Braden, Kimmo and Ilya
Let's start with Brayden Schenn.
Since coming back from his concussion, Brayden Schenn seems to be getting better and better with each game.
Peter Laviolette had to juggle lines tonight with Jaromir Jagr out of the lineup nursing a groin injury, but methinks that even if Jagr comes back Saturday against Ottawa, Schenn's line with James van Riemsdyk and Wayne Simmonds will stay intact.
JVR had a pair of goals, Schenn his first Flyers assist, and the trio really seemed to work well together and skated hard together.
It'll also keep Jake Voracek with Danny Briere, the best possible winger (aside from the top line guys) to play with Briere and bring some semblance of the line Briere had so much success with last year and the playoffs before that when he had Scott Hartnell and Ville Leino.
But this is supposed to be about Schenn, who is starting to seem comfortable in his role on the roster. The kid definitely has talent. He creates a lot of offense. He's a decent faceoff guy and will only get better, and he's starting to show signs of why he had a reputation as the best prospect not in the NHL prior to this season.
That's a positive for the Flyers.
Now the negative.
Kimmo Timonen hurt his left hand/wrist in the first period of the game against Chicago. He missed the last 9:30 of the period, came back to take three shifts of the second period and then left the game for good.
He will be re-evaluated Friday.
I spoke with Paul Holmgren after the game, and he doesn't believe the injury is serious. Timonen had trouble gripping the stick when he returned in the second period, which is why he took himself out of the game.
It was Timonen's call to try and return to the game. Didn't last.
I would expect he misses the next two games and then we'll see.
As for Ilya Bryzgalov, this situation is getting worse and worse. He is now dodging the media with the full blessing of Holmgren. The Flyers say that's not the case, that Bryzgalov just isn't feeling well.
O.K., maybe that's the case.
But maybe not. Considering how often the Flyers fib, I tend to think this is all spin control.
Here's the timeline:
9:45 p.m. - the media asks for Bryzgalov but is told he's soaking in the hot tub and will be available after the coach speaks.
10:10 p.m. - We are told Bryz doesn't feel well and won't be talking. We are told Holmgren agreed with Bryzgalov and that he shouldn't speak if he's not feeling well. According to a team spokesman, Holmgren said to him "If he's not feeling well, don't let him talk (to the media)."
10:25 p.m.Bryzgalov starts tweeting about the World Junior Championship, which Russia lost in overtime to Sweden.
Now, it's quite possible to be sitting in bed watching TV and tweeting from your iPhone, but this, again, flies in the face of what the team is saying and proves they can't get their story straight.
First he's soaking in a hot tub, then he's sick, then Holmgren tells a PR person not to "let" him talk if he's not feeling well. Then Holmgren tells us that they sent him home to get to bed and get rest, then Bryz tweets about the game.
In other words, the story is shaky at best.
This comes on the heels of a Daily News report recently that teammates were annoyed when Bryz said he was sick during a November loss, telling the newspaper that they can't believe anyone was buying that he was actually sick.
It also follows up comments by former Phoenix teammates who say Bryzgalov caused many similar problems in their locker room and that they were happy he's gone.
It's one giant soap opera.
So much so that a former Flyer playing in another city said to me recently, "You guys must be having a field day with this Bryzgalov character. I read you every day just to see what he says next. It's riveting."
Yes, the reputation is preceding him at this point. And that can't be good.