NEW YORK – Peter Laviolette doesn’t hold back when describing Nicklas Grossman’s 6-foot-4 stature on the ice.
“He's a mountain of a man out there,” the Flyers' coach said. “He's moving well, making a real good first pass out there out of our end. He's blocking shots, he's physical, he's done a really good job for us.”
Tonight, the Flyers play the New York Rangers, a team that was once tenacious at shot blocking – third in the NHL last season – but just 18th currently.
Grossmann comes into the game as the NHL league-leader in blocked shots with 66 – one more than Pittsburgh’s Brooks Orpik.
“I don’t think I’ve ever led the league in blocked shots,” Grossmann mused.
As a team, the Flyers are fourth overall with 357 blocks. Colorado is first with 377.
“It’s just part of the job, I guess,” Grossmann said. “You kill a lot of penalties and have to block shots. You look at the team we play tonight. They led the league [earlier] in blocked shots.
“It made them successful. It’s a small thing, but it’s about small details. If you are good at different things and I can keep the puck from coming to our net, it’s a good thing.”
Flyers GM Paul Holmgren gave a brief injury update regarding three Flyers, the most recent being defenseman Nicklas Grossmann, who left last night's Flyers-Rangers game at Madison Square Garden after the first period.
Holmgren announced that Grossmann is day-to-day with a lower-body injury.