• December 1, 2022

Devils Swept in Home-and-Home with Flyers

Four points were earned this week for the Flyers, who are in-between two tough stretches on the road. Anything less than four points against the New Jersey Devils in their home-and-home series would have been considered a disappointment, as they are the worst team in the NHL right now. The game may not have been played at breakneck speed, but as coach Peter Laviolette remarked, “It was hard fought.”

“What you saw today was a different New Jersey Devils team. There was no free ice out there. It was physical… You have to give them credit because they came off of a game where they had traded their captain away and probably weren’t very happy with the way they played. You’ve got to give them high marks for the way they did play the game today.”

Brian Boucher was in net, stopping 34 of 35 shots with a phenomenal effort. The one goal scored against was a flukey shot from defenseman Andy Greene, which Flyers defenseman Kimmo Timonen deflected above Boosh while trying to block it. At the other end of the ice, Devils goaltender Johan Hedberg was pulled in the first period after letting two goals in on ten shots. It was a quick pull considering how good “Moose” looked on Thursday.

Speaking about the switch, Boosh commented after the game, “It’s kind of weird to not see [Brodeur] start against us in two straight games. When he came in, I anticipated he’d do a good job and settle things down back there, not that Hedberg played bad. I think it was just a bit of a wake-up call for their team to get Hedberg out of there, and [Brodeur] certainly gave them a chance to win.”

Danny Briere tallied his 21st goal of the year on the powerplay, which went one for five in the match. The PP was hit and miss while the penalty kill was flawless.

Youngsters James Van Riemsdyk and Andreas Nodl both had an excellent game. Nodl came out strong in the first period, setting up multiple scoring chances. He drew a four-minute high sticking penalty against defenseman Henrik Tallinder that allowed the team to gain momentum. After a Ville Leino penalty evened the playing field with four-on-four hockey, JVR put the Flyers on the board with his 10th of the year.

A lot is being made about the turnaround in JVR’s play since his slump at the beginning of the season. It really speaks to his development that he’s worked through his earlier issues and found success. Nodl and JVR’s linemate, Mike Richards, said about JVR, “He’s skating well, and that’s his game. He’s a big body… He’s effective when he skates because he’s got that long reach and it’s hard to get the puck away from him. I think that’s what he’s been doing for probably the last twenty games that’s made him the player we saw last year and the player that’s given us some success this year.”

The Devils swarmed late in the game, and if it wasn’t for Boosh and a handful of quick defensive plays, the game could have easily gone into overtime. At one point, he had the puck on his stick while the net was empty at the other end of the rink. When asked if he had considered trying to channel former Flyers goaltender Ron Hextall and take a shot on goal, Boosh jokingly stated, “I would never ever go- it would take a five-goal lead, and everybody would have to vacate the ice, AND the zamboni would have to make a clean sheet of ice for me to try, so it’s never happening.”

The Flyers will look to continue their three-game winning streak on Tuesday, as they began their next stretch of road games in the Northeast Division with a rout against the Buffalo Sabres.

Josh Janet

Josh Janet was raised in Northern New Jersey, but by an odd set of circumstances, is a Philadelphia sports fan. While recently converted to the Phillies, Josh is a diehard Flyers fan and can be expected to stay on top of the latest NHL news.

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January 9, 2011 9:38 am

If we can keep even-strength play the way it is, I’d just like to see our PP and PK get into the top 10 before the playoffs.

I think Reimer’s really growing into his manhood. I think he’s kind of “feeling out” who he is and what he can do. Somebodies going to clean his clock and it’ll be a good wake up for him physically. I think that around 24 he’ll really start to accept and step into his role and be a great player.