Welcome to 3 on 3, a new weekly column I will be doing for flyersfaithful.com. It will be a statistical breakdown of the past week’s games and a look at the three best and worst Flyers of the week.
The Flyers have started out hot, going 2-0 in their first 2 games, beating Boston 2-1 on Thursday and shutting out the Devils 3-0 on Saturday. Everyone is playing well for the most part so lets go to my three “Hot” players for last week:
1. Wayne Simmonds- Wearing #17 and having to fill some of Jeff Carter’s goal scoring shoes as well, Simmonds has 1 goal and 1 assist in 2 games and has also been willing to mix it up, fighting and smashing David Clarkson of the Devils and going into the “dirty” areas down behind the net and in front of the crease. He also leads the team in PIMs with 9 and is tied for the lead in SOG with 7 and is a +2 as well.
2. Claude Giroux- Giroux has shown great chemistry with the new Flyer Jaromir Jagr and has 2 goals in his first 2 games. With 5 credited SOG, he has a shooting percentage of 40% and is also a +2. He leads all Flyers forwards in ice time logging 17:29 minutes of ice time. His faceoff percentage of 38.5% isn’t great, but it is the second highest on the team. Look for the JVR-Giroux-Jagr line to put up big numbers this season.
3. Chris Pronger- The Flyers captain has looked solid in his return from offseason surgery on his back and currently also has 2 assists to his credit. He leads all Flyers in ice time with 23:45 of TOI/G and is currently a + 1. As long as he stays healthy, the Flyers defense will be a nasty group to deal with.
3 “Not” hot: No one, really.
Well, after a 2-0 start, there is not a lot to complain about. No one on the team is a minus. Scott Hartnell and Max Talbot only have 1 shot on goal in 2 games but their roles don’t really call for scoring goals as much as penalty killing and good defensive zone coverage. Danny Briere is scoreless in 2 games and has managed only 3 shots on goal, but that could be a product of new linemates and the fact that Briere is a notorious slow starter.
Honorable mention “Hot”:
Ilya Bryzgalov: He registered the first Flyers shutout in over 18 months, beating the Devils 3-0 and stopping 20 shots. He has only allowed 1 goal in two games and has a save % of .977 and a GAA of 0.50. It won’t last forever, but it’s still nice to see.
That wraps up this week’s “3 on 3”. This week the Flyers have two games, the home opener Wednesday against Vancouver and Saturday against the L.A.Kings and the return of Mike Richards. Check in Monday to break down the numbers with me.