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The Flyers will try to beat the Sharks tonight for the first time in over 13 years

Feb 3, 2014, 5:00 PM EDT

source:  Take a break from thinking about the punishment we’re getting from the snow gods or the beatdown that was last night’s Super Bowl and try to think back and remember what you were doing on Dec. 21, 2000.

Pre-pubescent Greg was probably racing home from school to see what the top videos were on TRL that day and eagerly anticipating which WWF action figures and Nintendo64 games he would get from Santa for Christmas in a few days.

Anyway, try and think back to that day because it’s the last time the Philadelphia Flyers earned a victory over tonight’s opponent, the San Jose Sharks.

That may sound farcical, but it’s most certainly not. The Flyers haven’t beaten the Sharks in the teams’ last 13 meetings over the last 13 or so years. The Sharks hold and 11-0-2 vice grip over the Flyers in that span. Those weren’t two overtime or shootout losses, either. Those were two ties from the archaic, pre-lockout NHL days.

Either way, the fact remains that the Sharks have been the Flyers’ kryptonite whenever they’ve met for over the last decade.

Tonight’s road trip-concluding matchup at the Shark Tank will be of similar difficulty because San Jose is once again among the NHL’s elite.

San Jose trails just NHL-best Anaheim in a stacked Pacific Division and has the fourth-most points in the league with 76. San Jose also features top-15 points players in Joe Thornton and Joe Pavelski, the latter of which is tied for third in the entire league with 29 goals and will play a prominent role for the U.S. in Sochi in a few weeks.

Don’t forget about Patrick Marleau or netminder Antti Niemi either. Niemi is tied for second in the league with 28 wins between the pipes. We don’t have to get into Niemi’s history against the Flyers.

San Jose’s record is even more impressive when you consider that it’s been without Logan Couture, one of the best young scores in the league, for an extended period of time with a wrist injury.

The good news for the Flyers is that they head into tonight’s contest with a good bit of momentum after a 2-0 shutout over the Los Angeles Kings this past Saturday afternoon in Hollywood.

Wayne Simmonds and Claude Giroux had the Flyer tallies.

Simmonds’ goal was the 100th goal of his career and, to make things even sweeter, it was a game-winning goal against his former team in his first game back in Los Angeles.

The Wayne Train also wore an “A” on his sweater as an assistant captain during the game as Kimmo Timonen missed the contest with foot injury. Mark Streit had previously worn the “A” when either Timonen or Scott Harntell, the Flyers’ other assistant captain, missed a game earlier this season.

Timonen will miss tonight’s game as well.

It shows just how far Simmonds has come this season not only with his play and stats, but also with the fire he shows when on the ice and his leadership in the locker room. And to think he was reportedly on the trading block at one point during the Flyers’ messy start to the year. Simmonds and Steve Mason have been the backbone of the Flyers this season.

Speaking of Mason, he was the other big story to come out of the game in LA.

The Flyers goalie was superb in the 2-0 blanking of the Kings as he made 35 saves. And they weren’t easy saves either as the Kings brought all kinds of pressure for extended periods of time.

Mason will start again tonight in San Jose.

And the Flyers needed all 35 of those saves because they managed just 13 shots of their own. Those 13 shots were the lowest amount of shots in any game, win or loss, in team history. The NHL record for fewest shots on goal in a win is nine, if you were wondering.

The Flyers began this trip this past Thursday in Anaheim knowing it wouldn’t be easy to travel out to California and win three games against three of the best the NHL has to offer. They played well in Anaheim but came up on the short end.

If they can finally break through against the Sharks tonight, two out of three ain’t bad, right?

  1. psudrozz - Feb 4, 2014 at 11:50 AM

    one of the best games played all season.

    Reply
    • 400 Years - Feb 4, 2014 at 1:06 PM

      Shame a few people caught it. I swear, the West Coast televised games are the worst on the weekdays.

      Reply
  2. 2sentz - Feb 4, 2014 at 2:44 PM

    This was a great game, worth staying up til 1:10a. Hard fought end to end action, down after 2 periods, gritty comeback, this is why 5-hr energy was invented.

    Reply
  3. psudrozz - Feb 4, 2014 at 3:42 PM

    i know this is a touchy question, but are we better off without Kimo? The D just looks faster and able to recover quicker.

    not bailing on the guy. just asking.

    Reply
    • 2sentz - Feb 4, 2014 at 3:56 PM

      Good question and well-asked. My son wasn’t crazy about the beating Timmo’s been taking on this site, pointed out how of all our D with more than 25 games he’s the only guy with a plus ratio (albeit +1). But that said, seeing him scratched again last night we also discussed the speed factor and Berube’s wise decision, he would not have kept up with that pace last night.

      Reply
    • TheDude - Feb 4, 2014 at 4:54 PM

      I’m not getting all the Timonen bashing around here. Yeah, the guy is on the last legs of his career and yeah, he’s out with an injury at the present moment, but in the overall picture he’s still a top-two defenseman on this club.

      There was a decent article on if he was worth the $6M contract extension, and the general conclusion that he’s still a viable #1 guy on this roster. http://www.broadstreethockey.com/2014/1/30/5350748/kimmo-timonen-is-still-very-good

      I think him being out of the line-up and the recent uptick of west coast games have nothing to do with one another. The team is sticking to the fundamentals, they’re getting solid goaltending from Mason and they’re keeping themselves in games that a couple of months ago, they gave up on.

      Reply
      • MJS - Feb 4, 2014 at 5:05 PM

        Agreed. It would be like arguing that Rinaldo being out of the lineup last month was the reason the Flyers started slumping like they were back in October.

      • psudrozz - Feb 4, 2014 at 5:51 PM

        nice straw man ^^^

  4. FlyersFan - Feb 4, 2014 at 4:49 PM

    FLYERS 5 SHARKS 2

    Amazing what a difference benching TImonen is making isn’t it?

    What a great game last night. A few points about last night’s game:

    * CLAUDE GIROUX. Great performance. Setting up his teammates and scoring a goal himself. If he can keep this up, things are going to get real interesting in these parts.

    *LUKE SCHENN. Dominating performance. Luke was throwing people out of the way and clearing the front of the net last night with authority. What a stud. The Schenn-Gus pair is the Flyers best defensive pairing easily.

    *ERIK GUSTAFSSON. What a difference he’s made since being inserted into the starting lineup. He and Luke have been the best defensive pair easily.

    Flyers need to keep Timonen out of the lineup as there is clearly no more room for him. Even Meszaros is playing much better defensively lately, and Mez brings a better offensive game as well.

    Reply
    • Jactaid - Feb 4, 2014 at 5:03 PM

      Schenn didn’t look so hot getting burned by Neito on the footrace to the front of the net for that Sharks’ first goal.

      Reply
      • FlyersFan - Feb 4, 2014 at 5:09 PM

        Schenn didn’t get burned. Stop over-dramatizing it. It was a weird angle shot that hit off the post and in.

        Luke finished the game +3. The only other player who matched was his partner,Gus.

        Also, I guess you missed it when he was literally throwing guys around and clearing the net with authority.

        He’s the only defenseman on the roster capable of doing that.

      • Jactaid - Feb 4, 2014 at 5:16 PM

        Not saying he wasn’t pounding bodies all night.

        I was just remarking to your comment that he had a “dominating performance”, which you must have glazed over of him getting beat one-on-one to the front of the net for the Sharks first goal. You can’t miss it if you re-watch the highlights over on NHL.com.

        To me, that’s not a dominating performance… and you can dislike my comment all you like.

    • t800m101 - Feb 5, 2014 at 1:37 PM

      Gustafsson is awful.

      Reply
  5. FlyersFan - Feb 4, 2014 at 5:19 PM

    It was a dominating performance. No other defenseman on the team is capable of playing like that. No one.

    You said he was burned. Bullshit. He wasn’t burned by any stretch. Was he beaten to the puck. Sure, but 9 out of 10 times that isn’t a goal anyway.

    Reply
    • Jactaid - Feb 4, 2014 at 5:23 PM

      Schenn & Nieto start at the Flyers blueline at the same time. Nieto beats him to the net, places his stick on the ice, re-directs the shot (with Schenn on top of him) for the first goal. What’s so dominant about Luke Schenn’s performance there?

      http://video.sharks.nhl.com/videocenter/console?id=555214&catid=-6

      Reply
      • FlyersFan - Feb 4, 2014 at 5:26 PM

        Beating someone to a puck is not burning someone.

        Do you understand the difference between burning someone and simply beating them to the puck?

  6. Jactaid - Feb 4, 2014 at 5:27 PM

    Clearly… that’s why I said he got burned in the footrace to the front of the net.

    Reply
    • FlyersFan - Feb 4, 2014 at 5:32 PM

      Yeah and then right you stated Schenn was right on top of him.

      Which is it? Was Schenn on top of him or did he get burned?

      What a moron.

      Reply
      • Jactaid - Feb 4, 2014 at 5:34 PM

        Alright, I’ll bite. He got beat on the footrace and burned for having a goal scored on him. Ya happy there FlyersFan?

        Either way, he looked like shit on the play and the Sharks tied up the game. Less than a dominating performance.

      • Acquiesce - Feb 4, 2014 at 5:39 PM

        Video shows Neito was the first one to the net (Schenn was beaten there). Video shows that once Schenn caught up, Neito beats him with stick control in front of the crease (Schenn beaten there too). Video shows the redirect goes in (Schenn + Mason beaten there).

        Gotta go with Jactaid on this one. Schenn got beaten & burned on that play.

  7. FlyersFan - Feb 4, 2014 at 5:42 PM

    So now you’re back-tracking on what you stated previously.

    He didn’t look like shit on the play as it was a play that could have happened to anyone.

    It was simply a weird shot that hit off the post and went in. Those things happen sometimes and in no way did it impact the overall effect he had on the game.

    Reply
    • Jactaid - Feb 4, 2014 at 5:50 PM

      I’m not backtracking anything I said. If anyone should, it’s should be you. You can’t have a dominating performance, yet get beat on a play that results in a goal.

      That goal was as good as anything the Flyers have thrown up on the board.

      Just because you chose to ignore the fact that Schenn got beat on that goal, doesn’t make it a fluke.

      Reply
      • FlyersFan - Feb 4, 2014 at 6:18 PM

        You’re not back-tracking?

        According to you, first he got burned, then he was on top of him, and then he got beat in a footrace.

        Which is it?

        As for can’t have a play like that and not have a dominating performance that is one of the most uneducated comments I have ever seen.

        In the same game, Giroux had 3 points. A goal and two assists yet finished with only a +1 rating. I guess he didn’t have a great game either, using your logic.

      • Jactaid - Feb 4, 2014 at 6:44 PM

        Listen dude, I’ll lay it out for you one last time.

        You said “*LUKE SCHENN. Dominating performance. Luke was throwing people out of the way and clearing the front of the net last night with authority. What a stud. The Schenn-Gus pair is the Flyers best defensive pairing easily.”

        To which I replied that “Schenn didn’t look so hot getting burned by Neito on the footrace to the front of the net for that Sharks’ first goal.”

        Do yourself a favor and click on the link (http://video.sharks.nhl.com/videocenter/console?id=555214&catid=-6) and watch at the 31 second mark, both Neito and Schenn are together on the blue line. At the 33 second mark, Neito has Schenn beat to the crease. Pause the video at the 37 second mark and you can see Neito has his stick on the ice even with Schenn on top of him. He re-directs the puck into the net and ties the game up one all.

        That’s what happened. Schenn got beat in the footrace, beat again in front of the crease (guess he didn’t want to waste another one of those dominating throws to move Neito out of the way) and beat for the redirect on goal. That’s a far cry from a dominating performance. Even Timonen (who I know you just love) would’ve had the ability to reach into his bag of tricks, swipe the puck away from his stomach after getting beat to the crease, possibly drawing the penalty, but saving the team from a goal.

        Using MY logic, a defenseman that allows a goal by getting beaten flat-out (or burned in my case) and exposed for mistaking ice for sand is a piss-pour performer. If it wasn’t for the other contributions that he brought to the evening (which I will agree with you on), I’d say that said defenseman had a very average to mediocre night.

        Plain as that. I know you’ve gotta have the final word so say whatever the hell you want dude. In the grand scheme of life, I’m not going to waste another thought trying to prove you right or wrong when you’re so obviously content in your delusional world of what you want to be right.

  8. FlyersFan - Feb 4, 2014 at 7:04 PM

    You said he got burned. You then back-tracked and said he was on top of him. You don’t know what you’re talking about.

    He wasn’t burned. He was beat to the puck. That is all. Nothing more.

    And LMFAO @ Schenn having a piss poor performance as you call it. You’re just a hater, period. He had a DOMINANT game.

    In fact he’s been having DOMINANT games lately. Luke Schenn hasn’t been on the ice for an even-strength goal against in the last 5 games.

    But go ahead and keep looking with those hate-colored glasses on LOL.

    Not only are you an idiot but you also have no clue in any aspect of the game of hockey.

    Reply

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