Quick Hits: May 29, 2020
1) During Gary Bettman's press conference on Tuesday to lay out the key details of the return-to-play plan
, he indicated that July 1 would be the earliest possible date for the start of NHL training camps (Phase 3). On Thursday, the best-case scenario date for the start of Phase 3 was reportedly pushed back to July 10. Assuming the reported plan for a three-week training camp will not be shortened, it means that the round-robin/ play-in precursor to the Stanley Cup playoffs will not begin until early August.
2) Flyers Broadcast Network:
* In the new edition of "Flyers Daily," Jason Myrtetus, Brian Smith and I discuss the NHL return-to-play plan and give our picks (AKA guesses, two months ahead) for the qualification series matchups in both the Eastern and Western Conferences. To listen, click here
* In the new edition of Prospect Pipeline, Brian Smith and I discussed Flyers prospects on the Lehigh Valley Phantoms, college and junior hockey as well as recently signed young players Tanner Laczynski, Wade Allison, Wyatte Wylie and Linus Sandin. To listen, click here
In conjunction with the podcast, I wrote a capsule review of the Phantoms 2019-20 season
3) Today in Flyers History: May 29, 2010
There has only been a single game in Flyers' franchise history that was played on May 29: Game One of the 2010 Stanley Cup Final.
The pundits' pre-series predictions of the Final being a cakewalk for the favored Chicago Blackhawks quickly flew out the window. It turned out to be a highly competitive series in five of the six games could have gone either way, and the Philadelphia Flyers prevailed in two of them.
The series opened with a high-scoring battle in Chicago in Game One. Through 40 seesaw minutes, the Flyers led 1-0, trailed 2-1, led 3-2, led 4-3, trailed 5-4, and went to the second intermission tied at 5-5. Beleaguered goaltenders Antti Niemi (27 saves on 32 shots) and Michael Leighton (15 saves on 20 shots) were sometimes left helpless and, other times, beaten on seemingly stoppable shots.
After the Blackhawks took a 5-4 lead at 15:13 of the second period on a Troy Brouwer goal, Leighton was replaced in goal by Brian Boucher. The relief netminder faired better, turning aside 11 of 12 shots but was charged with a hard-luck loss after Tomas Kopecy broke the 5-5 deadlock at 8:25 of the third period. The Flyers, who earlier got goals from Ville Leino, Scott Hartnell (power play), Danny Briere, Blair Betts and Arron Asham, could not find another equalizer in the 6-5 loss.
The stage was set for a highly entertaining - but ultimately heartbreaking for the Flyers - series.
4) May 29 Flyers Alumni birthdays: Willie Brossar (1949), Marc D'Amour (1961).