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03-03-2013, 07:27 AM
Moving much too slow
JackStraw's Avatar
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Maine
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Originally Posted by WeekendAtBernies View Post
Who cares if he's on the team? The other poster's point is that even without Karlsson, the team continues to play very good defense. Do they miss Karlsson offensively? Of course... especially on that powerplay which is horrendous right now, but defensively Ottawa continues to play great hockey.

The Flyers right now are still among the tops of the league in goals scored per game (in the top 10 at least) despite a very sluggish start to the season. Scoring goals is not their problem. Allowing goals has once again been their Achilles heel. Some flyers' fans attribute that to the inconsistent Jekyll-Hyde play of Ilya Bryzgalov this year. Others attribute it to a terrible group of defenseman, but the one universal belief held by most fans is that we absolutely need a #1 Puck-Moving defenseman, and I'm not sure if that's really true or not. Without a real #1 PMD for some period of time now, the Flyers' have still been one of the league's top goal-scoring teams.

And as much as everyone wants to believe the loss of Timonen after next year will cripple the team, the fact is that Timonen does most of his damage offensively on the powerplay. Both Meszaros and Carle were/are consistently better (in terms of getting points) than Timonen at even-strength in prior years. And this year, Luke Schenn has been consistently better @ attaining even-strength points. The loss of Timonen will hurt some defensively and will definitely hurt the powerplay if Gustafsson can't take over his role, but if we replace Timonen w/ a primarily defensive defenseman, I'm not sure our play @ even strength will change all that much.

Obviously, like everyone else I'd LOVE to acquire a #1 defenseman, but I'm thinking more and more that it's not absolutely crucial to the team's success. There's more than 1 way to skin a goat. If the Flyers have to get bye for a few years without a true #1 defenseman, it's definitely doable with the forward core they have.
One of the big problems the Flyers have had (the kind of problem that has led to pucks ending up in the Flyers net) is an inability to get the puck out of their own zone. When we talk about a "puck-moving" defenseman we're not just talking about stats, we're talking about someone who has the ability to move the puck effectively in all three zones. The Flyers currently have one guy who can do that (at the start of last season they had three) and that one guy is probably going to retire after next season. So the need is real.

I don't disagree that they can probably get by, and figure out something that works. But getting a #1 D would make things a lot easier.

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