The Flyers battle for bragging rights

This article can be found published on Chicks Who Give a Puck.
Danny Briere and Claude Giroux were two participants for Team White in the Puck Control Relay. (Candice Monhollan)

Danny Briere and Claude Giroux were two participants for Team White in the Puck Control Relay. (Candice Monhollan)

After a lackluster performance Monday night against the 26th ranked team in the NHL in which they were shutout 5-0, the Flyers needed something to take their minds off the loss before heading into their seven-day break between games. They did just that Tuesday night when they put on a Skills Competition for their fans – and for bragging rights between the players.

The players showed off their talents in front of 11,000 fans that crowded into the Wells Fargo Center to see the event.

The Flyers were split into two teams, Orange and White, and collected “goals” to see who would be named the winner.

Easily the standout star of the night was not Danny Briere, Claude Giroux or even Jeff Carter. In fact, it was second overall pick James van Riemsdyk, in his second season with the team.

Van Riemsdyk was the busiest player, participating in five of six events. His attempts in the hardest shot contest drew gasps and cheers from the crowd as he stunned everyone, including himself, with his 101.5 mph shot. He once again got the “oohs” and “ahhs” from the fans with some of his moves in the breakaway relay.

The players were light-hearted during the competition, ribbing each other and making life a little difficult every now and then. Among some of the shenanigans were Nikolay Zherdev shooting his puck at van Riemsdyk after he went down in the relay and van Riemsdyk swapped sticks with Giroux in the breakaway challenge. Mind you, Giroux shoots right.

Sergei Bobrovsky celebrates Team Orange's win. (Lauren Pizzi)

Sergei Bobrovsky celebrates Team Orange’s win. (Lauren Pizzi)

Michael Leighton made his first appearance in Philadelphia since his surgery, playing for the white team.

Fans enjoyed the event as it was the last time they would see their team at home in 2010.

“I thought it was a great event for fans,” said Vincent Joseph Guckin, a Flyers fan. “The players seemed to be really loose and just have fun and I’m sure it brought in some extra money for the team. I like events that are not intense and still involves the fans in a way. It was pretty cool.”

Even people who were not necessarily fans of the team attended the event and had a great time.

“I am not a Flyers fan, but I was in the area since I was home for Christmas,” Erika Zimmerman said. “There were certain players that endeared themselves to me. I definitely didn’t expect that…It was a great way to showcase the skills of the team in a fun way. It also maybe gave new or casual fans a glimpse into all the different aspects that go into the game we love. I feel a lot, I guess you’d say ‘closer,’ to this team now. To see the boys in a relaxed environment like this has a way of endearing them to the fans like little else can.”

Brian Boucher and Mike Richards did not participate in the competition. Boucher had his wisdom teeth removed while Richards was given a maintenance day, although he was still in attendance to watch his teammates.

Team Orange Roster
Forwards: Blair Betts, Jeff Carter, Ville Leino, Andreas Nodl, Jody Shelley, James van Riemsdyk
Defensemen: Oskars Bartulis, Andrej Meszaros, Kimmo Timonen
Goaltender: Sergei Bobrovsky

Team White Roster
Forwards: Danny Briere, Daniel Carcillo, Claude Giroux, Scott Hartnell, Darroll Powe, Nikolay Zherdev
Defensemen: Matt Carle, Braydon Coburn, Sean O’Donnell
Goaltender: Michael Leighton

SKILLS COMPETITION RESULTS
Score: Team Orange – 10, Team White – 8

Challenge 1 – Puck Control Relay

Relay Race:
Team Orange – Leino, Nodl, van Riemsdyk
Team White – Giroux, Briere, Zherdev
Result – Team White wins

One-on-One:
Team Orange – van Riemsdyk
Team White – Zherdev
Result – van Riemsdyk wins

Team Orange – 1, Team White – 1

Challenge 2 – Fastest Skater
Team Orange:
Van Riemsdyk – 14.118
Bartulis – 15.250
Nodl – 14.096
Average – 14.488

Team White:
Coburn – 14.640
Powe – 14.651
Zherdev – 14.607
Average – 14.632

Result – Nodl wins individual, Team Orange wins average

Team Orange – 3, Team White – 1

Challenge 3 – Hardest Shot
Team Orange:
Meszaros – 98.6
Carter – 95.7
Van Riemsdyk – 101.5
Bartulis – 95.0
Average – 97.7

Team White:
Coburn – 95.7
Hartnell – 95.8
Carcillo – 94.0
Powe – 90.0
Average – 94.1

Result – van Riemsdyk wins individual, Team Orange wins average

Team Orange – 5, Team White – 1

Challenge 4 – Accuracy Shooting
Team Orange:

Timonen – 4-for-7
Carter – 3-for-8
Nodl – 3-for-7
Total – 10-for-22

Team White
Briere – 4-for-6
Carle – 4-for-6
Hartnell – 4-for-5
Total – 12-for-17

Result – Hartnell wins individual, Team White wins total

Team Orange – 5, Team White – 3

Challenge 5 – Power Play
Round 1
Team Orange – Timonen/van Riemsdyk/Leino – 0 goals
Team White – Giroux/Briere/Zherdev – 2 goals

Round 2
Team Orange – Nodl/Betts/Shelley – 1 goal
Team White – Powe/Carcillo/Hartnell – 0 goals

Result – Team Orange with 1 goal, Team White with 2 goals

Team Orange – 6, Team White – 5

Challenge 6 – Breakaway Relay
Round 1
Team Orange – van Riemsdyk (1), Leino (0), Shelley (0)
Team White – Giroux (0), Zherdev (0), Coburn (1)

Round 2
Team Orange – Meszaros (2), van Riemsdyk (1), Timonen (0)
Team White – Briere (1), Carcillo (1), Powe (0)

Round 3
Team Orange – Nodl (0), Betts (0), Bartulis (0)
Team White – Hartnell (0), Carle (0), O’Donnell (0)

Result – Team Orange with 4 goals, Team White with 3 goals

Team Orange – 10, Team White – 8

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Categories: Ice Hockey, NHL, Sports

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