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The Stars and Stripes Starting Six: Flyer targets from the USA U-18 team

Here are six players on the USA Hockey National Team Development Program (USNTDP) Under-18 squad I believe the Philadelphia Flyers should target in the 2013 and 2014 NHL Drafts. Goalie: Thatcher Demko (San Diego, Calif.) We will start out in net with the most impressive player on the ice for the USNTDP Under-18. Demko is still a junior in high school, but is so talented and “mature beyond his years” as Coach Don Granato puts it, that he is in an accelerated program to earn the required high school credits before heading to Chestnut Hill. It says something about the …

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Czech Please…Voracek named NHL’s First Star

Philadelphia Flyers forward Jakub Voracek has been honored as the NHL’s First Star for the week ending February 24. Voracek earned top honors thanks to a career-best scoring run last week, totaling a league-high 11 points (4G, 7A) in four games. The 23-year-old Czech scored at least one point in every contest, totaling a career-high four assists in a 7-0 rout of the New York Islanders in Uniondale one week ago, then registering his first career hat trick in a 6-5 win at Pittsburgh two days later. After adding a goal in a loss to Florida last Thursday and then …

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Analyzing Giroux’s faceoff opponents; is he just cleaning up on weak competition?

Through 20 games in the 2013 season, Claude Giroux has been winning faceoffs at a clip of 55 percent. That places him at 18th in the league in faceoff percentage for anyone playing at least 10 games (as of Sunday 2/24). Last Wednesday against Pittsburgh, Giroux struggled winning only 12 of 31 for 38.7 percent, while Sidney Crosby–who many of those draws were against, who ranks 10th at 57 percent–was 21 of 28 for 75 percent. It got me thinking, is Giroux just not good enough to hang with the big boys? As our only good faceoff man, is Giroux …

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RICE & MICE: Matt Read’s rib cage muscles and Zach Redmond’s femoral artery

  Injuries giveth and injuries taketh away. Just as it was announced that Scott Hartnell was nearing a return to the Flyers lineup, it was announced that Matt Read would miss around six weeks with torn rib cage muscles. Read left the February 20 game against Pittsburgh after the first period and did not return. Now, when players injure their wrist, we can put a brace on it. Shoulder injury? Put the shoulder in a sling. Ankle? Give them some crutches so they can rest the ankle. Rib muscle injury? Well, we can’t exactly tell a player to stop breathing …

Thanks to Phillysportscentral.com

Medical Miracle: Hartnell Returns

It was just 32 days ago that we feared the worst as Scott Hartnell went limping off the ice in Newark after taking a shot to the left foot from teammate Kimmo Timonen. Now, at the conservative end of his recovery timetable, Hartnell has returned to the lineup, per head coach Peter Laviolette, after a 16-game absence as the Flyers take on the Winnipeg Jets at home this afternoon. Hartnell had undergone surgery to correct the fracture three days after the incident, and had initially been given a 4-to-8 week turnaround. But in typical Flyers fashion, things progressed quicker than …