And it has begun.
The 41st season in Philadelphia Flyers history began last night with a clutch 3-2 victory over the Western Conference powerhouse Calgary Flames. I have to admit, I was a bit nervous going into the game. Our preseason ended with a sketchy 3-5 record, and there was still some chemistry issues that were being addressed in practice. Not to mention - we were facing Kipper and Iginla in our first game. Can you say "test?"
Don't get me wrong, I am ecstatic about the moves that Paul Holmgren made in the off-season, but having at least 9 new players in your roster can make for some lofty confusion on the ice. Fortunately for the Fly-guys, last night's game lacked the issues fans and media alike were half-anticipating.
The game featured impressive performances from Danny Briere (first goal and game winning goal), Simon Gagne (2 assists), and Mike Knuble (1 PP goal, 1 assist). Aside from the first line point-getters, Mike Richards and the understated Braydon Coburn had especially strong games. Richards' forechecking game was determined, high in energy, and consistent. He played a ton of minutes (19:10) and seemed to make something happen every time he stepped out. Coburn's game didn't involve any points, but holy-defensive-positioning Batman - this guy was just great when it came to being responsible on the ice. He's often overlooked when he doesn't put up any points, but I can honestly say that he looked like one of the most confident defensemen on the ice.
In other Flyers/NHL news, I had a chance to chat with former Flyer defenseman Chris Therien last night before the game. I've been trying to find out what's going on with free agent LW John LeClair since he was released in November 2006 from the Penguins roster. Knowing that Therien and LeClair are good friends from "back in the day," I figured this was my best chance to find out what the deal is - is he retired? retiring? planning on a comeback? seeking a contract? Whatever I could find out, I was happy with.
When asked about LeClair's status, Therien told me to "consider him retired...He's had a tremendous career and [now has the chance to] ride off into the sunset." I couldn't have said it better myself, Chris. Although, what I wouldn't give to see him play one more game in the NHL.
Here's to John LeClair, his extraordinary career (even though it's not officially over), and a new beginning for the Flyers in the 2007-08 season.
05 October 2007
And it has begun.
© 2007 Bleu, Blanc et Rouge.
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