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These last two games

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Old
11-17-2006, 10:47 AM
  #1
NathanFoley
 
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These last two games

A buddy of mine watched these last two games and commented that the Flyers looked pretty good. I figured I'd post my response here, too:

As you pointed out, you've seen their best games.

Forsberg played like he was sore last night - I wonder whether he'll retire soon. He also needs to stop taking dumb penalties late in games. That could have been a killer last night. Gagne has scored a lot of goals, but he should! Considering our record, I'd say he's doing roughly what I'd expect him to do statistically (he's a finisher, so his points and +/- go as the team goes while his goal scoring stays fairly consistent).

Randy Robataille is our best player right now (I died a little inside as I typed that). Sanderson and Umberger are next, along with the three top line guys. Then it's a steep drop-off. Meyer is even... he's also +5 in the past four games, so it's more a matter of his having improved recently than an indication of his overall consistency. Bear in mind too that he's seeing under 14 minutes per game of 5-on-5. That said, I agree - he's picked up his game and is looking like his old self. He's certainly better than anyone else on the blueline, other than Pitkanen.

Picard is a project. He's got the stink of Seidenberg about him.

Regarding Calder - when I realized he was scratched again last night I found myself wondering whether he's having difficulty playing well with such a snakebitten team. Then I remembered that we acquired him from Chicago... this should feel like home to him! Why isn't he playing like he did last year?

Carter and Richards have been dreadful, too. Richards is still skating around like a maniac, but he's looking decidedly more manic than maniacal these days. I worry that he's losing his **** in frustration. We'll just have to see how Carter is once he's healthy again, but these two guys aren't doing what they were supposed to do.

So while we've had two good wins in a row, we're still dead last in the league and WAY back from 14th in the East. We're approaching the quarter mark and it's already hard to see how we can make the playoffs this season.

Long story short - we have the worst overall defense (goaltending AND defensemen) in the league. Nothing will change until we've made roster changes, and Holmgren's hands are tied by Hatcher and Rathje's contracts. But then, it's not like we've got a bunch of young defensive talent waiting for these veterans to stand aside. Acquiring Toskala would be a positive start, but I honestly don't know what to hope for at this point.

Nathan

Feedback is welcome, as always!

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11-17-2006, 11:14 AM
  #2
FlyHigh
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I agree that the defense is in major trouble, but I think Nitty has played really well this year, it's not his fault that the guys in front of him aren't getting it done. How many NHL goalies make that save on Kopitar though?

A lot of our season hinges on Picard, Jonsson, and Meyer. If Meyer can get back to last year's form, Jonsson can become a top-4 guy, and Picard can become consistent, then we have a chance. However, I view this as a very long shot.

It's good to see the forwards starting to get warm though, if they score like they should, then we could cause teams some problems. We just don't have the defense right now though. Picard can turn into a top-4 and I think Jonsson can too, but right now, Pitkanen is the only legit top-4 d-man that we have on the team.

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11-17-2006, 12:26 PM
  #3
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freddie meyer is garbage. Picard has a shot and can skate much better than siedenberg. Agreed that RJ and Sanderson have been our best. Forsberg is coughing the puck up too much and was the cause of 2 goals last night. Gags has been good for at least the last 5 games, still though without secondary scoring and some PP production this team is done.

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11-17-2006, 01:11 PM
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Freddy Meyer is garbage?

He's not a superstar, but he's a fine player with streaks of great play. Last year Jones was the whipping boy who had no business in the league, this year he's outplayed most of the D. That's got more to do with how bad the D has played than how good he is, but he's fine as well.

The biggest problem is they need veteran leadership on the blueline who can still play(Dejardins would be great in that role, oh well) and a goaltender who isn't a midget. Esche needs a better D in front of him to be effective and he'll never be considered great, but Niity is just too short to be the solution in net. Play all the solid D you want in front of him, but in the end a shot over either shoulder has too good a chance to go in. Midgets just don't win Stanley Cups.

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11-17-2006, 01:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NathanFoley View Post
Carter and Richards have been dreadful, too.
Considering Richards has 4 assists in the last 3 games and Carter hasn't played at all, I'm trying to figure out where you are getting that they have been dreadful in the last few games as you say

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11-17-2006, 03:15 PM
  #6
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Forsberg had a great game against the ducks, and a solid one last night. Last night wasnt quite as good as the previous game, but it was a back to back game. His best two games this season were wed night, and the atlanta game, both came after missing a game. Id love to see him play consistantly the way he did wednesday night, doing things like that goal, it would really boost this team.

Gags has been awesome the past two games, i love what im seeing from him. Hes using his speed and skill to help create chances, and hes finishing the ones he gets. Knuble is being his consistant self.

I am sick of hearing people bash richards. I dont care that he has no goals, he has busted his *** every game this year. While hes not scoring, hes creating chances, and alot of them, and is starting to get assists with people finishing. His physical play and effort has been great, and he'll drop the gloves to give his team a boost.

Sanderson, Umberger and Robataille have been providing the secondary scoring the team lacked last year. Eager, grant, kane, and kaps have provided good energy out there.

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11-17-2006, 03:33 PM
  #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NathanFoley View Post
Forsberg played like he was sore last night - I wonder whether he'll retire soon. He also needs to stop taking dumb penalties late in games. That could have been a killer last night. Gagne has scored a lot of goals, but he should! Considering our record, I'd say he's doing roughly what I'd expect him to do statistically (he's a finisher, so his points and +/- go as the team goes while his goal scoring stays fairly consistent).
Forsberg played like a guy playing a back to back who had not skated in a week. I find with Forsberg that whenever he's off for a little while, there's a bit of a conditioning issue off the bat, but slowly he gets back into 100% game shape. He played well in both games and that play on the goal line should put to rest some of the questions about his desire to lead this team. A guy who gets injured when the wind blows was down on his knees playing goal, give the guy some props.

Gagne has been looking better the last two games, like he actually wants to win. He's been digging in the corners, trying to make plays with the pucks, I like it. He'll always get his goals and I'm happy with his production for the most part.

Quote:
Originally Posted by NathanFoley View Post
Randy Robataille is our best player right now (I died a little inside as I typed that). Sanderson and Umberger are next, along with the three top line guys. Then it's a steep drop-off. Meyer is even... he's also +5 in the past four games, so it's more a matter of his having improved recently than an indication of his overall consistency. Bear in mind too that he's seeing under 14 minutes per game of 5-on-5. That said, I agree - he's picked up his game and is looking like his old self. He's certainly better than anyone else on the blueline, other than Pitkanen.
The signings of Robitaille and Sanderson would look brilliant right now if we were in first place or at least in the playoffs, but I agree they are pretty good players for us right now and I hope it keeps up. They are the "new NHL" type of players that we need here. Meyer is looking better after being scratched for a few games, I agree.

Quote:
Originally Posted by NathanFoley View Post
Picard is a project. He's got the stink of Seidenberg about him.
While every young defenseman not named Phaneuf is a 'project', Picard does not have the stink of Seidenberg about him. He's very young and has been thrown into a very tough situation and I think he's doing quite well given the circumstance.

Quote:
Originally Posted by NathanFoley View Post
Carter and Richards have been dreadful, too. Richards is still skating around like a maniac, but he's looking decidedly more manic than maniacal these days. I worry that he's losing his **** in frustration. We'll just have to see how Carter is once he's healthy again, but these two guys aren't doing what they were supposed to do.
If being injured and putting up three assists last night, respectively, equals "dreadful", then I'll take dreadful any day of the week. Richards has been our most consistent performer all year, he's finally being rewarded for it (and we're seeing that he's more of a playmaker than a goal scorer as some of us have suggested all along). He now has 8 assists on the year which is pretty good considering how long it took him to get the first one. I don't even know how you can call Carter dreadful when he's been hurt for a while now and before he was hurt he put up a goal and 4 assists in not many games.

Quote:
Originally Posted by NathanFoley View Post
So while we've had two good wins in a row, we're still dead last in the league and WAY back from 14th in the East. We're approaching the quarter mark and it's already hard to see how we can make the playoffs this season.
If they put together a nice winning streak, they can be back in the playoffs by Christmas. If they don't, they don't. But the opportunity is still there. Calgary turned their season around quite nicely, I think we can do the same.

Quote:
Originally Posted by NathanFoley View Post
Long story short - we have the worst overall defense (goaltending AND defensemen) in the league. Nothing will change until we've made roster changes, and Holmgren's hands are tied by Hatcher and Rathje's contracts. But then, it's not like we've got a bunch of young defensive talent waiting for these veterans to stand aside. Acquiring Toskala would be a positive start, but I honestly don't know what to hope for at this point.
I finally agree with you. The defense is terrible. But with an improved defense, you have to hope that Niittymaki will be better (just look at his performance on team Finland - that defense got him MVP honours). The hard part is improving this defense. I'm starting to think Hatcher and Rathje will never be moved. Watching Rathje play especially, how could any sane person think he can still play and be effective in this league? It doesn't make any sense.

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11-17-2006, 09:36 PM
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I'm wondering if the team is getting ready to start the midseason tear it usually goes on. It started roughly the same time last year and they didn't hit the wall until mid/late January. If we can somehow stay healthy, they might just pull off the unthinkable and then instead of having to gut the team completely in the offseason, we can then just get rid of the deadweight and bring in proper components.

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11-17-2006, 11:14 PM
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freddie meyer is garbage. Picard has a shot and can skate much better than siedenberg. Agreed that RJ and Sanderson have been our best. Forsberg is coughing the puck up too much and was the cause of 2 goals last night. Gags has been good for at least the last 5 games, still though without secondary scoring and some PP production this team is done.
Freddy Meyer has played very well - not sure what you have been watching

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Old
11-18-2006, 03:09 PM
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I have never seen two teams look worse than I did in the ducks game--the ducks in the first period and the flyers in the next two. I don't think anyone should be encouraged by their play vs. the ducks. They were brutal.

A win vs. the Kings? Probably one of the few teams that play worse defensively than the flyers in the entire league. A come from behind win vs. the Kings? Big deal. 4 pts are 4 pts, but if they continue playing that way, those will be the last points they will get in awhile.

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11-18-2006, 05:08 PM
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I have never seen two teams look worse than I did in the ducks game--the ducks in the first period and the flyers in the next two. I don't think anyone should be encouraged by their play vs. the ducks. They were brutal.

A win vs. the Kings? Probably one of the few teams that play worse defensively than the flyers in the entire league. A come from behind win vs. the Kings? Big deal. 4 pts are 4 pts, but if they continue playing that way, those will be the last points they will get in awhile.
Big deal? Do you know how huge it is to score 11 goals in two games for this inept team? It's a huge deal, I don't care who the competition is.

It gives them confidence. It inspires them to believe that they can win games against anyone. If they believe in themselves, they'll continue to improve.

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11-18-2006, 06:50 PM
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Originally Posted by Storm in a Teacup View Post
Big deal? Do you know how huge it is to score 11 goals in two games for this inept team? It's a huge deal, I don't care who the competition is.

It gives them confidence. It inspires them to believe that they can win games against anyone. If they believe in themselves, they'll continue to improve.
I understand what you are saying, but it is one thing to gain confidence it is another thing to be delsional. This roster is terribly insufficient and unless someone wants some of the scrub the flyers have to offer they are stuck as bottom dwellers.

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11-18-2006, 07:09 PM
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I understand what you are saying, but it is one thing to gain confidence it is another thing to be delsional. This roster is terribly insufficient and unless someone wants some of the scrub the flyers have to offer they are stuck as bottom dwellers.
No one is delusional. It is very possible that this team, who we know should be able to score goals but not stop them, could get in the playoffs.

This roster, when healthy, really only has two major flaws, and they are both jackass defensemen.

If this team can start scoring consistently, as Jester has been preaching for over a month now, they can win more games than they lose. If the defense can be tweaked and at least one of those pylons removed, then this team has an even better chance than we think. They just need to keep scoring, that's all.

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11-18-2006, 07:46 PM
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Originally Posted by willien View Post
I have never seen two teams look worse than I did in the ducks game--the ducks in the first period and the flyers in the next two. I don't think anyone should be encouraged by their play vs. the ducks. They were brutal.

A win vs. the Kings? Probably one of the few teams that play worse defensively than the flyers in the entire league. A come from behind win vs. the Kings? Big deal. 4 pts are 4 pts, but if they continue playing that way, those will be the last points they will get in awhile.
they have a ways to go, but putting up goals is a HUGE change from what they've been doing of late. can't poo poo on that regardless of who they're playing, they've been completely incompetent in how they go about scoring goals (at a statistically improbable level, which is why you knew it was going to improve if one is probabilistically inclined in how they view sports).

a come behind win for a team that had made a habit of COMPLETELY collapsing when anything went against them thus far in the season is huge.

and yes, as Storm says, this team just needs to start scoring. we will NEVER be a good defensive team with the current roster. we're too young across the board and not good enough on the back-end. we don't have a solid shutdown dman, which completely eliminates the ability to be a tough team defensively...

if the kids start scoring, vastly different team. just looking at it from a raw numbers perspective, i was penciling Umberger and Calder in at 25ish+ for this club, and Carter at 30+... we haven't gotten it yet. can't win without your supposed scoring not being there.

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11-18-2006, 08:16 PM
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Originally Posted by sickamore View Post
Freddy Meyer is garbage?


The biggest problem is they need veteran leadership on the blueline who can still play(Dejardins would be great in that role, oh well) and a goaltender who isn't a midget. Esche needs a better D in front of him to be effective and he'll never be considered great, but Niity is just too short to be the solution in net. Play all the solid D you want in front of him, but in the end a shot over either shoulder has too good a chance to go in. Midgets just don't win Stanley Cups.
He is 6'1. Cam Ward is 6'1. Kipprussof is 6'1. Hasek is 6'1. Hell even a midget would play better then Esche has at somepoints this season. Your argument in ********.

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11-18-2006, 08:35 PM
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He is 6'1. Cam Ward is 6'1. Kipprussof is 6'1. Hasek is 6'1. Hell even a midget would play better then Esche has at somepoints this season. Your argument in ********.
I guess he is, never looked it up. He looks much smaller out there, especially when there's so much net to shoot at, but I guess he's taller than I thought. Hard to believe a guy that tall could look so small out there. Maybe it's all the net he doesn't cover. Maybe he's got extremely long legs and a short body so being a butterfly goaltender leaves him vulnerable up top because there is so much net to shoot at above his pads, and next to him. Maybe he's just a skinny Esche, since Esche is also 6'1 and looks so much bigger than him, plus their stats have usually been pretty close.

So your argument is he is the answer in net?

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11-18-2006, 09:07 PM
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I guess he is, never looked it up. He looks much smaller out there, especially when there's so much net to shoot at, but I guess he's taller than I thought. Hard to believe a guy that tall could look so small out there. Maybe it's all the net he doesn't cover. Maybe he's got extremely long legs and a short body so being a butterfly goaltender leaves him vulnerable up top because there is so much net to shoot at above his pads, and next to him. Maybe he's just a skinny Esche, since Esche is also 6'1 and looks so much bigger than him, plus their stats have usually been pretty close.

So your argument is he is the answer in net?
Neither Niittymaki or Esche is the answer in net. However, goaltenders like Brodeur just don't become available overnight. With that being said, I'm more than comfortable with Nitty being the starter. The only thing I worry about is if he's doing more damage to his hip by not getting the surgery done. Yes, it's only the labrum, but with that being said, hip injuries can become a hockey player's worst nightmare. I'm more worried about degenerative hip conditions developing.

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