Flyers

Top 5 quotes from Flyers-Penguins 2019 Stadium Series

Top 5 quotes from Flyers-Penguins 2019 Stadium Series

What a game and what an atmosphere.

Not only did the 2019 Stadium Series make for a night to remember for the Flyers and fans, but it also made for some awesome postgame sound bites.

Let's look at the top five quotes from Saturday night at Lincoln Financial Field.

1. Classic Voracek

Jakub Voracek is always a great interview.

After the Flyers' 4-3 OT win over the Penguins, which featured a crazy finish, both teams shared an appreciation for each other and the event by shaking hands.

Voracek was asked if he was surprised by the handshake line given the rivalry's intensity.

"What did you expect, like a brawl or something?" Voracek asked.

"It's a hockey game. … That's the right thing to do in a game like that and kudos to them."

Anyone who follows the game loves a good hockey cliché.

Voracek is no different. A question about the keys to the Flyers' third-period comeback had him thinking about some of his favorites.

"Get it deep, I love those hockey clichés," Voracek said. "Get it deep, chip it in, work it goal line to goal line and shoot everything on the net, oh my God."

2. 'I can sleep at night' 

The Penguins were none too pleased with Wayne Simmonds during the first period when the Flyers' power forward delivered a big-time check to defenseman Brian Dumoulin, who suffered a concussion on the play.

Simmonds was given a two-minute penalty for unsportsmanlike conduct after a scuffle ensued.

"I didn't like the hit," Penguins center Jared McCann said. "The refs got in the way and nothing came of it."

"I just saw the replay and it looks like he made contact with his head," Sidney Crosby said. "It's tough to see."

Simmonds was asked if he was surprised he received just two minutes.

"Nope, not a chance, not a chance," he said. "Shoulder to shoulder, I don't know what happened after that, to be honest with you. I hit him, I felt him hit the boards, I heard cheers and then all of a sudden there are four guys attacking me."

The 30-year-old, who has seen a ton in this rivalry, defended himself postgame. All his points were perfectly valid.

It's a part of the game, I'm not a dirty player, I've never been suspended in my life, I don't pick people's heads, I don't do any of that stuff. I play the game honest and hard, and that's about it. I can sleep at night.

3. The captain salutes

Speaking of Simmonds, his teammates found themselves talking a lot about the guy they look up to because it's possible Simmonds played his last game in a Flyers uniform with the NHL trade deadline Monday (see story).

Claude Giroux, who has been Simmonds' teammate since 2011, had a tough time putting his appreciation into words because it was a difficult topic.

He's been an ultimate warrior, he's been the best teammate all these years.

There are not enough good words I can say about Wayne Simmonds.

4. 'They're still our fans'

Giroux's celebration pose has gone viral among Flyers fans.


(Eric Hartline/USA Today Images)

He smiled about it postgame.

"My celebration there, I would never do that celebration like that," he said. "It was just kind of a relief to win an outdoor game. It was a battle to get it, but sometimes the games that are the hardest to win are the nicest to win."

Playing in front of 69,620 fans at the Linc marked his 800th career game played, all in orange and black. Only two players in franchise history have played more: Bob Clarke (1,144) and Bill Barber (903).

"The experience is great, the fans are so crazy," Giroux said of the game. "They're still our fans."

5. 'The cherry on top'

Brian Elliott, who made 40 saves in the victory, was asked about the importance of the game.

He also realized how special it was, too.

"Big, I mean, in the standings for sure, and against a big rival," Elliott said. "We had a lot of fans in the stands tonight, and they braved it, the weather, just as we did out there. It was really fun to play that. G, going down there scoring like he did, put the cherry on top for everybody."

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Future Flyers Report: Could prospect Connor Bunnaman be headed back to NHL soon?

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• The Flyers' depth at forward is being seriously tested.

The team is without Travis Konecny (concussion, out indefinitely), Michael Raffl (broken right pinkie finger, out approximately four weeks) and Nolan Patrick (migraine disorder, out indefinitely).

Going into their three-game road trip, the Flyers have only 12 healthy forwards. In his fifth stint with the big club since the beginning of 2018-19, Mikhail Vorobyev is centering the Flyers' fourth line. The 22-year-old is in audition mode yet again with the Flyers and will have to be noticeable in limited minutes to stick.

How Vorobyev performs moving forward and the Flyers' depth concerns could open the door for Connor Bunnaman. The 21-year-old forward made the Flyers' season-opening roster. He's healthy again with AHL affiliate Lehigh Valley after missing nearly a full month because of a lower-body injury.

Bunnaman brings size and positional versatility as the 6-foot-3, 214-pounder can player either center or winger. This past week, Bunnaman scored a goal and had eight shots in three games.

The Flyers may want to have him play more games with the Phantoms before calling him up. However, they may need him soon. Bunnaman has Raffl-like potential and ability.

On Sept. 26, Flyers general manager Chuck Fletcher spoke highly of the 2016 fourth-round pick who scored 19 goals in 62 games with Lehigh Valley last season and two goals this preseason.

He’s been the best player in training camp. He was outstanding in the practices. ... By best player, I mean in terms of expectations. He’s come in and blown them away.

He honestly seems twice as fast this year to last year. I know we make a habit of saying players are quicker and faster but this guy is legitimately much faster than last year and he scored 19 goals last year, had a heck of a year in the American League.

There’s no reason to doubt that he can play some games for us this year.

The Phantoms play Friday, Saturday and Sunday. The Flyers play Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday. Keep an eye on Bunnaman and the big club's bottom-six depth.

Quick hits

• Noah Cates is continuing to turn heads.

As a sophomore, the 2017 fifth-round pick leads defending national champion Minnesota Duluth with nine goals and is a point-per-game player (16 points in 16 contests).

The 20-year-old winger is coming off a four-point weekend (three goals, one assist) in the Bulldogs' two-game sweep of Omaha.

The Flyers couldn't stop bragging about Cates this summer and are probably bragging some more to each other this week.

"I just need to play the way I can play, especially these next couple years with my development," Cates said in June. "They're on board with that, they're happy with where I'm at, but I've got to keep making strides."

He's doing just that.

• Cam York, the Flyers' 2019 first-round pick, recorded a goal and an assist in Michigan's 4-1 win over Penn State last Friday.

The mobile and skilled puck-moving defenseman owns nine points (four goals, five assists) in 14 games as a freshman.

• Egor Zamula enjoyed a three-point weekend for the Calgary Hitmen.

The 19-year-old is third among WHL defensemen with 28 points (seven goals, 21 assists) in 28 games and has a plus-19 rating.

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Flyers' Travis Konecny out indefinitely with concussion after hit from Mark Borowiecki

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VOORHEES, N.J. — Monday started with bad news for the Flyers.

Travis Konecny, their 22-year-old leading scorer, is out indefinitely with a concussion.

Konecny was leveled in open ice by Senators defenseman Mark Borowiecki during the first period of the Flyers' 4-3 win Saturday at the Wells Fargo Center. He left the game and never returned.

The 2015 first-round pick is on pace to shatter his career highs. He's been arguably the Flyers’ most important piece to their turnaround through 30 games of 2019-20.

He has 28 points (11 goals, 17 assists) after having 28 points through the team's first 50 games last season. The Flyers are 2-4-4 in games that he hasn't scored.

I didn’t know a ton about him. I knew he competed like hell, fiery player," Matt Niskanen, in his first year with the Flyers, said Monday. "Playing with him, that’s reinforced that thought — hungry on the puck, good quickness, really good at creating turnovers. He’s shown a pretty good scoring touch, too, so far this year. A lot of good tools and he’s been a really important player for us.

Philippe Myers left the Flyers' skill practice Monday with back spasms. With Konecny out and Myers potentially out for Wednesday's game in Colorado against the Avalanche (9:30 p.m. ET/NBCSN), the Flyers will most likely have only 12 healthy forwards and six healthy defensemen to open a three-game road trip.

Niskanen, who has 125 career postseason games on his résumé and a Stanley Cup title, said this can be a good challenge for the Flyers. The team is 12-3-4 and tied with the Capitals for the most points in the NHL at 28 since Nov. 1 (see weekly observations).

"Both guys have played really well for us," he said. "Hopefully they come back, we've been on a pretty good run here. But it gives somebody an opportunity and it tests us a little bit — and that's OK, early in the year, you're going to have to learn to deal with things."

As of Monday morning, the Flyers did not have plans to make a call-up. Forward Chris Stewart will enter the lineup and defenseman Robert Hagg will, as well, if Myers is unable to go in Colorado.

Head coach Alain Vigneault said it's uncertain if Konecny will or can travel with the Flyers. The team flies to Denver Tuesday afternoon.

"At this time, I would say no," Vigneault said, "but you never know how things change."

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