PHILADELPHIA, PA - SEPTEMBER 26: Jaromir Jagr #68 of the Philadelphia Flyers celebrates his second goal of the evening against the New York Rangers during an NHL preseason game at Wells Fargo Center on September 26, 2011 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
PHILADELPHIA -- I'm not gonna lie: it's pretty hard to find something to write about after one of these preseason games. Honestly, the outcome of the game doesn't mean a damned thing, we're at the point now where most guys are just trying to get their legs completely under them for the regular season, and well... that's the deal.
Like, hey... the power play was good. But you know what? It's the preseason. How much can we really read into that? Sure, it's awesome. The Flyers won tonight. But, eh. It doesn't count.
I think Ilya Bryzgalov kind of summed up the general feeling about these games tonight when asked if it's hard to get up for a preseason game. His answer? "Yeah."
So let's go... quotes, some video and the comment of the night after the jump.
Flyers Forward Claude Giroux
Q: How has it been playing with [Jaromir] Jagr?
"It's been two games. Just the way he gets open, it's pretty unbelievable. He moves the puck quick and it takes two seconds and he is open again. Any time you play with a guy like that its going to open up a lot of plays."
Q: Good to see the captain out there?
"He looked good. Anytime you've got a player like [Chris Pronger] in the lineup, it kind of slows down the game and makes everybody more comfortable. Tonight, [he] was a really good player."
Q: Can you tell us how much better the power play is going to be this year?
"The power play has got its ups and downs. Obviously we are scoring goals on the power play right now but whether you like it or not the power play will be struggling a couple games during the season. It's normal for each team, but I think it is important to see how consistent we can have it."
Q: Do you ever get a twinkle in your eye when you see [Jaromir] Jagr and [Chris] Pronger and ever think that this could be something special?
"We are still a new team; a different look from last year. We have a lot of stuff to work and it's only preseason. Right now, we are playing well and guys are working hard. I think if we keep working hard like that all season it's going to be a pretty good start."
Q: How do you think Pronger played?
"He played well. He moved the puck quick. He has been in the league a long time, he knows what to do. He is our best defense out there."
Q: Jagr says he is not easy to play with. Do you think he is pretty easy to play with?
"Yeah...He is heavy on the puck and he wins a lot of battles. He is always ready to try different plays. When you see it, you get really excited about it."
Q: Were you wondering how much he had left when he got here? Has he surprised you at all that he doesn't look 39 years old?
"I haven't seen him before three years ago when he was playing for the Rangers. I didn't really know what to expect. He didn't miss a beat."
Flyers Goaltender Ilya Bryzgalov
Q: Did you feel a little sharper tonight than maybe in the past few games?
"You give me answer. You were sitting up top. How was it? Better or not?........Okay, you got answer."
Q: Are you close to being ready for the regular season?
"Yeah, I feel better. I am not 16 years old, I am 31. I need some time."
Q: Is it hard to get up for preseason games?
"Yeah, sometimes. Every year it's tougher and tougher. Your body gets beat up."
Q: The stop you had on [Ilya] Kovalchuk near the end of the first period, is that a sign that maybe you are where you want to be?
"The puck just hit me. That's it."
Q: Is it fun playing against Kovalchuk?
"It's always fun to play against players like [Ilya Kovalchuk], [Alexander] Ovechkin, and many more players we have in the league. We have a pretty talented league and players with skills. It's nice to play against them. It's a challenge. That's what the game is all about."
Q: How do you think [Chris] Pronger did?
"Pronger played well."
Q: Would you like to play in Saturday's game? Do you feel like you need a full game to get ready for the regular season?
"Yeah, yeah, you're right."
Q: Was it the plan to split the game with [Sergei] Bobrovsky?
"Yeah, that was the plan since the beginning of the week."
Q: How do you feel [Bobrovsky] played?
"I think he played great. It's nice to have a partner like Sergei. He is a great and talented goalie. He is young and in front of him is a great future."
Q: How about that first line again tonight?
"It seems like they have a great chemistry. They create scoring chances and when there is some ice there is always some danger."
Flyers head coach Peter Laviolette
Q: On Ilya Bryzgalov
"There were some tough goals that went in on him the first couple games, redirects, but tonight I thought he was sharp."
Q: On Chris Pronger
"I think it's important for him, certainly we want him on the ice and in the lineup. I don't think it's one of those situations where he has to be there. He's not trying to prove anything. He's played a lot of games in his career. If he just walked into the Boston game, I'm sure we'd get a great effort out of him, or whenever it was he came back. There's also something to be said about coming back and finding your timing and getting into live battles and finding your game. So it was good that he wanted to get back into the game."
Q: On the power play
"Both units, I think both units are going to really click. Just really starting to get it together, we've got to get James [van Riemsdyk] in there when he gets back. But both units have had a lot of time, it's been every day now for four or five days. I think the more time we spend on it, work on it, find some continuity with the groups, the more successful we'll be. I definitely think there's a lot of options that are available. They're both set up just a little bit different. A lot of things can happen."
Flyers defenseman Chris Pronger
Q: How would you grade yourself tonight Chris?
"Grade? Percentage or? Felt ok. First period was pretty fast. It was a good way to get back into the flow."
Q: After you've seen it live how would you compare this year's power play to last years, do you think its moving a lot better?
"I don't know it was just one game, but the other games that I have watched were doing a good job of moving, not staying stagnant. You know, we've got some interchangeable parts that can move around. We can set up on the left, the right, no matter who's out there. That's a nice luxury to have and it allows us a lot of good looks, and we had a number tonight."
Q: What's the telling signs of you as to being ready for October 6th? Is it how you feel after games like this? How your back responds?
Q: Well I want you to answer it.
"Well you answered it for me. You answered it in your question"
Q: Did you feel that you had to kind of wade into this game?
"Did it look like I had to?"
Q: Yes it did.
"Thanks! That's a really nice compliment, Tim."
Q: No but it seemed by the third period, you picked it up. You were hitting harder. Moving better.
"Well the game was a little bit different. The first period there wasn't a lot of flow. It was pretty choppy but quick and as the game settled in a little bit more structure you feel a little bit more comfortable and able to do obviously more things. Get into a few scrums. Get into a few pushing matches and kind of see how you feel and go from there."
Q: If you feel good would you like to play the last preseason game?
"I don't know. It's not my call."
Q: Supposedly it was your call to play this game, why isn't it your call to play Saturday?
"Let's put it on my headstone that I won't go to Newark for a preseason game."
Q: Do you feel how you thought you would?
"I've been working pretty hard. A lot of hours spent at the rink, non game days, away from the media and their scrutiny. I felt probably about [how I thought I'd feel]. I don't know how I'll feel tomorrow but I felt pretty good."
Q: You see the chemistry with Jagr and Giroux. Is that pretty exciting for you guys?
"For sure. I think you look at the line combinations we had tonight, there's a lot of speed, a lot of skill guys that are going to get on top of you in the forecheck and play physical. You know, go up and down the lines, lines one through line four, every line has a piece of something."
Flyers right wing Jaromir Jagr
Q: Some people were saying your stick died as a hero on that play.
"I broke it over the post. You know, it was a hard pass and I wanted to make sure that I got it in. I was hiding behind the net and the stick was just there."
Q: It was a great pass for you.
"It was beautiful. It was a good pass. He was the only one who saw that I was waiting for it and was kind of hiding behind the net and then I just showed my stick. You know, I told you guys, too. You always have different passes. You have to be ready."
Q: You guys seem to have pretty good chemistry right away just playing together two games. Is it kind of surprising to have chemistry that quickly with someone?
"Sure. Sometimes it happens and I'm glad it happened. It's not easy to play with me, trust me. I couldn't find many guys who would get used to me and who I was happy with."
Q: You (inaudible)?
"It was number 66 and number ten (inaudible)."
Q: Do you have any sense of just how bad the power play here was last year?
"I have some sense. I didn't pay attention to that, though. You know, today we scored two power play goals, so, of course, like I said before, it might not be like that all the time , but we just have to make sure to adjust. Today was a different game than against the Rangers, you know? I think against the Rangers it was a more wide open game and New Jersey surprised me with how aggressive they were. I didn't see them the last few years. They were playing the trap and they don't do that any more. They cycle very well, they were very good on the boards and they cycled the puck in our zone. They spent a lot of time in our zone and we were just waiting for our chances. Sometimes you have to depend on the goaltending and that's what we did today and waited for our chances."
Q: JVR may end up on that line, but what about the job Simmonds has done there?
"Well, that's his job. He's a great, strong guy and he's got the big body, big reach. And all the pucks from the rebounds, because I think we're going to shoot a lot, he's getting everything."
Q: What did you think of the job that Chris Pronger did in his first game back?
"Trust me, it's not easy to come back from a long time away when you don't play for a long time. For me, if I don't practice for a week, I can't play. Trust me, it's not easy. He did a great job, no question about it."
Q: Does that make you feel good going into the season with him?
"Oh, of course. Not only offensively, but defensively as well. With his reach and toughness it is very hard to play against him. You have to always make sure that you know where he is because you never know when he's going to hit you. When you have him on your team, that is a big bonus."
Flyers Right Wing Wayne Simmonds
Q: Can you talk about being on the power play and (inaudible)
"To be honest they asked me to stand in front of the net. It's a pretty easy job when you're playing with Giroux and Jagr out there. They'll get pucks through I know that all I really have to do is go and stand there and try and get pucks and be a screen"
Q: How do you like playing on that line with those two guys?
"It's pretty good. Both those guys are obviously unbelievable, [Giroux] could close his eyes and [pass] the puck to anyone he wants and [Jagr] does everything so it was quite the thrill."
Q: Can you talk about having Chris Pronger back and what he did?
"He's a big presence around the blue line. He calms the guys down. He talks a lot. He lets you know the proper position and where to be. He makes it a lot easier out there for guys."
Comment of the Night
Lets just call it the Peco Jagr Play