Today In Mundane Hockey Takes

I was at the Flyers game last night. They did not look good. Little sustained pressure, defensive lapses, boneheaded (bench) penalties. But, we’re about three weeks into the Dave Hakstol era with essentially the same roster of defensive hodgepodge and a whole bunch of third-liners. For the the last two years it’s been my complaint that the Flyers are missing an entire line. Their first line of Claude Giroux, Jakub Voracek and [insert whoever] is fine. Good, even. But lines two and three are third and fourth lines, at best, on good teams:

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pic via

Matt Read is the most generic hockey player on the planet. He’s a one-dimensional Trent Klatt type who can fill space just about anywhere but do anything of note nowhere. Wayne Simmonds is fine. He’s a good scorer and the type of forward every team needs. But he lacks puck skills and comes with those all-too-familiar Flyers descriptors, like gritwilldrive (actual words used to describe him). The best thing you can say about his presence on the Flyers is that they don’t try to stock their roster with four of him, like they used to. We’re still waiting on Brayden Schenn to be something more than a mid-level defensive [update: better wording– two-way forward who’s not particularly good at anything] with upside. Sean Couturier will play in this league for a long time and probably wear an A at some point, but he doesn’t have nearly the skills to be considered a top-six forward like he is on the Flyers. And everybody else just is.

All of this is a long way of saying that the Flyers need more talent (surprise!), and until they get it, they’re going to be mediocre to mediocre+. And any struggles, especially thus far, can hardly be pinned on the coach. Yet, Bob Brookover needed something to write today:

The nicest thing we can say about Hakstol Hockey so far is that at least the Flyers did not show up late to the starting gate the way they had in the two previous seasons. Already they have quality victories against the Stanley Cup champion Chicago Blackhawks and the Presidents’ Trophy-winning New York Rangers.

That does not mean this first season with Dave Hakstol as head coach is going to end any differently than Craig Berube’s only full season as head coach did a year ago. In fact, the two teams are a lot more similar than you might think.

Regardless, scoring little and relying on your goaltender a lot is not the kind of system Hakstol wants to install in his first season as Flyers coach.

It’s only nine games, and new systems take time to implement. Right now, however, the new coach’s team looks a lot like the old coach’s team.

Well, there’s something: New coach with virtually same impact players is experiencing similar success or lack thereof as old coach. Good stuff, Bob.

I know Brookover had space to fill, but, for the second day in a row, we see why we can’t have nice things. A whole column about how Hakstol’s team looks like Berube’s is laughable, and the sort of knee-jerk reaction that is as pointless as it is boring. Most likely, we’ll have no idea if Hakstol is a good coach until the Flyers have a real second line and two more defensemen. The best they can be this year is a lower-four playoff team that shows signs of improvement and maybe excites with a playoff win or two. Yay Philadelphia.


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52 Responses

  1. I just walked by the game day set. It’s fucking insane all the pussy already down there. Happy hour going be nuts today in the city. So many pigs out looking to get fucked

  2. Pretty much on point. They looked like shit last night. Too many turnovers from failed fancy pass attempts as well. Even with MB gone the Flyers can’t beat the Devils…

    1. They looked very confused out there, done players unsure if they should leave the puck or go get it, def an off night for them

  3. By the time the defense is cycled out and some of the young guys are filtered in, their only 2 forwards will be on the downside. They need to trade some of the forwards, G & V to try to get some quality young forwards to go with some draft picks so when it’s 2017, they have more than just a few good D men on the roster.

    1. the defensive prospects are likely to be filtered in starting next year at the latest. Jake is 25 and G is 27 (or close to those). Jagr is 42 and still destroying defenses. We’re in fine shape.

      1. Wow. Amazing, yet predictable response from an OB type. Comparing Jake and G like that could be literally a tenth of the player Jagr is is absolutely insane. Jagr is a once in a lifetime player, Chris

  4. I don’t think you know much about hockey. Brayden Schenn is most certainly NOT a defensive forward…that’s basically the only thing he doesn’t do. What the fuck is a “generic” hockey player. That’s like saying Sam Bradford is a generic football player…it doesn’t make sense. Read was one of the best players on the ice last night and he’s consistently one of the team’s top PKers. Coots will be a second/third line center for his career. He absolutely has the skills to be a second line center. I’ll agree with you on Wayne…that’s about it.

    stay in your wheelhouse…

    1. Do you agree with the overall point that the team doesn’t have enough talent to win? Because that seems painfully obvious.

      1. certainly. they’re a bubble team at best. the wins against the hawks and rangers gave me hope but I think this is the team we’ll more likely see. with the jackets and pens sucking though we have a shot to sneak into the WC

    2. I think you need to be able to score 20 goals to be a 2nd line center.
      Matt Read is beyond a dime a dozen
      Schenn sucks

      1. I think Coots will get 20 goals this season since Hakstol is using the 4th line more in the defensive zone (i.e. Coots won’t be buried in his own end 80% of the time).

        to say he doesn’t have “nearly the skills” to be a top 6 forward is really underrating him.

    3. Omg on the Sean couturier comment…. Yep, I want my “2nd line center” maxing out at 35 points per year. Sean couturier sucks dude sorry.

  5. You do realize Coots wasn’t on the ice last night right? Neither was Bellmore. But Umberger and Lacacier were. And they both suck, while dragging down the play around them.

    You know nothing about Hockey. Shut up and go away

      1. But the Flyers haven’t looked bad in all their games. Umberger & Vinny both suck and aren’t going to get any better regardless of who is coaching them. It’s October. Chill out some before drawing any conclusions about Hakstol or the younger players on the team.

    1. Your comment lists 3 players, and you incredibly missspelled two of their names. Not even close. And just because you once played foot hockey with your loser friends, doesn’t make you a hockey expert. Learn the game, learn how to read, and learn how to write.

  6. holy shit you aint kiddin…. just drove past the Game Day set… crawling with hot pussy. Im leaving work early today, go home, shower, clean off my C0CK, balls, and ass…. slam some shots.. head down to GameDay and get my dick WET!!!!

  7. “Kyle!! You don’t post enough about hockey!!!”

    Kyle posts about hockey.



    1. I actually like the hockey posts here, largely because they are devoid of the fluff that most fans spew. The team isn’t good right now, and hasn’t been good in half a decade. Let’s stop pretending like success in that time span has been anything more than overachieving.

      Hard hits haven’t won hockey games since the 70’s. The sad truth is the team just figured that out 8 months ago.

      1. that was fighting, not hard hits. those guys didnt throw body checks anywhere near todays players. plus, they were midgets. bob daley was a monster at 6-1.

  8. here is a College Game Day Sex Tip…

    When the crowd is packed tight during the broadcast, grab your chick, pull her pantys down, and eat her pussy right there in the middle of the crowd.. she will moan like the moon…

  9. Just ignore the stats that say Brayden Schenn is leading the team in scoring and is a minus 1. He’s just a defensive player and that is it!

  10. Their young talent is promising (the noted Couturier, Laughton, and the horde of defensemen), but we are STILL 3-ish years away from any of them being impact guys night-in and night-out. This is a rebuild that isn’t unlike the Sixers, they just are doing a better job of being average in the interim.

    Also: Read, Schenn(s) and Umberger HAVE to go. I cannot stand watching them lose the puck in their skates, and not have their stick on the ice for a pass anymore.

  11. Indeed. Until the Flyers get out from under these horrific Holmgren contracts — Vinny, MacDonald, Read, Streit (who is their best d-man but still overpaid, given his age) — and realistically assess their overvalued younger players (both Schenns, Coots, Raffl), OF COURSE they won’t be much better than mediocre at best. As much as you look at the 2nd and 3rd lines, that [insert whoever] position on the 1st line is very important. I like Raffl a lot, but he’s a 2nd line player at best. They don’t need another “star” on the first line necessarily, but Raffl doesn’t go to the net and — given his SEVEN assists total last season playing primarily with two of the top point-getters in the league — he’s clearly overmatched there. Hell, I’d throw Simmonds up there just to get a big body that isn’t afraid to go into the corners or camp out in front of the net on the first line. Giroux is a playmaker, Voracek is also more of a finesse player.

    And speaking of Jake, he’s always been so mentally weak, confidence-wise. He had a fantastic career year last year, but I’ve never had confidence that he could be a consistent go-to scorer. Certainly one of their best skill players, but his point output so far — LUKE SCHENN HAS ONE MORE GOAL (1) than Jake for the season — he’s obviously caving under the weight/expectations that come with his new contract… In short, ugh.

  12. Two Tings about da game last nigth……Numbah One: They Miss Courtouriers on the Defensive Centerman. Numbah Too? ; Da Power Play sucks Yo. They are getting chances but not good Enuff. No threat at the point.

  13. Playing the tune of coots, scheen, and read “developing”

    turn me the fuck off please and get rid of these average at best players…

  14. Who is this Pizza Mike guy and where can I find him? Free tire rotation to anyone who can help.Sounds like he’s the man!

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