Tag Archives: Vincent LeCavalier

Flyers, Giroux End Scoring Woes in Win over Edmonton

9 Nov

By Chris Murray

For the Chris Murray Report and the Philadelphia Sunday Sun

Claude Giroux celebrates his first goal of the season in the third period of the Flyers win over the Edmonton Oilers. Photo by Webster Riddick.

Claude Giroux celebrates his first goal of the season in the third period of the Flyers win over the Edmonton Oilers. Photo by Webster Riddick.

PHILADELPHIA—There are several ways you can look at the Flyers 4-2 win over the Edmonton Oilers on a Saturday afternoon at the Wells Fargo Center.

One way is to say it was inspiration from the players-only meeting after Thursday’s embarrassing shutout loss to the New Jersey Devils. They played 60-minutes of solid hockey, especially in the third period when they scored two goals. They outshot the Oilers 34-26.

“I think some choice words were said in that meeting and we all gotta be accountable,” said Flyers right-winger Wayne Simmonds. “I thought we came today and played a much-better game for 60 minutes. We stuck with our structure and we got two more goals in the third period which is always nice.”

Or you can be a cynic who sees the glass as half empty and say the Flyers were playing a last-place (Pacific Division) Oilers squad (4-12-2) that gives up 3.8 goals per game. This is a team the Flyers should beat. The only problem with that logic is that the Flyers (5-10-1) are at the bottom of the Metropolitan Division standings.

Given the way the Flyers have struggled to score, the team is simply happy with the win and is hoping that it will give them a boost of momentum for their three-game road trip that will take them to Ottawa (Nov. 12), Pittsburgh (Nov.13) and Winnipeg (Nov15).

“I thought that we played a real good third period tonight,” said Flyers head coach Craig Berube. “I thought that we kept playing and doing the right things. I like the way we got the puck deep and forechecked tonight. I like getting 30-plus shots a game and putting pucks on net.”

Another bright spot for the Flyers is that team captain Claude Giroux finally ended his scoring slump and smacked a slap-shot past Edmonton goalie Devan Dubnyk to give his team a 3-1 lead 8:34 left in the third period. It was his first goal of the season.

“It was big,” said Flyers left winger Jay Rosehill. “The bench was really happy and all pumped up. (Giroux) had a big smile on his face. A guy like him isn’t going to go scoreless very often. To get a nice goal like that we needed was big, so I expect him to start rolling now.”

It was especially huge for a visibly frustrated Giroux who had two excellent scoring chances for goals in the second period, but just could not find the net before getting that third period goal. After that second point-blank miss, he shattered his stick in frustration on the Flyers bench.

“Jake (Voracek) and (Scott Hartnell) did a good job of finding me,” Giroux said. “I think we were real aggressive today-the whole team.  The (Oilers) are really talented offensively and we had to make sure that we had a good effort.”

When Edmonton left winger Taylor Hall pushed a shot past goalie Steve Mason to cut the Flyers 3-2 with 6:35 left in the game, fans might have been wondering how the Flyers were going to blow this game given some recent history.

Vincent LeCavalier put that notion and the Oilers to rest with 5:27 left in the third when he took a pass from Braden Schenn and slid it past Dubnyk to put the game away for the Flyers.

Oddly enough, it was Rosehill, known more for his toughness, who got things going for the Flyers in the first period when he took a pass from Mark Streit about four yards in front of the Oilers goal and smacked it past Dubnyk.  He also got the best of Luke Gazdic in a fight that put him in the penalty box for five minutes.

“Rosey did a great job,” Berube said. “He scored a goal and had a big fight. Rosey has done everything we’ve asked of him.”

Later in the first period, Streit assisted on another goal when found a streaking Scott Hartnell who put the puck in the net to give the Flyers a 2-0 lead. Edmonton cut the lead to 2-1 in the second period on a goal by left winger David Perron.

Flyers goalie Steve Mason finally had a solid game with support from the offense. He finished the game with 24 saves.

Rejuvenated Ray Emery Returns to Philly Ready to Win

11 Jul

By Chris Murray

For the Chris Murray Report and the Philadelphia Sunday Sun

http://www.thechrismurrayreport.org

Flyers Goalie Ray Emery  will be competing for starting spot at goaltender this upcoming season. Photo by Chris Murray

Flyers Goalie Ray Emery will be competing for starting spot at goaltender this upcoming season. Photo by Chris Murray

PHILADELPHIA-Flyers goalie Ray Emery returns to the City of the Brotherly Love with a better understanding of what means to keep fighting on in the face of difficult circumstances.

During his last stint with the Flyers in 2010, he was diagnosed with avascular necrosis or AVN in his right hip and it nearly ended his career.  Luckily, the doctors caught the disease before it spread and did a bone graft to repair it.

“It was a shock to me,” Emery said. “Being an athlete you feel invincible. When somebody gives you news like that, you almost don’t believe it.  I’m very fortunate that I had that operation. It stopped the deterioration of my hip and the function came back to 100 percent.

“I was that close to not being able to play the sport.”

The 30-year-old Emery said coming that close to seeing his career end has given him the confidence to get through difficult stretches of games during the course of a season.

“You gain confidence just because of past experiences,” said Emery, who credits the Flyers with helping him find the doctors needed to treat his condition. “It’s just kind of a process involved when overcoming things that pop up.”

A rejuvenated Emery comes back to the Flyers after helping to lead the Chicago Black Hawks to the 2013 Stanley Cup title.  He signed a one-year contract with the Flyers last week worth $1.65 million.  The Flyers also signed former New York Islanders defenseman Mark Streit and former Tampa Bay Lightning center Vincent LeCavalier.

Emery is coming off a regular season where he went 17-1 backing up fellow Black Hawks goal tender Corey Crawford.   Emery also had an average of 1.94 in goals against (number of goals scored on him) and a .920 save percentage.

To start the 2013 season, Emery set an NHL record by winning 12 straight games as the goalie for the Black Hawks.  During his first stint with the Flyers in the 2009-2010 season, he was 16-11. He had a 2.64 goals against average and .908 save percentage.

Flyers general manager Paul Holmgren believes the Flyers are a better team with (from left to right) former New York Islanders defenseman Mark Streit, goalie Ray Emery and former Tampa Bay Lightning center Vincent LeCavalier. Photo by Chris Murray.

Flyers general manager Paul Holmgren believes the Flyers are a better team with (from left to right) former New York Islanders defenseman Mark Streit, goalie Ray Emery and former Tampa Bay Lightning center Vincent LeCavalier. Photo by Chris Murray.

Emery’s hip injury in March of 2010 kept him out of the Flyers run to the Stanley Cup finals. Flyers general manager Paul Holmgren said he’s glad to have him back, but still wonders what would have happened if he had Emery in the 2010 Stanley Cup Finals.

“He’s one of the better goalies in the league,” said Holmgren. “If you look at Ray’s record since he’s been in the NHL all he does is win. You can even go back to the short time he was here. I remember his last game, he shutout Calgary 3-0 (in 2010) and then we got that phone call that his hip was bad.

“Everybody remembers our goaltending situation after that. Who didn’t we have playing after that? If we had Ray Emery that year, who knows? It’s easy to look back and say who knows, I guess.”

Oddly enough, during the Black Hawks march to the Stanley Cup, Emery was on the bench mainly because he had a groin injury prior to the playoffs and because Crawford was hot and Chicago was winning.

“That’s how it goes. Like I said there’s a certain part of you that wants to be in there,” Emery said. “But it’s your team. It was so exciting watching your team and being part of it.”

Coming to the Flyers, Emery will be competing for the starting goalie position with Steve Mason.  Even with the possibility of having to split time, Emery said he’s willing to do his part help the team to win.

“It’s more about the relationship,” Emery said. “It’s more about making it comfortable and getting the most out of both guys.”

Since starting his NHL career with the Ottawa Senators in 2002-2003, he has   compiled a 126-63 record. He was the goalie for the Senators when they lost to Anaheim in the 2007 Stanley Cup Finals.

Emery is one of 22 Black players currently playing in the NHL.

At this year’s NHL Draft, two Black players—Seth Jones, taken fourth by the Nashville Predators, and Darnell Nurse who was the seventh pick by the Edmonton Oilers-are the first to be taken in the top 10 of the NHL Draft.

Emery said he doesn’t mind being a role model to get more Black kids interested in the sport.

“It exciting when you’re a kid to have someone that if you’re interested in hockey and you’re a Black kid to have someone to look up to,” Emery said. “When I was a kid I had Grant Fuhr and Tony McKegney, a select few guys to look up to. I hope we can expand the game to different demographics. I think that’s a good thing.”