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#44 sits for POs, #3 will play

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03-30-2004, 07:37 AM
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#44 sits for POs, #3 will play

Hitchcock will count on Mattias Timander to take more of the load even with Desjardins back in the lineup. Although Timander was originally considered a would-be seventh defenseman in the postseason, Hitchcock has seen the effect of a long season on rookie Joni Pitkanen.

"Joni is having the type of season you can expect from a 20-year-old NHL defenseman," said Hitchcock. "It’s been up and down. For any 20-year-old player it’s a long season. There’s no breath. Every game is hard and every game is competitive."

For that reason, Hitchcock indicated he’d give Pitkanen a breather or several in the postseason, giving Timander a fair share of the load. "Timander has been a pleasant surprise," said Hitchcock. "He’s been more than competitive."

Defensive reinforcements

I know some are not that big on Timander but as of late, I think he hasn't been playing too bad. He's been doing great just firing the puck on the penalty kill. He's not getting caught against the boards anymore. I think he may help us in the little ways come playoff time. Seidenberg will be available and Randy is staying with the Flyers for the time being as well.

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03-30-2004, 08:18 AM
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So much for relying on good Powerplay to score us goals in the playoffs. Now we can get excited to see them pass it around for 2 mins. Does anyone else think Kapanen at the point is a bad idea?

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03-30-2004, 08:35 AM
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I'm just wondering when exactly young players will be relied on to play in the playoffs. This is a bad decision, ESPICALLY if we play Ottawa or Tampa Bay. This just re-affirms my stance that the Flyers will lose to one of those teams and better hope they play each other at some point (although if the power play isn't working, the Flyers might not get that far.) I'm just wondering what exactly has been going on if these guys aren't resting when we have had TWO FIVE DAY BREAKS in late March, which is the ultimate blessing from the people who make the schedule.

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03-30-2004, 08:42 AM
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I've been thinking that this is a distinct possibility for a month now.

This is a HUGE, HUGE mistake by Hitchcock.

The PP, which has won us a ton of games this year, isn't nearly as effectife when Pitkanen is not on it.

Kapanen is serviceable, but doesn't come close to providing what Pitkanen does from the point.

When healthy the blue-line should look like this:

Markov-Desjardins
Timander-Johnsson
Pitkanen-Ragnarsson

Malakhov


If Hitch is sitting Pitkanen on the bench, I'm not nearly as confident heading into the playoffs.

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03-30-2004, 08:57 AM
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The kid has been playing bad as of late. He is getting beat numerous times in 1 on 1 coverage. There has been many instances where he looks like he is just lost. I wouldn't mind having Rico on the other point with a righthanded shot. Everyone knows that we don't have a right shot, they expect Joni to be there. Do you want him in there if he can't handle it?

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03-30-2004, 09:02 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by swflyers8
The kid has been playing bad as of late. He is getting beat numerous times in 1 on 1 coverage. There has been many instances where he looks like he is just lost. I wouldn't mind having Rico on the other point with a righthanded shot. Everyone knows that we don't have a right shot, they expect Joni to be there. Do you want him in there if he can't handle it?

Pitkanen can handle it.

He's been playing with Randy jones of late, who is just far too weak defensively, so at times the two of them get stuck in our end.

When Pitkanen played with Ragnarsson they were very very effective together.

You rotate Johnsson, Pitkanen and Desjardins as the 3 point men on the PP, depending upon who had been on the ice last.

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03-30-2004, 09:03 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John Flyers Fan
I've been thinking that this is a distinct possibility for a month now.

This is a HUGE, HUGE mistake by Hitchcock.

The PP, which has won us a ton of games this year, isn't nearly as effectife when Pitkanen is not on it.

Kapanen is serviceable, but doesn't come close to providing what Pitkanen does from the point.

When healthy the blue-line should look like this:

Markov-Desjardins
Timander-Johnsson
Pitkanen-Ragnarsson

Malakhov


If Hitch is sitting Pitkanen on the bench, I'm not nearly as confident heading into the playoffs.
I don't believe that Hitch will sit him EVERY game. I would think a game a series, maybe 2, depending on the situation. We know Hitch's MO, is to play veteran's.

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03-30-2004, 09:03 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by swflyers8
The kid has been playing bad as of late. He is getting beat numerous times in 1 on 1 coverage. There has been many instances where he looks like he is just lost. I wouldn't mind having Rico on the other point with a righthanded shot. Everyone knows that we don't have a right shot, they expect Joni to be there. Do you want him in there if he can't handle it?
I hope by 'the kid' you don't mean Joni Pitkanen. While not exceptional, he hasn't been close to bad.

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03-30-2004, 09:10 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John Flyers Fan
I've been thinking that this is a distinct possibility for a month now.

This is a HUGE, HUGE mistake by Hitchcock.

The PP, which has won us a ton of games this year, isn't nearly as effectife when Pitkanen is not on it.

If Hitch is sitting Pitkanen on the bench, I'm not nearly as confident heading into the playoffs.
Maybe I misread the article, but I don't see this as an indication that Hitch has already decided to sit Pitkanen. Rather, I think it's a statement that, if Pitkanen looks worse for the wear once the playoffs roll around, Timander may suit up. I'd like to think that would hold true with any player...it just stands out more with Pitkanen because he's a rookie. If Joni's playing well, Hitch isn't just going to arbitrarily plug Timander into the line-up...

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03-30-2004, 09:12 AM
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Originally Posted by Flyers26
I don't believe that Hitch will sit him EVERY game. I would think a game a series, maybe 2, depending on the situation. We know Hitch's MO, is to play veteran's.

Agreed, and it's a big mistake to sit the kid at all.

The kid can make plays that win games. he can create things that very few others can.

Also if Pitkanen is afraid that if I make a mistake, he may play too careful, which is the LAST thing that you want Pitkanen to be thinking.

It's fins to have defensive depth, and if Pitkanen is playing terrible (doubtful) to sit him out. It's quite another thing to voluntarily sit a weapon.

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03-30-2004, 09:13 AM
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pitkanen will play in the playoffs with no doubt. hitch might try to limit his ice time to keep him fresh and therfore more valuable on special teams.

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03-30-2004, 10:18 AM
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I love Pitkanen, but I think defensive zone coverage is more important then a PP presence come playoff time. Timmander has more expirience and is more reliable in his own end then Pitkanen. I can't see Pitkanen sitting all the games but to give him a few days off isn't such a bad idea.

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03-30-2004, 10:21 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GagsIsDaMan
I love Pitkanen, but I think defensive zone coverage is more important then a PP presence come playoff time. Timmander has more expirience and is more reliable in his own end then Pitkanen. I can't see Pitkanen sitting all the games but to give him a few days off isn't such a bad idea.

If our PP is bad, we'll have a quick playoff exit.

A very good PP is something that this team has been built on all season.

No coincidence that the PP has struggled of late, and the team is having trouble winning games.

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03-30-2004, 10:24 AM
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Quote:
I hope by 'the kid' you don't mean Joni Pitkanen. While not exceptional, he hasn't been close to bad.
I love Joni, don't get me wrong but he has had some big blunders. He doesn't want to get hit so he tries to avoid the check and ends up getting his bell rung. Then the past few games, he has been left looking for his jock strap because he couldn't keep up with his man. He doesn't want to play the physical style, as you saw on Saturday when he tried to avoid Kenny Johnsson's check and end up getting hurt. I'm sorry, but if that happens in the playoffs, it's going to lead to goals. I'll take Timander especially if Rico is in the lineup.

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03-30-2004, 10:26 AM
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I think the title of the thread here sort of overstates what Hitch is saying. Hitch is implying he is willing to give Pitkanen a rest in the playoffs because Timander has been playing well, and Pitkanen hasn't been.

First, Pitkanen needs a game or 2 off if possible before the playoffs.

Second, He has probably played to many games, more than he has ever before.

Third, We don't really know why Hitch made the statement. Maybe he wanted to keep Timander sharp in case he needs to play in the playoffs. Maybe he wanted to see what kind of drive Pitkanen has to play in the playoffs. Maybe he wants Pitkanen to know to pick up his play if he wants to stay in the lineup in the playoffs. Our injuries have kept defenseman in the lineup who may need to be challenged.

Fourth, a game or 2 off for Pitkanen in the playoffs, with the intensity that Pitkanen has never experienced before in his life, may be a good thing for him. I think I would sit Pitkanen game 1 of each series and then play him the rest. Watching how the intensity changes could be very beneficial to him.

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03-30-2004, 10:32 AM
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I think we can all agree its time we bring therien back

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03-30-2004, 10:46 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John Flyers Fan
When healthy the blue-line should look like this:

Markov-Desjardins
Timander-Johnsson
Pitkanen-Ragnarsson

Malakhov
If I'm not mistaken, doesn't Hitch like to dress 7 defensemen in the playoffs anyways? If that's true, then Joni will definitely play as I don't see Seidenberg or Jones getting played before him.

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03-30-2004, 10:49 AM
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Originally Posted by flyers guy
If I'm not mistaken, doesn't Hitch like to dress 7 defensemen in the playoffs anyways? If that's true, then Joni will definitely play as I don't see Seidenberg or Jones getting played before him.

No, just 6 will dress. 2 others will be with the team, but not dress.

12 forwards, 6 defenseman.

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03-30-2004, 11:10 AM
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Originally Posted by jplush76
I think we can all agree its time we bring therien back


I needed a good laugh today.

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03-30-2004, 02:54 PM
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Originally Posted by jplush76
I think we can all agree its time we bring therien back
sounds great as i hear the ladies washroom needs a pylon while the janitor mops the floor.

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03-30-2004, 04:33 PM
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He has seen a lot of ice time this year and is definitely feeling it. I think it would be a BIG mistake to sit him even for a few games, we need his offense!

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03-30-2004, 09:45 PM
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His play has tailed off of late. I can understand giving him a night off before the playoffs but not during. Maybe cut his 5 on 5 ice time down a bit with the addition of Desjardins - but for the love of Pete don't scratch him in the playoffs!!!

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03-31-2004, 01:54 PM
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Originally Posted by go kim johnsson
I'm just wondering when exactly young players will be relied on to play in the playoffs. ..
Never, never, never. As long as Hitchcock and Clarke run the ship, they will NEVER give young players a chance. They like old "seasoned" veterans. Frankly, I'm sick and tired of watching old, experienced players get thrown out of the playoffs every year in the 1st round by faster, younger teams.

Speed kills, experience really doesn't matter. In today's NHL, speed is the No. 1 form of intimidation and it is necessary to win the cup. The days of the dinosaur Dmen and thuggish F are over.

Just because a guy is 35 and played in the NHL for 14 years, it doesn't mean he will be able to outskate a 21 year old kid who can do laps around him before he crosses the neutral zone.

Perfect example of the Flyers bain for youth: Niityamaki, gave up 3 goals in 3 games. Then they get the geriatric, washed up G from Phoenix and give the job to him before Esche comes back.

I was very excited about the young guys Clarke was stockpiling. This year he got rid of quite a few young guys. I'm sure he will get rid of all of them before his trading finger is through. I now know that Clarke drafts young guys to trade them away for old guys whose best days are in the past.

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03-31-2004, 02:25 PM
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As long as Hitchcock and Clarke run the ship, they will NEVER give young players a chance. They like old "seasoned" veterans. Frankly, I'm sick and tired of watching old, experienced players get thrown out of the playoffs every year in the 1st round by faster, younger teams.
Look at the Wings and the "old" guys on their team. Our team has a mix of guys running things. Handzus is in his 20s along w/ KJ, Gags, Somik, Timander, Radio, Sharp, Markov & Esche. You need a mix of both.

Quote:
Perfect example of the Flyers bain for youth: Niityamaki, gave up 3 goals in 3 games. Then they get the geriatric, washed up G from Phoenix and give the job to him before Esche comes back.
Give me a break. The kid filled in wonderfully when he was needed. It is not his time yet. He knows it and has no problems with it at all. You need your backup to be ready if need be.

Quote:
I was very excited about the young guys Clarke was stockpiling. This year he got rid of quite a few young guys. I'm sure he will get rid of all of them before his trading finger is through. I now know that Clarke drafts young guys to trade them away for old guys whose best days are in the past.
Yes, they're all gone...........

1. Jeff Carter, C
2. Mike Richards, C
3. Antero Niittymäki, G
4. Patrick Sharp, C
5. Stefan Ruzicka, RW
6. Alexander Drozdetsky, RW
7. Rosario Ruggeri, D
8. Ben Eager, LW
9. Nikita Korovkin, D
10. Bernd Bruckler, G
11. Alexandre Picard, D
12. Mathieu Brunelle, LW
13. David Tremblay, G
14. Rejean Beauchemin, G
15. Randy Jones, D
16. Colin Shields, RW

If you're going to be so depressing about things, at least let it be about something that is true.

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