Posts Tagged ‘Ian Laperriere


FLYERS: Philly Sports Daily: Lappy Still Has a Presence


“He’s part of our team. Until he tells us he’s done.”

– Paul Holmgren, to Stephen Whyno of Philly Sports Daily

…This is a GREAT read. For all the Lappy fans out there, you surely will appreciate this one. It’s awful how he can’t compete given his concussion symptoms, but it’s great to see that he’s still around the team and they even keep his locker ready to roll in the dressing room. Little things like that can have a profoundly strong effect on team chemistry. The Flyers are doing the right thing.


FLYERS: Video: Ian Laperriere Has the Full Support of Flyers Fans

I first saw this today on Yahoo! Sports’ Puck Daddy Blog, but I couldn’t resist:

…This fan is a lunatic, and Lappy’s reaction is priceless. Gotta love playoff hockey in Philadelphia. The Flyers would go on to win Game 6 against the Bruins, 2-1. We all know what then happened on May 14, 2010.


FLYERS: Injury Shelf for Leighton, Laperriere

In case you were in another hemisphere this afternoon, you probably know the biggest news out of Flyers camp today as the team announced that starting goaltender Michael Leighton and winger Ian Laperriere will both miss extended time with injuries.

Leighton, the goaltender who miraculously led the Flyers to within two wins of the Stanley Cup last season after being a waiver-wire claim, was found to have a bulging disc in his back that will require the recently appointed starting goaltender in Philadelphia to miss at least a month of action. While a bulging disc in the back is certainly nothing to play around with, the injury scarcely compares to that of Laperriere’s.

Ian Laperriere may be out of action for the Flyers for quite some time

The gritty Flyers winger who has quickly become a fan favorite in the City of Brotherly Love revealed today that he has been suffering from Post-Concussion syndrome, something that has been hampering the 36-year-old since he made an unexpected return from a brain contusion last season. The condition will keep Lappy off the ice indefinitely, and in turn leave many to wonder if the Flyers handled the situation properly. Anyone who has dealt with post-concussion syndrome knows it can be a pain and can linger for quite some time – just ask Keith Primeau, Simon Gagne, or even Marc Savard. I’ll reserve judgment at this time on the situation, simply because a lot of the details are still coming to fruition.

With that being said, however, I don’t blame Laperriere for playing last spring. He’s a professional hockey player. He’s grown up his whole life waiting for a chance to take a sip from Lord Stanley’s chalice and, perhaps in his mind, he felt that last Spring was his final go at it so he went out and gave it his all in what ended up being a losing effort. You can’t fault a guy for wanting to win and wanting to be a part of the unit in crunch-time – Lappy is the ultimate team player. He’ll be missed both on and off the ice.

With Laperriere out of the line-up, there suddenly becomes a bit of competition for the final Flyers forward slot. To quote Eagles head coach Andy Reid: Bill Guerin, Ben Holmstrom, and Mike Testwuide, “Time’s yours.”

For more on Laperriere and Leighton’s injuries, check out this article here: FLYERS LEIGHTON OUT FOR A MONTH, LAPERRIERE INDEFINITELY

Best of luck to Lappy and Leights on each of them having a healthy and speedy recovery.


FLYERS: Shelley Cheered for the Orange and Black Last Spring

Who could’ve blamed Jody Shelley for rooting against the Flyers in last season’s Stanley Cup Playoffs? The Orange and Black did, after all, bounce his Rangers from the postseason chase on the final game of the regular season in a shootout and left Shelley with an entire off-season to ponder a heartbreaking defeat. The victor of that game 82? Well, those Flyers went all the way to the Stanley Cup Final, and enter this season as the defending Eastern Conference Champions.

Shelley and Riley Cote rumble back in his San Jose days

Still, despite the agonizing loss, and the success of the team that got in instead of his Rangers, Jody Shelley cheered for the Flyers last season during the playoffs. Shelley told’s Tim Panaccio that he was cheering for “Philly in the end. I was jealous all the way. You guys beat us out. You want to lose to the best.”

“Us,” according to Shelley in that quote, is his former team, the New York Rangers. Now, “us” means his current set of colors: the Orange and Black of the Philadelphia Flyers. Signed to a contract that many – this writer included – still don’t understand when he became a free agent on July 1st, Shelley will likely be a regular for the Flyers on the fourth line this season, working with Ian Laperriere and Darroll Powe until Blair Betts returns from injury. As Panaccio points out, he gives the Flyers a bonafide “Tough guy,” something they haven’t had regularly in their line-up for a while.

One thing that impressed me about Shelley is the genuine excitement he seems to have in being a Flyer. In the article, he talks about how the pictures of old Flyers smiling and their missing teeth that line the walls of the dressing room reaffirms in his mind the constant credos associated with Philadelphia: hard work, and very blue-collar.

While I don’t necessarily agree with Shelley’s price tag, there is no doubting that he’ll be a force on the Flyers fourth line this season. Hopefully – who knows – he can rekindle that scoring touch he had against the Flyers the final two games of last season and be a bit of a scoring surprise as well.

For the full article from Panaccio, check out the link here: AS A RANGER, SHELLEY ROOTED FOR THE FLYERS


FLYERS: Player Report Cards – Ian Laperriere

NAME: Ian Laperriere


Regular Season Statistics: 82 Games Played – 3 Goals, 17 Assists, 20 Points. -1

Analysis: When Lappy came to the Flyers via free agency last summer, many Flyers fans had their doubts. While Laperriere had the reputation as a hard working forward who loves to play the game, it was hard for many fans to fathom a mid-thirties winger to keep his intensity at an ultimate high. Not that I’m one to boast, but I said from the get-go last off-season that there wasn’t a doubt in my mind Laperriere would be beloved in the City of Brotherly Love. He plays with that blue-collar type of style, and wears his heart on his sleeve – two attributes that will make fans in this town go crazy over a particular player. During the regular season, it was easy to love Lappy. He took a puck to the face against Buffalo early on, went to the locker room and got stitched up after losing multiple teeth, and returned to the bench just a few minutes later to rejoin the action. Even though he is nearing “Senior Citizen Status” in today’s NHL, he still managed to compete in every single regular season game, and his status in Flyer fandom has risen quite a bit in the process.

Postseason Statistics: 13 Games Played – 0 Goals, 1 Assist, 1 Point. -3

Analysis: As if fans weren’t sold on Laperriere enough in the regular season, Lappy’s individual effort in the playoffs made him the sort of Philadelphia sports legend that is so rarely seen in this city. Lapperiere took a Brian Rolston slapper TO THE FACE in Game Five of the Flyers’ first round series against New Jersey. He suffered a concussion and a brain contusion and there was a time when doctors thought he was done for his career, let alone the remainder of the season. Fortunately, Ian didn’t see it that way. Pushed by his first career opportunity to play for the Cup, Laperriere battled back from serious injury in time to return for the last two games of the Eastern Conference Finals, and competed in all six games of the Stanley Cup Finals. Sure, his statistics didn’t lead the playoffs – that was a given. However, if anyone were to argue that another player displayed more heart during the Stanley Cup Playoffs, they would be sorely mistaken.


Reasoning: Giving Ian Laperriere an “A” is quite different from dishing out the grade to many other players on this Flyers roster. While normally offensive statistics would be heavily factored into the equation, this is not the case with Lappy. Instead, I grade Laperriere based on what he’s worth – and, as a locker room guy and leader, it’s a helluva lot. Laperriere has been well-liked by his teammates nearly everywhere he’s been, and this situation is no different. In fact, I think some of the younger Flyers were even in awe of Lappy’s determination, desire, and just flat out love in playing the game of hockey. It will likely rub off on them, which can only mean good things for the Flyers. As far as this season is concerned, with two more years remaining on his contract, it’s safe to say that the Ian Laperriere Experiment – for the first season, at least – was a rousing success.


FLYERS: Storybook Run Comes to a Crushing Halt

And just like that, the dream is over.

In the blink of an eye, in the quickness of a Patrick Kane stutter-step, the Chicago Blackhawks staved off a furious push from the Flyers late in Game Six and claimed their first Stanley Cup since 1961. Kudos to the Blackhawks for playing a tremendous series: they were definitely the better team, and I think it’s obvious that they got better as the series went on.

Still, I more than tip my cap to the Philadelphia Flyers. They restored the Prince of Wales to his rightful home in the City of Brotherly Love and I’ve realized that lost in all this Stanley Cup hoop-lah surrounding the Chicago Blackhawks, is that the Eastern Conference goes through the Philadelphia Flyers and the Wachovia Center in 2010-2011. It will be a long off-season for the Flyers, who came two wins – and perhaps a crushing overtime goal to send this to a Game Seven – from wining the franchise’s first Stanley Cup in 35 years. However, it simply wasn’t meant to be. How the hockey Gods can make it so that Ben Eager gets to sip from the silver chalice before Ian Laperriere is beyond me, but so it goes.

Chicago deserved to win Game Six, it’s that simple. They were quicker than the Flyers, and while the men in Orange and Black looked like their legs had given out on them and their bodies were running on empty, the Blackhawks looked like they had received an extra jolt of energy, and were ready to rock at puck drop. They outworked the Flyers for literally 55 of the 60 minutes of regulation time, and the fact that the Flyers sent the game into overtime was a prayer in itself.

The Flyers gave us all a wild ride in 2009-2010

I don’t want to go over what happened in this game, because I’m sure you all know. The ‘Hawks jumped out to a lead, the Flyers evened it up, the Flyers gained the lead, the ‘Hawks evened it up, then the ‘Hawks got the lead, and the Flyers tied it up, before the ‘Hawks claimed the Cup in overtime. I felt like it would only do the Flyers justice to put even a small post up today, but I seriously mean it when I say that this takes almost all the remaining energy out of me.

I’m crushed by what took place last night. Maybe I made things worse on myself by sitting there and watching that midget Gary Bettman come out on the ice literally from right below my seats in section 122. Maybe I shouldn’t have watched Jonathan Toews come claim the Conn Smythe and the Stanley Cup. Maybe I shouldn’t have seen Marian Hossa get the Cup in person and watch the euphoria he experienced when he raised it over his head. Maybe I shouldn’t have watched the Blackhawks parade around the ice. However, I’m kind of glad I did deep down. I saw that happen live, and it made me crave for the day when Mike Richards and the Flyers will take part in the finale. Guys like Danny Briere and Ian Laperriere, Blair Betts and Scott Hartnell – these men deserved a better fate. But really, what can you do? How do fans get through this off-season? How do the Flyers get through this off-season? Their professionals, I guess, so it’s just part of their job, but this one is going to sting personally for me for a long time. It’s never easy when the Flyers are bounced from the playoffs, but this was the longest run of theirs that I have experienced in my life.

And now, it’s over.

What do I do now?

Wait ’till next year?



FLYERS: Don’t Stop Believin’

Who could blame you right now if you’re doubting the Philadelphia Flyers?

Really, who could blame you? Who could say that your thought process was either “way off” or “discombobulated”? Who could tell you that this current series is by no means over?

Who could make you believe?

How about the Flyers themselves?

Remember back to game 82 of the long and grueling regular season that comes along with participation in the National Hockey League. The Philadelphia Flyers and New York Rangers squared off in a “Win and You’re In” game at the Wachovia Center. The Rangers scored first, and looked in control early. If your thought process involved the Flyers sinking into an abyss, and faltering at that point in time, who could’ve blamed you? However, the Flyers kept working. The Orange and Black proved to live up to their season mantra, for perhaps the first time all season, sustaining a “Relentless” attack against the Rangers and goaltender Henrik Lundqvist. In the third period, when the hope was likely the dimmest for many Flyers fans, the Flyers shined light heavily back into the equation. Matt Carle roofed a rebound off his backhand and into the net to even the game at 1-1. The Flyers had always believed, and now the fans had reason to again. Still, a 1-1 draw ended up remaining on the scoreboard until the game headed into overtime. In an overtime filled with tension and anticipation, heart rates climbed when the only buzzer that sounded during the frame was that signaling a trip to a shootout.

A shootout; placing the entirety of your playoff hopes against arguably the best goaltender in the league today. The Rangers had Lundqvist, the Flyers had Woonsocket, Rhode Island native Brian Boucher. Who could’ve blamed the majority of the Flyer faithful for having their doubts? Danny Briere certainly couldn’t have. Yet he helped ease the suspense when he sent Lundqvist’s jockstrap somewhere onto I-76 on a deke as the first shooter to give the Flyers a 1-0 lead in the shootout. Still, why was there any reason to believe in Brian Boucher and his ability to stop at least two breakaways at that point to send the Flyers to the postseason? There wasn’t much of a reason at all, to be honest. But Boucher stood tall in his first attempt, a stop on try from Erik Christensen.

Boosh played hero in Game 82

And then, when Claude Giroux scored in the third round to give the Flyers a 2-1 lead in the shootout (P.A. Parenteau had beaten Boucher in round two), there still couldn’t have been many who believed in Boosh to stop sniper Olli Jokinen and save the game and the season for Philadelphia. However, that’s just what he did, and they Flyers earned the trip to the postseason that had come so hard, but felt so rewarding. Brian Boucher believed the Flyers could do it, and so did his teammates.

Next up came a showdown in the Stanley Cup Playoffs with the second-seeded New Jersey Devils. And after hanging on by a thread to win Game One, the Flyers were defeated late in Game Two, as New Jersey evened up the series. Who would blame you for doubting the Flyers then? The Devils had Ilya Kovalchuk and seemingly new life in a series they were favored to win. Who could’ve blamed the Flyers for folding and taking solace in the fact that they’d just been fortunate enough to make the playoffs in the first place? Anyone but the Flyers themselves, it seemed. Of course, the rest is Flyers history. Danny Carcillo was the overtime hero in Game Three to get the series back in Philadelphia’s favor. The Devils never won another game.

Simon Gagne silenced the Boston crowd with his PP goal in Game 7

Then came a semi-final series with the Boston Bruins. The Flyers quickly fell into an 0-3 hole, and also fell behind 1-0 in Game Four. Why was there reason to believe that this Flyers team could come back? How could Michael Leighton, ice cold and coming off a high ankle sprain, fill in strongly in place of Brian Boucher, who went down with a pair of sprained knees in Game Five? How were the fans, and even the Flyers themselves, able treat an 0-3 deficit as if it were a 3-3 deadlock for four consecutive games? It would’ve been easy to keel over and die then, it really would’ve. Instead, the Flyers decided they’d rather make history. Simon Gagne decided he’d come back early from a broken toe and join them. The Orange and Black took four straight from the Black and Gold to join the 1942 Toronto Maple Leafs and 1975 New York Islanders as the only NHL teams to win a series after being down 0-3.

What if Ian didn’t believe in sacrifice? What if Broad Street didn’t fight back?

The Eastern Conference Finals were a whirlwind in themselves, with the Flyers seemingly coasting to wins in Games One and Two. But after the scene shifted to Montreal and the Habs blew the doors off the Flyers in the process en route to a 5-1 rout in Game Three, who would ever have expected the Flyers to come out and dominate in the fashion they did on their way to a 3-0 shutout and a 3-1 series lead in Game Four? Ian Laperriere and Jeff Carter did. And so did the teammates and coaches they returned to join in Game Four after missing the previous three games of the Conference Finals and the entire Semi Finals series with what had previously been thought to have been season ending injuries (Broken orbital bone and brain contusion, and a broken foot, respectively).

What if, when the series shifted to Philadelphia, Mike Richards took a chance to close the series and snatch a certain Prince of Wales at home for granted? What if he didn’t rekindle images of the determination of Bobby Clarke when he tossed Tomas Plekanec out of the way en route to setting up a Jeff Carter empty-netter to send the Flyers to the Stanley Cup Final?

What if the Flyers, a team burdened with the expectations of bringing a Stanley Cup to Philadelphia, simply wrote this season off as “not being our year”? What if they faltered in the limelight of the Stanley Cup Final, and fell to the Chicago Blackhawks convincingly?

Far from it. The Flyers arguably could have a 2-0 lead in this series going into tomorrow night’s Game Three at Wachovia Center. Instead their down 0-2 to the Blackhawks, and face a must win situation in Game Three to keep their Stanley Cup hopes alive. Who would blame any Flyers fan right now for having his or her doubts? Most wouldn’t.

I would.

Mike Richards and the Flyers can get right back into this series tomorrow night

This Flyers team knows they could be up 2-0 in this series right now. The Blackhawks know they could be down 0-2 in this series. The Flyers know they let two winnable games slip away in Chicago, so who’s to say that they won’t win two winnable games here in Philadelphia? And if they win Game Three, how much of a confidence boost will it give this franchise and this city, which collectively haven’t seen a victory in a Stanley Cup Final game since 1987? If you doubt the Philadelphia Flyers’ ability to do the unthinkable now, then shame on you. If you will be at the Wachovia Center tomorrow night and intend on sitting on your hands in nervous anticipation, don’t go and make a fortune selling your tickets. There are so many Flyers fans right now that would die at the opportunity to be inside the Orange Crush of the Wachovia Center tomorrow night. I’ll be there. I’ll be loud. And anyone else in Orange better be right there beside me. Chicago’s strutted their stuff on home ice. They’ve brought the series to Philly needing two wins to the Flyers’ four to win the Cup.

I don’t give a crap. All I care about is tomorrow night and the Flyers getting back into this series. I care about that sea of Orange that will be so loud and boisterous, your television sets likely won’t do it justice because (as is the norm at the Wachovia Center in the playoffs) they’ll have to turn down crowd volume so you can hear the announcers. I care about Lauren Hart, and the great Kate Smith singing a certain song to make the roof shake on top of the Wachovia Center. I care about a strong first period – one that sets the tone and one that lets the Chicago Blackhawks know that there is absolutely no chance they are going to win a game in our building.

Most importantly, I care about a win.

The Flyers have been sporting orange tee-shirts in their dressing room this series that show a picture of the Stanley Cup and simply state: “Don’t Stop ‘Till You Get Enough”.

Let’s be real here – to the Flyers, with everything that’s happened to this team this year and all they’ve had to overcome both off and on the ice, there’s only one phrase that’s related to the one on their shirts that is even remotely justifiable:

“Don’t Stop ‘Till You Get the Cup”

Do I Believe?

You had better believe it.

The Philly Phour

August 2017
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