March's Reflections; Where to Start the Blame? >

March's Reflections; Where to Start the Blame?

Created 5 years 248 days ago
by Tim March

Tags: Paul Holmgren Philadelphia Flyers
Views: 1695


by Timothy March

Saturday, Feb. 16, 2013 -

Well, it is honestly to the point where I don’t even feel comfortable discussing the Flyers without extensively utilizing the vast extent of blasphemous words that the English language encompasses.  Yet, I will fight on, through another round of dissecting this turd that has become the 2013 Philadelphia Flyers.

I will abstain from subjecting you to the reprehensible, normal game review. That would be subjecting someone to cruel and unusual punishment.  This is going to be a  “What the hell do we do now?” type article.

The Flyers dropped the ball in last night's pathetic effort to keep a 3 - 1 lead over the New Jersey Devils. No if’s, and’s or, but’s about that. The problem becomes, “Where do we go from here?”

The most absolute and glaring weakness of this team is unequivocally the goal production.  Despite sporadic twine seeking of players like Matt Read, Brayden Schenn, and even the trodden Mike Knuble, this team is in serious dilemma when it comes to boosting the scoreboard.  Through 15 games (6-8-1) the Flyers sit firmly in 21st position for goals scored.  This is a far cry from the 3.17 G/G (2nd in the league) the team put up last year.

So, where do we start placing the blame?

Does it lie on the shoulders of GM Paul Holmgren who let the lynchpin of the top line, Jaromir Jagr, walk in free agency?  Or, does it belong with coach Laviolette, who, despite winning a cup in Carolina, has undoubtedly fallen off in leadership qualities?

It is hard to say.  But what I do know is, that this city, this team, these colors will accept nothing less than a consistent, heartfelt effort 60 minutes, every night.  And that just isn’t happening right now.

There are several young players, i.e. Tye Mcginn, Brayden Schenn, Matt Read, who are leading this team in not only points, but heartfelt efforts thus far.  I think 99% of you will agree with me that the heart output far outweighs the actual score outcome of the game.  Ok, not “far outweighs”, but it definitely counts for something.  And that is what we just aren’t seeing from this team.  Those heartfelt efforts.

Where do we go from here?

That is the burning question that seems to face all Philadelphia sports teams come crunch time. Well let’s see what the Flyers do in the not-so-distant future…..

  1. Trade Danny Briere -- For something, anything, just get rid of the “mite on ice” who is actually one of the worst point-per-dollar players in all of the NHL.  I say get something for him now, and try to save one of our buyouts come summertime. Yes, he has a no-movement clause. But there are managerial ways to dig him free from that.
  2. Giroux needs help -- Get a scorer to play on Giroux’s wing.  Claude Giroux is one of the best players in the NHL.  But even superstars can falter if they don’t have the “Robin” to their “Batman”.  Giroux had that in Scott Hartnell last season, but that run has come to an abrupt end with Hartnell’s broken foot.  Even with the return of Hartnell, there stil needs to be someone to wing up on the right side with this tandem.  Corey Perry anyone?
  3. Nothing -- Do nothing…??? What now?  Yes, I am actually suggesting the Flyers do absolutely squadoosh the rest of the season.  Despite the fact that they are struggling mightily, they are an extremely young team. Young teams go through growing pains before they become elite, cup contending squads.  You just wish a team like this had some cap room to maneuver.
  4. Develop/Acquire finesse -- Stop putting so much stock into role playing, hard nosed, grinding forwards.  Yes, I realize this sounds crazy.  Because, after all, isn’t that what Flyers hockey is all about?  The only problem that occurs when you seek this path, is that eventually you have too many of one type of player, and not enough of something else.  The Flyers possess too many grinding, defensive type forwards.  Wayne Simmonds, Mike Knuble, Ruslan Fedontenko, Brayden Schenn, Tye McGinn, Max Talbot, Zac Rinaldo, Sean Couturier.  Nearly 70% of our forward players are the grind-it-out, muck racking type forwards.  Now don’t get me wrong, I love these kind of guys.  But at some point, the shift needs to be drafting/trading/acquiring some guys with offensive punch. Otherwise, you get CG28, our ONLY dynamic forward, trying to do too much.

It remains to be seen what the Flyers head brass decides to do with the remainder of this bastardized season.  I, for one, do not envy the job that Paul Holmgren holds.  He is trying to work this watered down, grainy, lump of clay into a cup winner.  And he doesn’t have long to push the right buttons. Hell, sometimes a lateral move is the best move. Trade for the sake of trading. Fresh faces, fresh attitude.  

Tick-tock, Paul, the pendulum reaches ever so close to your waiting bosom.  What will you do?  All of Philadelphia awaits with baited breath….

Tick-tock, Paul……

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