Bourdon the latest rookie to impress
After having waived Matt Walker and Oskars Bartulis to the minors, the Flyers were short on defensive depth - or so was the common belief.
But in the short time that he's been here, Marc-Andre Bourdon has proven the commoners to be just that.
Bourdon scored his first NHL goal Tuesday as part of a thorough 5-1 thrashing of the directionless Washington Capitals - but has made a name for himself in other ways over the last several games.
"Over the last few games I think he's played like an NHL player, not a rookie," Kimmo Timonen said. "He's made some really good choices with the puck and without the puck. As an older guy I watch a lot of younger guys coming into the league and these are some of the things you watch. If they can't do them, it's going to be hard for them to have a long career. BUt once guys start making good plays, every time almost, and position-wise be in the right place all the time - these are things you cannot teach. It's hockey sense. He has it. He's going to have a long career."
That's high praise for Bourdon from one of the better defensemen of the past decade - and Timonen wasn't alone in his thinking and assessment.
"He's been rock solid," coach Peter Laviolette said. "His head is up. He makes a good first pass. He's physical. He looks really comfortable out there. His opportunity (to play in the NHL) has gone from some minutes, to increased minutes to someone that we count on and rely on. That's good for him and I'm happy for him... He's played terrific. He gets his first goal. There are a lot of positives."
- Tomas Vokoun was terrible. He's not normally this bad, but it's games like this, when the team is scuffling, that you need your goalie to at least give an effort that keeps the team in the game to help them get out of the funk. Vokoun was not good, letting in four goals,all of which he probably could have stopped, despite some deflections.
- Alexander Semin is a real problem child on the ice for the Caps. He looks disinterested.If these stuggles continue, he could be the big name that gets traded.
- Dale Hunter's trapping style does not fit this Washington team. It's weird seeing them not attack relentlessly on the forecheck. That's what made them so dangerous in the past. Their problem was they didn't have great defense or goaltending. They've improved in those areas but have hurt their offensive game considerably in the process.
- Really liked the play of the Flyers defense as a whole. They shut down Washington, and when they didn't, Ilya Bryzgalov was solid in net.
- Scott Hartnell's six-game goal-scoring streak (career high) is the longest for the Flyers since Jeff Carter scored in six straight in 2010. It also ties Nashville's Patrick Hornqvist for the longest goal-scoring streak in the NHL this season.
- Hartnell's career-best point streak is seven games, which he can match with a goal or an assist in Montreal Thursday.
- Wayne Simmonds set a career best by scoring in his third straight game.
- Jody Shelley's assist was his first point since Jan. 14, snapping a drought of 30 games.
- The Flyers improved to 11-3-1 on the road this season which, according to the Elias Sports Bureau, is the first time they have ever recorded 11 wins in their first 15 road contests. The franchise record for road victories is 24, set in 2002-03.The Flyers are on pace (30) to shatter that mark.