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03-05-2006, 05:14 AM
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Originally Posted by SanDiegoFlyersFan
Simply put, this team doesn't have enough talent to compete with the top echelon of the NHL. Besides Forsberg (who is honestly starting to show his age), Nitti, Gagne, and Pitkanen, we just have role players and rookies still developing.
A couple things on this:
1. The Flyers have beaten some of those top echelon teams. They do have the capability, but at the moment they're just not playing well. They seem to tire out, but more importantly, they don't seem to have the inner resources to deal with adversity. They seem to crumble when things take a turn for the worse, and THAT, I think, is something new to recent Flyers teams.

2. They have a lot of role players, true, but they are high quality role players. In fact they are the kinds of role players you need on a championship team. Right now some of them are probably being asked to do too much because of injuries, and of course guys like Kavanaugh just don't deserve to be in this league, but I don't think you can disparage the team based on its role players.

For some reason this team doesn't seem to be playing as a unit. Considering the outstanding run they had on that road trip, I don't understand why. Teams that have chemistry like that don't often just lose it halfway through the season, yet chemistry seems to be a problem. The talent is there (including speed and skill, IMO), but it's not clicking. Maybe a trade needs to happen in order to shake things up; maybe Hitch needs to pull something out of his hat; maybe the team needs a locker room presence other than Hatcher (but they didn't have that during their great run, so I don't see that as the issue).

I don't know. I had this team pegged as the best in the East when this season started, but they're surely not playing like it.

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