Quick Hits: November 16, 2023
1) The Flyers had an off-day on Thursday after returning from Raleigh with a 3-1 victory. The team will hold practice on Friday at 11 a.m. ET at the Flyers Training Center in Voorhees. Over the weekend, the Flyers (8-7-1) will rematch with the defending Stanley Cup champion Vegas Golden Knights (12-3-1) in a 1 p.m. matinee. On Sunday, the Columbus Blue Jackets (4-8-4) will come to town for a 5:30 p.m. game.
2) The Lehigh Valley Phantoms (5-6-2) will embark over the weekend on a Canadian road trip to play three straight North Division opponents. On Friday night, the Phantoms with play the Laval Rocket (5-7-1); the AHL team with the most goals allowed (57) so far this season but also leads the league in goals scored (50). On Saturday, the Phantoms pay a visit to the Belleville Senators (6-5-1), whose main issue has been a bottom-third offense (33 GF vs. 39 GA). The trip wraps up on Tuesday against the Toronto Marlies (7-3-2 overall, 3-1-1 on home ice), who are tied for the North Division lead with 16 points to date. All three games are 7:00 p.m. ET starts and will be streamed on AHLTV (subscription required).
3) The last two days have been good ones for some of the Flyers' top prospects from the 2023 NHL Entry Draft. On Wednesday, Oliver Bonk and the scorching-hot Denver Barkey tallied two goals apiece as the OHL's London Knights (13-5-1) crushed the Guelph Storm by a 5-2 score.
Barkey, who extended his point streak to eight straight games, is up to 28 points (13g, 15a) through his first 19 games. Over the course of his point streak, Barkey has racked up seven goals, seven assists and 12 points.
Last week, Bonk finally snapped a 58-game goal drought that extended back (2023 OHL playoffs included) to Feb. 8 of last season. On Tuesday, playing the bumper spot on the Knights' power play, Bonk tallied twice and picked up an even strength assist to capture First-Star honors. The biggest selling point in Bonk's game is not his offensive game, but it's still nice to see him produce. He's now up to 18 points (3g, 15a) this season for Dale Hunter's club.
For highlights of Wednesday's game, click here
On Thursday, playing in a game that started at 11:30 a.m. eastern United States time, Matvei Michkov had a monstrous game for HC Sochi. He racked up a three-point game (1g, 2a) and was in the middle of no less than eight prime scoring chances on the set-up or shooting end. He also got feisty and nearly dropped the gloves. Sochi (13-17-2) snapped a nine-game winless streak with a 5-4 home shootout win over Lada Togliotti (18-8-6).
Since being loaned from SKA St. Petersburg (17-13-0) to HC Sochi for the season, Michkov has
posted 24 points (11g, 13a) in 25 games played. For whatever it's worth, the 18-year-old Michkov would be leading SKA in scoring given the same scoring pace had Roman Rotenberg's team not scratched him repeatedly at the start of the season, dressed him once (with six minutes of ice time for the game) and then dispatched him back to Sochi for a second straight season.
4) Flyers 2024 Alumni Game: There are still some roster spots to be filled by the Flyers Alumni Team for the upcoming game at the Wells Fargo Center on January 26, 2024, against the Boston Bruins Alumni. However, it's already shaping up to be one heck of a cool lineup on the Flyers Alumni side. Already confirmed:
Brent Fedyk - Eric Lindros - Mark Recchi
John LeClair - Mike Richards - Mike Knuble or Patrick Sharp
Scott Hartnell - ???? - Sharp or Knuble
Todd Fedoruk - ???? - Dave Brown
Mark Howe - Kimmo Timonen
Brad Marsh - Daryl Stanley
Joe Watson - ??????
On the Bruins Alumni side, which also still has several spots to fill and is awaiting final confirmation from some big-name players of recent and further past, the biggest confirmed names are Hockey Hall of Famer Ray Bourque and Al Iafrate.
Throughout the weekend of Jan. 26 (Alumni Game) and 27 (Mark Recchi's Flyers Hall of Fame induction, current Flyers vs. Bruins), the Flyers will be hosting a reunion of the members of their 1974 and 1975 Stanley Cup championship winning teams. Most of the surviving Alumni are slated to attend, as the 50th Anniversary reunion will probably the final time they're all together as a group. There were also several other notable Flyers Alumni participating in guest capacities for the Alumni game, including Flyers Hall of Famers Brian Propp and Paul Holmgren.
I'd also like to call your attention to the VIP dinner-and-drinks reception at the Wells Fargo Center on the evening of the 26th prior to the Alumni Game. Most or all of the Alumni Game players, off-ice participants and Cup team reunion attendees will be there. These events are always THE biggest highlight of the major Alumni games. Fans can attend, too, and are welcome to take photos, get autographs, and/or chat with their favorite Alumni. The VIP reception passes are a big-ticket add-on ($300 apiece) to the Alumni Game tickets but are pretty much a once-in-a-lifetime experience for diehard Flyers fans, given the list of attending Alumni in the same room.
Tickets for the Alumni Game start at $25 apiece. All proceeds from the Alumni Game and VIP reception go to support Flyers Charities and the Flyers Alumni Association. No ticket costs more $100 and most are $60 or less, with all if the money supporting worthy causes. (Note: If you want to add passes to pregame the VIP reception, the option appears on the final screen before final checkout). To purchase: click here