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2005-06 Post-mortem: Catastrophic Failure

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05-02-2006, 11:00 PM
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GKJ
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2005-06 Post-mortem: Catastrophic Failure

Let's make no bones about what happened this season. Sure we had all the injuries, but from front office down to the rookies (in the playoffs). This season was nothing but a total epic failure. It was encouraging to see the kids play important roles, but truth be told, this team was supposed to be a contender and if it wasn't by the grace of God that Forsberg got to run around for 2 games, we were looking at a sweep. I say, we look at the pros and cons to this season, and learn from everything.

+
*emergence of rookies, Mike Richards was supposed be a 4th liner and often he had to step in to more important roles including the top center. Carter started the year with mono, but developed into a solid 2nd line center, and RJ Umberger didn't even start the season with the team. Freddy Meyer came out of nowhere to possibly be our most poised defenseman later in the season. We all had a pretty good idea that Niittymaki would be a solid backup, and then some. He got plenty of experience to the point where he will be given an opportuinity to be the starter nest season. He is as cool as a cucumber and is seldom flustered. Ben Eager has made Donald Brashear expendable, even if Eager doesn't stick all season with the Flyers next year. He has shown he can and will be an asset whether it is here or somewhere else.

*checking line players, Michal Handzus, while not producing as much offensively, proved that the new NHL has not made him an ineffective pylon even though he very well could be the slowest skater in the league. Brian Savage takes a beating here, but I think he clearly got better during the season and developed into a more solid role player instead of trying to score and then fade to the 4th line. I think the PK really got jump started when he was given more minutes out there and I think Savage should be brought back, I feel that, all Mr. October jokes aside, he can be a solid team player. Branko Radivojevic, I think he might get traded before we talk playoff hockey again, but I think he is a solid guy who brings a lot of energy and was one of the few guys who could keep up with fast skaters, being that he is fast himself. He does have a scoring touch, he hasn't been given a great opportunity to show it. Niko Dimitrakos is a similar kind of player.

*the top line - what else needs to be said. We get to have Forsberg for 1 more year and that's most likely it for him. We know how good he is. Simon Gagne's goal total doubled and Mike Knuble had carreer highs in points. If only some support can be given to that line.

*Robert Esche - if anything we can say he is not a soft goalie, even though he doesn't always have a great game. I think he could bring something in a trade, and I wouldn't be opposed to that, but he showed that by himself, he isn't a major weak link on the team.


-
*leadership/character - I think this is the most important issue. When Keith Primeau went out, no one stepped up to really be a true leader on the team. It's not really Peter Forsberg's forte but he did it in the playoffs with his play on the ice. Even when the game was 5-0 and 7-1 he was still trying to make some plays (along with a few other players). I have to say though - Derian Hatcher has to absolutely be the worst captain this team has ever had. Keith Primeau would have slapped the **** out of anyone who didn't show up tonight. I think this just shows how important Primeau is to the team, and how much we need to have character players who know how to win. When this team went to the finals we had guys like Joel Otto and Shjon Podein who didn't know any better but to play defense. We need to get veteran guys like that back in here.

*defense - Derian Hatcher was a pylon as expected. Mike Rathje played most of the season hurt. Kim Johnsson has been out since January. Joni Pitkanen and Eric Desjardins both missed significant time, and once the season wore on were not nearly as effective as they were earlier this year. Desjardins' time might be done, I bring him back as a 7th defenseman and I think he's willing to do that

*consistency -injuries have a lot to do with this, but while we were hit the worst, there isn't a team right now that isn't hurting. This team was still good enough to overcome, and had plenty of time to compensate for not having Primeau or Johnsson. Regardless, we let rookies stay on our 2nd line, which is great for experience, but if you're gonna leave players like we had on our 2nd line, you better be damn sure they produce.

*deadline acquisitions - did nothing. Petr Nedved was misused in his role, only because we had no one else to be the shut down center. Niko Dimitrakos did better than he did in San Jose, but he is not a 2nd line player, but I liked him even when he was with the Sharks. Denis Gauthier threw himself around the ice, his job was to be physcial and other the episodes with Dumont and Vanek the only time I ever noticed him on the ice was when Buffalo scored. His game suits the Flyers, unfortunetaly the playoffs don't suit his type of game unless he can become a solid player. Some of the teams still in the playoffs are there for a reason (Oilers, Ducks, Carolina are the prime examples)

*coaching - it was as bad as we've seen it for this season. Hitchcock got owned up and down the ice by Lindy Ruff and his soundbytes had no effect on the team. It's almost as if he was tuned out -- I watched this happen once already this season in LA. It seems like the team did the opposite of what he said they were going to accomplish. I would not be suprised either way if he was let go or brought back, but one thing is for sure he has to be better next year if he's back.

*lofty expecations with lack of experince in prominent roles - Like I said, if you're going into the playoffs with rookies on the 2nd line, they better produce. If anything, getting blown out in your own barn will sting all summer for these guys. When Forsberg signed, the expectations of 'Cup or Bust' were very realistic

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05-02-2006, 11:03 PM
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sorry but i kind of LOL'd at the thread title

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05-02-2006, 11:08 PM
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BringBackStevens
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i wouldn't go as far as saying this is catastrophic failure, because if you told me wed play most the season without primeau and johnsson, i don't think i would predict us to go very far.

that said, very solid post all around.

at least we have a fairly bright future.

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05-02-2006, 11:08 PM
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Damnit I was actually hopin the flyers would have hung in for a while longer, I turn 21 and wanted to go to a game, but NOooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo

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05-02-2006, 11:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by go kim johnsson 514
...Joel Otto and Shjon Podein who didn't know any better but to play defense. We need to get veteran guys like that back in here.

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05-02-2006, 11:13 PM
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mikedifr
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This game and game 2 were epic failures, however, I think people are blowing this a little more out of proportion then they should. Game one was very, very close, could have gone either way. Flyers win that game, its a different series. We won 2 games, extremlely close on a 3rd again a team that was the worst possible matchup for the Flyers. There is no excuse for the embarrassments in games 2 and 6, but the Flyers could have beat this team and should have, even playing as bad as they did. They lacked Primeau's leadership, they lacked the desire, and they need to tweak the roster a little. Give Clarke and Hitch a 2nd year to adjust to the new NHL and see if they can win something in what will most likely be Forsberg's last year in the NHL. If not, after next year get rid of everyone on the roster not named Gagne, Carter, Umberger, Richards, Eager, Pitkanen, Meyer, Nitty.

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05-02-2006, 11:29 PM
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We need to reshape the entire roster and possibly the coaching staff. I hope this team has a very different look next season.

I want Handzus, Kapanen, Johnsson, and Nedved gone.

I want to see Savage and Brashear resigned and Desjardins unless he wants much more than a 4th/5th defensemen.

Gagne- Forsberg - Knuble
Umberger - Carter - Dimitrakos
Brashear - Primeau - Savage
Eager/Potulny/Ellison - Richards - Radivojevic

That is without adding anyone.

Pitkanen - Rathje
Hatcher - Meyer
Gauthier - Desjardins

We can't do anything about the defense except deal with it. But by all means if one of Hatcher or Rathje can get traded I'm all for it.

We need Niittymaki to take over the reigns. I say get something worthwhile for Esche or keep him. Niittymaki needs to earn the #1 spot and for him to earn it he'll need to be pushed.

Hatcher needs to lose the C even if Primeau doesn't come back. He doesn't deserve to wear it and never has in Philly.

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05-02-2006, 11:53 PM
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I agree with most of what you said, but I must focus on two points.

-- I whole-heartedly agree with you about Hatcher and Rathje. They stunk and really have no place in a faster, post-clutch and grab NHL.

-- I completely disagree with you about Esche. He was ridiculously weak in the series. He had, what, ONE good game? And two games where he gave up 5 goals on 10 and 17 shots each. Granted, defensive coverage played a huge role in about 80% of the goals, but he still gave up too many softies.

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05-03-2006, 12:34 AM
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I think what this team needs are specific role players. No more bouncing around players from line to line. We need to get rid of pairings and go with set lines from here on in. For instance, the number one line should be Gagne/Forsberg/Knuble. The second line should be Umberger/Carter/Free Agent signing. The third line should be Free Agent Signing/Richards/Free Agent signing and the fourth line should be Radivojevic/Handzus/Eager.

It's obvious the first three lines will be offensive catalyst lines and the fourth line would be a shut down line. As for the free agent signings, I'd like to see someone like Petr Sykora for the 2nd line and Mark Parrish and Jamie Langenbrunner for the third line with Richards.

As for defensemen, Desjardins really has to go. I don't even want him back as a number 7. He's done and his play this year was evident of that. I'd love to see Danny Markov back. I think the whole Russia thing was completely blown out of proportion. I know that the other thing with Markov was that he was going to seek compensation during the lockout because he played through the playoffs with broken feet and he still hadn't healed by the time training camp started. I think, more than anything, Markov was speaking out of frustration with what was going on with CBA talks and seeing how some players were taking advantage of getting their contracts paid out while claiming injuries that were faint or were marginal at best. Another defenseman I'd like to see us take a run at would be Pavel Kubina or Jay McKee.

As for goaltending, I think it's time we say good bye to Robert Esche. Maybe someone can confirm this, but is he signed for another year or is he a UFA?

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05-03-2006, 12:50 AM
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Players that need to be gone are:

DESJARDINS - How many turnovers did he have that resulted in goals for the Sabres, wwwwaaaayyyyy to many. He's too slow and can't keep up. I wouldn't sign him as a seven defenseman, he just needs to retire.

BRASHEAR - There is no need for a goon in the new NHL. Give his role to Eager, he's faster, younger and has alot more talent, he's not just a goon.

SAVAGE - Just let old stone hands walk. Anyone from the Phantoms will be better than him, plus Potulny will have his spot since he only has a oneway contract, cant play for the Phantoms.

NEDVED - He is just horrible, just like Desjardins he need to retire.

HANDZUS - I love what he brings to the table but he would be good trade bait. Maybe trade him along with Esche to move up in the draft.

ESCHE - It's time to give the starting job to Niittymaki. Tade him along with Handzus at the draft to move up.

KAPANEN
- I love what he brings to the table but its time to let him go. Bring up Ruzicka or sign a free agaent too score some goals.

PRIMEAU - Hasn't really played hockey in three years. How healthy would he really be. Just like Lindros he's a hit away. Don't need him handcuffing Clarke again if he gets injured with trying to comeback. He should just retire.

JOHNSON - The same problem as Preems, how healthy can he stay. Let him walk and go after Redden. Johnson is gonna want a raise and I rather spend the money on a better defenseman.

HITCH - Granted his hands were tied with who he had to coach, but we need a coach that wouldn't mind playing rookies and let them play through their mistakes. That's the only way they learn. We need an offensive minded coach to survive in the new NHL.

CLARKE - We'll never win a cup with him building a team that is huge and slow. The days of playing like goons are over. SPEED KILLS, just look at the series.
Unfortunately for us, as long as Snider has a breathe in him, Clark won't go.

We are stuck with Hatcher and Rathje for the next few years unless they retire or another team wants them.



Gagne- Forsberg - Knuble
Umberger - Carter - Dimitrakos
F/A - Richards - Ruzicka
Eager - Potunly - Radivojevic

Pitkanen - Rathje
Hatcher - F/A hopefully Redden
Gaithier - Meyer

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05-03-2006, 01:00 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by go kim johnsson 514
When this team went to the finals we had guys like Joel Otto and Shjon Podein who didn't know any better but to play defense. We need to get veteran guys like that back in here.

Yeah...Podes. And Trent Klatt!

Also, game 5 of the quarterfinals in 1997 was on tonight. It was nice to watch.

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05-03-2006, 01:35 AM
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Somewhat OT, but I wanted to thank all the great Flyer fans for engaging in classfull and intelligent banter throughout the series. I've come to respect many of you. Hopefully, Buffalo and Philadelphia will meet at some point in next season's postseason. If Hatcher, Rathje, and Desjardins are still Flyers, I'd LOVE it if they met.

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05-03-2006, 01:51 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mikedifr
This game and game 2 were epic failures, however, I think people are blowing this a little more out of proportion then they should. Game one was very, very close, could have gone either way. Flyers win that game, its a different series. We won 2 games, extremlely close on a 3rd again a team that was the worst possible matchup for the Flyers. There is no excuse for the embarrassments in games 2 and 6, but the Flyers could have beat this team and should have, even playing as bad as they did. They lacked Primeau's leadership, they lacked the desire, and they need to tweak the roster a little. Give Clarke and Hitch a 2nd year to adjust to the new NHL and see if they can win something in what will most likely be Forsberg's last year in the NHL. If not, after next year get rid of everyone on the roster not named Gagne, Carter, Umberger, Richards, Eager, Pitkanen, Meyer, Nitty.

totally agree. This team lacked leadership. Bottom line.
to totally get embarassed in game 6 especially on home ice was disgracefull. No heart, no desire no nothing. Buffalo got that 3rd goal and the team packed it in. Absoultly disgracefull and sickening. I dont think there is enough adjetives you can come up with. There is no excuse at all that this team can get waxed 7-1 on home ice facing elimination.
I am all for dealing Esche. its time to go. Maybe we can bring in a guy like Roloson or another veteran netminder for 1 or 2 seasons until Niittymaki is ready. Just dont think Frank is quite ready to be the #1 guy.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jimmyboehiem
Somewhat OT, but I wanted to thank all the great Flyer fans for engaging in classfull and intelligent banter throughout the series. I've come to respect many of you. Hopefully, Buffalo and Philadelphia will meet at some point in next season's postseason. If Hatcher, Rathje, and Desjardins are still Flyers, I'd LOVE it if they met.
you guys definitly deserve to win. Buffalo was the better team no doubt. I cannot deny that, which is why I a not totally pissed off. Buffalo was the better team in every facet of the game and they deserve to be moving on.

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05-03-2006, 02:17 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by flyersfan21
Gagne- Forsberg - Knuble
Umberger - Carter - Dimitrakos
F/A - Richards - Ruzicka
Eager - Potunly - Radivojevic

Pitkanen - Rathje
Hatcher - F/A hopefully Redden
Gaithier - Meyer
i agree with some of your post, but not with others....first off, give hitch and clarke another year...this spanking should teach them that the "new NHL" is here, if they don't figure it out, they walk

as for these lines, the problem i see lies in experience...this is a rebuild roster....these lines will not yield philly a cup next year, the year after that, and probably not the year after either....we need to decide which route to take, do we try to win next season, or hold off until the carter, richards, umberger era is ready to take over the team, which may be a few years out

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05-03-2006, 05:38 AM
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Iíll put in my 2 cents for what it is worth.

1) The need a top pair d-man who stays healthy, stakes, can play big mins in all roles. 5 on 5, pk, and pp. He needs to have a big shot from the point to keep the opponent honest. He needs to take the pressure off Hatcher and Rathje from playing too many mins so they are fresh and healthy for the end of the season.

2) They need a couple of forward who can really skate, tenacious fore checkers, are aggressive like sharks smelling blood attaching the puck, responsible defensively, play on the #1 pk unit, and net a few goals.

3) Somebody to win face-offs!

4) A #1 goalie that makes the big save. Esche or Niity needs to step up or they need to trade one to get the guy.

5) The kids to take a big step forward in development, using this years experience. This is physically, mentally, and emotionally. They need to be consistently productive in their roles.

6) Leadership & consistent effort.

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05-03-2006, 05:56 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kylez19
i wouldn't go as far as saying this is catastrophic failure, because if you told me wed play most the season without primeau and johnsson, i don't think i would predict us to go very far.
The Flyers were afforded the opporunity to get help when they lost Primeau and Johnsson. They brought in a few players. We went out in round 1.


When you sign a player the caliber of Peter Forsberg, you are an instant cup contender and anything short is a failute.


The fact they went out in round 1 and the way they lost was absolutely devestating

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05-03-2006, 06:04 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by YanickDupre
Yeah...Podes. And Trent Klatt!

Also, game 5 of the quarterfinals in 1997 was on tonight. It was nice to watch.
Don't forget about Manderville, Ranheim and Jody Hull. Those are Clarkie's kind of players.

Can I also add that the television broadcast team has to go as well? One good thing about the Flyers being done is that I don't have to listen to the ramblings of Steve Coates.

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05-03-2006, 06:51 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pelts35.com
Don't forget about Manderville, Ranheim and Jody Hull. Those are Clarkie's kind of players.
No -- they were stiffs.



I'm talking about players who have seen the battles and won wars in the playoffs. When we got Joel Otto that was his job, he knew his role because he was that type of player his whole carreer. You win Cups with guys like him and wouldn't ya know it, which is probably why Otto has one.

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05-03-2006, 10:53 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by go kim johnsson 514
Let's make no bones about what happened this season. Sure we had all the injuries, but from front office down to the rookies (in the playoffs). This season was nothing but a total epic failure. It was encouraging to see the kids play important roles, but truth be told, this team was supposed to be a contender...
Good post GKJ. Thanks for taking the time.

My two issues:

1. Until he hurt his knee(s), Hatcher was most assuredly NOT a pylon:

http://sports.yahoo.com/nhl/players/...6.wDadJj5ivLYF

2. The team WAS a contender until injuries struck. The cliche says everyone is banged up at this time of the year, but is it true? We should watch wire for surgeries. Hatcher, Rathje, and Kappy will all get the knife this summer. I suspect Forsberg as well. And the Sabres?

The record shows the Flyers atop the league until injuries to 44 and 37 forced extra ice onto 3 and 2 which then led to injuries to 3 and 2 and somewhere in there 5 was lost for the year. All of which led directly to the catastrophe.

Before injuries struck, they were atop the league. They WERE a contender.

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05-03-2006, 01:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pelts35.com
Don't forget about Manderville.
Where is he anyway? I always pulled for that guy to score a damn goal.

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05-03-2006, 02:56 PM
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The fact that Forsberg is going to be here next year means that we have to go for it big time. We have a lot of rookies that i would love to see in the mix. But we need to hold a few off and have three lines that can score and are fast with an energy line as the fourth that can shut down, sound familiar? I think that we need to find a skiller forward to play with Carter and umberger so that line is big time threat. then have dimi, poltuny and eager as the third line then primeau radio and richards ahs the shut down line. s far as D Rico is done but Rathje and Hatcher are still very good, once the arent injuried there wont be a problem. Johnson is a question mark so assume out for now

Overall. We need to get two dmen and sign a scoring/assitsing winger, resign Gagne and then let the rookies come in. Nitty should be the starter with Esche a the backup. Trade Esche at the dealing for improvemnts. I LOVE zues but he cant be here either unless he can regain his O ability.


Look at the teams left. Ottawa, Carolina, Buffalo, New Jersy. Sanjose, Edmonton, Colorado, Anahiem? ALL of those teams have a good to great offence with depth and great speed. We need to follow. I say keep Hitch and Clarke. I think that if Hitch works on a new plan over the summer he can come up with a great team theat uses the speedy players and has offesvie abiluty.

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05-03-2006, 03:28 PM
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The biggest thing i noticed was a lack of Character...as much as nobody wants to admit it, we probably would have been a different team with Mark Recchi and Jeremy Roenick on the team. Yes their old and probably not suited for the new NHL but the one thing they both bring to the table, character.

The locker room for this team looked to be no fun, no one was ever caught smiling, when Jeremy Roenick was around he made the locker room fun.

Im not saying we should have given him his previous role, but i would have taken Jeremy Roenick over Brian Savage, and Branko Radiovojovic.

Hate it or love it, its the truth....this team lacked leadership and character.

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05-03-2006, 03:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kylez19
i wouldn't go as far as saying this is catastrophic failure, because if you told me wed play most the season without primeau and johnsson, i don't think i would predict us to go very far.
That definitely would have surprised me. I viewed the Flyers as a team that could withstand injuries to a couple of players.

GKJ nailed it in the sense that he identified mutliple problems for the team. Because of the defense and the goaltenbding, it probably never was quite the powerhouse many (including Vegas oddsmakers) thought it was. Both are flawed. Factor in the injuries and what appear to be some coaching problems, and you have a presumed Stanley Cup favorite transformed to a 1st round patsy. Not good.

It'll be interesting to watch Clarke this summer.

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05-03-2006, 06:04 PM
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[QUOTE=The Ghost]The biggest thing i noticed was a lack of Character...as much as nobody wants to admit it, we probably would have been a different team with Mark Recchi and Jeremy Roenick on the team. Yes their old and probably not suited for the new NHL but the one thing they both bring to the table, character.


I agree with you about JR, but could you have imagine the backstabbing Recchi would have down this year. If would have been horrible. They would have been major problems in the locker room with Recchi.

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05-03-2006, 06:48 PM
  #25
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Join Date: Feb 2002
Location: Do not trade plz
Country: United States
Posts: 109,209
vCash: 5775
Quote:
Originally Posted by MjD0823
Where is he anyway? I always pulled for that guy to score a damn goal.


He's been with Timra of the Swedish Elitesiren the past 3 years

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