Flyers play roulette too many times with Penguins' PP, lose home ice

Flyers play roulette too many times with Penguins' PP, lose home ice


They already have two future Hall of Famers in Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin, plus another 330-goal scorer in Phil Kessel. 

Clearly, the Pittsburgh Penguins don’t need another team’s charity when it came to scoring goals and winning hockey games.

But the Flyers obliged anyway and the two-time defending Stanley Cup champions certainly didn’t refuse the gratuity, as the Penguins were rewarded with seven power-play opportunities on their way to an easy 5-1 win in Game 3 of their Eastern Conference quarterfinal series. 

Dave Hakstol could have written with a big, black Sharpie “Don't take penalties” on his dry-erase board and the message would have applied no matter how many games this series goes. 

“I don’t know if it’s frustration or you get caught not moving your feet and you’re reaching a little bit,” goaltender Brian Elliott said. “That’s what happens when you lose control of your stick.”

After sticking it to the Penguins on Friday in Pittsburgh, 5-1, the Flyers found a completely different method of sticking it to the Pens for Game 3.

There was a pair of tripping and high-sticking penalties to go along with a slashing call. In all, the Flyers were guilty of five stick infractions in just under 40 minutes in Game 3, and the free fall started with Claude Giroux’s slashing call against Sidney Crosby just 72 seconds into the second period.

“I didn’t think G’s slash, honestly, was a penalty, but the stick comes out of their player’s hands and that gets called,” Dave Hakstol said. “That’s the only one that I probably would have had an issue with.”

“You can’t do that against that team,” Nolan Patrick said. “They have an unbelievable power play.”

Actually, unbelievable is an understatement.

Not only did the Penguins bring the NHL’s No. 1 power play into the Stanley Cup Playoffs, at a 26.2 percent success rate, this power play was also the most successful power play in the history of the Penguins franchise.

Fifty-one seasons in the expansion era and this was ranked No. 1. Not even Mario Lemieux with Jaromir Jagr, Ron Francis and Paul Coffey operated a power play at a higher rate of success than the 2017-18 Penguins.

The Flyers' 29th-ranked penalty kill, which had struggled throughout most of the regular season, found a way to limit the Penguins to just one power-play goal in eight chances over the first two games of the series. Of the 16 playoff teams, the Flyers had statistically the best penalty kill in the postseason.

Play roulette 20 times and statistical probability will tell you that if you land on black on the first 12 spins, eventually you’ll have a run on red. 

After two games, it was time to cash in your chips and leave the casino. 

Yet the Flyers, in their carelessness Sunday, elected to let it all ride in Game 3, and now they’ve handed home-ice advantage back to Pittsburgh. 

Former Flyers goalie Ray Emery dies at 35

Former Flyers goalie Ray Emery dies at 35

Former Flyers goaltender Ray Emery died Sunday morning. First responders pulled his body out of Hamilton Harbour, where he had been swimming with friends. An investigation into the cause of death is still ongoing. 

Emery was 35.

According to local authorities, Emery was checking out a friend’s boat docked at Royal Hamilton Yacht Club when the group he was with decided to jump in the water around 6:30 a.m. Emery’s body never surfaced and was eventually recovered around 2:50 p.m. Sunday afternoon. Hamilton police say Emery’s body was recovered in close proximity to where he was last seen.

Emery was last seen publicly with a handful of his former teammates Saturday night as the goaltender participated in Zac Rinaldo’s charity hockey game in Hamilton. Emery can be seen standing during the playing of “O Canada.”

"The Philadelphia Flyers are stunned and extremely saddened to hear of the tragic passing of former Flyers goaltender Ray Emery," president Paul Holmgren said in a statement from the team. "Ray was an outstanding teammate and an extremely gifted goaltender. He had exceptional athleticism, was a fierce competitor and battled in every game he played with the Flyers.

"His performances through the 2009-10 season were a very big part of the team's success in making the playoffs and reaching the Stanley Cup Final. Ray's talent, work ethic and determination helped him enjoy a successful 11-year NHL career. Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family and friends during this difficult time."

Several of Emery’s former teammates over the years offered their condolences via Twitter after learning of the tragedy.

Former Flyer Daniel Carcillo shared the he was crushed by the news (NSFW).

Jakub Voracek also shared his condolences (NSFW).

Emery joined the Flyers in June 2009 on a one-year contract, shutting out the Carolina Hurricanes 2-0 in his Flyers debut. The goaltender’s first stint in Philadelphia was cut short when he suffered a muscle tear in his abdomen in December missing the remainder of the season. Emery was later diagnosed with avascular necrosis — a degenerative condition to the bone tissue in his hip.

After undergoing successful surgery, Emery eventually joined the Ducks before winning a Stanley Cup with the Blackhawks in 2013. Impressively, Emery finished the regular season with a 17-1-0 record. He re-signed with the Flyers that summer as a backup to Steve Mason.

Emery’s most infamous moment in Philadelphia came during an ugly 7-0 loss to the Washington Capitals on November 1, 2013, as the Flyers netminder pummeled Caps goalie Braden Holtby during a line brawl in the early stages of the third period.

Emery faced criminal charges over a handful of off-the-ice incidents and altercations. Most recently, he was arrested for assault with a weapon in 2017 against former fiancé Keshia Chanté. 

Emery played a total of 287 NHL games, 88 with the Flyers. 

Flyers' Danick Martel accepts qualifying offer; team re-signs Taylor Leier and Tyrell Goulbourne

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Flyers' Danick Martel accepts qualifying offer; team re-signs Taylor Leier and Tyrell Goulbourne

Updated: 9:44 p.m.

Three young forwards will all be staying in the Flyers organization, at least for one more year.

Sunday, the team announced that Danick Martel accepted his qualifying offer on a one-year contract, and that restricted free agents Taylor Leier and Tyrell Goulbourne signed one-year deals.

Restricted free agent goalie Anthony Stolarz has also accepted his qualifying offer of $761,250, according to a report from John Hoven. Stolarz, 24, played in just one game for the Phantoms in the 2017-18 season after undergoing surgery on a meniscus tear last summer. A second-round pick by the Flyers in the 2012 draft, Stolarz went 18-9 and posted a 2.92 goals against average with Lehigh Valley in 2016-17.

Though the team didn't include any salary details, Martel's deal is reportedly a two-way contract worth $715,000.

The 23-year-old Martel made his NHL debut last season, finishing with no points and six shots over four games. He scored a career-best 25 goals for Lehigh Valley.

With Leier, the Flyers avoided a possible arbitration hearing. According to CapFriendly, Leier's contract is a one-way deal for $720,000. Leier's hearing was scheduled for Aug. 3. The team also earlier avoided a hearing with Alex Lyon, their other player who filed for arbitration, signing the goalie to a two-year deal.

A fourth-round selection in 2012, Leier had one goal and four assists in 39 regular-season games with the Flyers as a rookie.

Goulbourne, who made his NHL debut on Jan. 6, appeared in nine regular-season contests, with 15 hits.

If Stolarz is indeed back in the fold, Robert Hagg would be the team's only remaining restricted free agent. 

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