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2013-14 Flyers Overhaul Part II

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Old
05-25-2013, 01:35 PM
  #51
TheLegendkiller
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Originally Posted by Go For It View Post
You disagree with someone. He must have no idea what he's talking about, right?
He doesn't. He sounds like a WIP caller.


I remember hearing Holmgren say something about getting bigger. That's mainly why they should keep Hall for a season, sign a less expensive FA forward like Zubrus, and I feel like they'll trade Read at the deadline next season for a bigger forward. I feel like that would be the way to go for size.

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05-25-2013, 01:39 PM
  #52
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Originally Posted by TheLegendkiller View Post
He doesn't. He sounds like a WIP caller.


I remember hearing Holmgren say something about getting bigger. That's mainly why they should keep Hall for a season, sign a less expensive FA forward like Zubrus, and I feel like they'll trade Read at the deadline next season for a bigger forward. I feel like that would be the way to go for size.
Hell, getting rid of Briere, re-signing Gagne, bring up Laughton and McGinn automatically still makes some more size. Both Laughton and McGinn love to play big as well.

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05-25-2013, 01:44 PM
  #53
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Originally Posted by DecadesofFutility View Post
Our defense is offensively challanged and injured.
Mezzaros is one good check from being injured again and its LTIR for the season.
Timmo is our only reliable offensive defenseman, and will retire end of next season.
Gustafsson is fine as the 5th defenseman only.
Grossman has concussion issues and is a defensive defenseman only.
This group is not skilled enough to run this fast break offense that LAVI wants to run.

So we have three options
1) get a good PMD so we can run the offense correctly
2) fire LAVI and institute a trap based defense
3) ignore the insanity and continue like nothing is wrong
and try for another top 10 pick.

I would have kept Carle and traded Coburn.
Coburn is just another defensive defenseman like all the rest we draft.
So sign Streit or Hainsey, draft defensemen, and your good for next season.
Timonen-Coburn
Streit/Hainsey-Schenn
Gustafsson-Grossman/Meszaros (whoever is healthy at the time)

See who's available at the trade deadline. This a much better option than gutting the team in a trade. Couturier by himself wont bring in a proven young PMD, so you have to add something significant. So not only are the Flyers giving up possiblly the best player for a 2nd rate PMD, the only ones available since top guys will not be, they are adding something else good to the deal. It will end up being the Flyers version of the Kessel trade. You lament the Flyers never drafting and developing defensemen, yet you are willing to sell the farm for a short term fix. That is exactly why the Flyers stink at drafting and developing defensemen: no patience.

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05-25-2013, 02:15 PM
  #54
DecadesofFutility
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I got patience but we got Holmgren who has no desire to pick a defensemen #1.
They had a perfect opportunity to draft defensmen with the Carter #1 pick.
But they would rather draft Centers and trade for Defensemen.
So I give up on developing a blue chip defenseman since, we will not pick one.

Signing (Streit or Hainsey) is a typical Flyer move -- sign someone 1-2 year
from retirement for too much money and little production.
I do not see that working at all, waste of cap space IMHO.
Not close enough to competing for cup to waste cap space on rentals.

Why save all these young centers we are not going to win without rebuilding this defense.
Something which it seems like we might not be willing to do at this point.

Its not like we are going to win a cup anytime soon with this collection of defensemen that we have now.


Last edited by DecadesofFutility: 05-26-2013 at 05:13 AM.
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05-25-2013, 02:45 PM
  #55
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You keep mentioning the Carter and Richards trades. Richards returned us a second rounder and that was used to acquire Grossmann. Now we all know how the Flyers felt about Couts, they obviously feel he has higher upside than Hamilton or they would have taken him. They have the patience for a defender, they just don't think that player is the best pick when they are selecting. You can not fault Homer for his time with this organization and his scouting. He has been excellent in that regard. Every team misses picks, and every team makes a pick that doesn't pan out in front of a better player. It's how the game works.

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05-25-2013, 04:44 PM
  #56
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Originally Posted by DecadesofFutility View Post
I got patience but we got Holmgren who has no desire to pick a defensemen #1.
They had a perfect opportunity to draft defensmen with either the Richards
or Carter #1 picks or both of them.
But they would rather draft Centers and trade for Defensemen.
So I give up on developing a blue chip defenseman since, we will not pick one.

Signing (Streit or Hainsey) is a typical Flyer move -- sign someone 1-2 year
from retirement for too much money and little production.
I do not see that working at all, waste of cap space IMHO.
Not close enough to competing for cup to waste cap space on rentals.

Why save all these young centers we are not going to win without rebuilding this defense.
Something which it seems like we might not be willing to do at this point.

Its not like we are going to win a cup anytime soon with this collection of defensemen that we have now.
This post just screams classic disgruntled Flyers fan.

a) wait and see who we draft before jump to conclusions.
b) even a player 1-2 years from retirement can provide excellent production (ex/ Timonen, Gonchar, etc.)
c) look at the teams left in the playoffs. many of them get their strength from the middle of the ice:
Quote:
Detroit: Datsyuk, Zetterberg, Andersson, Emmerton. IR: Helm. Filppula also played some center through his career. ...
Pittsburgh: Crosby, Malkin, Sutter, Jokinen, Vitale, etc. ... J. Staal was there when they won the Cup and etc. ...
Los Angeles: Kopitar, Richards, Stoll, Fraser, Richardson ... reigning Cup champs. They are 1-2 since Stoll went down.
Boston: Bergeron, Krejci, Kelly, Campbell ... all excellent C's for what is asked of them.
San Jose: Thornton, Couture, Marleau, Pavelski, Gomez, etc. ... of course, they all don't play center, but they have lots of options and their high-end depth down the middle is probably their biggest strength.
New York: Stepan, Brassard, Richards, Boyle, etc. ... Brad Richards has struggled this season and playoffs. New York has underwhelmed. Coincidence?

Ottawa when healthy has Spezza, Turris, Zibanejad, Zack Smith, Pageau, etc.
Toronto lacks a #1 C but had Bozak, Kadri, Grabovksi, and McClement. McClement was probably their unsung hero this year other than Reimer.

Now look at Chicago, down 3-1 to the Red Wings. Their biggest issue that needs addressing? Strength down the middle, specifically a 2nd liner center - even though they have Toews and Bolland among others.
Now, I'm not saying all a team needs is quality centers to win, but having strength down the middle is not something we should just throw away. Especially not when, like you said, we really aren't that close to a Cup with the current supporting cast we have around our core. Why sell the farm AGAIN for a defender who isn't the one piece we need from getting a Cup?

Patience is all this club needs. The cap structure of this team will need to be rebuilt in 2014-15 anyway, building around Giroux who is due for a pretty big raise. Replace the plugs like Foster, Meszaros, Gervais, Knuble, Fedotenko (sorry Feds) and of course Briere and/or Bryzgalov with players who can actually develop and grow in NHLers ... :

Gagne - Giroux - Voracek
Hartnell - B. Schenn - Read
McGinn - Couturier - Simmonds
Rinaldo - Laughton - Talbot

Coburn - Timonen
Gustafsson - L. Schenn
Grossmann - xxx

Mason
xxx

I would like to see another veteran come in and replace Briere in the top-9. Somebody on (hopefully) a one-year deal - or draft somebody who can come play right away like Nichushkin. I'd like to see a young PMD brought on OR have the Flyers draft Ristolainen and he comes right over.

Possible UFAs: Jagr, Prospal, other veteran forwards ... Gonchar, Streit, Zidlicky as a veteran offensive-minded defender.

Gustafsson will be able to play lots of minutes, as will Luke Schenn. Grossmann has injury concerns and Coburn and Timonen should be used more as a 2a pairing, with Gus-Schenn and the 2b pairing.

I'd put Matt Read on the trading block and hope to acquire a defender of similar value, Jamie McBain or somebody similar. Keep the strength from the middle, and trade Laughton if we must trade a center. Trading Couturier will probably be my final straw with this franchise depending on what the return is and what else happens this offseason...


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05-25-2013, 05:13 PM
  #57
BobbyClarkeFan16
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Whoa, what an overly harsh indictment. This is the first time Coburn has let the team down when they needed him. At every other point in his tenure with the Flyers he has been the very best version of himself at the most crucial times. Spring of 2011 and all of the 2011-2012 season he was a horse. 2012-2013 his game finally found some consistency and his speed and range carried his pairing, allowing Grossmann's skills to shine in spite of his average speed. The guy has half a rough season and you're ready to quit on him. He's earned a longer leash than you're giving him, I feel.
Overly harsh? More like not harsh enough. Take a look at his game. His puck handling skills have completely eroded. Even the simplest of defensive assignments and he turns it into a nightmare and the only consistency you can rely on with Coburn is inconsistency. For $4.5 million a year, I expect a hell of a lot more than what he brings to the table. And the fact that people continue to make excuses for the guy is what baffles me. For 20 to 25 games a year, he's an excellent defenseman. For another 20 to 25 games a year, he's solid player and then for the final 30, he's mediocre to terrible. Yet, I've never seen one player continually get a pass like Coburn because he's big and he can skate. He can't run a power play, he's not a lead pairing defenseman and I'm tired of "waiting for Coburn to come around." He is what he is - a mediocre 2nd pairing defenseman that looks better than what he really is because of the guys he's partnered with.


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Originally Posted by Giroux tha Damaja View Post
This is kind of how I feel about them too. I haven't had a chance to really sit down and take in a whole lot of games with a sharp eye this year, so it's tough for me to pinpoint why they've been less than the sum of their parts so far (in terms of specific x's and o's tendencies). Perhaps getting that one big name player will move everyone else down a position on the depth chart and put them in positions to succeed again.

I doubt that is the best solution though. When I watch this team play defense it's not that they're getting handled in the one-on-one battles, or failing to make plays consistently (i.e. the personnel doesn't suck), it's a system issue. The coverages in zone just look sloppy. Laviolette needs to stray a bit from his attack first instincts and see to it that they get more help from the forwards. When your goalie is weakish there's really no other choice.
Once Laviolette simplified things defensively, the group improved. The fact it took 30+ games into the season to do that is what I'm scratching my head over, especially in a shortened season. With the changes that Holmgren made in the off season and the type of players he brought in, the easiest thing Laviolette could have done was run a simple defensive system. Instead, he tried to show everyone he was in charge and that his system was the right system. It was an unmitigated disaster.

I still have little faith that the club will improve defensively under Laviolette's watch. I just don't see the commitment to defense under his watch and that they need someone on the coaching to step up and get everyone on the same page defensively if Laviolette won't. That's where a Joe Mullen or Craig Berube need to step forward and start asserting the defensive aspect of the game if the head coach won't.

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05-25-2013, 05:57 PM
  #58
phlocky
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why is this bad? If there is one thing they do well, it is draft. I was mad at our pointless win streak to end the season...

And...I don't think this should be a surprise, but I give us about a 1% chance to win the cup in the next 2 yrs. young guys need time to develop.

Yup, by winning 7 of our last 8 games when we were out of the playoffs we went from having the #4 pick to the #11 pick. Not that I wanted us to tank the end of the season but ask my kids, I was actually rooting AGAINST us. I was praying for us to have a top 5 pick this year and we ended up out of the top 10. That win streak at the end did nothing but hurt us for the future. Just plain pointles.

BC is right. We need to stop swapping out 25% or more of our starting lineup each year. There was a study a few years ago of all teams from the 4 major NA sports and it found that over a 20 year period only one team that changed it opening day roster by more than 25% fom the previous year even made the playoffs. Keep your core together and make minor tweeks, not major overhauls each year.

First and foremost we have to teach our forwards to play more responsible in the defensive zone even if it comes at the cost of some offense. The REAL problem with our defense is that we have one leader in the group (Timonen) four followers (chenn, Coburn, Grossmen and Mesz) and one questionmark (Gus). If Gus CAN lead a pairing then we aren't in too much trouble for next year. If he's not capable of leading a paring with Coburn then we are in serious trouble (remember in 09 we had the same problem and it wasn't fixed until we paid through the nose for Carle).

Bryz won't be bought out this year. He'll be given one more year to prove himself and if he's not playing the way we expect he'll be bought out next summer.

I hate being right when I see us doing really stupid things with the roster but a number of us wanted us to keep bob and just sign Vokoun for 2-3 years so we could properly groom Bob. I've been telling you guys for years that Carle wasn't nearly as bad as most on here thought and that we'd miss him when he was gone. It showed this year.

I sincerly hope that Gus can step up next year and lead the 2nd pairing. I think he's got the talent and is a decent PMD but I just don't know if he has the mentality to LEAD on the ice. Coburn clearly doesn't.

There is no easy fix for this team. We have both short term and long term holes staring us square in the face. Beyond that we MUST get better as ateam in the defensive zone. Schenn, Simmonds Voracek and Read could all benefit from a Ken Hitchcock to teach them how to be much better in the defensive zone.

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05-25-2013, 06:05 PM
  #59
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Originally Posted by BobbyClarkeFan16 View Post
I still have little faith that the club will improve defensively under Laviolette's watch. I just don't see the commitment to defense under his watch and that they need someone on the coaching to step up and get everyone on the same page defensively if Laviolette won't.
Not trying to be pessimistic here, just trying to add to your comment, but I've seen some of Lavi's coaching clinic. The entire idea is to win by playing on their end of the ice, period. I'm only mentioning this because the Flyers system will never be a D-minded one. If they get better defensively, it is because the players get better. I doubt the system is changing. There were comments about changing it from the upper management and the Flyers got even worse.

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05-25-2013, 06:53 PM
  #60
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Laviolette will be on a short leash next year and more than likely fired. They shouldn't worry about finding players for his system. This team will be playing more defensively sound hockey one way or another next year.

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05-25-2013, 09:09 PM
  #61
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Originally Posted by Psuhockey View Post
Laviolette will be on a short leash next year and more than likely fired. They shouldn't worry about finding players for his system. This team will be playing more defensively sound hockey one way or another next year.
Dave Tippett's contract is up with the Coyotes. I am sure GM Maloney (who was just re-upped by the NHL today) will make it a top priority to lock Tippett up, but if sale of the Coyotes continues to evade the NHL, Tippett might look to a more stable franchise situation. In my opinion, he is the best coach in the NHL. I would love to have Tippett in Philadelphia. Look at how successful he's been with the cap-floor Coyotes roster for the past few years (last season in particular). His system also fit extremely well with Bryzgalov. I like Laviolette, but if Tippett is available, we need to get him in Philly.

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05-25-2013, 09:20 PM
  #62
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Dave Tippett's contract is up with the Coyotes. I am sure GM Maloney (who was just re-upped by the NHL today) will make it a top priority to lock Tippett up, but if sale of the Coyotes continues to evade the NHL, Tippett might look to a more stable franchise situation. In my opinion, he is the best coach in the NHL. I would love to have Tippett in Philadelphia. Look at how successful he's been with the cap-floor Coyotes roster for the past few years (last season in particular). His system also fit extremely well with Bryzgalov. I like Laviolette, but if Tippett is available, we need to get him in Philly.
I like this.

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05-25-2013, 10:16 PM
  #63
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Dave Tippett's contract is up with the Coyotes. I am sure GM Maloney (who was just re-upped by the NHL today) will make it a top priority to lock Tippett up, but if sale of the Coyotes continues to evade the NHL, Tippett might look to a more stable franchise situation. In my opinion, he is the best coach in the NHL. I would love to have Tippett in Philadelphia. Look at how successful he's been with the cap-floor Coyotes roster for the past few years (last season in particular). His system also fit extremely well with Bryzgalov. I like Laviolette, but if Tippett is available, we need to get him in Philly.
Why do we need to keep drastically changing this team's approach? With tippet, we would have gone full circle from Hitchcock over a 10 year period and gotten nowhere.

Laviolette is a fine coach. He deserves more than 3 seasons.

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05-26-2013, 01:13 AM
  #64
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Originally Posted by BringBackStevens View Post
Why do we need to keep drastically changing this team's approach? With tippet, we would have gone full circle from Hitchcock over a 10 year period and gotten nowhere.

Laviolette is a fine coach. He deserves more than 3 seasons.
Says the guy with the bringbackstevens username.

Just playin.

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05-26-2013, 01:32 AM
  #65
achdumeingute
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Originally Posted by DecadesofFutility View Post
I got patience but we got Holmgren who has no desire to pick a defensemen #1.
They had a perfect opportunity to draft defensmen with either the Richards
or Carter #1 picks or both of them.
But they would rather draft Centers and trade for Defensemen.
So I give up on developing a blue chip defenseman since, we will not pick one.

Signing (Streit or Hainsey) is a typical Flyer move -- sign someone 1-2 year
from retirement for too much money and little production.
I do not see that working at all, waste of cap space IMHO.
Not close enough to competing for cup to waste cap space on rentals.

Why save all these young centers we are not going to win without rebuilding this defense.
Something which it seems like we might not be willing to do at this point.

Its not like we are going to win a cup anytime soon with this collection of defensemen that we have now.
We never draft defensemen, except for the time we drafted Sbisa.

Our problem isn't not drafting defensemen, its not having first round draft picks because we trade them all.

Its a shame that some of our players were injured around the deadline, i was hoping to see us do a SJS, and trade guys no longer in the plan.

We basically NEED to have lots of picks for the next 3 years....and hopefully then we will be on the cusp. So signing band aid vets to 1-2 yr deals right now is fine and dandy because there isn't much point in just holding on to cap space year to year. Maybe next season we can trade Kimmo, or (Streit, Gonchar, or other veteran UFA acquisition) for something.


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05-26-2013, 05:27 AM
  #66
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I think Yandle is coming to Philadelphia for Couturier (+).

I don't necessarily like it. But he seems one of the bigger names that could be in play.
We could have kept Coots if we had retained Carle and traded Coburn,
instead of chasing after FA who wanted to sign in elsewhere.
Would prefer to trade Coots to Laughton, Laughton is a better skater.

Carle would have been cheaper in assets than to trade for Yandle.
Carle would have been good as a 2nd pairing PMD.
All PMD turn over the puck. so I do not get all the hate he generates.
Carle might have resigned here cheaper than what he got in TB.

Bad planning by front office - now might have to trade Coots.


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05-26-2013, 07:59 AM
  #67
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That Torey Krug and a pick for Briere at the deadline sure woulda been nice...

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05-26-2013, 09:57 AM
  #68
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We could have kept Coots if we had retained Carle and traded Coburn,
instead of chasing after FA who wanted to sign in elsewhere.
Would prefer to trade Coots to Laughton, Laughton is a better skater.

Carle would have been cheaper in assets than to trade for Yandle.
Carle would have been good as a 2nd pairing PMD.
All PMD turn over the puck. so I do not get all the hate he generates.
Carle might have resigned here cheaper than what he got in TB.

Bad planning by front office - now might have to trade Coots.
Carle was atrocious in Tampa last season and is on an atrocious contract.

They made the right decision with Carle

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05-26-2013, 10:07 AM
  #69
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Originally Posted by DecadesofFutility View Post
We could have kept Coots if we had retained Carle and traded Coburn,
instead of chasing after FA who wanted to sign in elsewhere.
Would prefer to trade Coots to Laughton, Laughton is a better skater.

Carle would have been cheaper in assets than to trade for Yandle.
Carle would have been good as a 2nd pairing PMD.
All PMD turn over the puck. so I do not get all the hate he generates.
Carle might have resigned here cheaper than what he got in TB.

Bad planning by front office - now might have to trade Coots.
Carle is horrible. He was an absolute disaster in Tampa this year. Tampa fans, although probably reactionary, were calling to buy him out already. at 3.5 million he was a nice addition on this team, at 5.5 he is a liability.

Also Ryan Suter was the prized free agent on the market. We all would have been pissed if the Flyers didn't try to get him. He is the PMD you are so desperatly after, yet you fault Homer for chasing him. DLEED said he heard that Suter wanted to play west, well he really isn't too far west. I could have said he wasn't coming here, you know why, because I have a much higher chance of being right than wrong. It's not that difficult for people to do that. 1-30 chance you have. The Flyers were in discussions to re-sign Carle, but his agent was wanting too much. The Flyers made the right move there no doubt.

You want the Flyers to draft a defenseman every 4 years or so, what if that defenseman doesn't pan out? Then you will complain that Holmgren picked the wrong player. People can't keep trying to explain this to you, you must select BPA no matter what position. It is for the better of the organization. Look at some recent drafts and reaches. Thomas Hickey is one. There are many other, teams that draft for needs usually end up with the wrong end of the stick. I am not ruling out drafting a defender, but if a player is there the Flyers feel will have a better career over one of the defenseman i this draft class, you take him. No matter what this organization needs. Also we need any high end potential players coming into this team at all positions. We have a horrible farm system, and need to replenish that, at all positions.

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05-26-2013, 05:12 PM
  #70
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Yup, by winning 7 of our last 8 games when we were out of the playoffs we went from having the #4 pick to the #11 pick. Not that I wanted us to tank the end of the season but ask my kids, I was actually rooting AGAINST us. I was praying for us to have a top 5 pick this year and we ended up out of the top 10. That win streak at the end did nothing but hurt us for the future. Just plain pointles.
BC is right. We need to stop swapping out 25% or more of our starting lineup each year. There was a study a few years ago of all teams from the 4 major NA sports and it found that over a 20 year period only one team that changed it opening day roster by more than 25% fom the previous year even made the playoffs. Keep your core together and make minor tweeks, not major overhauls each year.

First and foremost we have to teach our forwards to play more responsible in the defensive zone even if it comes at the cost of some offense. The REAL problem with our defense is that we have one leader in the group (Timonen) four followers (chenn, Coburn, Grossmen and Mesz) and one questionmark (Gus). If Gus CAN lead a pairing then we aren't in too much trouble for next year. If he's not capable of leading a paring with Coburn then we are in serious trouble (remember in 09 we had the same problem and it wasn't fixed until we paid through the nose for Carle).

Bryz won't be bought out this year. He'll be given one more year to prove himself and if he's not playing the way we expect he'll be bought out next summer.

I hate being right when I see us doing really stupid things with the roster but a number of us wanted us to keep bob and just sign Vokoun for 2-3 years so we could properly groom Bob. I've been telling you guys for years that Carle wasn't nearly as bad as most on here thought and that we'd miss him when he was gone. It showed this year.

I sincerly hope that Gus can step up next year and lead the 2nd pairing. I think he's got the talent and is a decent PMD but I just don't know if he has the mentality to LEAD on the ice. Coburn clearly doesn't.

There is no easy fix for this team. We have both short term and long term holes staring us square in the face. Beyond that we MUST get better as ateam in the defensive zone. Schenn, Simmonds Voracek and Read could all benefit from a Ken Hitchcock to teach them how to be much better in the defensive zone.

That's ridiculous. If they played those games to lose than there would be serious problems with this team's character. I hate the whole "ruining the future" argument. You don't willingly lose games.

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05-26-2013, 10:29 PM
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That's ridiculous. If they played those games to lose than there would be serious problems with this team's character. I hate the whole "ruining the future" argument. You don't willingly lose games.
I'm not saying that weshould have thrown the games, just that it was a bad time to go on a god damned winning streak (ie- it didnt matter we were already done). If we'd played as horrible (or at least as eratic) as we had all season then we'd most likely be picking in the top 5.

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05-26-2013, 10:57 PM
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I don't think...this guy...knows what he's talking about.
Fair enough. I don't fancy myself a guru so I'm definitely willing to hear opposing opinions (assuming you've got one worth posting). How about you post a detailed rebuttal and give your opinion some credibility. Until you do that, calling me ignorant is just noise.

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He doesn't. He sounds like a WIP caller.
Perhaps I do sound like a WIP caller. Let me remind you that you're also just a guy on a message board, so I think we're on equal footing, yeah? At least we will be once you actually post something that could not have been posted by my 12 year old neighbor.

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05-26-2013, 11:25 PM
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I got patience but we got Holmgren who has no desire to pick a defensemen #1.
How do you know that?

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05-26-2013, 11:31 PM
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Overly harsh? More like not harsh enough. Take a look at his game. His puck handling skills have completely eroded. Even the simplest of defensive assignments and he turns it into a nightmare and the only consistency you can rely on with Coburn is inconsistency. For $4.5 million a year, I expect a hell of a lot more than what he brings to the table. And the fact that people continue to make excuses for the guy is what baffles me. For 20 to 25 games a year, he's an excellent defenseman. For another 20 to 25 games a year, he's solid player and then for the final 30, he's mediocre to terrible. Yet, I've never seen one player continually get a pass like Coburn because he's big and he can skate. He can't run a power play, he's not a lead pairing defenseman and I'm tired of "waiting for Coburn to come around." He is what he is - a mediocre 2nd pairing defenseman that looks better than what he really is because of the guys he's partnered with.
Thanks for taking the time to write a proper response and not just dismiss me as not knowing what I'm talking about.

I have to give some ground up in the debate when you bring up his salary. Coburn at $4.5 million looked a lot better before the cap roll-back. He needs to play as well as he did in 2011-2012 to be worth that money. But I think that's with in his reach.

I think you're almost right in saying Coburn isn't a lead pairing defender. He teases us with flashes at times that make us wonder we he can't be more than he is but . . . he can't run a power play, I'll grant you that point with out a fight. His puck distribution skills are average, I'll grant you that one too. He can rush the puck when he's forced, and can be pretty effective at gaining the zone when he does, but his otherwise limited play making skills sort of limit the usefulness of that. And no, he can't be trusted with a ton of decision making responsibility in a complicated system. He's a player with some firm limitations, definitely.

The issue at the heart of those criticisms, I feel, is his hockey sense. He does not have a high hockey IQ. But he still has a lot to work with to be an extremely useful player. He is big, extremely rangy, can play very physically, and unlike most big guys who can play in the corners and in front of the net, he's not a liability in transition defense (he's actually pretty good at it). He has the physical tools to play one-on-one defense against any type of forward and not be overmatched. You want a cerebral defender who can be super effective and opportunistic with in a system (ex. Mike Richards)? He's not that. You want a big athlete that you can send out on the ice and say "slow down their best player", Coburn is a very good guy for that role. That's not a #1D, but depending on the skill set of your #1, that could be a really nice #2. It's also worth noting that, like I said earlier, up until last season he has been the very best version of himself at the most important times. He was a force the year we went to the finals, absolutely tireless. Every play-offs he elevates his play.

I also object to the characterization of him as someone who only looks good because of the pairings he's on. He needs to be paired with the right guy for the reasons I listed above, sure. But that doesn't mean he only looks good when he's paired with a better player who can carry his water. I think in the 2011 season he made his biggest contribution to the team's success at any point in his career yet. He did it paired with Grossmann. Grossmann is not a better player than Coburn. The two worked well together for sure, but Grossmann would not have been able to shine if he was asked to cover more ice than he did. Coburn was given a consistent veteran partner and was not asked to contribute much beyond eating up hard minutes on D. He had his best season in that role.

Coburn had a ****** year last year, no doubt about it. But this is a guy who's been playing 25 minutes a night for play-off teams with mediocre goalies since he was 22, and taking tough minutes to boot. I would urge you to make a dispassionate and distanced assessment of him, with a bit longer memory. If we get rid of Coburn and he returns to form, I believe we will miss him dearly, especially when we see what some of our other defensemen look like playing his minutes.


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Once Laviolette simplified things defensively, the group improved. The fact it took 30+ games into the season to do that is what I'm scratching my head over, especially in a shortened season. With the changes that Holmgren made in the off season and the type of players he brought in, the easiest thing Laviolette could have done was run a simple defensive system. Instead, he tried to show everyone he was in charge and that his system was the right system. It was an unmitigated disaster.

I still have little faith that the club will improve defensively under Laviolette's watch. I just don't see the commitment to defense under his watch and that they need someone on the coaching to step up and get everyone on the same page defensively if Laviolette won't. That's where a Joe Mullen or Craig Berube need to step forward and start asserting the defensive aspect of the game if the head coach won't.
That's a fear of mine too. He's a big, assertive personality and that has been an effective leadership style in the past, but I hope it doesn't make him inflexible. I think Laviolette is a smart enough coach to see the x's and o's. I just hope he's not to stubborn to stop trying to fit a square peg into a round hole, system wise. Cam Ward isn't playing for us next season, we don't have the goalie we can lean on to play an unmodified version of his system, and our offense is good enough that we can still produce goals even if he dials it back a bit.

I'm still optimistic about this team's chances next year. Our goal tending concerns me more than our coaching.


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05-27-2013, 10:59 AM
  #75
DecadesofFutility
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How do you know that?
The only reason I say that is past practice.
The Flyers only draft Offensive players, Centers or Wings with #1 picks.
The only #1 pick defenseman I can remember is Sbisca.
And then he was quickly given up on and traded.
They must have no confidence that they can pick a blue chip defender if one was available.

Dougie Hamilton was available but we needed another center more.
Why I do not know???

I have no confidence this defense will improve with this FO running the draft.

Our only hope is to trade for #1 defenseman with some of our extra centermen.

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