Mixed bag: 10.10.10

Mixed Bag is an infrequent column that features a collection of opinions and observations about the Flyers. In the grand scheme of things, two games makes for a small sample size. There’s no reason to make any significant changes at this point or even begin to declare that some things may or may not be working well. These are just general observations and nothing more than that. So far, Mike Richards has lost 16 of the 29 faceoffs he’s taken, putting him at 44%. Jeff Carter, who was the team’s best faceoff man last season, has only taken 13 faceoffs …

Tim McManus shares his thoughts on Erik Gustafsson

Bill Meltzer wrote, “According to Derian Hatcher, it’s ‘no contest’ that Erik Gustafsson is the most skilled and polished of the defense prospects who attended the rookie camp earlier in the week.” Do you agree? What is your impression of Erik Gustafsson? I didn’t get in to town until after the rookie camp, but I’m not surprised that Meltzer thought that. The first word I think of with Gustafsson is poised. When he got to Adirondack last season, he immediately reminded me of Danny Syvret, who he played on the power play with. I don’t mean Gustafsson projects out to …

The morning after: Flyers vs. Islanders 9.29.10

“The morning after” is a review of the previous night’s Flyers’ game which, in theory, provides a more objective perspective on the game. The Flyers celebrated their first regulation win of the preseason last night. It was the second consecutive game that did not go to a shootout. Whew. The team faced off against the New York Islanders, who were playing their first game of the preseason. This was an expected win for the Flyers, as the Islanders dressed many of their prospects. Perhaps the biggest story of the night was that Ville Leino, Blair Betts, and Johan Backlund returned …

The morning after: Flyers @ Leafs 9.24.10

“The morning after” is a review of the previous night’s Flyers’ game which, in theory, provides a more objective perspective on the game. Michael Leighton played an average game in net last night and suffered a back injury during the game. It’s hard to say exactly how this affected his play but it was far from the first time that Leighton was unable to steal a game when the team in front of him was playing poorly. Fortunately, Nikolai Zherdev and Claude Giroux had instant chemistry last night and helped the team rally back. Zherdev scored two goals and Danny …

The morning after: Leafs vs. Flyers 9.23.10

“The morning after” is a review of the previous night’s Flyers’ game which, in theory, provides a more objective perspective on the game. James van Riemsdyk is transforming into an exciting player to watch but that needs to start translating into points too. Bill Guerin was much more visible tonight than he was against the Devils, scoring a goal in regulation and one in the shootout, and playing a strong game on both ends of the ice. Ben Holmstrom continues to win me over. I hope he develops into the next Manny Malhotra. Oskars Bartulis played a solid game and …