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!!!!