Well, there are three things that really stick out with regards to what I've noticed with regards to the pre-season so far. The first is that this team is undisciplined. It takes penalties at bad times and still seems like it hasn't adjusted to how the game is going to be called. None of the penalties have been "good" penalties and a lot of the penalties come from just being lazy.
The second is that the penalty killing still stinks. You'd figure by now that they would get this right because it was our achilles heel last year. Yet, it still looks passive and completely useless. Wasn't the plan this offseason to make the penalty killing more aggressive and force the opponents more into making mistakes. I've watched the pre-season games so far and if anything, the penalty killing looks even worse than last year. Really, how hard is it to find a system that is better than what was used last year? I just don't get it.
And finally, it's becoming abundantly clear that Niitty should be the starter. Maybe it's just me, but everybody seems to play better when he's in the net. They look more relaxed, more comfortable and more confident when he's back there. Esche looks like he's lost the confidence of the group and they seem really uptight when he's playing. He's got a bit of the Brian Boucher syndrome - one good playoff run and then he tanks after it. It's time to send him on his way and it's time for Hitch to grow a set and name Niitty the number one guy. I understand that Hitch is loyal to his veterans, but come on and do what's right for the team. Name Niitty the starter and get all the second guessing done and over with.
The Flyers like everyone else have not had their full roster in the lineup every night
The special team units are not what you are going to see in the regular season.
Discipline? since when is there discipline in the preseason? Once the real games begin it will change
Its the preseason for a reason, Dont worry about the games, I sure as hell dont. Only thing that matters to me is everyone stays healthy. Thats it.
Yeah, but if they outperform the Forsberg line, Hitch will separate it because the last thing he'd ever do is let younger players outplay the veterans on the team.......
There's no smiley here. Is this a serious post? <- I give it this if it is. If you honestly, truly believe that to be the case, I have nothing to say. Nothing would even begin to awaken you to reality. Since I'm of the opinion that if the CCR line outplays the Forsberg line, dear God we win the East without any trouble. We know what the Forsberg line gets us (with all three healthy, Gagne gets 50+, Knuble 30 or so, Forsberg 100 pts. easily), so for the CCR line to top that, that means we'd have a second year player potting 50+ goals, Richards getting 60-75 assists, and Calder chipping in 30 goals. Besides the fact that I think those are completely unrealistic expectations, I think if it actually did happen Hitch would jump for joy. Which would be an amusing sight in and of itself.