Thread: Post-Game Talk: Mon., Dec. 2, 2013| Flyers 0 at Wild 2
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12-03-2013, 02:27 PM
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Originally Posted by Psuhockey View Post
This team cannot transition out of its own zone. If the defense can't get the puck out fast and with tape to tape passes, they get hemmed in. This creates scoring chances for the opposing team plus tires out the offensive forwards. Plus the longer it takes to get the puck up the ice, the more time the opposing team has to set its defense and clog the neutral zone. This destroys any speed the forwards have up the ice killing their ability to forecheck. Grossmann and L. Schenn as well as Mezz and to a lesser extent Coburn are a problem because they can't transition the puck up the ice with any speed. Having forwards comeback does help but also kills the speed the team has up the ice to gets into the forechecking. I don't care what kind of sniper you add, if he doesn't have a clear shot on the goal because the entire defense got back or time to shoot, it won't matter.

Secondly, who among the current defense core is any threat to score from the point? Streit and Timonen don't exactly have bombs from the point. Timonen actual tries to miss more for deflections at the side of the net then get the shot on net. The other four defensemen are terrible. The opposing defenses have zero respect for the Flyers blueline shooters and collapses as a five man unit below the circles. Good luck wining board battles on the half wall or behind the net or getting to rebounds. If you have a defenseman that is a threat to score or beat a man one on one at the top of the zone, it can create chaos in coverage and odd man situations below.

The flyers have a nice stable of defense prospects but none of them are ready to contribute soon, except maybe Alt. It takes defensemen multiple years at the NHL level to really have an impact. By getting young NHL defensemen or NHL ready prospect in the AHL, the Flyers get a head start on that NHL development time. It actually saves some of Giroux's prime. Even if the flyers sign a Phanuef or Markov in the offseason, they will need cheap talent to fill out the back end since those guys would cost 6-8 mil a year. The flyers also shouldnt assume the prospects they have will be great. If there is a logjam, it a good situation to have.

I don't see how moving one or two of B. Schenn, Simmonds, or even Voracek would hurt this team long term. Forwards develop faster not only post draft but also at the NHL level. Laughton and Leier will be out of juniors next year and the Flyers have had a much better track record drafting forwards than defensemen. So hypothetically speaking, Flyers move Voracek and B. Schenn and replace them with Laughton and Cousins or even Leon Draisaitl if and the when the flyers fall in the standings. Top line is Hartnell (unmovable) Giroux Lecavalier with Read Laughton and Simmonds on the 2nd. Cousin Couturier and a resigned Downie on the 3rd. Is that lineup much worst then this year? Isn't adding a more mobile puck moving defense worth the downgrade?

What team is going to trade a high end puck mover for a guy like Simmonds or Voracek though? At best, you might get a guy like Gardiner or Carlson, but those guys aren't any better than players like Coburn or Timonen at their current level. Oh and say we trade those guys for upgrades on defense. Who scores goals then? The breakout is not the problem with this club. The forwards who can't move through the neutral zone with the puck are the problem. We don't have any puck possession forwards on this team outside of Giroux, and even he's a guy who's constantly looking to dish it off to a shooter. We have muckers and grinders in droves, but they can't do much else with it. For the offense to be successful, they have to play below the opponent's goal line. Other than that, guys like Hartnell, Simmonds, Downie, and even Voracek to a certain extent are useless.

But... if we move one or two of those guys for an upgrade in skill (i.e. Eberle for Simmonds+), it gives the team a guy or two that can't move through the neutral zone to push the opposing defense back. With that, you get pucks deep and allow your board battles to be won, or you make a play on transition. Our current group is one of the most one-demensional groups I've ever seen assembled.

I'm just not a fan of off-loading three or four of the forwards for a defenseman or two. You end up like Nashville that way. And you also won't be as good as Nashville in the regard. You can only build a defense like they have through the draft.

A forward for forward move or two could work in our benefit though, especially for a team that's looking for a winger that can play a grinding type of game. They should inquire about guys like Eberle and Kane. They can't just blow up the team to go in another direction again.

Last edited by flyershockey: 12-03-2013 at 02:48 PM.
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