QUICK HITS: OCTOBER 20
* The Flyers’ decision not to play Braydon Coburn in Saturday night’s game at the American Airlines Center in Dallas on Saturday was apparently just precautionary in nature and not a setback. Coburn told head coach Craig Berube that he did not feel quite ready to play based on Friday’s practice. The player, who was wearing a walking boot on his left foot while in the pressbox, put in a conditioning skate on Saturday and is aiming to return to the lineup on Tuesday night in Chicago.
* Through his first four starts of the 2014-14 season, Flyers goaltender Steve Mason sports some ugly-looking statistics (3.78 goals against average, .865 save percentage). This has been more a reflection of poor defensive play in front of him — especially in the New Jersey and Dallas games — than on Mason himself. Apart from opening night in Boston, Mason hasn’t been stellar thus far. He also hasn’t been shaky.
That said, I would not be surprised if Ray Emery gets the start tomorrow night in Chicago. First of all, former Blackhawk Emery got the nod in both games the Flyers played against Joel Quenneville’s team last season, including a 23-save victory on March 18. Secondly, with back-to-back games in Chicago on Tuesday and Pittsburgh on Wednesday, it would make sense to split the goaltending chores.
It is worth noting, however, that Berube often doesn’t go “by the book” when it comes to his goalie rotation. Last season, Emery got the nod for a game in Pittsburgh that most everyone thought Mason would go after posting a shutout in his previous outing. Instead, Emery started and went on to post a 30-save win in a game where the Flyers were outplayed for long stretches.
Meanwhile, Mason got back-to-back starts this month when the Flyers opened the regular season with games on consecutive nights amid a 3-in-4 slate. The “logical” rotation would have seen Emery get the middle game. Instead, he got the third game.
The goalie rotation had nothing to do with the 6-4 regulation loss to the Devils or the blown 3-0 lead to Montreal that ended in a 4-3 shootout loss. Of the five goals Mason yielded to New Jersey, four were ones in which he had no chance (one through a heavy screen, two by deflection in front and one by an unchecked Patrik Elias from the doorstep). Emery was brilliant in the Montreal game, but Mason might have produced a similar effort.
Ultimately, Berube is going to do what he sees fit for the games against the Blackhawks and Penguins. He may even go with the same goaltender for both games, depending on how things go against Chicago.
* Brayden Schenn tallied the Flyers second goal of Saturday’s 6-5 shootout win in Dallas by going to the net and cashing in the rebound a shot from the point by defenseman brother Luke. Apart from being Brayden’s first goal of the 2014-15 regular season, it was also just the second time since they became Flyers teammates that the two Schenns got points on the same goal. The only other time came last season against Calgary, when the brothers assisted on a Scott Hartnell goal. The Schenn brothers’ parents, Jeff and Rita, were watching the game in Saskatoon. Brayden was beaming about the goal after the game, admitting that it had special meaning to him.
* Lehigh Phantoms rookie center Scott Laughton had a tremendous weekend, notching back-to-back two goal games as the Flyers split a home-and-home set with the Adirondack Flames. In Saturday’s 4-2 loss in Glens Falls, the Phantoms fell behind by a 2-0 score in the first period. Laughton pulled them even by intermission with a shorthanded goal at 15:30 and an even strength tally with just 14 seconds left in the opening period.
* Anthony Stolarz made his first professional level regular season start on Saturday night in Glens Falls. The Phantoms rookie netminder turned back 32 of 35 shots in a losing effort.
* Phantoms rookie defenseman Shayne Gostisbehere registered a game-high five shots on goal in the Phantoms’ loss on Saturday. He did not get a point and was minus-one. The previous night, in the Phantoms home opener, Gostisbehere collected a pair of assists. Both he and Robert Hägg have two assists over the three games the Phantoms have played to date.
* Flyers 2014 first-round pick Travis Sanheim is off to a blazing start to the 2014-15 season for the WHL’s Calgary Hitmen. In 10 games played to date, he has racked up six goals (already one more than he had all of last season) and 11 points. Sanheim is a plus-seven at even strength. Perhaps most impressively, he bounced back from a subpar game on Saturday — a minus-three, zero point night in a 5-1 loss to Medicine Hat — with a dominating performance yesterday in a 5-1 win over Regina. Sanheim scored two goals and added an assist while compiling a plus-three night at even strength.
Sanheim’s first goal was a wrist shot from the right point directly off a right circle faceoff on a Calgary power play. His second goal came as the trailer on a 3-on-1 rush, taking a pass from twin brother Taylor and burying it from point blank range.
Game highlights are available at the Hitmen’s official website.
* Travis Sanheim’s assist in the Regina game was a secondary helper on a third period goal by Flyers 2014 sixth-round pick Radel Fazleev, which made the score 4-1. The Russian forward later assisted on the final goal of the game. In 10 games played this season for Calgary, third-line center Fazleev has three goals and five points.
* Today in Flyers’ History: On Oct. 20, 1977, the Flyers slaughtered the Pittsburgh Penguins at the Spectrum by an 11-0 score. Bernie Parent breezed to a 20-save shutout in a game that saw the Flyers score four times in the third period, three times in the second and four times in the final stanza. Thirteen different Flyers players chipped in at least one point in the game.
Ross Lonsberry opened the floodgates just nine seconds after the opening faceoff. By the end of the night, Bobby Clarke had a four-point game (one goal, three assists), Reggie Leach had two goals and an assist, Bob Kelly had one goal and two assists, Bill Barber had two goals, Mel Bridgman, Barry Dean and Jimmy Watson each had a goal and an assist, Rick Lapointe had three assists, Don Saleski scored a goal and Orest Kindrachuk had two assists. Defensemen Tom Bladon and Kevin McCarthy joined the feast with an assist apiece.
This post originally appeared on www.hockeybuzz.com and we thank them for permission to rebroadcast it here.