Flyers Weekly – Shuffling the defense

Monday 3/3/14 – Monday 3/10/14

Tuesday and Wednesday were two of the more stressful days for hockey fans as they waited to see how their team would be warped improved or completely destroyed on the trade deadline.  While teams like Vancouver and Tampa Bay were making headlines with big trades, the Flyers were sneaking by the deadline without making too much noise.  They didn’t do much, but thankfully they didn’t live up to the hype that rumors had built up expecting lop sided trades for players like Kesler and Weber. Luckily they didn’t live up to bad trade decisions of the past.

What they did do was try to address a blue line problem as best they could without destroying the team. The Flyers added defenseman Andrew MacDonald from the Islanders for a pick in 2015 and minor league center Matt Mangene. Amac isn’t exactly a superstar defender, but he is a better puck mover than the Flyers currently have and when his ice time is kept under 25 minutes he performs pretty well, but with the addition we all knew one of the current blue liners was going to be cut. Cue the frequently swapped out Andjre Meszaros. Mez was traded to Boston for a pick forever ending the Gustafsson/Meszaros defensive carousel.

 

In Amac’s first game in Orange and Black, the Flyers were on the last game of a home and home series against the Washington Capitals which prompted an in-depth look at the Philly-Washington rivalry through the ages. After another Flyers comeback performance leading to an OT win, the Flyers looked to sweep the home and home in Washington. An early lead managed to propel the Flyers an eventual 6-4 win over the Caps, the game did get uneasily close when the Flyers let the Caps come back from a 4-0 deficit to make it 4-3, but everything turned out fine.

They couldn’t extend their winning streak to 4 games Saturday against the Maple Leafs. After going down 2 goals in the 1st, the Flyers managed two comebacks to push the Leafs to overtime, where the eventually lost because of, you guessed it, lack of defensive coverage. While secretly very very mad at the OT performance, fans convinced themselves that they were fine with getting at least one point out of the effort.

The Flyers are now third in the Metropolitan Division by only one point (under the Rangers). If we do manage to stay so closely underneath the Rangers, we will have a chance to jump them by one point as we have played one less game than Ney York, but it’s probably better to not expect to be doing worse.

After Saturday’s game, Wayne Simmonds and Claude Giroux decided to try their luck in another

sport following an invitation from Chris “Handles” Franklin of the Harlem Globetrotters  to play and exhibition game against the Globetrotters.

“We plan on having a great time,” Franklin told CSN Philly. “One thing is for certain. It’s hard to embarrass Philadelphia stars in Philadelphia.” Even if it wasn’t hard they could always brush it off as just an exhibition game so they weren’t really trying.

FlyersVsGT The Flyers instagram posted this picture before the game with the caption Wayne Simmonds and Claude Giroux are gearing up to take on the @harlem_globetrotters now at @wellsfargocenter!

“We’re better at basketball. Wayne is pretty good. He played a lot as a kid. He can jump pretty high.” Giroux said about the exhibition game which immediately drew the attention of the Sixers management.

 

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