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Blair Betts, Oskars Bartulis and Matt Walker

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Old
10-04-2011, 08:11 PM
  #176
v-man
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Can anyone take a moment to explain to me exactly why Bartulis is said to have had a bad camp? I only saw one game, but based on his stats when I was keeping track during the first few games, he seemed to be getting a lot of minutes and keeping the puck out of his net while still getting no PP time. Is it just the lack of offense that's put him where he is at the moment, or was he shaky in his own end in a way that the stats don't show?

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10-04-2011, 08:24 PM
  #177
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Originally Posted by v-man View Post
Can anyone take a moment to explain to me exactly why Bartulis is said to have had a bad camp? I only saw one game, but based on his stats when I was keeping track during the first few games, he seemed to be getting a lot of minutes and keeping the puck out of his net while still getting no PP time. Is it just the lack of offense that's put him where he is at the moment, or was he shaky in his own end in a way that the stats don't show?
Real shaky in his own end. Look up one of Bill Meltzer's latest articles. It is a pretty good read. He had a good amount of turnovers, and just looked super nervous. At best he was average defensively, and since he doesnt have offense, being average defensively isnt good enough.

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10-04-2011, 08:29 PM
  #178
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Originally Posted by v-man View Post
Can anyone take a moment to explain to me exactly why Bartulis is said to have had a bad camp? I only saw one game, but based on his stats when I was keeping track during the first few games, he seemed to be getting a lot of minutes and keeping the puck out of his net while still getting no PP time. Is it just the lack of offense that's put him where he is at the moment, or was he shaky in his own end in a way that the stats don't show?
He wasn't horrible but he had a tendency to be indecisive something evident in one of the earlier pre-season games. There was one game where Chris Therien (radio analyst) mentioned "He needs to stop doing that.." and it had to do with decision-making especially down low.

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Old
10-04-2011, 08:39 PM
  #179
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Originally Posted by sa cyred View Post
Real shaky in his own end. Look up one of Bill Meltzer's latest articles. It is a pretty good read. He had a good amount of turnovers, and just looked super nervous. At best he was average defensively, and since he doesnt have offense, being average defensively isnt good enough.
Thanks. Weird. I remember watching his first NHL game, and the thing all the analysts praised him for was being extremely calm and looking like he had been playing there for years. I wonder if he's simply afraid of getting hit again, hence the nervousness and indecisiveness. As for the offense, he used to be a forward and can score, in fact I think he got an assist in his first (and maybe only) PP shift with the Flyers, but in all the games I've seen of his over the last few years, he's usually back covering up his line-mates f-ups, which doesn't allow for many point getting opportunities. Oh well, hopefully someone picks him up, otherwise I'm sure he'll be off to the KHL as soon as his contract's up.

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10-04-2011, 09:41 PM
  #180
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Originally Posted by chimrichalds18 View Post
So now all of our best PKers/shot blockers from the last two years--save Giroux--are gone. That's not something that Talbot can fix by himself. It's more important than you seem to realize.
It really is very important. People are going to have to shot block. Goaltender's SV% doesn't change regardless of who is in front of him. A great defense limits shots on net, so the goaltender sees less shots, and subsequently less goals are scored, because then you never roll the dice of his SV%.

A core of aggressive defensive forwards is your best PKer, not the goaltender.

The Flyers (and I'm not in panic mode here) will simply have to find people to PK effectively.

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10-04-2011, 10:48 PM
  #181
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Originally Posted by DownieFaceSoftener View Post
It really is very important. People are going to have to shot block. Goaltender's SV% doesn't change regardless of who is in front of him. A great defense limits shots on net, so the goaltender sees less shots, and subsequently less goals are scored, because then you never roll the dice of his SV%.

A core of aggressive defensive forwards is your best PKer, not the goaltender.

The Flyers (and I'm not in panic mode here) will simply have to find people to PK effectively.
A positive with this situation is that decent PKers do pretty much grow on trees, relative to top-line scorers.

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10-05-2011, 12:29 AM
  #182
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I think it should also be noted that the Flyers also lost a lot of PK goals, which force PP units to second guess themselves when trying to hold a bad pass into the zone or make a dangerous pass through the box. The Flyers were really good at pouncing on the opponents' mistakes and creating odd-man rushes by crashing the net. Maybe now Malkin's infamously lazy passes across the blueline won't be intercepted for a breakaway goal, but will instead connect to Letang for a bar down one-timer.

A PK goal is a major momentum booster and can really change the flow of the game. Especially those backbreaking 3on5 goals that somebody currently holds an NHL record for at only 26 years old. Remember when fans would rather have the Flyers on the PK, because they were so inept at the PP and ES?

Giroux can and will put up his fair share of PK goals as a Flyer, but remember how dynamic the Flyers were, 16 PK goals in the 08-09 season. 12 of the 19 PK goals scored in the last 2 years were scored by players that are no longer on the Flyers' roster.

Honestly, why would a coach want only inferior (bottom 6) players on the ice, especially in the most critical time of the game? If a team has the Top 6 players that are significantly better in every facet of the game, I'd imagine the coach would want his go to guy out there 20min a night instead of 17 or 18 without consistent PK time. With the urgency of a PK, there is a lot to be said with a proven, elite commodity, rather than a player that may be an average PKer with the right amount of experience in a few years.

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10-05-2011, 12:58 AM
  #183
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I think it should also be noted that the Flyers also lost a lot of PK goals, which force PP units to second guess themselves when trying to hold a bad pass into the zone or make a dangerous pass through the box. The Flyers were really good at pouncing on the opponents' mistakes and creating odd-man rushes by crashing the net. Maybe now Malkin's infamously lazy passes across the blueline won't be intercepted for a breakaway goal, but will instead connect to Letang for a bar down one-timer.

A PK goal is a major momentum booster and can really change the flow of the game. Especially those backbreaking 3on5 goals that somebody currently holds an NHL record for at only 26 years old. Remember when fans would rather have the Flyers on the PK, because they were so inept at the PP and ES?

Giroux can and will put up his fair share of PK goals as a Flyer, but remember how dynamic the Flyers were, 16 PK goals in the 08-09 season. 12 of the 19 PK goals scored in the last 2 years were scored by players that are no longer on the Flyers' roster.

Honestly, why would a coach want only inferior (bottom 6) players on the ice, especially in the most critical time of the game? If a team has the Top 6 players that are significantly better in every facet of the game, I'd imagine the coach would want his go to guy out there 20min a night instead of 17 or 18 without consistent PK time. With the urgency of a PK, there is a lot to be said with a proven, elite commodity, rather than a player that may be an average PKer with the right amount of experience in a few years.
Sure scoring goals on the pk is nice, but so is keeping your top line guys fresh and healthy throughout games in the season. It is give and take.

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Old
10-05-2011, 03:49 AM
  #184
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Originally Posted by Beef Invictus View Post
Who needs a PK?
Haven't you heard? This year the team isn't taking any penatlies.

I admittedly have only watched a bit of the pre-season and missed a lot of games/only kind of watched games last season, but I feel like Betts is a good player and deserved to be on the team to finish his contract. I understand that he had issues with his shoulder last season and before that, which may have effected his faceoff abilities, but I would prefer he at least got a shot at up to 10 games in the regular season before being waived. I think it reflects badly on the organization for waiving a guy when they supposedly is loyal to their players, especially when that image already took a hit this summer. However, I'm not sure if that image is or was a reality in the league or just a construct of the fans.

On the other hand it probably isn't that bad for Betts, I'm pretty sure he'll be picked by some team and get to play a full season.

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10-05-2011, 07:49 AM
  #185
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Sure scoring goals on the pk is nice, but so is keeping your top line guys fresh and healthy throughout games in the season. It is give and take.
Look, I can see this... but if you want to avoid having your top players on the pk, then wouldn't you want to keep a guy like Betts on the roster? I mean, Gagné was one of our top pkers, and did a damn good job of it, but in Tampa he didn't see the ice while shorthanded because they had guys like Moore, Thompson, Hall, Tyrell and Bergenheim on their team.

Betts is not as good as he was in the 09-10 perhaps, but his main problems is when the play is 5v5 as I see it. I mean, he was the forward who averaged the most time shorthanded in all of the league last season. Either Laviolette was a poor excuse for a coach last season or Betts dropped off real bad over the summer, if he is as bad on the pk as some here suggests.

It's not that I think that Betts is that great a player, he is certainly a replaceable one, it's just that I haven't seen guys like Rinaldo or Nödl or Simmonds show that they can replace him just yet. Betts' skill is an area where I would say this team has an obvious need (and has lost a lot of experience the past few years), it makes no sense to waive him to me. Doing a good job on the pk in preseason is one thing, doing it when the scoreboard actually matters is something completely different.

Maybe there are some injury concerns over Betts' shoulder again or something, then I might understand this decision. Otherwise it would have made a lot more sense to wait and have the other guys prove themselves some more before making this decision.

Btw, these players saw a fairly significant amount of time shorthanded last season, and I'm sure I missed one or two guys that you could slot in here:

Saku Koivu
Corey Perry
Patrice Bergeron
Jason Pominville
Jonathan Toews
Marian Hossa
RJ Umberger
Jamie Benn
Stephen Weiss
Anze Kopitar
Mikko Koivu
Tomas Plekanec
Brian Gionta
Patrik Elias
Daniel Alfredsson
Jason Spezza
Mike Richards
Claude Giroux
Patrick Marleau
Joe Pavelski
Ryan Kesler
TJ Oshie
Andrew Ladd
Bryan Little

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Old
10-05-2011, 11:17 AM
  #186
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I kind of agree with Bill's take on Betts....a bit bothered by it and not sure if it was a prudent decision. However, he is injury prone and it's possible maybe the flyers don't feel like dealing with the uncertainty although going with a young PK group has it's pitfalls....

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None of the moves the Flyers made yesterday can be classified as a complete shock. However, I did not think the club was going to waive Blair Betts. During yesterday's practice, in fact, Betts skated in his normal 4th line center spot.

When general manager Paul Holmgren addressed the media in the SkateZone lockerroom, he implied that Betts would be gone from the team even if he clears waivers at noon today. Holmgren said that he had just "had a difficult conversation" with the veteran forward, and admitted that the play of Matt Read and Sean Couturier in penalty killing situations during the preseason -- as well as the signing of Max Talbot -- had factored into the decision to waive Betts.

If it were my call to make, I would have kept Betts around. He's still a good faceoff man (better than Talbot or the 18-year-old Couturier) and makes few mistakes. Plus, he's only making $700,000 on the cap, so the club is not really saving that much money by jettisoning him from the roster. The only financial advantage is that it gets the club $700 K closer to not needing to dip into the forthcoming Ian Laperriere LTIR allowance (which only applies if the team is otherwise over the cap).

http://www.hockeybuzz.com/blog/Bill-...10511/45/38597

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Old
10-05-2011, 11:34 AM
  #187
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Meltzer is--hands down--the best Flyers writer. I agree with him on Betts, but that's not even what I'm talking about at this point. Almost everything he covers/writes about is dead on.

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10-05-2011, 12:07 PM
  #188
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Montreal claimed Betts, per McKenzie

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10-05-2011, 12:09 PM
  #189
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Montreal claimed Betts, per McKenzie
Good pick-up for MTL.

The Flyers now stand at 49 contracts

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10-05-2011, 12:10 PM
  #190
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peace, betts.

at least we still have shelley?

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10-05-2011, 12:12 PM
  #191
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Makes some sense. They needed a 4th line center.

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10-05-2011, 12:16 PM
  #192
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Figured someone would take him. Just wish it wasn't to a team I hated so much.

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10-05-2011, 12:18 PM
  #193
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They took Metropolit too, didn't they?

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10-05-2011, 12:20 PM
  #194
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They took Metropolit too, didn't they?
Yes back in 2009.

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10-05-2011, 12:23 PM
  #195
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Montreal fan coming in peace.

What are your guys' input on Betts? We are pretty excited about having a 6'3'' guy on the 4th line (now possibly having a 4th line of Moen, Betts and Ryan White, we are indeed) and I just wanted to have your guys' opinions on Blair's play and his toughness level.

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10-05-2011, 12:25 PM
  #196
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Montreal fan coming in peace.

What are your guys' input on Betts? We are pretty excited about having a 6'3'' guy on the 4th line (now possibly having a 4th line of Moen, Betts and Ryan White, we are indeed) and I just wanted to have your guys' opinions on Blair's play and his toughness level.
hard worker, great in the faceoff circle, good on the PK. he plays tough but he pays for it. he's been noticeably declining since experiencing multiple shoulder issues over the last few years, but still a valuable piece.

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10-05-2011, 12:25 PM
  #197
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Originally Posted by Woodson Hoggs View Post
Montreal fan coming in peace.

What are your guys' input on Betts? We are pretty excited about having a 6'3'' guy on the 4th line (now possibly having a 4th line of Moen, Betts and Ryan White, we are indeed) and I just wanted to have your guys' opinions on Blair's play and his toughness level.
Decent on the PK. ****ed up his shoulder so hes not as good at faceoffs as he used to be.

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10-05-2011, 12:25 PM
  #198
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Originally Posted by Woodson Hoggs View Post
Montreal fan coming in peace.

What are your guys' input on Betts? We are pretty excited about having a 6'3'' guy on the 4th line (now possibly having a 4th line of Moen, Betts and Ryan White, we are indeed) and I just wanted to have your guys' opinions on Blair's play and his toughness level.
You're going to get very mixed opinions on Betts here but he's a reliable penalty killer/ shot blocker. He's lost a step over the last year but still effective in his role. I personally wished we kept him.

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10-05-2011, 12:25 PM
  #199
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Betts is a steal for Montreal. You'll be happy with him. His play has been on the decline over the past season or so, but he's still a more than capable fourth line center who will kill penalties and win some key defensive end draws for you guys.

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10-05-2011, 12:30 PM
  #200
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Awesome. We would've had Engqvist, a huge disappointment whose level of defensive play is apparently not even close to Betts' as our center.

Thanks and good season

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