened the game at 1-1 with 7:44 left on a short-handed  goal by Claude Giroux who deflected a shot by Simon Gagne past goalie Robin Lehner.

Through the first two periods, the Senators outshot the Flyers 24-14. In the second period, the Flyers had just seven shots on goal. The Flyers picked up the pace in the third period and had 13 shots on goal but couldn’t get anything past Lehner.

The Flyers are 0-for-2 on the power play. On their first opportunity at the beginning of the third period, the Flyers couldn’t get off a shot. On their second midway the period, the Flyers had five shots on goal, but came up short.

“I thought the third period was our best period,” Laviolette said. “It generated the most offense, probably played the tightest defensively that we played that period, but we didn’t get the results we were looking for.”