Flyers inches away from a perfect week

Matt. Radziwill ('10)/Philadelphia Flyers/Sixers Beat Writer

The Philadelphia Flyers wrapped up a brilliant week of hockey when they defeated the Atlanta Thrashers 4-3 on Sunday night at the Wachovia Center.  The team was running on fumes having played four games in just six days, three of which were on the road.  They defeated the Islanders, Canadiens and Thrashers in regulation but unfortunately allowed Sidney Crosby to score with under three minutes to go in the third period to force overtime, eventually resulting in a shootout loss to the Penguins on Thursday. The Flyers found themselves down 3-0 in that Pittsburgh game but rallied back to take the 4-3 lead thanks to Simon Gagne scoring two. The Flyers have a record of 8 wins and 20 losses in shootouts since the rule was implemented before the 2005-2006 season.  This poor record ranks them second to last all-time percentage-wise in front of only the Ottawa Senators. This is definitely an area they need to practice more often.   Regardless of the shootout heartbreaker, they will happily take the seven points out of the possible eight and the improvement of their record to 7-6-4.

Martin Biron allowed just six goals in the three games he played this week; he seems like he is starting to turn the corner. Meanwhile, Antero Nittymaki was in goal when the Flyers snapped the Thrashers five game winning streak. Anteros’ 29 saves improved the teams all time record against the Thrashers to 27-3-3-1. (Wins-losses-overtime losses-ties) Flyers forwards Simon Gagne and Jeff Carter continue to rack up the points.  Both Gagne and Carter are tied for fourth in the eastern conference in goals with eleven.

Vote for your Flyers

Daniel Briere, Simon Gagne, Kimmo Timmonen, Mike Richards and Martin Biron have all been voted to the 2009 All Star Ballot. Make sure to cast your vote by visiting the Flyers’ website.

Hartnell Benched

Flyers coach John Stevens decided to bench Scott Hartnell for the entire third period against the Islanders. This was a wake-up call to the whole team that even a seasoned veteran can be called-out for not doing his job.

Upcoming Schedule

The Flyers have four days off before they face the Buffalo Sabers on Friday night.  This will probably end the momentum they spent the last week building up, but there is no such thing as too much rest in the NHL. They will host the Dallas Stars and Phoenix Coyotes on the 22nd and 24th of November, both from the Western Conference. I predict that the Flyers will get four points in these three games.