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.

Thursday, September 29, 2011


With all of the supposed talent on the Flyers roster last season, their power play finished ranked 19th in the NHL.

Not good.

Yes, missing the hammer on the point that is Chris Pronger for 32 regular season games and eight playoff games had a little something to do with that, but the biggest problem for the Flyers was the unwillingness of the players to keep moving in the zone, and things grew stale and easy to defend.

No more.

You add Jaromir Jagr to the mix, sprinkle in some Wayne Simmonds, who isn't afraid to play in front of the net and the guys who tried so hard last year - Claude Giroux and Danny Briere - can get even more creative.

“We’re doing a good job of moving and not staying stagnant,” Pronger said. “We got some interchangeable parts that can move around. We can set up on the left, the right, no matter who is out there. That’s a nice luxury to have and it allows us different looks.”

And those different looks create havoc for opposing penalty kills because you never know what the Flyers are going to do.

“I think both units are going to really click," coach Peter Laviolette said. "(We're) just really starting to get it together. We’ve got to get James (van Riemsdyk) in there when he gets back. But both units have had a lot of time, it’s been every day now for four or five days.
"I think the more time we spend on it, work on it, find some continuity with the groups, the more successful we’ll be. I definitely think there’s a lot of options that are available. They’re both set up just a little bit different. A lot of things can happen.”

In the last two games, the power play is 5-for-12.

Yeah, it's the preseason, you get the sense that these guys have some instant chemistry... and that's rare for Jagr, who has fallen in love with the idea of playing with Giroux, whom he dubbed the "Little Genius."

"It’s not easy to play with me, trust me," Jagr said. "I couldn’t find many guys who would get used to me or who I was happy with.”

He then put Giroux into a very select group.

"No. 66 (Mario Lemieux) and No. 10 Ron Francis. That's about it."

Once again, high praise. Once again something for the Flyers to be excited about. Because believe it, Jagr still has a lot left in the tank, and the power play should be the initial beneficiary.


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