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2012-13 Defense Re-examined

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Old
03-12-2013, 04:12 PM
  #1
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2012-13 Defense Re-examined

PK%
1. Boston - 92.3
2. Ottawa - 89.5
3. San Jose - 86.8
4. Minnesota - 86.5
5. Columbus - 85.7
...
11. Philadelphia - 83.3
--. New York (R) - 83.3


BLOCKED SHOTS
1. New York (R) - 237
2. Philadelphia - 227

3. Phoenix - 223
4. San Jose - 222
-. New York (I) - 222

HITS
1. Toronto - 814
2. Philadelphia - 764
3. Los Angeles - 724
4. New York (R) - 723
5. Ottawa - 678

GA/G
1. Ottawa - 1.96
2. Chicago - 2.12
3. Boston - 2.13
4. Nashville - 2.24
5. San Jose - 2.25
6. New York (R) - 2.33
...
23. Philadelphia - 3.00


----------------------------------

POINTS
1. Letang - 26
2. Timonen - 19
-. Shattenkirk - 19
4. Subban - 18
-. Kronwall - 18
-. Suter - 18
...
68. Schenn - 7
102. Coburn - 5
122. Grossmann - 4


HITS
1. Schenn - 103
2. Emelin - 88
3. Fraser - 79
4. Smid - 77
5. Phaneuf - 75
6. Grossmann - 72
...
15. Coburn - 58
118. Timonen - 20


BLOCKED SHOTS
1. Grossmann - 77
2. Orpik - 72
3. Smid - 70
-. Zanon - 70
4. MacDonald - 68
-. Michalek - 68
...
22. Coburn - 52
28. Schenn - 49
36. Timonen - 45


TOI/G
1. Suter - 27:29
2. Karlsson - 27:03
3. J. Johnson - 26:24
4. Doughty - 26:18
5. Campbell - 26:14
...
50. Coburn - 22:45
81. Timonen - 21:07
106. Schenn - 19:58

(139.) Meszaros - 18:13 (6 GP)
141. Grossmann - 18:04
(144.) Gustafsson - 18:01 (11 GP)

CORSI REL QoC >20GP
1. Ekman-Larson - 2.132
2. Michalek - 2.111
3. Phaneuf - 2.071
4. Boychuk - 1.996
5. S. Weber - 1.973
6. Hjalmarsson - 1.909
7. Chara - 1.808
8. Oduya - 1.772
9. Giordano - 1.741
10. Bouwmeester - 1.656
...
22. Coburn - 1.013
23. Schenn - 1.011
27. Timonen - 0.963
32. Grossmann - 0.897


Despite sharing time, the Flyers' defensemen are all up there in key stats like blocked shots and hitting. All four being really among the top 30 in REL CORSI QoC is really telling. Meanwhile, Timonen despite being 81st in TOI/G, is 2nd in scoring among defensemen.

I think we ought to chalk this season up to injuries and look to upgrade our PMDs while keeping our top 4 in tact. I'm really hoping Meszaros and Gustafsson can be the producers we need on the back-end. It's the only thing we're lacking from our defense.

Bryzgalov is another story, but there's no solving him. For now, let's just make sure that we know what the real problems are with this team before blindly blaming the defense.


Last edited by CS: 03-12-2013 at 04:18 PM.
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Old
03-12-2013, 04:17 PM
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LegionOfDoom91
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I think if we had a bonafide number 1 defensemen most wouldn't be constantly blaming the defense for everything wrong.

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03-12-2013, 04:37 PM
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I think we need a system where the forwards are in the right spot defensively.

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03-12-2013, 05:01 PM
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These numbers looks good yet they still need someone who can lug the puck on a consistent basis, someone who looks the part, someone who inspires the forwards out there for a shift through merely the way that they bring the puck halfway up the ice - with 100% confidence.

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03-12-2013, 05:04 PM
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Originally Posted by TheLegendkiller View Post
I think we need a system where the forwards are in the right spot defensively.
Nothing in Lavi's system prevents the forwards from doing that. I was under the impression that Paddock was brought in to help rectify the problem.

In 2010, the forwards did just fine defensively in Lavi's system...the difference is that they actually knew how to play defense. There's less skill in that department this year.

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Old
03-12-2013, 05:16 PM
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Originally Posted by ugiswrong View Post
These numbers looks good yet they still need someone who can lug the puck on a consistent basis, someone who looks the part, someone who inspires the forwards out there for a shift through merely the way that they bring the puck halfway up the ice - with 100% confidence.
I think our issues are completely based on the 1st pass.

We have all of the defensive tools, and it's obvious.

Where we have the breakdowns is when we get stuck in our zone because we only have one defenseman capable of safely outletting the puck regularly (Timonen).

We desperately need another defenseman who can move the puck. Basically, as much as it pains me, we need Matt Carle.

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03-12-2013, 05:30 PM
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Originally Posted by Chris Shafer View Post
I think our issues are completely based on the 1st pass.

We have all of the defensive tools, and it's obvious.

Where we have the breakdowns is when we get stuck in our zone because we only have one defenseman capable of safely outletting the puck regularly (Timonen).

We desperately need another defenseman who can move the puck. Basically, as much as it pains me, we need Matt Carle.
I disagree with this. We don't simply need a puck mover like Carle. We need a game breaker who can control the game's pace. Carle was effective at moving the puck forward, yes, but our problem extends beyond that. Our problem is that we lose our composure once a mistake is made, and we have nobody with the ability to slow the game down when we are running around.

Carle would be nice to have, but he would be far from the solution to the problem. Even with Carle, last year's team had the same problem when Pronger was out of the lineup. We were able to mask the problem last year because we had a much better puck possession team. We don't have that same ability this year, so our problem is magnified. We start running around, and we don't have a game breaking defenseman to step on the ice and calm the game down.

Our team's makeup and Laviolette's system (both fast paced and up tempo) require such a presence to keep our team composed when mistakes are made. So basically there are two potential solutions: acquire a game breaking defenseman or employ a system that is more controlled and not quite so up tempo. Simply adding a Matt Carle type is not enough, imo. It might make us slightly better, but it will not solve our biggest problem of running around and losing control once a mistake is made.

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Old
03-12-2013, 05:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Shafer View Post
I think our issues are completely based on the 1st pass.

We have all of the defensive tools, and it's obvious.

Where we have the breakdowns is when we get stuck in our zone because we only have one defenseman capable of safely outletting the puck regularly (Timonen).

We desperately need another defenseman who can move the puck. Basically, as much as it pains me, we need Matt Carle.
Really? because the first passes haven't been the problem I've seen. What I've seen is issues after the first pass, especially while trying to get to the red line. I've thought the forwards are struggling to move the puck up more than the defensemen.

If we had Carle, that problem is still present. He could make a pass, and then whoever receives that pass would still be able to blow it.

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03-12-2013, 05:32 PM
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Originally Posted by Beef Invictus View Post
Really? because the first passes haven't been the problem I've seen. What I've seen is issues after the first pass, especially while trying to get to the red line. I've thought the forwards are struggling to move the puck up more than the defensemen.
I'll have to pay more attention to this then. That's not what I've noticed necessarily, but it's also not really what I've been looking for.

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03-12-2013, 05:33 PM
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Originally Posted by Chris Shafer View Post
I'll have to pay more attention to this then. That's not what I've noticed necessarily, but it's also not really what I've been looking for.
Yeah, I saw it early on. Dman gets rid of puck to forward (who are doing a better job of hanging back, to cut back on those insanely long outlet passes they were trying to hit early in the season), then the forward blows it.

Edit: unless Coburn is involved, in which case he probably turns it over himself.

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03-12-2013, 06:09 PM
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However, some other defensive numbers more related to whole team... :

Giveaways: 6th
Takeaways: 25th
Giveaway vs Takeaway radio: 1.55 giveaways per 1 takeaway, which is something like 5th worst.

Face-Off %: 47.5 ... ranks 24th

5v5: Obviously they've struggled 5on5. 25th in the league in 5v5 goals for/against ratio.

Special teams: league worst 16.9 PIM per game... while being shorthanded the most along with Buffalo. Their almost-top-10 PK helps cut the powerplay goals down though. However, they have the 11th best powerplay time vs. PK time, so special teams isn't really an issue although cutting down penalties could increase that number big time. 2nd most time spent on powerplay, but also 2nd most time spent killing penalties.


I think clearly, it's more a full team defensive thing. This team can't win a draw and so they automatically go into defensive mode, protect the net and protect Bryzgalov. Then they just try to clear the puck and panic and often give it away or if they move it up to the forwards, they lose it like they don't know what to do with it under pressure. They don't play a game where they hound the puck and cause turnovers which is how the 'Hawks have found a lot of success. Obviously, teams that turn the puck over a lot more than they take it away either have an unreal offense (Pittsburgh) or rely on their goaltending/stellar team defensive play (New York, LA). The Flyers don't move around, they just watch the puck move around and try and get in front of shots which is probably why the shot blocking numbers are so high. At least they hit a lot...

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03-12-2013, 06:21 PM
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The problem with giveaways is that not all of those occur in the defensive zone, and no publicly tracked stat breaks it down by zone. Based on what I've seen, a lot of those giveaways are probably occurring in or near the neutral zone. Edit: Basically, the turnover stat could be more indicative of the team's struggles to create offense.

The lack of takeaways is frustrating though, and speaks to the drop in defensive talent amongst the forward group over the last three years. I guess they make up for it by blocking all those shots.


Last edited by Beef Invictus: 03-12-2013 at 06:26 PM.
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Old
03-12-2013, 06:26 PM
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when i blame the d i am talking about the forwards as well. this team gives up 2-3 odd man rushes off of bad line changes a game plus another 3-4 from the forwards not getting the puck in deep.

the d unit is flawed but not a disaster.

i think having only 3 games in 11 days will help Bryz get some rest and physically and mentally.

having another center strong on draws would be nice.

if they can pick up jbo without giving up too much this team would be real close.

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03-12-2013, 06:45 PM
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Good post. Even though it's sorely lacking, it's a solid foundation.

The defense as a whole is definitely contributing to the problems, but it would be disingenuous to spread the idea that we have 6 lumps of crap thinly falling all over themselves back there.

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03-12-2013, 06:54 PM
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I'm not buying the whole "our forwards are defensively incapable" approach.

We have forwards capable of playing defense. For example, Couturier is performing better defensively this season than last according to stats, even if he's not scoring (blame his 4.7 SH% down from 11.2). They've proven such, and the vision test really does nothing to dispute that outside of Briere, who we've established as his own separate entity.

That said, there is a communication breakdown somewhere resulting in our terrible turnover ratio as pointed out above.

We're either having problems outletting from our own zone or there is a disconnect in the neutral zone after the defensemen have moved it up to the forwards.

The real heart of our problem, and the reason we're struggling this season, lies somewhere in there.

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03-12-2013, 07:03 PM
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athorne just explained everything. you went out of your way for the seventh day in a row accumulating stats to prove your "defense is awesome the goalie sucks" point but the reason is right there: we take an insane amount of penalties a game which across the board explains not only why we would be in a constant position to block and lead in blocked shots with hits being an indication of defensive play too. the team is sloppy. we make a ridiculous amount of rushed plays and bad decisions with and without the puck. those numbers are there by default. but your not singling out bryzgalov at all.

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03-12-2013, 08:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Beef Invictus View Post
The problem with giveaways is that not all of those occur in the defensive zone, and no publicly tracked stat breaks it down by zone. Based on what I've seen, a lot of those giveaways are probably occurring in or near the neutral zone. Edit: Basically, the turnover stat could be more indicative of the team's struggles to create offense.

The lack of takeaways is frustrating though, and speaks to the drop in defensive talent amongst the forward group over the last three years. I guess they make up for it by blocking all those shots.
Turnovers obviously show a change in possession though, and when we're a bottom-5 face-off in begin with the team really can't afford to give the opposition more possession time. Mike Richards, Jeff Carter, Simon Gagne (pre-2013), Umberger, and even down to Powe and Betts were all solid, solid defensive forwards (some more than others) and as good as Couturier is, he's a 20 year old sophomore being asked to play a shutdown role against some of the best forwards in the league over here in the Eastern conference.

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athorne just explained everything. you went out of your way for the seventh day in a row accumulating stats to prove your "defense is awesome the goalie sucks" point but the reason is right there: we take an insane amount of penalties a game which across the board explains not only why we would be in a constant position to block and lead in blocked shots with hits being an indication of defensive play too. the team is sloppy. we make a ridiculous amount of rushed plays and bad decisions with and without the puck. those numbers are there by default. but your not singling out bryzgalov at all.
Bryzgalov hasn't been very good, though. I think a good way to sum it up is that the personnel on defense aren't as bad as people are making them out to be, however they aren't very smart with the puck, struggle with the transition game and our best forwards in our own zone (other than the grinders) are also our best offensive forwards (Giroux/Hartnell) or are very young/inexperienced (Couturier/Read/Schenn). Not that youth is a bad thing, but growing pains should be expected.

Team could use:

a) Discipline (!!!)
b) Something that resembles a transition game.
c) Confidence in themselves (don't get so f***in' down every time you get scored on!)
d) Confidence in their goaltender (last March = what needs to happen...)
e) Communication (coaching is a big part of this).
f) The removal of Bruno Gervais (he's awful).
g) A young PMD.

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03-12-2013, 08:46 PM
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Going to back Beef's comment about 2010, there is something huge (literally and figuratively) missing from that year to this year, and even the past 2 years. And that would be the absence of Chris Pronger. IMO, not having Pronger (or a player of that ilk) in the mix has a huge effect on the rest of the team.

As for the stats, it would be cool if there were advanced stats based on how goals and goals against were scored (ie. off of turnovers, off of faceoff losses, off of sustained pressure by the opposing team, off of fast breaks). I think these numbers could help tell a chunk of the story form a stats perspective.

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03-12-2013, 08:59 PM
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Going to back Beef's comment about 2010, there is something huge (literally and figuratively) missing from that year to this year, and even the past 2 years. And that would be the absence of Chris Pronger. IMO, not having Pronger (or a player of that ilk) in the mix has a huge effect on the rest of the team.

As for the stats, it would be cool if there were advanced stats based on how goals and goals against were scored (ie. off of turnovers, off of faceoff losses, off of sustained pressure by the opposing team, off of fast breaks). I think these numbers could help tell a chunk of the story form a stats perspective.
dude. yea. this whole team including the goalie was built around chris pronger's contract. we expected him to give us a good 5 years. He's not only one of the greatest defenseman but just player in history. you know how good of a defenseman you need to be to win a hart? this whole plan went to **** when he went down. that's when my whole outlook and expectation of everyone changed. he's still my favorite player on the team, injured reserve or not. i think he should just dress and sit on the bench. thats how good he is. that alone would make a difference.

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03-12-2013, 09:03 PM
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Quote:
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dude. yea. this whole team including the goalie was built around chris pronger's contract. we expected him to give us a good 5 years. He's not only one of the greatest defenseman but just player in history. you know how good of a defenseman you need to be to win a hart? this whole plan went to **** when he went down. that's when my whole outlook and expectation of everyone changed. he's still my favorite player on the team, injured reserve or not. i think he should just dress and sit on the bench. thats how good he is. that alone would make a difference.
It's telling when a team comes together in front of the likes of Michael Leighton and Brian Boucher to make it to the Finals. It's telling that the team has a **** ton of confidence coming from somewhere and that was from Pronger.

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03-12-2013, 09:27 PM
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Turnovers obviously show a change in possession though, and when we're a bottom-5 face-off in begin with the team really can't afford to give the opposition more possession time. Mike Richards, Jeff Carter, Simon Gagne (pre-2013), Umberger, and even down to Powe and Betts were all solid, solid defensive forwards (some more than others) and as good as Couturier is, he's a 20 year old sophomore being asked to play a shutdown role against some of the best forwards in the league over here in the Eastern conference.
Not only this, but Couturier is 7th among forwards on the team in ES TOI, so if he's one of our better defensive forwards, he's not out there as much as Richards was.

Pronger's injury obviously has had a large effect on the rest of the team, but I think the changeover of the forward group is still bigger. The guys you mentioned haven't been fully replaced from a performance standpoint.

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03-12-2013, 10:02 PM
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I think if we had a bonafide number 1 defensemen most wouldn't be constantly blaming the defense for everything wrong.
If we had a knockdown, drag out #1 defenseman and this excuse could die-- this town would be chasing Bryz out of town with pitchforks and fire (not saying I would agree with this-- just that that is the culture here).

Edit: I think the heart of the problem has to do with puck movement and the transition game, which is less noticeable by less attuned fans.

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03-12-2013, 10:11 PM
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Puck movement out of their own zone remains a big problem. How many times per game will a Dman lob it out to the red line instead of skating / passing it out? Sometimes the lob play works with a fortunate bounce, but it's such an iffy move and it looks like a play borne of a lack of faith in the players' skill to move the puck effectively.

At least the defense have cut down on passing the puck back and forth behind the net until they lose it to forechecking pressure. So there is improvement!

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03-12-2013, 11:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ahthorne View Post
However, some other defensive numbers more related to whole team... :

Giveaways: 6th
Takeaways: 25th
Giveaway vs Takeaway radio: 1.55 giveaways per 1 takeaway, which is something like 5th worst.

Face-Off %: 47.5 ... ranks 24th

5v5: Obviously they've struggled 5on5. 25th in the league in 5v5 goals for/against ratio.

Special teams: league worst 16.9 PIM per game... while being shorthanded the most along with Buffalo. Their almost-top-10 PK helps cut the powerplay goals down though. However, they have the 11th best powerplay time vs. PK time, so special teams isn't really an issue although cutting down penalties could increase that number big time. 2nd most time spent on powerplay, but also 2nd most time spent killing penalties.


I think clearly, it's more a full team defensive thing. This team can't win a draw and so they automatically go into defensive mode, protect the net and protect Bryzgalov. Then they just try to clear the puck and panic and often give it away or if they move it up to the forwards, they lose it like they don't know what to do with it under pressure. They don't play a game where they hound the puck and cause turnovers which is how the 'Hawks have found a lot of success. Obviously, teams that turn the puck over a lot more than they take it away either have an unreal offense (Pittsburgh) or rely on their goaltending/stellar team defensive play (New York, LA). The Flyers don't move around, they just watch the puck move around and try and get in front of shots which is probably why the shot blocking numbers are so high. At least they hit a lot...
This pretty much nails it. There are a ton of negative factors. If this were a 5 v 5 all the time it wouldn't be so bad. Firstly, when you are always on the PK, messes with line fatigue, losing out on 2 minutes of scoring chances, and increasing the other teams scoring chance. Second, also pointed out, look at the takeaway ratio, you will notice how many times is it shot at bryz, it either goes through, or blocked and back to the other team? As noted, Flyers always seem to be on their heels scrambling to clear.

Its all about chances, if you lose a majority of the faceoffs, dont cause turnovers, take penalties, and have an average goaltender, it doesn't matter how well your top 4 d-men play. Games are about manipulating odds in your favor, and the Flyers do not do any of that on the defensive end. The Flyers are probably going to lose the faceoff, probably let the puck into their zone, and probably will give up a decent shot unless its blocked all while hoping to not take a penalty which happens too often.

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03-12-2013, 11:41 PM
  #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ahthorne View Post
However, some other defensive numbers more related to whole team... :

Giveaways: 6th
Takeaways: 25th
Giveaway vs Takeaway radio: 1.55 giveaways per 1 takeaway, which is something like 5th worst.

Face-Off %: 47.5 ... ranks 24th

5v5: Obviously they've struggled 5on5. 25th in the league in 5v5 goals for/against ratio.

Special teams: league worst 16.9 PIM per game... while being shorthanded the most along with Buffalo. Their almost-top-10 PK helps cut the powerplay goals down though. However, they have the 11th best powerplay time vs. PK time, so special teams isn't really an issue although cutting down penalties could increase that number big time. 2nd most time spent on powerplay, but also 2nd most time spent killing penalties.


I think clearly, it's more a full team defensive thing. This team can't win a draw and so they automatically go into defensive mode, protect the net and protect Bryzgalov. Then they just try to clear the puck and panic and often give it away or if they move it up to the forwards, they lose it like they don't know what to do with it under pressure. They don't play a game where they hound the puck and cause turnovers which is how the 'Hawks have found a lot of success. Obviously, teams that turn the puck over a lot more than they take it away either have an unreal offense (Pittsburgh) or rely on their goaltending/stellar team defensive play (New York, LA). The Flyers don't move around, they just watch the puck move around and try and get in front of shots which is probably why the shot blocking numbers are so high. At least they hit a lot...
This is telling. Yes 5 on 5 is a big problem..if you noticed teams that are disciplined and stay out of the box are able to counteract our special teams advantage. The Pens adjusted their game in the 2nd period clogging the middle and staying out of the box and the Rangers did the same. The Devils employ the same tactic. We seem to only win against undisciplined and teams that don't check as well. This team is very predictable and what makes it worse is that if you are patient against the Flyers you will frustrate them and they will crumble especially if Bryz is not making key stops...

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