Sunday, December 27, 2009
If the Flyers played the way they played in the 3rd period last night against a team like Washington or Pittsburgh, they would have gotten killed. But the fact is they did what they had to do to beat the team they were playing. A win over the Canes counts for the same amount of points as a win over any other team. Bill Clement said it best on the post game when he said that this game showed how far the Flyers have come under Peter Laviolette, and it shows how far they still have to come.
Theres no doubt that the previous couple & next couple games are against some of the weaker teams in the east, compared to the stretch that they were playing when Laviolette took over. But wins are wins, and this team its gaining confidence back. There is no reason why we cant take 4 points from the New York teams over the next couple days and take that momentum into Fenway on Friday. Im not saying were back on track yet, but were certainly alot closer than we were a few days ago
LETS GO FLYERS!!!!!!!!!!
Tuesday, December 22, 2009
Maybe it would be a good idea to get as many "real Flyers" together with this team, like Bobby Clarke, Bill Barber, Bernie Parent, Bob Kelley, Gary Dornhoffer, Dave Shultz, Tim Kerr, Dave Brown, Ron Hextall, Dave Poulin, John LeClair, Keith Primeu, Jeremy Roenick, etc.. and have them talk to the team. Knowing some of the 1970's guys, Im sure the conversation would go something like this; "You guys are a fucking disgrace, you have no heart, and you have no business representing that logo on your jersey" But Im sure it would fall on deaf ears. After all, these guys have their contracts, their fortunes, and apparently thats what the most important thing is to these guys.
Friday, December 18, 2009
-We got a point in the standings...woohoo!
-They played a full game, and looked pretty darn good. Had Fleury not stood on his head in the 3rd, we would have won
-Jeff Carter showed up. Maybe the trade rumors are getting to him, hopefully this type of effort from him will continue
-Boosh looked great against one of the best offenses in the league
-We hung shift for shift, with the defending champs
-Pronger hasnt looked the same in the last couple games, maybe he's playing hurt a little?
-We didnt get calls. Yeah I know we never do, (especially against the Pens) but Malkin & Hartnell went down, then Malkin got in a couple cheap shots. C'mon, when its obvious, you've gotta call it. Had it been the other way around, you know it would have gotten called.
-Maybe it was just the area I was sitting in, but it didnt seem to be a Flyers/Pens crowd until the 3rd period. However during the 3rd, it felt like a playoff atmosphere
-That damn Crosby scored the shooutout winner. Couldnt have ended worse. Im the biggest Crosby hater out there, but even I've got to admit, the kid has a ton of talent
Ok I just said something nice about Sidney Crosby, Ive gotta go take a shower & wash this feeling off me
Tuesday, December 15, 2009
The Penguins are at the top of my "hate list" Im not talking about just hockey teams, I hate the Pens more than any team in any sport. Most teams have at least a couple guys that I really like, there isnt a single guy on that team that I like even remotely. Their fans act like they are the best in hockey. Ill admit, they have a great home ice advantage now-a-days, but where were all these "fans" from '01-'06? Where were these "fans" when the team was literally hours away from being moved to Kansas City? The answer is they werent even following the team, but now that they are good again (thanks to an incredible 4 year draft run) all the "fans" come out of the woodwork. Now I'm sure that there are plenty of true fans who stuck with the team through thick & thin, but I would say at least half of them are prototypical frontrunners.
The Pens have had our number over the last couple seasons. They beat us in the '08 conference finals and last year in the 1st round, & as well as a 5-4 win earlier this season. Are they in our heads? I cant answer that, but I do know that 2 wins over these guys in the next 3 days may be just the medicine we need to get the season turned around. And I also know (as does anyone who's watched Flyers vs Pens over the last couple seasons) that this will be an incredibly physical affair. Last time these teams played, the game ended with Pronger manhandling Chris Kunitz & Scott Hartnell biting the finger of Kris Letang.
LETS GET READY TO RUMBLE & LETS GO FLYERS!!!!!!!!!!!!
Monday, December 14, 2009
But the risk he takes my being a "tough" coach is potentially losing the players. If they start winning again, then these hard practices might not be an issue. But if they go into January and God forbid even Febuary still playing the way they are and falling more and more out of the playoff race, there is a risk that some guys on the team will grow to hate Laviolette. Im not saying that its right or its wrong, but it would be no different than if you are I were having a bad stretch at work and the boss kept yelling at you. Hopefully every single player on this team will realize soon, real soon that there is no reason why they should be tied with the Maple Leafs!? near the bottom of the east. Time is slipping away quickly, keep coach'n em up Lavvy, and hopefully we get this thing turned around.
LETS GO FLYERS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Sunday, December 13, 2009
Im running out of words to describe whats going on. By no means is this season over, they could go on a nice little winning streak over the next couple weeks and get back into the playoff picture, but as each game and each loss comes, thats becoming harder & harder to believe. What I love about this fan base though, is that win or lose, we are always there, we wont abandon the team, lets just hope that they dont abandon the season.
LETS GO FLYERS!!!!!!!!!
Friday, December 11, 2009
Which brings up the question, is there a chance that this team dosent make the playoffs? If I had asked that question before the season, everyone would have thought I was crazy. But with the injury problems and inconsistency that this team is facing, it might not be inconceivable to see this team on the outside looking in come playoff time. I dont think it will happen. I think that this team is too talented to miss the playoffs, but if this slump goes on much longer, my opinion might change.
Thursday, December 10, 2009
Back to Emery. It looks like we have an explanation for why he played so poorly over the last couple weeks. This injury worries me. Its very similar to the injury that Danny Briere suffered last season. We all know how that played out. In the lineup, out of the lineup, re-injured, etc. This injury is tougher on a goaltender. Especially a butterfly goalie like Emery. In a perfect world, Emery comes back in 6 weeks, plays a few games, then gets to take a couple weeks to rest during the Olympic break, but as well all know, the world aint perfect.
I think the Flyers have to limit their expectations for him for the rest of the season, and Boucher has to mentally prepare himself to potentially be the starter for more than the next 6 weeks. Yet another reason for the offense (Im looking at you Carter) to step up. They potentially may have to win alot of 5-4 type games, especially over the next couple weeks.
Tuesday, December 8, 2009
On to something thats been bothering me for a few weeks now. As we all know, the team has been struggling. Theres been a lot of criticism to go around. John Stevens was widely criticised (heavily by me) He gets fired. Mike Richards leadership has been questioned/criticised. Injuries have been blamed. The power play has been blamed. Bonehead penalites have been blamed. But why hasnt anyone talked about Jeff Carter? He is supposed to be our top offensive threat. 46 goals last year, and so far, only 9 this year. To make things worse, he just seems to be floating around out there. Is it just me, or does he seem extra lazy this year? Skate up the side, lazy wrist shot from the circle, repeat. You cant score on NHL quality goalies that way. I expected to see Jeff come out on fire this year since he was playing for a spot on team Canada in the Olympics. Looks like I was wrong. The Flyers wont snap out of their scoring funk, until #17 snaps out of his. If he continues the whole year like this, could he possibly be traded for a 1st round pick at the draft? Dont forget, his contract is up at the end of next year, we dont have a 1st round pick this year thanks to the Pronger trade, and we need to lock up Giroux & JVR long term. Just a little something to think about.
Tonight the Flyers are back home against John Tavares & the Islanders. I honestly have no idea what to expect. I can see a dominating win, or a sloppy loss. Maybe I'm just being optimistic, but I think the combiniation of being at home & having a little more time with Laviolette will help the orange & black tonight. Right now the Sixers are getting more positive attention than the Flyers.......thats gotta change!!!
Sunday, December 6, 2009
Late Friday evening, the Flyers fired coach John Stevens. Needless to say, I was very happy with that move. I agree with Homer 100% that this team needed a "new voice" The new head man is former Stanley Cup winner, Peter Laviolette. Peter is a no nonsense kind of coach who preaches discipline and plenty of aggressiveness in the offensive zone-2 of the Flyers biggest problems under John Stevens. I have no doubt that this guy wont be the "buddy" to the players that Stevens appeared to be. Time will tell, but I think this is a great move for the orange & black.
To call last nights game horrible would be an understatement. Probably the worst game Ive ever been to. The game turned after the Dan Carcillo fight. Im not going to jump on the hate Carcillo bandwagon, (Im already on that bandwagon) But Ill give carbomb a pass on this one. If he knew that what he did, would cause a 9 minute powerplay, then he wouldnt have done it, even he's not that stupid. Seriously, a 9 minute powerplay?!?! Ive been watching hockey for a long time, and Ive never ever seen that. The Caps scored 3 during that 9 minute stretch, and that pretty much was it. Emery was pulled after 5 goals on 17 shots, Boucher came in and looked just as bad.
I knew that the Flyers would be sloppy last night. It was to be expected after having only 1 morning practice with a new coach, but the effort last night was pitiful. Im going to give them a pass for a couple weeks while they adjust to the new coach and he adjusts to them. But if they still look this bad after a couple weeks, then quite honestly, I wont know what to do. I dont think it will be a problem though, Laviolette is a good coach, and this roster is filled with alot of very talented players. With that being said, Im very interested to see how Laviolette handles this situation, and more importantly, how they play on Monday night in Montreal. It cant get any worse, right??
Friday, December 4, 2009
The Flyers lost to the Canucks last night 3-0. If your counting, thats now 6 losses in the last 8 games, & 8 periods in a row without scoring a goal. Last time I checked, its hard to win when the number in your section of the scoreboard reads "0".
This team knew this was a must win game. They had 4 days to prepare for it both physically & mentally, & they still lost. I realize that they were playing against one of the better teams in the west, & against one of the best goalies in the league, but in my opinion, there was no excuse for last night. When Aaron Asham is your best forward, thats a big problem. Nothing against Ash, but he is nothing more than a role player, and anything you get out of him is a plus. This team needs to be carried by its big guns. Richie looked ok last night, I loved the fight, great way to try to get things going. But can someone tell me where was Carter, Hartnell, Briere, Giroux, & JVR?
I cant remember the last time I was this frustrated with this team. Im only frustrated because I know that they can be so much better than this. 610 WIP reported that they had a closed door meeting after the game last night. If 4 days of thinking about how you need to improve & practicing didnt help, what will a closed door meeting do?
It certainly dosent get any easier on Saturday as the Washington Capitals come to town. They are without Ovie & Knuble, but they still pack a ton of firepower. Not exactly the type of team that you want to see when your struggling.
Ive said it before, & I'll say it again; how long will this team have to struggle before Homer does something? And what would that "something" be????
LETS GO FLYERS!!!!!!!!
Thursday, December 3, 2009
Wednesday, December 2, 2009
You have to check the interview with Chris Pronger on csnphilly.com where he talks about "walking a tightrope" in the locker room in regards to helping Mike Richards lead this team. Its a truly fascinating look into what Richards may or may not be like as a leader, and how others react to him. Im not saying Richards is a horrible captain or that he isnt, the fact is, its too soon to make judgements.
But the reality is, that this team needs to get its shit straight....NOW. We are in a highly competitive division/conference and we cannot afford to continually lose games/points in the standings. Teams like Pittsburgh, New Jersey, & Washington will be very difficult to catch if we spot them a huge lead in the standings.
Someone, anyone needs to do something, anything to get this team going. I dont care who, I dont care what. Being average isnt good enough for this organization or for the fans. The expectations for this team is not just to make the playoffs, its to make the playoffs and contend for a championship. Its time for everyone in the organization to look at themselves in the mirror realize that they are better than what they are showing, quit talking about what they need to do better, and go out there and do it...consistently.
A couple of impressive home wins over Vancouver & Washington will do alot to calm all of us down, if that dosent happen, how long does Homer wait to fix everything???
Sunday, November 29, 2009
My point is that injuries are difficult to overcome, but championship caliber teams find ways to overcome them. Championship teams find ways to win. Championship teams show up every night for 60 minutes, not 20, not 40, but 60 full minutes. On paper, this team is more than capable of competing with the likes of Pittsburgh & Washington, they simply aren't showing it right now. I realize that every team goes through slumps from time to time, but is it me, or does this team go through more of them than they should?
Every single point matters. Remember, the difference between the Flyers having home ice in the first round was 1 single point. Not that it would have made any difference, but the fact is that all 82 games mean something. My humble opinion is that Stevens has run his course in Philly. He certainly has done a great job in developing our young stars such as Richards, Carter, Coburn, Giroux, & JVR. But he just dosent seem like the kind of coach to get them to the next level. I get so sick of hearing his post game press conferences; "the other team came out with alot of fire" "we didnt play hard at the beginning" etc.. Well if that was the case John, why dont YOU do something about it!?
I dont see Stevens getting fired anytime soon. The excuse will be injuries. Which I understand, but as I mentioned earlier, injuries didnt seem to effect Pittsburgh & Washington. My guess would be that it will take a 6 or 7 game losing streak for Holmgren to make a coaching change. Otherwise, unless this team makes it to at least the conference finals, Stevens will be gone. Just for fun though, here are some guys who I think would make a great in-season replacement for John Stevens (in no particular order)
Bob Hartley: won a Stanley Cup with Colorado, his teams have always been disciplined
Peter Laviolette: won a Stanley Cup with a Carolina team that wasnt all that good
Mike Keenan: ol' Iron Mike's coaching style is only good for about a year & a half at a time (hence why he's been all over the league throughout his career) So he wouldnt be a long ter solution. But he certainly wont stand for half ass efforts
Paul Holmgren: Dont forget, Homer has NHL coaching experience. This is his team, and if they fall way short of expectations, HE could be on the chopping block. Again, not a long term solution, but its an interesting thought.
Riley Cote is beyond horrible, sure he fights, but does he ever win? We have plenty of guys who can drop the mitts, and actually play hockey. Riley looks completely lost out there and is doing nothing to help the team win. Why not give someone like Matsumoto or Maroon a shot with the big club to see what they can do, they certainly cant be any worse than Cote.
Where are you Jeff Carter?! I barely notice when you're out there. You just seem to be floating around out there killing time. You have one of the nastiest shots in the league & you easily have the ability to score 50 goals (especially with the talent that you have around you) You have to bust your ass every night, not just when you feel like it. I wonder how long it will take before someone does something to get him to wake up?
Major props again to Lappy. It takes a real tough guy to do what you're doing. The league appears to want to be serious about player safety, so Ive wondered why the league dosent mandate full facial shields like they do in college. Wouldnt that help prevent injuries similar to Lappys and like the one Coburn suffered in the playoffs a couple years ago?
The Flyers are now off until Thursday when they take on a good Vancouver team. I certainly hope these next few days off will help the orange & black. As I said in yesterdays post, they need a dominating win to get their mojo back. I really wonder how long Holmgren is going to wait before he does something to shake things up.
Saturday, November 28, 2009
The Flyers had their annual black friday afternoon game yesterday at the Wachovia Center, and if nothing else, it was entertaining. Lots of physical play in the 1st 2 periods which included 2 fights from Dan Carcillo and Ian Lapierrere taking a slapshot right to the mouth which led to 7 lost teeth and over 50 stiches to close the gash...but he came back in the 3rd! Say what you want about hockey players, you cant say they're not tough. Yesterday, Lappy became alot of peoples favorite Flyer.
Now for some thoughts from yesterday...
If Patrick Kaleta dosent get suspended for at LEAST 2 games for his hit on Jared Ross, then Paul Holmgren & the rest of the Flyers front office needs to raise hell. Briere got suspended for 2 games (albeit rightfully so) for his hit on Monday, but Kaleta's hit was far worse. If the league is really serious about cutting down on head shots, then they need to start making examples of guys like Kaleta
Although Carcillo had every right to be pissed off after his 2nd fight with Rivet, (Rivet got a couple extra shots in after they were on the ice) Carbomb needs to control his anger. His 10 minute misconduct really hurt the Flyers-with Ross out for the game & Lappy getting stiched up, the Flyers had to roll only 3 lines for a large portion of the 2nd. Which meant Cote & Nodl had to play a little more than they should have, which is never a good thing
By no means did Emery play great, but I didnt think he was horrible either. There wasnt a goalie in the world who would have stopped the last goal. That one will go down as a canidate for goal of the year
Tonight the Flyers head to the dirty south to take on the Thrashers. We dont have Nitty anymore, so this is no longer a guaranteed win. The Thrashers are a much improved team than what they were over the last few seasons. In addition to Ilya Kovalchuck, they have Colby Armstrong, Maxim Afinigenov, Bryan Little, Rich Peverly, a solid young goalie, Ondrej Pavelec & 2 future superstars-rookie Evander Kane & last years 1st round pick, defensemen Zach Bogosian.
Danny Briere is back from suspension tonight, whether he provides any offense or not, simply having him back in the lineup will help our depth. (the less I have to see Cote & Nodl out there, the better) Brian Boucher will get the start tonight. If he looks anything like he did Wednesday night in Long Island, expect the Flyers to win. The Flyers need a dominating win to help get their mojo back, lets hope they get it done tonight in the ATL.
Wednesday, November 25, 2009
On to tonight....the Flyers are currently in a 3 way tie for 3rd/last place in the Atlantic. These arent the Islanders of the last couple seasons, they are no longer a guaranteed win. Former Flyer Garth Snow has done a great job of re-building their roster. Josh Bailey, Kyle Okposo, & last year's #1 pick John Tavares have given fans on the isle plenty to cheer about. Dwyane Roloson made 58 saves on Monday night against the Leafs, could that mean he gets a night off so that former Flyer Marty Biron gets a start against his former team?
The Flyers have looked like shit on this road trip; 1-3. Its not just that they've lost 3 out of 4, its that they've looked terrible in the 3 losses. A win tonight wouldnt make up for the 3 losses, but a 2-3 road trip is a lot easier to take than a 1-4 trip. I honestly dont know what Flyer team will show up tonight, if the team from the last couple nights shows up, we will lose, if we actually play a full 60 minutes, we shouldnt have a problem with the young Islanders.
Saturday, November 21, 2009
Friday, November 20, 2009
This is the 2nd & last meeting of these teams this season (until June?) Last month, the Sharks dominated the orange & black 4-1. That was with Boosh in net, making his first start of the year. Tonight, Razor returns and looks to keep his hot play going.
Im looking/hoping for Carter to get going. By no means has he been playing poorly this season, but it just seems to me like he hasnt been playing as well as he did last year. If he wants to play for Team Canada in Feburary, he better get going soon, or he'll get passed by on the very deep, Canadian depth chart.
Im predicting 3 points tonight between the pairing of Carle & Pronger. Carle is going against his former team, and Pronger is going up against a team he used to see alot when he was in Anaheim.
LETS GO FLYERS!!!!!
Wednesday, November 18, 2009
Monday, November 16, 2009
Also tonight, Dave "The Hammer" Schultz gets inducted into the Flyers Hall of Fame. The Hammer is one of the most beloved members of the Broad Street Bullies, and it should be a great pregame ceremony, nothing like a 10 minute fight video to get the fans extra pumped for a game against one of our biggest rivals.
Call me crazy, but I think that the Flyers will dominate tonight, similar to the way they beat the Devils in the second game of the season. The combination of Hall of Fame night, a rivalry game, and the fact that they are coming off a loss on Saturday makes me think that this game will have playoff intensity and the Flyers will get the "W"
LETS GO FLYERS!!!!!!!!!!!!
Sunday, November 15, 2009
LETS GO FLYERS!!!!!!
To me, it seemed like Dan Carcillo was out there for a long time last night, but it turns out he only played 10:04. Im not on the "Carcillo sucks" bandwagon, but it just seems like he has a knack for not making plays and of course, taking the stupid penalty, which he did in the first couple minutes last night-which led to the first Buffalo goal. Just when I think he can play smart hockey, and provide this team with a Sean Avery type scoring threat/agitator, he plays a horrible game and changes my opinion.
As much as I HATE them, you've gotta give the Penguins credit, tying the game with 0.4 seconds to go last night, and then winning it in OT. The Flyers could learn a few things from them.
Friday, November 13, 2009
It will be interesting to see how long they can keep this streak going, they play a good Buffalo team tommorow night, then a matchup against the division leading Devils before going on a west coast trip. Regardless, its nice to see them beating teams that they should, and picking up as many points as possible early in the season. Im wondering if they will start Boosh in one of the next 2 home games, or wait to start him in a game or 2 on the west coast trip. If the defense keeps playing as well as they have been, it wont matter
If your'e a Flyers fan, you HAVE to pick up a copy of the latest issue of "The Hockey News" You'll want to frame the cover
LETS GO FLYERS!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Sunday, November 8, 2009
Some observations from the game....
First off, Im getting tired of arguing with people about my seats. Every game this year, different people who obviously arent hockey fans who must be given free tickets are always sitting in my seats and try to argue that they are their seats. Despite me holding a ticket that clearly states the section row & seat #. Figuring out what seats are yours isnt that difficult is it. I hate fake fans at games.
I'm hoping now that the Phillies are done the Flyers will get a little more attention in the local media, but probably not until after the Eagles win the Super Bowl.
If your'e a Yankees fan, thats fine, but dont come to a Flyers game to talk shit.
The refs sucked ass last night. Seriously, how many calls can you blow in one game? And when a puck is anywhere close to crossing the goal line, arent you supposed to at least look at the video?
Emery looked great last night, several great saves. He's looking more & more like the 2007 Emery that took Ottawa to the Finals. I loved it when he slammed down one of the Blues players stick right after a play when a scrum was breaking out. I like my Ray-Ray angry
The Flyers didnt just sit on a lead in the 3rd period?! I could get used to this
Giroux is the best stickhandler on the team, I wish their was a way to have him go in all rounds of the shootout. The kid is money
Friday, November 6, 2009
Some interesting stuff....
The Flyers have scored 12 goals in the last 2 games, without Gags & Briere...go figure
Gagne out 6-8 weeks after surgery (who didnt see that one coming?)
Hopefully Briere back much much sooner, and hopefully he can stay completely healthy after that
David Laliberte looking great filling in for Briere, its great to have depth in your farm system
Some quiet talk about JVR making Team USA Olympic team...I think he has a 50/50 shot if he keeps up his early season form
Braydon Coburn appears to have learned how to play hockey again, looking much better over the last couple games
On a side note...I wonder how much local media attention the Flyers will start to get now that the Phillies season is over? My guess is not a lot until the Eagles are finished.
Sunday, November 1, 2009
JVR is looking more and more like he belongs out there, tallying a goal and an assist. Coburn didnt suck, he potted 2! Emery turned in one of his best efforts of the season, turning away several quality scoring chances from the Canes.
Earlier this week Coach Stevens took the teams day off away from them in an effort to get them going, and maybe yesterday was a response to that. But the pessimist in me says that they will continue their hot/cold ways and not show up on Monday night against Tampa, hopefully I'm wrong. I'm hoping Cliff Lee can stop by on his way to the park and give them a pep talk?
4 Philly wins over the next 2 days?!....
GO FLYERS, PHILLIES, & EAGLES!!!!
Thursday, October 29, 2009
In other news...it looks like the Flyers wont sign Shanahan.....thank God. This, along with Gagne being out for a while (probably most of the rest of the season) means that guys like JVR, Giroux, etc have to step up and help fill the score sheet, as I would assume that Stevens will load the first 2 lines, roll out an energy line as the 3rd line (Powe, Carcillo, ?) and the 4th line will see little time.
Take notes from the Phillies, Flyers.....get your shit going!!!!
LETS GO FLYERS & PHILLIES!!!!!!!
Tuesday, October 27, 2009
In other news...there are rumors running rampant throughout the web about the severity of Gagne's injury. Ranging from a groin strain, to an abdominal strain, to a hernia, which could require surgery, which could potentially be season ending. The only thing for certain, is that he is out of the lineup tonight.
Brendan freakin' Shannahan!? are you kidding!? The rumor God's are saying the Flyers are potentially interested in the 62 year old winger. Lets be clear, I'm against this 10000% If this were the Shanny from 1998, then I'd be on board, but this guy has nothing left. He left the Devils because he didnt want to be a 4th line player. Which means he couldnt crack one of the top 3 lines in Jersey, and they have far less offensive talent than the Flyers. Tell me how he could make it on one of the top 3 lines here? But I guess it wouldnt be the Flyers without them making room for a washed up veteran at the expense of taking minutes away from younger, better players.
Can you tell I'm frustrated with this team??
Friday, October 23, 2009
As captain, by NHL rules, Richards had to participate in the post game Q&A with reporters. When asked questions about things from last nights game, he responded with short answers like "its big" "also big" & "why bother"
Now if he doesn't want continued questions about the alleged partying, that's fine. Simply tell all the reporters not to ask them anymore, they are professionals too, they will respect your request. But to act like a 12 year old is not very captain like, in fact, its not captain like at all. I know I'll probably catch hell for this, but Richards is not a very good captain...right now. Im sure he will be in a few years, but he simply isnt ready for it right now. He is a great on-ice captain, he brings it every single night, but there is more to being a captain than just playing well, you have to be a mature leader, you have to be able to keep things going when you are winning, and help get things turned around when you are losing, and right now, I just dont see Richards as that guy.
I would like to see the "C" go to Pronger, since he seems to be the leader anyway. That way Richards can step back to watch & learn from a guy who has been there and done that. Then in a few years, Richie can step back into the role and be much more prepared for it.
This is a team that is more than capable of winning the Stanley Cup, but in order to do that, you not only need to play well, but you need to have a true leader.
For the most part, the Flyers will have a somewhat normal schedule for the rest of the year, not having nearly a week off in between games, seriously, how does that happen in the first place? So hopefully they've bonded enough to last the season, cause its time to get serious and channel their inner Phillie
LETS GO FLYERS & LETS GO PHILLIES!!!!
Wednesday, October 21, 2009
After the first 2 games, I hopped on my private jet and went to Vegas and put all my money on the Flyers going undefeated and winning the Stanley Cup-and why not? They put together 2 full 60 minute efforts against quality teams, on the road. After that, they didn't look great defensively in the home opener, but still managed to win. After that, in what was the biggest game of the season so far against the arch rival Penguins, they put together a horrible defensive effort and lose. Then a typical John Stevens team showed up against the Ducks, looked great for 40 minutes and then blew it in the 3rd. After a week of team bonding, they came out flat against a bad Florida team and lost. They have had almost another week off, and they better come out on fire Thursday against a desperate Boston team, if not, John Stevens should be fired. This team is way to talented to underacheive and be inconsistent. Now I realize even if they lose, Stevens will keep his job, Holmgren has stuck with him through some tough times, but I think I speak for all Flyers fans when I say that we cant stand the inconsistency, this team is good enough to be the best in the league, so its time for them to start playing like it...EVERY NIGHT
Maybe they should watch the game tonight to see what a true championship team plays like....GO PHILLIES!!!
Friday, October 16, 2009
Wednesday, October 14, 2009
Maybe I'm still a little pissed off that they've lost 2 out of 3, but I just dont see why this bonding stuff is necessary or how it will help them win games. Arent they around each other pretty much every day from September until May (hopefully) June? Arent they "bonding" then?
Im curious to see what perennial championship teams in every sport handling "team bonding" I have no evidence, but I assume that teams like the Patriots, Colts, Steelers, Spurs, Red Wings, Penguins, Phillies, Red Sox, etc, spend their spare time working on getting better, and that is why those teams all win championships
Sunday, October 11, 2009
-Emery looked better than he did on Tues & Thurs, but gives up alot of rebounds
-Coburn all of a sudden stinks
-It wasnt just Coburn, the D as a whole seemed to not be very sharp
-Is it me, or is Giroux not making any impact?
-Is it me, or is Gagne not making any impact?
The orange and black now have nearly a week off before they play again-Friday night vs the Panthers, hopefully Stevens can coach em' up a little this week and they can start to look like they did in the 1st 2 games
Finally, to all the people sitting in my section last night: Dont stand up and walk out right in the middle of the play!!! Wait for a freakin' stoppage in play! I swear, at least a dozen people did it last night, it gets really annoying!
Friday, October 9, 2009
Now I realize the most important thing is that the Flyers didnt play very well and lost, but a serious tone for the rest of the season series between these 2 teams was set at the end of last nights game when Mike Richards plowed into Goofy the Dog (I mean Marc Andre Fleury) and the Scott Hartnell & Kris Letang got into a scrum which culminated with an accused biting incident. But my favorite moment was typical Pronger, during the scrum, he skated in with bad intentions and went right after Chris Kunitz, the look on Kunitz's face was absolutely priceless, it was as if he was saying "Oh my God, its Chris fucking Pronger!!"
The bottom line is the Flyers need to play better in order to consistently beat teams like the Caps and Penguins, but I cant wait for the next Flyers Pens matchup, I cant guarantee a Flyers win, but I can guarantee it will be physical
Watching post game live last night, I couldnt help but notice the anger in John Stevens voice. As well as the anger in Pronger during his interview, this will be a different team after losses this year. I fully expect this team to come out on fire against Lupul and the Ducks on Saturday
Wednesday, October 7, 2009
This team has really impressed me so far. They have shown that they can beat you in so many ways. If needed, they can shut you out, or they can just go back and forth with you and come out on top. The point is, for the 1st time in a while, this is a complete team. They are not just relying on one player or one aspect of the team. They are solid at every position, (just about every roster spot for that matter) and that makes this team very good. I know its early, but if they can keep this up, they will be dangerous to face in April, May, and hopefully June.
Sunday, October 4, 2009
Up this week; a very important couple of games to determine how serious a contender this team can be; 2 home games against the 2 best teams in the East, Washington & Pittsburgh. Mr. Pronger, you were brought here for one reason and one reason alone, we have no doubts that you'll handle your business
How about D-Powe scoring last night?! Is it too soon to think about the Hart Trophy?
LETS GO FLYERS!!!!!!
Saturday, October 3, 2009
-JVR looked pretty good in his first career game
-Pronger did nothing spectacular, but every time he was on the ice (nearly half the game) you could just feel his presence out there
-Gagne looks to be showing no effects from his hamstring/groin/hip problem
-Carcillo will continue to be the stupidest player on the team
-Most importantly, they played hard for 60 minutes last night, not 20, not 40, but a full 60 minutes. Now lets just hope they do that night in and night out.
Get you red bull ready for tonight, because Devil's games can and will put you to sleep. The only thing I hate more than the neutral zone trap is running out of beer while watching a game. Hopefully the Flyers can make the most of their scoring opportunities tonight, and hopefully I wont run out of beer!
Friday, October 2, 2009
The theme for tonights game is: "you dont get a second chance to make a first impression" with that in mind....
How will JVR & Pyrola look in their first regular season game after both having an impressive training camp & preseason
How will Chris Pronger look in his first game as a Flyer...the answer...GREAT!!!
How will Danny Briere look after his season from hell last year
How will the biggest risk/reward signing in Flyers history; Ray Emery look in his first NHL game since early 2007...the answer, 32 save shutout!
I think this will be a highly competitive, very entertaining game to watch tonight....
Sit back and enjoy....Flyers hockey is back.....its gonna be a fun season!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Wednesday, September 30, 2009
Another very important fact is that, unless something pops up unexpected this morning, they made it through the preseason with no major injuries to any key player, except backup goalie Brian Boucher, and his injury should only keep him out for a couple weeks.
Many of the key offseason questions were answered during the preseason. Ray Emery looks real good, and if he plays as well in the regular season as he did in the preseason, he should have a solid year. Chris Pronger will be a bigtime difference maker. JVR looks like the real deal. Danny Briere looks better than ever and is primed for a big year. Mike Richards is showing no effects from offseason shoulder surgery. The Flyers may have found a gem in Myka Pyrola. Danny Svyret looks like he could be a solid 6th defensemen.
Flyers fans should be feeling pretty good about this team heading into the season opener this Friday night at Carolina. The season is a marathon, not a sprint, but heading into the gate for the start of the race, the orange and black looks primed for a great season!!!
Friday, September 25, 2009
This wont be possible cap-wise unless they are able to unload Randy Jones, but according to many sources, he may be put on waivers in the next few days, therefore freeing up the cap space to sign Blair Betts as the 4th line center, as well as Pyrola and JVR. Assuming all that happens, here is what the lines could look like:
If Powe bounces back and forth between Philly & Glen Falls, then so be it. But I really want to see Powe on the Flyers at the home opener, so I dont feel like a schmuck wearing his jersey.
Thursday, September 24, 2009
Why would you fire the coach if they start poorly in their first 5 games? Simple, because Paul Holmgren has assembled the best Flyers team since 2004, or dare I say, 1997. Not to mention, he mortgaged away alot of the future to win now. If this team falls short of expectations this season, Homer's job security could come into question. One of Holmgrens complaints about this team over the last couple of seasons has been the inconsistent effort from night to night, which is something the head coach should notice, and take care of, one way or another. Already this preseason, Holmgren has commented that he is not happy with the effort.
Stevens is a good coach, just not a great coach. He doesn't seem like the kind of coach that can get a sluggish team going, which is why many think he wont last the season. Ive heard people saying that the addition of guys like Pronger & Lappy will help solve this problem, but its the coaches job to coach and motivate, and the players job to play.
All of this will be irrelevant when the Flyers burst out of the gate 5-0. Including a 32 save shutout by Razor on opening night (you heard it here first!!) and a physical tone-setting win against the Penguins on Oct 8
8 days till the puck drops for real!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! LETS GO FLYERS!!!!!!!
Wednesday, September 23, 2009
Chris Pronger is a mean looking mother fucker!
JVR might give the team no choice but to put him on the opening night roster
Chris Pronger is a mean looking mother fucker!
Briere looked great! Big year coming from him
Chris Pronger is a mean looking mother fucker!
Emery looked solid, as long as the D does its job, everything should be fine
Chris Pronger is a mean looking mother fucker!
I was a little disapointed that their weren't many tailgaters outside before the game, I know its preseaon, but come on people!!!
Chris Pronger is a mean looking mother fucker!
I cant wait til October 2nd!! LETS GO FLYERS!!!
Sunday, September 20, 2009
Pittsburgh over New Jersey (in 6 games)
Washington over Montreal (in 5 games)
Boston over Ottawa (in 6 games)
Philadelphia over Carolina (in 6 games)
Philadelphia over Pittsburgh (in 7 games)
Washington over Boston (in 6 games)
Philadelphia over Washington (in 7 games)
Stanley Cup Finals
Philadelphia over Vancouver (in 5 games)
This conference will be ultra-competitive all season long. I think Pittsburgh will just barely beat Philly in the Atlantic but in the playoffs is when you'll see the addition of Pronger pay dividends. I see Carolina giving Washington a fight until the last couple weeks of the season in the Southeast. I think Montreal and Ottawa will hang with Boston for the majority of the season, but the best team in that division will clearly end up being Boston. I think the Rangers will hang around competing for the 8th spot, but at the end of the day, they just arent as good as Jersey, Montreal, and Ottawa. Although not as good as the West, I think the East playoffs will be more exciting and hopefully provide some memorable moments, culminating with a parade on Broad Street!!!!
LETS GO FLYERS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Saturday, September 19, 2009
Playoffs: 1st Round
Vancouver over LA (in 4 games)
Chicago over St. Louis (in 7 games)
Columbus over San Jose (in 7 games)
Calgary over Detroit (in 7 games)
Vancouver over Columbus (in 4 games)
Chicago over Calgary (in 7 games)
Vancouver over Chicago (in 6 games)
Obviously you can tell I like Vancouver alot this year, even in a stacked conference. The west is filled with alot of young, up and coming teams like Columbus, St Louis, and LA, who would all have better shots and going deeper in the playoffs if they were in the East. I think this is the year that Anaheim slips back just a little bit, I have them finishing 9th in the conference. I think the only big complaint that people will have with my projections is that LA makes the playoffs this season, most think they are at least a year away, but GM Ron Hextall has done a great job building that team with alot of good young players such as Anze Kopitar, Jon Quick, and Drew Doughty, as well as adding veteran leadership in Ryan Smyth. Time will tell, but I feel pretty confident that this is how the west will play out.
Friday, September 18, 2009
Flyers looked like shit.....the end
But in all seriousness, I was pretty pissed watching the game last night on the NHL Network (and not just because the Leafs announcers were terrible) but the more I thought about it, the preseason in every sport is completely worthless. In preseason hockey, its essentially half an NHL roster paired up with half an AHL roster, so its hard to really get a feel on how good or bad a team is. The only thing you can hope for as a fan is that none of the big guns gets hurt. Im hoping that for 1 game this preseason, they play the majority of the "real" Flyers in an effort to get some chemisty and flow going before Oct. 2nd.
Up today is the final "State of the Flyers" post: the captain, Mike Richards. Richie is a Bob Clarke clone, he plays tough, with alot of grit, and does everything well. He is a born leader, which is why he was awarded the "C" last season. But with the C comes alot of responsibility. Not only was he responsible for being one of the best players on the ice, he was now also the leader of a team that many predicted could win the Stanley Cup. Needless to say, he went through some growing pains as a leader, at times he didnt seem comfortable with all the added responsibilities (at least when answering question after question post game) In my opinion, much of the laid back attitude that this team had last year can be attributed to Richards, I swear if I heard "its only one game" and "we have games in hand" one more time, I was gonna scream! He leads by example, busting his ass every single night, but the problem was, everyone else wasnt, and Richards just dosent seem like the kind of guy to stand up to someone in the locker room and say "quit fucking around and lets get this shit going" Sometimes when you wear the C, you've got to do that, other peoples feelings be damned.
I think the addition of Chris Pronger will be the single biggest help that Richards will ever get in his NHL career. Pronger, whether he wears an "A" or not, will be looked at as the "co-captain" He will teach Richards how to be a pro, both on and off the ice. He will teach Richards not only to lead on the ice, but not to be afraid to piss off a couple teammates in an effort to get them to play harder.
As far as on the ice goes, expect Richie to be solid and consistent as always. He will be vital to the power play and the penalty kill (I expect at least a half dozen shorthanded goals). If the other forwards around him can carry their weight and take pressure off him, expect Richards to have the best season of his career. Prediction: 30 goals, Selke Trophy, and Conn Smythe Trophy
Wednesday, September 16, 2009
Up today in State of the Flyers is James van Riemsdyk. Let me start off by saying that I am NOT rooting against him....but the fact is that I dont want him to start the season with the Flyers. I might be the only one who didnt get excited when he had 4 goals in the rookie game last week, to me, that should have been expected, he was the 2nd overall draft pick from 2006 playing against a bunch of guys who probably wont see NHL ice for at least a year. Can we please just be patient with this kid? He is only 20 years old, and has only 7 professional games under his belt. He spent 2 years at UNH, playing pretty well; scoring 28 goals in 67 games, but that was against mostly guys who will barely make it to the AHL. I would prefer to see the Flyers take the Claude Giroux route with him, start on the Phantoms, let him get some more experience and confidence against professional players, and then when the inevitable injury happens, bring him up. If they decide to start him with the big club, and he struggles, it could kill his confidence (remember, he's a 20 year old KID) The fact is, we dont need him to start the year with the Flyers, our top 6 are stacked, and putting JVR on the 3rd line wouldnt do him as much good as playing top line minutes in Glen Falls for a couple months. I expect and hope that JVR will be a solid player for this team for many years to come, let just be patient!!
Prediction-10 goals in 40 games
Up next-last but not least...Mike Richards
Monday, September 14, 2009
Sunday, September 13, 2009
Saturday, September 12, 2009
Next up in State of the Flyers is Ian Laperrière and Claude Giroux. Laperrière spent his 1st 2 seasons with St Louis and the Rangers, before spending his next 9 seasons in Los Angeles. After that, "Lappy" played his next 4 season with the Avalanche. In just over 1000 career NHL games he has amounted 118 goals and 1794 penalty minutes. Ian does whatever is necessary for the team, he can fight, block shots, work the penalty kill, and hopefully mentor the young guys. He is a "pro's pro" as witnessed by him wearing the "A" in Colorado. As for his role in Philly, I see him being a less hairy version of Scott Hartnell, I can see John Stevens bouncing him around a little bit from line to line to help provide a little bit of a spark and toughness. Dont expect Lappy to light up the scoreboard, but I think his contributions to the team will reach far beyond the scoresheet. Prediction: 12 goals
The gang reports to Voorhees today for physicals, and they hit the ice tommorow. The groundwork for what will hopefully be a championship season gets started this weekend. Im pumped, you're pumped and hopefully the team is as well
LETS GO FLYERS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Friday, September 11, 2009
I was looking forward to this day ever since the Flyers were announced to play in the Winter Classic, today they unveiled their Winter Classic jersey, and I LOVE them, old school 1970's white.....but....a black nameplate?! Over the next couple months, I might grow to like it, but my initial reaction is that they should have just went with black lettering on the back. Its weird, I LOVE the white nameplate on the orange jerseys but for some reason, this black nameplate looks kinda tacky. With all that said, Santa will be brining me a #28 Giroux Winter Classic jersey which I'll be rocking at Fenway on January 1st....damn Flyers, you guys are killing my bank account!!!
Next up in State of the Flyers is Danny Briere. Its kinda weird, when he first came to Philly, he was the toast of the town, no one cared about his contract, he was the man! Its amazing what groin problems will do to public perception.
Ill admit, Briere was one of my favorite non-Flyers back in the day. The only bright light from the horrible 06/07 season was that we were gonna have a ton of cap money, and Mr Briere was going to be available. On July 1, 2007, my wish came true, Danny was a Flyer; 8 years, $52 million. When many fans here those contract numbers now, they cringe, but lets hop in the way back machine and review the state of the Flyers when we signed him: we had just come off the worst season in franchise history, we were in desperate need of a top line center, we had a ton of cap money available, and 21 year old's Mike Richards and Jeff Carter werent anywhere close to the players that they are now. It would have been totally foolish for Homer to see all that and still not sign Briere, we all would have torched him at the time. Hindsight is 20/20, but I still say signing him was the right move.
Briere started his first season in orange and black on fire, Ill never forget him scoring the game winner with a couple minutes to go in the season opener against Calgary, then scoring a sick breakaway goal against the Oilers a couple nights later. Danny had a great chemisty with Simon Gagne, then when Gags went down for the season with another concussion, Briere struggled while coach Stevens was trying to find him a new linemate, along came Vinny "worlds biggest visor" Prospal. Briere was reborn and finished the year with 31 goals and 41 assists. In the playoffs he was arguably the teams best player against Washington.
Then came last season, Briere only played 29 games due to a nagging groin injury. When it was time for him to come back, Homer had to waive Metro and Ossi Vannanen as well as trade fan favorite Scottie Upshall to the Phoenix (Hamilton? Kansas City?) Coyotes for Dan "waste of a roster spot" Carcillo just to fit Briere under the salary cap. It was largely due to this, that fans started to turn on Briere. Look, I was frustrated as well that he struggled with injury last season, but come on, its not like he missed half the season with a paper cut, he had a groin injury, which the last time I checked, is very common among hockey players. Would fans have acted the same way if it was Mike Richards or Jeff Carter who were in that situation last season?
Dont hate Briere because of his contract, yeah it doesnt help the salary cap situation, but be honest, if someone offered you a $52 million dollar job, you'd take it as well, if you're going to be mad at anyone about his contract, be mad at Homer. Also if I hear one more person say that we should trade Briere to get his salary out of here, let me remind you....has a no trade clause!!! He isnt ever going to waive it, he has mentioned numerous times how he and his family like living in this area, so they arent going to pack up and leave just because alot of people want them to.
Lastly, I think Briere is going to win comeback player of the year (do they have that award in hockey?) He has been training hard all summer and has mentioned in numerous articles how last years struggles have affected him. With him (hopefully) healthy for the full season, it will almost be like adding a new free agent to the team. Prediction 34 goals (yeah I said it!!!)
Next up: Ian Laperrière & Claude Giroux
Wednesday, September 9, 2009
Sideshow Bob (err, I mean Scott Hartnell) is a prototypical Philadelphia Flyer: he's tough, physical, can lay a big hit, and dosent really care what anyone thinks about him. He is one of the most improved Flyers over the last couple years, and I look for him to break the 30 goal mark this year. I see him taking over Knuble's "garbage goal" role as well as continuing to bring the physical presence. With that said, Sideshow needs to cut down on the "dumb" penalties, he led the league in minors which included his infamous glove toss against Tampa Bay, for which he is damn lucky that didnt cost them the game. Prediction 32 goals
Next up: Danny Briere
Monday, September 7, 2009
Kimmo Timonen- One of the most underappreciated and underrated players in the entire league. Maybe because he dosent do anything spectacular, he just does everything really really well: hes a shut down d-man, can QB the power play, block shots, and pretty much everything thats needed out of a defensemen. I look for him to continue to play well and be underappreciated, especially due to the addition of Mr. Pronger
Braydon Coburn- He has improved each season that he's worn the orange & black, and he needs to keep doing that because its a contract year for the young fella. I look for him to have a breakout year thanks to another year alongside Kimmo and with Pronger's guidance, however, as with Kimmo, it may go largely un-noticed with all the big guns on this team
Ryan Parent- Another young d-man, another contract year. Ryan was the top prospect in the Predators system when they shipped him to Philly in the Peter Forsberg trade. He hasnt blossomed into the top line d-man yet, but I think that's largely to due having Kimmo & Coburn in front of him, and now with Pronger added to the "D" I think it will be hard for Ryan to really stand out and make people notice him, but I think he will show enough to earn a contract extension sometime this year. However, if he dosent impress enough, dont be surprised if Homer lets him go (therefore not spending more $$ on an extension) and give one of the young guys in our system a shot (Marshall/Boudron, still on rookie salaries) Just something to keep an eye on
Matt Carle- Yes I understand he is very overpaid and isnt helping our cap situation any. In the grand scheme of things were paying our 5th best defensemen over $3 million a year, but dont forget, he's young (24) but there wont be as much expected of him this season with Matt likely being a 3rd line D-man, but with the help of Kimmo & Pronger, dont be surprised if Carle breaks out this year. And for all you Carle haters out there, I simply ask you this....would you rather have Carle on this team, or the 2 guys we traded to get him, Steve Emenger & Steve Downie?......I rest my case
Randy Jones- The only nice thing I can say is that his $3 million dollar salary comes of the books after this season! One assumes that his money will go towards the extensions of Coburn & Parent. In case you havent realized yet, Im not a huge Jones fan, but trying to look at this whole team optimistically, if he can stay healthy this season, he will be a serviceable 5th/6th defensemen
Saturday, September 5, 2009
My favorite Pronger moment so far came in his introductory press conference when a reporter asked him how he plans on dealing with the likes of Crosby, Malkin, & Ovechkin, his response, "I think you know the answer to that" Then when pressed more for information on the topic he replied with an evil grin, "We dont want to pre-meditate anything now do we?" Seriously, all that was missing was a "moo hoo hoo ha ha ha" and some thunder in the background.
I cant wait for October 8th-the 1st Flyers/Pens game of the season, look for Pronger to set the tone for the season on that night (advice to the Pens, keep your head on a swivel)
I believe Pronger is the most important player on the team this season. He is going to be asked to provide leadership on and off the ice, QB the power play, mentor our young d-men (specifically Parent & Carle) & shut down the likes of Crosby, Malkin, Ovechkin. But if anyone is capable of doing all that....its Chris mother fucking Pronger!!
So lets review:
Acuiring Pronger: Lupul, Sbisa, 2 1st round picks
Signing Pronger: 7 years, $35 million
Watching Flyers dethrone Shitsburgh and win cup: Priceless
Next up...the rest of the "D"
Next up in the "State of the Flyers" are the goaltenders. For many reasons (I think mostly salary) both goalies from last year are gone. Nitty will be in Tampa, and Biron will be in a crowded situation with the Isles. Leaving us with a new tandem between the pipes. Highly controversial Ray Emery is projected to be the starter, with former and once again current Flyer Brian Boucher as his backup.