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01-10-2004, 10:06 AM
Originally Posted by
That might have been your feeling, but I don't think it was widespread.
Who has confidence in a goalie that has won only 3 games in over a month? Who hadn't won 4 of 7 in over 4 months? Who last pitched a shut-out in October? Boucher was playing terribly. If the team had more confidence in Boucher than Cechmanek, they sure were not showing on the ice and sure were not thinking that when the voted Cechmanek the team's MVP (again). Stats can be misleading, but these certainly are not. Boucher had done absolutely nothing in the 2 years since his remarkable play-off run to show that he was anything more than a flash in the pan.
The team was in disarray because they lack leadership. When things get tough, they collapse and look for somebody to blame.
Your take on Lindros is a perfect example. He is blamed for the NJ loss. Truth is, Flyers were already well on their way to collapse before he even entered the picture. Lindros was far and away our best skater in Game Six. He was less than half a second away from the tying the game on his own and was the only player we had generating scoring chances. That the team collapsed when he returned is more an indication of team's character than of Lindros presence. They acted like a bunch of pouty brats. Lindros was gone after that, but the Flyers pulled that exact same pouty-brat-blame-somebody when Ottawa embarrassed them (1 goal in 4 games) and did it again (to a lesser extent) this last summer. Lindros was but another in a long line of excuses and scapegoats to mask the underlying problem of a rotten core of players lacking leadership.
Well, we just have to agree to disagree. While you say how bad Boosh was you don't seem to be saying Cechmanek was great. Boosh was as good as Cechmanek and deserved the starts based on his past playoff run.
Your take on Lindros, however is hilarious. It must make it easier to believe these guys are robots who either perform or are broken rather than see that there is a very psychological side to this. Nobody went around blaming Lindros, except me and a few other fans. Clarke didn't blame him. The team didn't blame him. He talked s**t about the team. Took his issues to the press instead of the source. The team had gone through 2 rounds of playoffs, including a five overtime game. They were up 3 to 1 on the Devils and yet you believe they were on the verge of falling apart? They stopped as soon as it was announced Lindros would return to the team. The next game, WITHOUT lindros, they played very poorly. All the fire and grit seemingly vanished. They stood back and let Lindros try to win it all since Clarke basically told them they weren't good enough. But I guess Barber was a great coach who had the worst possible luck with players that Hitchcock seems to be able to win with.