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Avs’ scouting intensifies on Flyers’ Claude Giroux; Provy struggling



Ivan Provorov
Flyers D-man Ivan Provorov needs to improve his game over the last two months and take confidence into next year.

Maybe Ivan Provorov will get back to being his old self if Ryan Ellis returns next season as his defensive partner on the Philadelphia Flyers’ top pairing.

For the time being, Provorov needs to finish strong — the Flyers have 28 games remaining — and gain some confidence he can bring into next season.

Provorov allowed gifted left winger Kirill Kaprizov to go around him and put Minnesota’s first goal in motion Thursday, and he gave away the puck to set up the Wild’s game-tying goal late in the third period.

He had three giveaways as the Flyers coughed up a late 4-3 lead and lost to the Wild, 5-4.

It’s been that kind of season for Provorov, especially the last two months. He hasn’t looked like a standout since he was paired with Matt Niskanen in the 2019-20 season.

For the season, Provorov has a minus-47 differential between giveaways (59) and takeaways (12). That is, by far, the worst on the team. Keith Yandle has the second-worst rate, at minus-26. (Cam Atkinson has the best ratio, at plus-7.)

“Provy, for sure, is a better player than he showed tonight, no question,” interim coach Mike Yeo said after Thursday’s excruciating defeat. “I think that he is probably like a lot of guys right now; that we’re very disappointed and frustrated with the way this season’s gone, but you’ve got a choice on how you handle things right now. We can either get together here and battle through this and become a better team, or you can be frustrated going into games, not feeling right, and the next thing you know a mistake happens and things snowball.”

Yeo spread the blame.

“Our whole team made mistakes, and this is where we’ve got to bail each other out. That’s what good teams do.” he said.

“That team,” he added, referring to the Wild, “made a lot of mistakes, too, but they kept fighting. They kept pushing for each other, and then they found a way to win. We didn’t do that. As soon as adversity struck, we crumbled.”

Trade chatter

Colorado” The Avs’ scouting of Claude Giroux is intensifying.

And some names are being bandied about. Could Seattle help facilitate a Giroux deal? Colorado Hockey Now’s Adrian Dater has the info.

Washington: Washington Capitals general manager Brian MacLellan is taking a realistic approach as the March 21 trade deadline nears. What will he be targeting?

Columbus: Sorry, Philadelphia Flyers fans, but Patrik Laine is not available.

Montreal: Will Montreal native Kris Letang play for the Canadiens next season?



Around the NHL

Pittsburgh: Former Flyers defenseman Mark Friedman was at his agitating best in the Penguins’ stunning 5-1 romp over two-time defending champion Tampa Bay, reports Pittsburgh Hockey Now’s Dan Kingerski.

Washington: The Capitals regain their identity with a statement win over Carolina. Washington Hockey Now’s Sammi Silber has the story.

Chicago: The Blackhawks were supposed to be the Flyers’ easiest opponent on their eight-game homestand. Maybe not. The Blackhawks, who play the Flyers in a nationally televised (!) matinee Saturday, beat Edmonton on Thursday, 4-3. 

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