Who Broke The Flyers? A Discussion on Why The Rangers are Better

Flyers_rangers

Let’s throw out some statisticals:

The Flyers are 1-5 (one was a shootout loss) in their last 6 games.

They have 3 wins in their last 10 games.

They are fourth in the league in scoring (182 goals)… but 25th in the league in defense (169 goals against).

For the second year in a row, they have lacked jam after the All-Star break.

Those are all facts. Mostly.

So, I want you to nestle in, hockey fans, and remove your orange and black-worldview glasses– we’re going to dig deep and perform a little midseason inspection of your Philadelphia Flyers. And don’t worry, you won’t feel a thing. – snaps latex glove

When Paul Holmgren took a shotgun to the Flyers’ top two forward lines last offseason, we were all left puzzled and confused, if not somewhat eager. If the Flyers were a Rubik’s Cube (Wikipedia tells me that they are not), what Holmgren did was akin to grabbing a nearly completed puzzle, which had perhaps only one or two carefully-measured twists remaining, and mending it like an autistic child on caffeine pills who just found a new play-thing. Oh the pretty colors! Look, blues and reds and greens and motherfucking Russian goalies! And Max Talbot. Look! Look!

Rubiks_cube

Good luck figuring that out, Philadelphia.

Some (me) thought that Holmgren's actions were frustrating and maddening. What was once an item that needed just a few tweaks, was now a rainbow of madness that, while perhaps reset into a more manageable position, looked horrifyingly different and complicated. I invested five fucking years on this core and now I have to start over? The FACK?!

Others (those who just removed their orange and black glasses– OB Shadzzz, as I call them) loved the move. Holmgren – a visionary not unlike Ben Franklin and Steve Jobs – knew what we wanted before we did. Oh thank you, Master Paul– a Brayden Schenn! I knew I needed one of these! He’s Mike Richards… only newer, and not as experienced! Like an iPad to my fully functioning MacBook Pro. Who needed that thing, anyway? Thanks, Mr. Jobs Homer!

And then there were the more even-keeled folks, who thought that the moves took one step backward for the sake of taking two steps forward. I can dig this. That Homer chief has an eye toward the future… and we got a goalie! I like, I like. Sure, I’ll renew my season tickets.

Still with me? OK, good.

Just like there being three types of reactions to last summer’s craziness, there are also, in my view, three junctures at which the craziness should be judged: initial reaction (decidedly mixed), after year-one (more on that in a second), and following three seasons (more on that in 2014). And, in keeping with the rule of three, I’m going to add a third facet to this convoluted theory: there are three areas in which the offseason moves should be judged– leadership, goaltending, and the loot. 

Three types of reactions… at three different stages… based on three different variables– 3… 3… 3. If you had to turn that into a matrix, it would look perhaps something like… a Rubik’s Cube. Yeah, I just blew your fucking mind. Go ahead, take a second…

….

Back to the story.

Since we’re well into Year 1, let’s take a look at each facet and see if we can determine why the results are trending downward, and why the Flyers can't beat the Rangers…

1) Goaltending

The organization changed when Mr. Snider picked up his Bat Phone, or whichever other communication instrument he was using at the time, and told Holmgren that he was tired of Peter Laviolette’s oaltender carousel. The team invested in a $51 million Russian, who had been known to be a bit of a flake.

This had to work. There was no Plan B. The Flyers offseason moves, though far-reaching outside the crease, were all built off goaltending. 

It hasn’t worked, yet.

Thus far, Ilya Bryzgalov has been a disappointment. It’s not his fault that the Flyers are paying him stupid money. However, when you invest $51 in a goaltender, he needs to not only prevent you from losing, but he also needs to win you games– almost like a good pitcher in baseball. 

There are three types of goalies: those who lose you games, those who neither help nor hurt you, and those who win you games. This year, Bryz (and Bob) have probably fallen just below the neutral category… and that’s bad. Bad, bad.

If SABR nerds existed for hockey (thankfully they don’t), they would be screaming about what a shitty value Bryz has been. Sure, he’s entertaining, and, frankly, we like him. But he’s sucked. It’s almost criminal that, two-thirds of the way into the season, we’ve rarely yelled “Wow! What a save!”

Everything the Flyers did last summer was based off the assumption that their shiny new goalie (and the netminding situation in general) was going to be a net positive for them. Instead, to date, the goaltenders have been no better or worse than they were last season. And that’s a big problem.

So, if we’re comparing the Flyers to the Rangers – which we should be, because that’s the one team that they will undoubtedly have to go through to get the Stanley Cup Finals… and because they’re 0-7 in their last seven games against the Blueshits – there’s little argument that Henrik Lundqvist is the preferred tender of ne.t

Lundqvist is not only consistent, but he also bails his team out when needed. Kimmo Timonen couldn’t have put it any better this weekend when he said – in what was perhaps a shot at Bob and Bryz – that Rangers goalies (Lundqvist) are there to bail the team out during inevitable breakdowns.

In a nutshell, that’s the difference between the Flyers and Rangers, or Flyers and Bruins, in the standings– those teams are 10 and 3 points ahead of the Flyers, respectively, most likely because there were a handful of games in which Lundvist and Tim Thomas bailed them out. That hasn’t been the case for the Flyers. And, for this $51 million experiment to work, in Year 1 or at all, that has to change.

 

2) Leadership

I wish the Flyers had a guy like Rangers captain Ryan Callahan.

They used to– his name was Mike Richards.

I know the mere mention of the former One Eight elicits a reaction not unlike bringing up the name of an ex-girlfriend who fucked so hard but broke your heart even harder… and possibly did drugs. But it's necessary to talk about him, because his trading was such a cataclysmic event in Flyers history. Before February of last year, you would not have been able to find one hockey fan on the planet who didn’t think that Mike Richards was a good captain. He led his underdog team to within two games of the Stanley Cup, had already won a gold medal, and was the face of one of the two or three best teams in hockey. 

All was good, at least on the outside.

But then he and the boys went to Costa Rica, met Callie, and returned to an awful 4-0 loss in Tampa, which was the beginning of the end of the season… and Richards’ and Jeff Carter’s time in Philly, despite both being inked to decade-long contracts.

Something happened. Whether it was alcohol related, some sort of prescription pill thing, or just because Richards was an asshole… something happened– him and Carter were out. And whatever the reason – perhaps a good one, perhaps not – it won’t be undone. 

Plus, if Richards was made to be the fall guy for the second half collapse, then Peter Laviolette - the coach - should have been held accountable, as well. Something like that, if it goes beyond skill level and assets, and into the realm of "leadership," the coach is equally, if not more, at fault.

Just before the trade, Sam Donnellon wrote a column in the Daily News about how the time had come for the Flyers to trade Richards. I blasted him, and, well, he proved to be right about the trade… but not about the fallout. Here’s what I wrote in response to Donnellon’s article back in May:

Yes, LavsHolmgren, and Snider have given Richards less-than-ringing endorsements, but that doesn’t explain this sheer lunacy from Donnellon: 

"That's what I would tell Richards in proposing he take a break from the job. As he himself has said, plenty of guys can wear the C, and Pronger is the obvious choice, when and if he gets healthy. Meanwhile, Mike Richards can deal with the media any way he would like, play unfettered and see whether a little time can heal a reputation that already has taken too many hits."

That makes no sense. Pronger is always hurt and the locker room equivalent of the team dad. He doesn’t hang out with these guys, he can’t relate to them. 

While some of that may be inconsequential now, the fact remains– the Flyers handed the captaincy over to an ageing, injury-prone player. How has that worked out?

No one could have predicted Pronger taking a stick to the eye or getting a concussion. Those things could happen to any player. But if it wasn’t his eye or head, it would have been his knee or his hand or his back or some other ailment that comes with being an Amazon-sized veteran in the NHL. The Flyers axed their captain (a standing that they don’t take lightly, in the only sport where such designations really do matter) and their backup plan was risky, at best.

Now here we are– no Richards, no Pronger. No one for the myriad young players to look to and relate to when the goin’ gets tough and the tough gets goin’ and ducks fly together! (sorry).

Anyway, the Flyers don’t have a leader.*

*The most-heard refrain is that it could be Claude Giroux. He’s not the answer. Some players are best left being skill guys, free to do their thing and not be burdened with the additional expectations that come with being a captain. That's Claude.

 

3) The Loot

Whether you agreed with last summer's moves or not, it’s hard to deny that the key skaters the Flyers obtained – Jaromir Jagr, Max Talbot, Brayden Schenn, Wayne Simmonds, Jakub Voracek and Sean Couturier – have all been pleasant surprises.

Couturier played his way into the lineup during a 10-game trial at the beginning of the season. He’s a solid two-way player who kills penalties, scores, and shows the patience of someone who has been in the league for 10 years. He is beyond impressive.

Schenn was hurt early on and hasn’t paid immediate dividends, but the small sample size shows that he is very similar to Mike Richards– stronger than he looks, with short bursts of testosterone. But his inexperience shows quite a bit.

Voracek and Simmonds have been as advertised– skilled, sizable scorers, who have added both speed and toughness to the team.

Finally, we get to Jagr and Talbot, the two guys who, if this summer’s moves were meant more to reload rather than retool, needed to play a key role.

Let’s start with Jagr: He was better than expected early on, but now his age appears to be catching up with him. The skill is of a 25-year-old, but the body – groin – is of a 40-year-old. Ultimately, as expected, it will be his health which determines his postseason contributions.

Talbot is a winner. Even though he’s not incredibly skilled, he plays a style of hockey that is well-received in Philadelphia, or anywhere. He probably fits in somewhere between Rod Brind’Amour and Shjon Podein in terms of talent, and that’s not a horrible place to be.

So that’s all roses. The Flyers scored some nice, mostly young players, for both now and the future… but more-so for the future– and that’s the problem right now.

I remember listening in to Holmgren’s conference call on the Friday night before Fourth of July weekend, the evening of the first day of free agency. Homer had already obtained Jagr and Talbot, and, a week earlier, Schenn, Simmonds and Voracek. On the call, Homer was asked, several times, if the Flyers were done for the day. The conjecture, at the time, was that the Flyers could be players in prying Steven Stamkos away from the Lightning, or, more likely, signing free agent Brad Richards.

They didn’t get either player, and Richards signed with New York, where he has 17 goals and 22 assists this season. 

We now have three areas – goaltending, leadership and immediate returns – in which to judge this past summer’s craziness. The goaltending, which had be a huge win for the Flyers, hasn’t lived up to expectations. Not even close. As such, the teams ahead of the Flyers – the Rangers and Bruins – have backstops in Lundqvist and Thomas that are the difference between being good-to-very good (Flyers) and being great (Rangers and Bruins).

By trading Mike Richards, and now with the unfortunate injury to Pronger, the Flyers are left without their two main leaders (not to mention two of their best players) from a year ago. The Rangers, however, have an intangibles-laden two-way forward in Callahan… the Flyers have…???… an angry Kimmo Timonen and Scott Hartnell??

Finally, while the moves yielded some very good young players for the Flyers, they were left without two of their best two-way forwards– Richards and Carter. Though guys like Couturier and Schenn have impressed at both ends of the ice, it’s difficult to make up for the lost experience of veteran players, as immature as they may have been off the ice. That’s a big reason why the Flyers often see mind-boggling defensive zone breakdowns this year. And the only acquisition(s) that may have offset those losses, at least in Year 1 (a big-name player like Brad Richards, Steven Stamkos or a defenseman), never happened.

So here we are– a good team, but one with a disturbing goaltender situation, bubbling questions as to who the leaders are, and solid young talent that isn’t quite ready to fill the shoes of players who came before them. 

Years 2 and 3 of this experiment are looking real good (save for the goaltender thing), but for the same to be said for Year 1 – this season -  the Flyers need to do something. As you know, a top-flight defenseman to help with defensive zone coverage and to cover up some goaltending issues would be the answer. Otherwise, the Flyers have no shot of beating the Rangers or Bruins in the playoffs.

Discuss. 

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39 Comments

  • Amy February 16, 2012 at 5:00 pm

    Mike Richards sucked as a captain. Get over it, they got rid of him. Best thing they could’ve done.
    As far as Jagr goes, he’s had some pretty stellar games post-All Star break (with maybe one exception) after he had some time to heal the injuries, so I’m not sure why you’re complaining. He’s not a detriment to this team in any way, shape, or form.
    The goaltending looks so sub-par because of the horrific D. Yes, Bryz needs to be better, and he will be better. But there’s a reason both of our goaltenders have nearly identical piss poor stats on the season (Bryz .900 save %, Bobrovsky .902 save %). That reason is huge, huge, defensive breakdowns that give goaltenders no chance.
    And mostly I can’t wrap my mind around how someone could write a blog entry talking about why the Flyers are sucking now without talking about their play on the defensive side, aside from goaltending. Really?

    Reply
  • keithwads815 February 16, 2012 at 5:03 pm

    I agree, but it’s not out of the cards for bryz to go on a otherworldly run through spring.

    Reply
  • markusof215 February 16, 2012 at 5:07 pm

    never really looked at the flyers as having a lack of leadership, but i do now. and yes, i would love to see them go snag a stud defenseman, but than we will end up giving up players we got for richards and carter in the first place. i hope they can stay afloat the rest of the year and hopefully get hot at the right time. maybe rangers will get knocked out the first round in some freak accident

    Reply
  • Fat Frank from American Pickers February 16, 2012 at 5:12 pm

    Things haven’t been the same since the bananna incident & jager is cooked

    Reply
  • Squallbucks February 16, 2012 at 5:15 pm

    maybe it’s just a slump….

    Reply
  • J.T. February 16, 2012 at 5:20 pm

    You hit it pretty much on the head, Kyle. Good analysis. And thanks for not giving the “it’s all Bryz’ fault” rationale that we all heard earlier in the season. You said it- he hasn’t played well. But the totality of not being where they could be is not all on Bryz. Some of it is, some is not.
    You said, going forward, things look good, except the goaltending situation. I still maintain that, while it may not happen this year, the Flyers have two goalies capable of getting hot and carrying the team. Neither has done it for more than a game or two in a row so far this year, but it can happen.
    That’s why, in my opinion, if Homer could get a stud defenseman before the deadline (a long shot, but if anyone can pull it off, it’s the Flyers), the defense will look a lot better. This was talked about as one of the best defenses in hockey before the season. Now, I think that was a bit overblown- they weren’t a top 3 or 4 defense, but were definitely top 10. But, you take Pronger out of it, and everyone else is asked to step into a role they are not suited for. That puts unneeded pressure on every defenseman (and, in turn, the forwards and goalie).
    It’s like starting pitching in baseball: Vance Worley would be a terrible, terrible choice to be your number 2 starter right now. He would completely bomb. But, you slide him into the 4th or 5th starter’s role, and he can succeed. It’s the same with defensemen in hockey. If Pronger (or Weber, or Suter, or possibly Schenn- though he’s a 2 or 3, not 1) were at the top of the defense chart, Timonen isn’t asked to be THE guy (and call out his teammates). Coburn can go back to being the third best defender, and sit comfortably on a pairing with Kimmo. Carle plays with that top defender and looks like an NHL defenseman again. Meszaros slides to the third pairing, playing lower quality forwards and looking like a beast as he did last year. They all fit in with that piece.
    That’s why I still go for it this year. I get the best defenseman I can find at the deadline. Slot him in there. That takes pressure off the forwards who can take a few more risks. It takes pressure off Bryz. And it gives everyone more confidence- which would go a long way in helping Bryz get hot down the stretch and into the playoffs and perhaps going on a long run.
    I think it can happen. And that’s not just with the OB Shades on. I really believe it’s possible.
    And now, I get ripped for my long post. Let’s Go Flyers!

    Reply
  • yaya February 16, 2012 at 5:20 pm

    Lets sum this up: Offense is fine. Pronger died, that sucks. Bryz has sucked, not good. Lundy has been unreal which is why the rangers are good. It can be turned around.

    Reply
  • Another Kyle February 16, 2012 at 5:21 pm

    They can’t get past the Rangers, Bruins, or Penguins this year and the rookies are mentally shot. Sell what you can at the deadline and focus on next year. Bryz is still the key, but he’s gotta be the guy unless a miracle happens and they get a buyout option with the new CBA.

    Reply
  • Rob House February 16, 2012 at 5:23 pm

    The rangers are better simply because of goaltending. They have a world class goalie and our goalkeepers have killed us. The Flyers players have said so themselves. And they clearly know the game better than the almighty pedophile Chirp
    House 3 Chirp -1

    Reply
  • OneManWolfpack February 16, 2012 at 5:25 pm

    Dude CALM DOWN. This is a good, young team. I know Pronger is hurt but if he wasn’t this team would have beaten the Rangers… At least once or twice. His absence weakens the D. And Bryz hasn’t been as good as he should be. Trading Richards and Carter guaranteed their window will be open for 5-10 years. This team will win a Cup in that time.

    Reply
  • Dennis February 16, 2012 at 5:26 pm

    Kyle,
    Props to you for earning a living being a blogger…for realsies
    But it’s a joke that this site won best Philly Sports Blog when it’s obvious you hate the Sixers and have a real hard-on for the Flyers.

    Reply
  • ParadeDownBroad February 16, 2012 at 5:27 pm

    Richards was overrated as a captain. He showed that he could be great (goal against Habs. Holy hell), but wasn’t consistent. If he brought that intensity every single game I doubt we would have traded him. I was pretty upset when we traded him, but looking back on it there were so many times during past seasons where I was pissed off with his lackluster play. His production on the PP seemed to get consistently worse as well.
    Of course only time will tell if this was a good trade. You can’t look at how Richie does in LA though. The only way we can tell if it’s a good trade is by what Schenn eventually does for the team. You can see this kid has a lot of potential.
    As for Carter, I was never upset we got rid of him. Tired of seeing him go wide right and take a shot with no angle. Also was sick of the backhand move on the breakaway. The return was absolutely amazing- Voracek, 22, comparable numbers to Carts early in his career. Couturier has been very good despite the fact that he shouldn’t be up here (wasting a year on his EL contract playing 4th line minutes and the PK?).
    One last note- why is everyone panicking? This is what the Flyers do- suck post all-star break. We just have to get rolling in March.

    Reply
  • ParadeDownBroad February 16, 2012 at 5:28 pm

    Wish I could edit that. Like others said, it’s just a slump. It’s not like we’re out of the playoff picture.

    Reply
  • J.T. February 16, 2012 at 5:34 pm

    I’m pretty sure anytime anyone ever says “Me: some number, Person I Irrationally Hate: a lower number,” you have, yourself, lost. That’s the worst way of “keeping score” I’ve ever seen, and makes you look like your arguments also show you to be.
    Also, bring more legitimate arguments than “they have a better goalie.” That brings nothing to the table, at all. Hockey, as much as any other sport, is not about one player. One player is not the reason you are better, and one player is not the reason you are worse. And when you go deeper than that is when you actually start to analyze, and then have more than 3 sentence long posts. Because you can make sense for more than just that. You should try it sometime, Rob.

    Reply
  • Dblock February 16, 2012 at 5:35 pm

    clowns. All of ya. “leadership” is possibly the most over-used term in all of sports. They are grown ass men, they don’t need Richards to “lead” them anywhere. Grow up. They suck cause there D blows and Bryz is a joke. Dude played in Pheonix, ya know half the teams coming in there were in the bag.

    Reply
  • J.T. February 16, 2012 at 5:43 pm

    One more thing before I leave for the evening. Richards was not overrated. He shouldn’t have been given the captaincy when he wasn’t ready for it (and pretty much said so). That was on the Flyers (trying to turn Richards into Crosby, which he wasn’t, and didn’t need to be), not Richards. Richards gets a bad rap for that, but that was on the front office, not Mike.
    People still think Mike Richards is trash, and I just don’t understand that. He showed up to play just as often as his teammates. That’s not saying he didn’t take games off (which was frustrating), but what player doesn’t? The locker room was supposed to be better without those guys, and now guys were going to be showing up every game. What did Timonen JUST say? “Seems like we have half the guys show up to play, the other half don’t.” Pretty sure Richards isn’t making that happen from LA… it just happens during a season. Is it an excuse for Richards to do it? No. But you also can’t demonize him for something that most players do.
    I wish people would appreciate Richards for the helluva player that he was. He WILL be a good captain in this league, I guarantee that. The Flyers just forced it on him too early.
    I still wish he was a Flyer. I love Simmonds and I like Schenn, and they are young. But Richards was a Bobby Clarke-type. Just in a different generation. I hope, somehow, someday, he is a Flyer again.

    Reply
  • ParadeDownBroad February 16, 2012 at 5:51 pm

    Well we got out D-man. Who the fuck is Nicklas Grossman?

    Reply
  • Matt P. February 16, 2012 at 6:08 pm

    Solid article even if I have some disagreements.
    If you remember back in the summer, there was a feeling that this year would be a growing period. With all the surprises from their rookies and players like Jagr and Hartnell, it then became another “Win now” situation with the fans. But reality set in and this is what was expected. They’re as you said: a good, different team that just needs time. They’re still the Flyers and will make the playoffs, but their inexperience could (and probably will — sorry) hurt them.
    Bryzgalov has shown his worth since the All-Star Break (sans for the Rangers game). He’s played great in spite of defensive breakdowns and was looking to establish himself as the true number one goalie for Philly. Obviously, he got the flu which can be hard on an athlete, but hopefully he bounces back from it and keeps this momentum going. Keep in mind that Bryz was on the cusp of being considered elite when playing in Phoenix, so how about we do the very un-Philly thing and not let half a season of inconsistent play erase years of solid goaltending.
    I see no reason to make any major move prior to the trade deadline. Nashville seems like they’re going to hold on to Weber and Suter since they’ve got a playoff contending team, and aside from that, not much is on the market that would fill a team need. Once the offseason rolls around and Homer can assess where both the team and Chris Pronger are at, they then should seriously consider pursing either of those defenseman. No need to give up anyone right now, though.
    Going with theme of a “growing year,” the Flyers have a collection of young pieces that will be able to experience the playoffs in their rookie year. Hopefully, they’ll enter the playoffs hot and be able to make an impact.

    Reply
  • Matt P. February 16, 2012 at 6:09 pm

    Also, can we please put the Rangers and Boston into perspective as far as playoffs goes? Yes, the Rangers look incredible right now, and on paper, they seem to have the pieces to make a deep run. But weren’t we saying the same thing a year ago when the Canucks got the President’s Trophy and looked set to get the Stanley Cup? How about the Capitals the year before that? The San Jose Sharks? A President Trophy does not equal a Stanley Cup. The playoffs are an entirely different beast and absolutely anything can happen. (Have we all forgotten what happened in 2010?) Besides ,the Rangers haven’t gotten past the second round since ’97.
    As far as Boston goes, they’ve been lucky with injuries thus far and have actually started to slow down (check out Thomas’ second half numbers compared to the first half). Besides, in the NHL, teams don’t repeat.
    I didn’t like either trades when they were made, but at this point I’m happy about the Carter trade and cautiously optimistic about the Richards trade (the one I was really pissed about). Fans and the shitty media we have in Philly should stop accusing Richards of being a bad captain. Did you guys actually attend any team meetings? No? Were you ever present in the locker rooms during games? No? Did you ever play on a team with him? Answer: No, so shut the fuck up about it, it’s a fact that you don’t know shit. Richards was the only guy fit to lead the team last year (proof: this season). He led his junior team to a Memorial Cup (almost a second in an insane season from him), the Phantoms to the Calder Cup, and the Flyers within two games of the most difficult to capture trophy in sports. But like I said, I like Schenn’s recent performance and Simmonds’, and since there’s no going back, might as well get used to it.

    Reply
  • Penny Gardens February 16, 2012 at 6:19 pm

    Jt stop boring everybody with your long posts…
    Pussy What

    Reply
  • Schtick Coma February 16, 2012 at 6:20 pm

    Hard to write so much on the Flyers and not mention Pronger. He’s the missing piece. Sorry to see his career may be over. Signing a tough defensemen who can anchor the power play is the key.
    As for Carter and Richards–it had to be personal. I think Holmgren is an angry dry drunk. I think he resented the fact that they lived the lifestyle he missed. Bryz is Snider’s fault of course.

    Reply
  • JohnnyRockets27 February 16, 2012 at 6:22 pm

    Kyle ive always loved your articles but this one i think is just plain wrong. the expectations of this year (at least among the fans)was not a cup. and while the team is mired in the doldrums of an NHL season, the season has certainly not been a disappointment. quite the contrary actually. There were a lot of people on NHL network, espn, tsn, etc. that were doubtful of the flyers even making the playoffs let alone competing for the 4th seed. As far as im concerned this season was never meant for a cup. it was meant to give the younger players experience in a new city (or a new league in some cases). this year was a rebuilding year in a way. not in terms of a Edmonton or NYI rebuild but a restructuring of the foundations and philosophy of this team. And youre right NYR and Boston are better because they have superior goaltending. but this team has nothing to worry about. this year was never our year even though it looked like it at times. The flyers time lies within the next 3 years. And we as fans should be looking to the future right now and not the present. because the present only holds another second round exit. it hurts to say it but its the truth.

    Reply
  • Kyle Scott February 16, 2012 at 6:32 pm

    sc- did mention pronger….
    jr- i don’t think i called it a disappointment, just that this isn’t the year, unless some major help comes along. agree with rest of that.

    Reply
  • Seven February 16, 2012 at 6:35 pm

    This is a stupid fucking article. The Flyers are in a slump and no one knew that Bryz would be having a down year.

    Reply
  • Schtick Coma February 16, 2012 at 6:43 pm

    @Kyle
    I should have said in passing. He’s bullets 1, 2 and 3. We wouldn’t know how much Matt Carle stinks if he were around.

    Reply
  • Chirp February 16, 2012 at 10:42 pm

    @amy…I think i love you…
    @JT great points…said it all and said it well.
    @house…not even going to fire back because JT just burned you bad…as usual coming from the guy who throws one liners and thinks he understands the sport. Hockey is not a sport about 1 player its a team sport.
    Rangers are not better solely because of lundquist. They block shots, they play infront of him, they work harder than the Flyers do.
    JT hit it on the head about all the roles switching when a D leader goes down. Carle is showing his true value without pronger, Coburn and Timmo cannot be that top pair right now.
    To sort of piggyback on johnnyrockets, the flyers are the third best team in the east even with a crappy D and sub par goaltending so obviously they are still doing something right. I think they have exceeded the expectations this year…
    Blew the team up, bunch of new guys, lost your leader, lost G, Briere, JVR, Jagr for some time, and your starting 8 rookies a night. Who would have thought they be where they are now? Take the homer glasses off and think about it.

    Reply
  • Barry Melrose's Hair February 16, 2012 at 10:54 pm

    @Chirp…. Please shut up. You have no clue. Long posts don’t mean you know what you’re talking about, and, I doubt Amy loves you back.
    Your posts lack knowledge and make you look stupid.

    Reply
  • Rob House February 16, 2012 at 11:52 pm

    The Fact that Chirp agrees with J.T. rests my case. Two morons who babble on and on about garbage

    Reply
  • Jilli February 17, 2012 at 7:47 am

    J.T. I LOVE it… Agree!!! Although I do think ppl forget Richie was injured.. not an excuse, but it can hamper performance down the stretch last season…

    Reply
  • BaBa February 17, 2012 at 8:00 am

    @Jilli- Richie’s problem was drinking & drugging, not injuries

    Reply
  • Chirp February 17, 2012 at 8:23 am

    @Barry…You said Stamkos was older then Read. Hes 3 years younger. You said snider is cheap, yet the Flyers are up against the cap. You thought Bryz played in the KHL last year when hes been in the NHL since 2001. Should I go on? You are the last person I need to prove that I know hockey too.
    @Rob…Great comeback. Once again your posts are filled with knowledge of hockey. How one could argue against your wealth of knowledge is beyond me. Go back to mom’s basement and play your NHL12 on rookie level so you can beat every team and think you would make a great GM…

    Reply
  • TCR February 17, 2012 at 8:31 am

    Here’s a tip … IF someone throws a banana at a player do NOT go out and trade your best player for him.

    Reply
  • JT's bitch February 17, 2012 at 10:04 am

    Pray for Bryz amnesty this summer

    Reply
  • Tom Byrne February 17, 2012 at 10:57 am

    @ Amy – That’s cool that you have a computer in your kitchen.

    Reply
  • Jess February 17, 2012 at 12:38 pm

    I never liked Mike Richards and couldn’t believe when he was named capatin- never thought he earned that title. I was indifferent to Jeff Carter. Sure I liked that he could score 30+ goals in a season, but I also felt he played up his injuries… his wrist probably wasn’t hurt, he just had a hangover. More seriously, I always thought those 2 cared more about going out and using their names/skill to get girls rather than win games.
    I was on the phone with my dad talking about trades and said- I hope we dump both Carter and Richards. No sooner did we hang up, did my dad call back and say one was outta here. We hung up again, and 20 minutes later, he called back to say they were both gone. I was happy. And now I’m even happier with who we got in return. Check the stats- our new players are performing better than both Carter and Richards.

    Reply
  • Amy February 17, 2012 at 3:01 pm

    Fuck you, Tom. Go punch a cab driver or something.

    Reply
  • Flyer February 17, 2012 at 3:42 pm

    Um, Wayne Simmonds has more points than Mike Richards this year. Sean Couturier has the same amount of points as Jeff Carter. If you don’t think the Flyers won those trades in the summer, you’re insane. Briere or Timonen would be perfect captains, and I think G could take the reins down the road. (He’s the face of the team now, he’s going to be the captain one day) I’m not saying the Cup is coming this year, but stranger things have happened. My hope is they can somehow scoop up Suter this summer or even try and trade some of our youth for Weber (very unlikely). The Flyers will be fine, and I think Homer is one of the best GMs in the NHL (from worst in the league to the Conference Finals in one year).
    We have a good, young team that is only going to get better. Hop on the bangwagon right now, the Flyers are going to compete for the Cup for a long time.

    Reply
  • CadiLlac35 February 24, 2012 at 10:10 am

    Jess was right “Check the stats- our new players are performing better than both Carter and Richards.”
    That and Carter always gets injured early during playoffs. It’s not the trades that are the problem. It’s when they all forget to play hockey. Kind of like in last nights gave vs. Edmonton. Where was the screening of the goalie? They had plenty of chances and blew it because they let the goalie see the puck coming. I know they can play better than that. Our goalie situation hasn’t changed much… still a question mark, but you can’t argue that keeping Richards and Carter was a better choice. I’m saying that and I loved those two the most (cause they’re pretty) but eye candy doesn’t help a hockey team. The new guys are doing better than they did… we just need more effort on screening so that all those people taking shots can get some through the goalie.

    Reply
  • CadiLlac35 February 24, 2012 at 10:13 am

    oh yea… and it would help to have less turnovers and better defense which so far recent changes haven’t changed much at all but I’m hoping they will soon.

    Reply
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