One player with a torn, MCL, a hat trick, 5 points, the heart and will to win, in an elimination game and then there is a Team Captain who had a single goal, and 2 assists, and a -10 rating in the playoffs. Yet everyone thought this was going to be different. Ask yourselves, why??
An 8-5 waxing, in which you were out scored 6-1 in the final 28 minutes, by a far superior team, and another failed season, in which the same questions remain, and you have not had a championship since 1975.
Where do we start? First, let me say that as a fan of all teams in Philadelphia, the Flyers are the team I route for the least, because, I do not understand the thought process, and it does not seem they have any thoughts of changing it, even though its been proven unsuccessful for decades.
Here is where the problems lie, and these are in no particular order, just what I have seen over years of seeing this brutal product!
This is a top down problem, that starts with ownership. Do we really feel, that the best person to run this team, make decisions based on salaries, free agency and drafting, is someone who use to play for the team. It has not changed, regardless if it was Bob Clarke, Paul Holmgrem, or Ron Hextall. All of these guys, have tried to build a product around the glory days of the Flyers, 40 plus years a game, refusing to adapt to the constantly changing game. This also carries over to leadership on the ice, as we stated above, Sean Couturier plays like a man possessed yesterday a man, who wanted to win, a person with heart in an elimination game puts up 5 points on a torn MCL. The leader of this team, who wears the C on his chest puts up 3 points in the entire series. He has continued over and over again to show up small in big games. The numbers prove out this stat as well. He has 3 points in a 6 game series, a brutal -10, mean while the top line center on the other side, Sidney Crosby puts up 13 points, made huge plays, and “led” his team to a 6 game waxing, in the series, as he looks for his 3rd straight Stanley Cup. I miss this:
Sure Richards and Carter, liked to party, due lines of blow, stay out late, show up late for practice and try to bag a lot of women. They were young hockey players, in Philadelphia, and were good, and had money. Why, this is shocking to anyone is beyond me. More importantly, that team with a strong leader, like Chris Pronger, and a Coach who knew hockey made a very impressive cup run, in which Giroux was a 2nd line player and had a great playoffs. A Stanley cup that might have been, until my next point.
This is an issue every year, and we haven’t had a stud carry us in any playoff series since Hextall literally carried us against Edmonton in 87, that’s over 30 years. That being said, before I let Hextall off the hook:
I don’t know exactly how this is found, but we can not even seem to develop them in our minor league system. I get that a big time goalie, and the value of them in the playoffs is going to cost some money, but we have not been able to even develop one over the last several decades. Tommy Soderstrom, Antero Nittymaki, Maxime Ouellet, Dominic Roussel are names that do not cut it. That is a small portion of the list, but it is embarrassing none the less, and has always been a problem with this team. I do not want to over value the position if your core around the team is solid, but a solid goalie, can take you a long way in the playoffs, and can bail you out in bad situations by what they call “standing on his head.”
Overvalue on the Superstar
From past stars like Lindros, and a washed up Forseberg, to the current situation with Giroux, its always been lets build around this guy, over pay them, give them at most 2 lines with talent that are at an NHL level, and then they compete with any team, that has 4 lines of depth and can skate. Such as Pittsburgh or any team in the Western Conference. Then they try to play this dump and chase mentality and wear teams down, this has not worked in hockey, since I don’t know, the last time the Flyers won a Cup. The current NHL is about talent, speed, skating, not speed but ability to skate, passing, and puck moving defensemen. This team has not seen anything like that in years.
The best thing I saw this weekend, was the heart of Couturier and this goal which was a thing of beauty, a guy with 5 points, in an elimination game, playing with a torn MCL, is the guy for my money that should where the C on his jersey. More importantly his top notch D at the forward position should be enough to prove that out anyway. Not to mention the game winner in game 5, on the road to even force it to a game 6.
— Anthony Mazziotti (@AntMazziotti) April 22, 2018
Going forward if I was in charge of this time, there are many things that needs to happen with this team, if you want to get back to playing meaningful hockey, passed the first round of the playoffs, in the future.
Sean Couturier, who has consistently been the Flyers best all around player each of the last 2 seasons makes a lot less money then Giroux, Voracek, Fippula, and Lehtera, None of those guys, had anywhere near the series, that Coots did, and none of them are on the level of him defensively. This is a common thing with the Flyers, they over pay players early in deals, and they never live up to it. Everyone wants to trade Giroux, which I agree with but who is going to pick up a player who still has 4 years left on his deal at 8.275 million a year and the same with Voracek.
Now lets do some comparison, for arguments, sake, I think that we would all agree, that Evgeni Malkin, and Sidney Crosby are much better players then both Giroux and Voracek. So lets compare:
I would expect both those players to be paid at a much higher level than Giroux or Voracek but they are not. It is actually comparable. This leads me back to my first point of leadership. At some point Provorov, and Patrick are going to have to get paid. Those guys have talent just from the brief sample size we have currently seen. Which leads me to what I expect the orga-ni-zation will let these guys walk, to let thier drafted, home grown players who they believe to be are core players for a championship team, will have to stay put, as the contracts demand to much to find a trade partner for or buy out.
This happens all to often with this team, and its because they have this loyalty aspect, to former players, which I am for, put names in the seats, honor them with a tribute night, do NOT, i repeat DO NOT let them run the team, and put you in a situation where you are chasing the better, far superior competition, yearly.
**Also can we please stop with the Kate Smith stuff**