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01-11-2006, 05:17 PM
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Originally Posted by
An out of conference game against a bad team and Hitch can't throw Storr in? This is the perfect game to give Niittymaki the night off, which he has deserved.

I don't understand it. It's not like Storr is a career minor leaguer like Neil Little was. He's a former first round draft pick who, most likely, is more than capable of handling a mop up game like this. Games like this are where coaches usually play their back-ups anyway.

There is no reason why Niittymaki should play in back to back road games, especially when the 2nd game is at Detroit.

If Hitch won't put Storr in for one game, why even waste the air fare and hotel room on him? They could use a shooter tutor in the one goal during practices and use the equipment manager as the emergency backup for games.

I found this quote on the Flyers website regarding Niittymaki (who will make at least the next 3 starts)...

“Two reasons,” said Hitchcock. “We want to continue to evaluate [Niittymaki] and Esche is close. Esche is going to practice with us on Friday and we’re thinking that next week Esche is going to be ready.

“The evaluation for [Niittymaki], quite frankly, is in case he does have to play playoff games. We’re not sure on Esche yet. We have a lot of games in a row, every second night, and we’re seeing if he can handle the grind. So far, so good."

I guess Hitch doesn't remember that Niittymaki played in all of the playoff games last season for the Phantoms? And, what does Esche being close have to do with throwing Jamie Storr in net for one game? Every second night is not the same as games on consecutive nights, which Niittymaki has done since Esche went down.

It will be nice to see Jimmy Vandermeer again. Maybe Clarkie can work a deal to get him back while they are in Chicago as I'd love to see him on the Flyers blueline again.

That being said, Chicago is coming off of an away game last night, so they probably will be tired. I expect a relatively easy win for the Flyers 4-1.

Esche better be back soon. The last thing you want is a burned out goalie.

Hitchcock can evaluate Niittymaki all he wants, but you can't evaluate him for the playoffs because at no point will they play 11 straight road games.

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