POST GAME 10-2-09: FLYERS 2, HURRICANES 0
My three stars were:
1. Chris Pronger - He was a beast. He logged nearly 28 minutes, was the defensive catalyst for all eight penalty kills and controls everything on the ice. He is constantly communicating with teammates, directing traffic and being the leader this organization lacked a season ago. Yeah, he's that good.
2. Ray Emery - He got lucky at times, but hey, a shutout is a shutout, and he did make 28 saves. Nice start to his Flyers career.
3. Jeff Carter - He scored the first goal and should have had at least two more. He was always around the net with the puck. Playing with Danny Briere could help him reach 50 goals this season.
DID YOU SEE:
- Blair Betts won his first faceoff against Stephane Yelle? Actually, he took 16 draws, third most on the team, and was credited with nine wins for 56 percent. That's a good number, but the hometown stat folks here in the south don't know how to really register a faceoff win. By my count he was 11-5, which would have been even better.
- Mika Pyorala started the game on the second power play unit with Mike Richards and Simon Gagne, but after that first shift was replaced by James van Riemsdyk. JVR actually registered his first NHL point getting the second assist on Richards' goal, but other than that his time was limited. He played just 8:59 in the game which was only ahead of Daniel Carcillo (7:06) and Danny Syvret (5:26). His minutes need to be better than that if he's going to stay with the big club, otherwise he'll be headed to Adirondack. Pyorala finished with 12:48 of ice time.
- We are always quick to lambaste refs, but good call by Chris Lee on the hand pass by Andrew Alberts that ended up negating a goal by Eric Staal. It could have swung momentum in favor of Carolina with the score 0-0 at the time.
- Rod Brind'Amour looked awful. He could have single-handedly won the game for Carolina, and instead, single-handedly blew it. He missed two wide open nets and missed badly. Sergei Samsonov wasn't much better. He missed an open net too and fumbled another one-time attempt that could have caught Emery out of position.
The official update on the alternate captain rotation is as follows: Chris Pronger and Jeff Carter will wear the "A" on the road while Simon Gagne and Kimmo Timonen will don the letter at home. After 40 games, they will switch.
Meanwhile, Danny Briere is the supersub alternate, getting to wear the A in an injury situation. Combined, the five players along with captain Mike Richards make up John Stevens' leadership group.
One last item of note: - This is just the fourth time in Flyers' history that they have opened the regular season with back-to-back games. The last time this occurred was in 1994-95 (Jan. 21-22)
1970-71: Oct. 10-11
1989-90: Oct. 5-6
1994-95: Jan. 21-22
2009-10: Oct. 2-3
Coming tomorrow on Delcotimes.com - A full recap of the win plus a notebook with a focus on Riley Cote's role with the Flyers plus more anecdotes from the first day of the 2009-10 season.