Blogs > In The Room with Anthony SanFilippo

Daily Times beat writer Anthony J. SanFilippo takes you inside the locker rooms of the Philadelphia Flyers and the rest of the NHL.

Saturday, December 27, 2008


Things went from bad to worse for the Flyers Friday.

Following a dreadful 5-1 loss to Chicago it was learned that Kimmo Timonen has a chip fracture in his right ankle that wil force him to miss at least a week - if not longer.

Also, Scott Hartnell broke his big toe on his left foot and is doubtful for Saturday's game in Columbus.

The injuries are starting to mount up for the Flyers and their mettle will be tested on this road trip as they are forced to fill in with depth players for skill players.

Also, in case the day of travel hasn't been terrible enough, the Flyers were stranded in Chicago tonight because of heavy fog and must fly day of game again Saturday into Columbus.

This isn't good.

Friday, December 26, 2008


The Flyers called up Claude Giroux from the Phantoms and sent Andreas Nodl back to the Phantoms Friday.

Giroux had been the Phantoms leading scorer and was fourth in the American Hockey League.

He is playing on a line tonight with Glen Metropolit and Arron Asham.

Nodl was sent back despite scoring his first goal in the NHL.


Remember Patrick Sharp? I do. He was one of the best guys in the Phantoms locker room the season I covered them when the NHL was locked out. He was a leader in that room and a quality offensive player to boot.

The Flyers gave up for him too early and got nothing in return from him from Chicago. Now, he is one of the best players (and an Alternate Captain) on the most exciting young team in the sport.

He has 18 goals this season and 39 points which would put him in second and fourth respectively on the Flyers right now.


Luca Sbisa is back in the lineup now that he's setting four alarms to make sure he doesn't oversleep again. He's paired with Randy Jones. Andrew Alberts and Lasse Kukkonen are the odd men out.


John stevens said Danny Briere would join the Flyers in Columbus tomorrow and would start skating with the team. He is close to being ready. Probably within a week or so. When he comes back, the Flyers will have to clear a significant amount of salary to comply with the NHL's cap. It should be interesting to say the least.

Monday, December 22, 2008


I'm hearing Scottie Upshall will be out for at least two weeks with a sprained right knee.

The Flyers will put out a release later today, but it looks like he'll miss the rest of December and the first week of January.

Expect Andreas Nodl to get recalled from the Phantoms.

More later...

Sunday, December 21, 2008


In an interesting move by Flyers' coach John Stevens, he benched rookie defenseman Luca Sbisa in favor of Randy Jones, who is playing his first game today after missing the first 32 with a hip injury.

Sbisa has tapered off after a solid start, but many scribes on press row, including yours truly, were surprised that Sbisa was kicked to the scratch list rather than turnover-prone Andrew Alberts.

The coach will have to answer for this after the game.

A couple other notes:

Antero Niittymaki gets his fourth straight start in goal following yesterday's remarkable effort against Washington. Marty Biron is back in uniform, but he needs a day or two of practice before he gets back on the ice after dealing with a nasty strand of the flu bug.

Oh, and in honor of my colleague Ed Moran from the Philadelphia Daily News, who decided to write a column centered around my penchant nature to be a stat head in the press box, I offer for the first time today the Moran Mathematical Observation of the day:

In the six games (entering today) the line of Joffrey Lupul, Jeff Carter and Scott Hartnell have combined to post 29 points, or 4.8 per game.

And, in case Moran is reading this, here's the breakdown so he can use it for his story in the Daily News tomorrow:

Lupul 3 goals, 5 assists, 8 points
Carter 5 goals, 6 assists, 11 points
Hartnell 7 goals, 3 assists, 10 points

Thursday, December 18, 2008


That's right, I said bacon... as in cooked. Fried. Done.

The Flyers run of great hockey ended unceremoniously Thursday in snowy Montreal.

But, the big story was coming into the game.

Tuesday, Montreal lost 3-2 to the Carolina Hurricanes. In that game, Carolina had 11 power plays. The Canadiens just one.

No question the whining and complaining from Hockey's Mecca soon followed.

Give Montreal credit for not moaning publicly, but there had to be a phone call made to the league, or at least crying in local newspaper columns because NHL director of officiating was on the local French-speaking channel explaining how sucha disparity happens.

I was sitting in an Italian cafe eating lunch, and the sound was down, so I couldn't hear what he was saying - and the closed captioning was in French - go figure. But the fact that he was addressing it doomed the Flyers.

They ended up with just one-and-a-half power plays for the entire game. That's it.

Not that that was the difference in the game, it's just a point of reference, an omen if you will beforehand that came true afterwards.

By the way, who wants to bet Randy ones plays for the Flyers this weekend after this shoddy performace by the defense?

And oh yeah, Marty Biron may get just one of the two starts this weekend. I'm betting Sunday.

Saturday, December 6, 2008


Lost amidst all the hullabaloo of the Flyers recent spate of good hockey that has saw them go 9-1-2 in their last 12 games is the efforts of one man to get back on the ice for one last shot at glory.

Every day, while his teammates practice or travel , Derian Hatcher is working out. He can't skate yet. And one doctor has told him he'll probably never play again, but that hasn't deterred him.

He wants to play - maybe 15-20 games and then the playoffs. He wants one more shot at a Stanley Cup before he retires.

The Flyers want him to make it too, although his chances are a long shot at best.

However, Hatcher has been told by one doctor that there's no harm in trying, and that if he can strengthen the muscle in his knee enough by working out, he might be able to get two more months of good hockey out of it.

Paul Holmgren has told Hatcher he wants him to give it a shot. Of course, bringing in a veteran warrior like Hatcher just in time for the playoff push would be a huge boost for the Flyers, assuming he's healthy.

So, Hatcher has until the end of February - a few days before the NHL trade deadline - to prove he can come back. Otherwise, he'll call it a career.

He wants to do it. The Flyers want him to do it.

And if the Flyers fashion themselves as a true Stanley Cup contender, which they very well could be, then by golly, everyone should be rooting for Hatcher.

I am.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008


Danny Briere will miss at least one month after tearing a muscle in his groin area during the second period of Tuesday's game against Tampa.

It is the third abdominal/groin injury for Briere this season. While the three injuries are probably related in some way, they are three separate and distinct ailments.

Briere has only played in nine games for the Flyers this season. He has scored five goals.

The Flyers expect to recall Darroll Powe from the Phantoms and will decide between Powe and Jon Kalinski as a replacement while Briere is on the shelf.

The one bright spot for the Flyers is Briere will go on the long-term injury list, temporarily giving them an additional $6.5 million in salary cap space.

This will allow for Randy Jones to come off the injured list next week without the Flyers having to make any other roster moves because of salary cap issues.

I interviewed general manager Paul Holmgren as a pool reporter this afternoon, here's what he said:

> What's the update on Danny?

"Danny had an MRI today on his stomach and groin area. There weren't any issues at all with his stomach but there is a significant groin strain in there and we're looking at Danny to be out of the lineup for 4-5 weeks."

> Is this more related to groin injury that he missed the last nine games with, or the abdominal injury from earlier in the season?

"The groin area has more than one muscle so it's probably related to the last groin injury, but this is a different muscle involved now than it was earlier. The injury is significant, so he's going to be on the shelf for a little while."

> Is this the kind of injury that requires rest, or will he be able to start rehabbing right away?

"He'll start his rehab tomorrow, but the explosiveness involved in skating, especially for a quick guy like Danny, is so key, so it's important that he rest it too by staying off the ice right now."

> Stick with Kalinski or something else?

"I still have to talk to John, but we have some options. We're going to call up Darroll Powe who is back in the lineup with the Phantoms and has played well down there. I'll talk to John and we'll make a final decision in the morning - at least for the direction we're going to go for the game tomorrow night."

> There's nothing positive about this injury, but it does open up enough cap room for you for Randy Jones when he comes back, right?

"It's hard to find a pro when you lose one of your top players who would probably be your top scorer if he was playing - that's really hard to swallow, but it is what is is. But yes, when Randy comes back we have some flexibility that we didn't have before."

> Where do we stand with Matt Carle?

"Matt seemed much better today, and we're hoping that he'll be o.k. for tomorrow."

> Randy Jones - next week?

"We're waiting to hear back from the doctor who did the surgery on him to see when he'll be cleared to play. He's still not cleared for full activity. But, Randy did fine today at practice. He's certainly close but Saturday is probably not an option but his return is just around the corner."

More in tomorrow's edition of the Daily Times.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008


Hi all,

I'm back from the D.L. and with the team full time again.

I didn't report it on here, but I have a nerve injury in my left arm as a result of too much typing. My recovery is ongoing, but I can't do any more damage, so I can now return to full-time duties.

Thanks to my editor Rob Parent and my colleague Jon Campbell for filling in.

Now, back to the NHL.

Anyone catch the latest suspension in the league?

The NHL put Dallas Stars pest Sean Avery on the shelf indefinitely for making a rude comment about actress Elisha Cuthbert.

"I am really happy to be back in Calgary, I love Canada," Avery said on TSN, the Canadian ESPN. "I just want to comment on how it's become like a common thing in the NHL for guys to fall in love with my sloppy seconds. I don't know what that's about. Enjoy the game tonight."

Avery dated Cuthbert when he was a player in Los Angeles. Cuthbert is now dating Calgary defenseman Dion Phaneuf.

The league immediately suspended Avery, who will not be available for the game tonight in Calgary.

This is wrong. You can't censor the guy. We live in a free society and if people want to chose to be idiots, they can be idiots. No one can tell them otherwise.

It's not like he said anything related to the sport of hockey that would be detrimental - which is what the league cited as their cause for the suspension.

This opened up a brand new can of worms. Now anytime a player says anything about anybody they are subject to discipline.

Heaven for bid they have a political opinion that Gary Bettman disagrees with.