Sunday, November 29, 2009

Flyers next coach

Ok Ive had some time since last nights game to think about it, so this isnt just frustration from losing 5 out of the last 7. I want John Stevens gone!! The inconsistency is just too much to take. Last night wasnt a great example, but if you've watched games over the past couple seasons, you know what I'm talking about, this team dosent show up every night. The Flyers won their first 3 games, then lost their next 3, later on, they won 7 out of 8, now they've lost 5 of 7, this simply isnt acceptable. I realize that they've been bit by the injury/suspension bug over the last few weeks, its certainly hard to win without Gagne, Briere, Betts, & Powe, but earlier this season, Pittsburgh lost arguably the best player in the league, Evgeni Malkin for 3 weeks, in addition to Chris Kunitz, Tyler Kennedy, Kris Letang, Alex Goligoski, & Jay McKee among others, and they never lost a beat. The Caps lost Alex Ovechkin for a couple weeks, and they never lost a beat.

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.

Flyers get shutout

Im not sure how I feel about last night. The Flyers lost, but I feel like they played decent, they simply ran into a hot goalie. Although I hate when a backup plays well against us. Brian Boucher didnt face much rubber last night, but most of the shots he faced were pretty good ones, you certainly cant fault him, when you give up only 1 goal, you should win.

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

Black & Blue Friday

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.


Flyers 4


Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Flyers minus Briere

Tonight the Flyers head to Long Island to face the Islanders. Danny Briere will be joining Blair Betts, Darroll Powe, & Simon Gagne out of the lineup tonight. Danny Breeze was suspended for his hit on Colorado's Scott Hannan on Monday night. When I first heard about the suspension, I was livid, "how in the hell can Briere get suspended?!" But the more I look at the hit, I guess it is suspension worthy. Hannan wasnt looking, and it was after the play. My only question is, if Briere got suspended 2 games for that hit, how many games would Pronger or Carcillo have been suspended for the same hit?

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.

Flyers 4

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Gameday- Coyotes

Coming off a 6-3 loss last night to the Sharks, the Flyers head to Winnipeg tonight, I mean the Flyers head to Kansas City, I mean the Flyers head to Hamilton to take on the Coyotes...whats that?... The Coyotes still play in Phoenix? But I figured the league would have allowed someone to buy the team and move them to somewhere where hockey actually means something and could actually make money? I read a couple days ago that the Coyotes LOST $5 million in October alone. Why can't Gary Bettman and the rest of the league just admit that hockey in Phoenix was a mistake and let them play where they will get more that 8,000 fans to a game?
Flyers fans will see a familiar face tonight as Scottie Upshall plays his first game against his former team. I'm sure he'll be extra pumped to play against his old buddies and he'll try to stick it to Paul Holmgren for sending him to hockey purgatory. Its a shame that no one cares about the 'Yotes out there and currently sit in 7th place in the west. They have some pretty good players, along with Upshall, Shane Doan is a solid, 2-way player who Flyer fans would love if he wore orange & black. On the blue line, Adrian Aucoin & Keith Yandle eat up a lot of minutes and provide a physical presence.
This will be the Flyers 3rd game in 4 nights, and it will be interesting to see how they react to that, since they havent had to deal with it so far this season. On paper, the Flyers should win this game easily.
Flyers -5

Friday, November 20, 2009

Beware of Sharks

The Flyers continue their west coast road trip tonight against one of the best teams in the league; San Jose. The Sharks have one of the deepest teams in the league; Thornton, Marleau, Heatley, Boyle, as well as one of the top goalies in the league, Evgeni Nabakov.

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.

Flyers 4


Wednesday, November 18, 2009

King of the Road....

Tonight the Flyers kick off a 5 game road trip against Flyers west, better known as the L.A. Kings. There are so many Flyers connections to the Kings. Terry Murray, the last coach to take the Flyers to the finals, is the head coach of the Kings. Ron Hextall, the last goalie (albeit splitting the starts) to take the Flyers to the finals is their Assistant G.M. Do you guys remember Michael Handzus? If you dont, all you need to know is that he was Scott Hartnell, before Scott Hartnell was Hartnell. Seriously, they look like they could be seperated at birth and Sideshow Bob from the Simpsons is their father. I think there's one more Flyers connection to the Kings.......o yeah, Randy freakin Jones! Since being claimed off waivers by LA, he has 2 goals & 2 assists in 4 games!

The Kings have been one of the surprises of the league. They currently sit in 4th place in the West. Anze Kopitar leads the league in scoring, they have 2 of the top young defensemen in the league: Drew Doughty & Jack Johnson, as well as a serviceable young goalie in Jon Quick. Luckily for the Fly Guys, the Kings will be missing Ryan Smyth & Rob Scuderi, which obviously will be an advantage for us.

Listening to WIP right now, Chris Therien said that Boosh will get the start in net tonight. Assuming that information is correct, I would think that Boosh will want to earn a few more starts over the next month as well as make up for his one & only start this year by playing well tonight. If the Flyers can contain Kopitar & Randy Jones (hahaha) I look for them to get the "W"



Flyers West-3

Monday, November 16, 2009

Hammer Time

Big night tonight at the Wachovia Center. The 1st place Devils are in town, which always is a fun game. Give them credit, it seems like every year, they lose key players, and every year they are always competitive. I look for them to be that way for many more years, Brodeur cant retire for a while, he's gotta pay his ex-wife for the next decade. Let this be a lesson kids, don't sleep with your wife's sister, it may seem like fun at the time, but it'll cost you in the long run.

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

Flyers: Now is the Time

Welcome to the newest member of the Flyers blogging community: Flyers: Now is the Time It is run by Sean, a die hard Flyers fan living in Florida, where they have great weather and bad hockey. Everything that Sean posts is factual, and whatever he dosent know, he makes up. Either way, its a great read, check it out.


Flyers Fall to Buffalo

Last night the Fly Guys lost 3-2 to the Sabres. For some reason I'm not all that upset with the loss. I feel it was more a combination of the Sabres playing really well, and not so much the Flyers playing poorly, although they didnt play great. Ryan Miller was a brick wall, and with Tim Thomas not being all that impressive so far in Boston, perhaps Miller is locking up his spot as Team USA's starting netminder in the Olympics.

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

Flyers dominate Sens

After a really boring 1st period, the Flyers woke up, and defeated the Ottawa Senators last night 5-1. Apparently Ray Emery used to play for Ottawa, and he looked great, stopping 22 shots and picking up the win. Danny Briere didnt pull anything (we hope) and potted 2. Meanwhile JVR didnt show any ill effects from a broken finger & scored a pretty sweet power play goal. Blair Betts (?!) scored on the power play, and is also a very goofy looking man. The Flyers have now won 5 straight games and look exactly like we all thought & hoped they would look--solid defense, solid goaltending, and balanced scoring.

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

Great weekend

Thats how you do it boys!! Despite games on back to back nights & several players battling the flu, the Flyers got 4 points over the weekend and are starting to look pretty darn good. Lets make sure to keep it up!

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

More goals to come???

The Flyers are back in action tonight against the Buffalo Sabres. They then have a quick turnaround coming back home to face the St Louis Blues. A couple of winnable games, lets hope they play to their ability, and pick up 4 valuable points.

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

Thats more like it!

Granted, it was against a struggling Carolina team, but the Flyers showed us what they can do yesterday, they gave us a full 60 minute effort and played terrific in all aspects of the game. Could this have been the game that gets them going?

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?!....