Monday, October 20, 2008

What's Wrong With the Flyers?


Philadelphia, a team with very high expectations, has gotten off to a miserable start so far in 2008-09. The Flyers have yet to win a game, as they are currently 0-3-2. What is keeping them out of the win column? Consider the following:
  • Philly's 4.31 GAA is 28th in the NHL, ahead of only Calgary and Dallas, who also are struggling in the standings.

  • The orange and black are getting outshot by seven shots on goal per game, an alarming margin for a team that is supposed to be a Cup contender.

  • The club with the second ranked power play last season has slipped to 25th, having scored only three PPG in their first five games.

  • Only the Phoenix Coyotes win a lower percentage of their faceoffs. Philly is abysmal at faceoffs, winning just 43.6% of their draws.

  • Rookie defenseman Luca Sbisa is playing like a rookie, having contributed no points while being -4 so far.
You can see that most of the problems are on defense. Sure, Biron and Niittymaki have not played well (Biron especially), but a major reason is bad defense. It certainly does not help that two of the projected top six defenders, Randy Jones and Ryan Parent, are out for at least the first two months of the season. Nonetheless, I have two words for Flyers fans:

DON'T PANIC!

Let us remember that there are 77 games remaining, and there is plenty of time to turn it around. We should focus on the positives, such as Simon Gagne being back and scoring goals just like he did before his concussion problems. I still think the Flyers can win the Atlantic Division, but they need to start winning games soon if they want to achieve that goal. Here's to a quick turnaround, which hopefully will start Wednesday night at the Wachovia Center.

4 comments:

LeafsFanInOttawa said...

You tell me what's WRONG with the Flyers, then we'll both know.

Dewey said...

You may have seen the post before it was finished. Well, it's up there, so now you can see the answer to the question.

LeafsFanInOttawa said...

Oh, Haha k

Steve H. said...

Defense has been an issue. Really, other than Timonen, Briere, and Gagne, the rest of the team seems to be in a haze, as if summer hasn't quite worn off yet. Add to that the astoundingly horrendous play of Martin Biron thus far...that wrap-around goal against the Rangers is still one of the most lethargic attempts at a save I've seen in some time.

The injury bug hasn't helped, either.

Yes, there are 77 games left, but in today's NHL one of these early losses could come back to bite them. Panic? No. But they better start playing with some competitive intensity.

They might want to reconsider bringing back that Vengeance Now motto from last season.

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