2011 Off-season Thread
So...now what? Goaltending was less than average throughout the majority of the playoffs, but the simple fact of why this team didn't win in the playoffs was they didn't play the way they did from Oct 26 to Feb 16 where they went 34-10-4. After that, they went 9-9-7.
They started the season 3-4-1...then figured out how to play some of the best hockey in the league for 48 games (34-10-4), and then pooped in the bed and rolled in it for the remaining 26 games going 9-9-7, giving up the top spot in the East, limping into the playoffs, and then almost getting beat by the 7 seed Sabres.
You'd think the dominant game they played in Game 7 to beat the Sabres would give them the momentum and motivation going into the second round against a team they struggled against this year and they came out as the definition of flat and never really got it going. They played solid in Game 2, but didn't get the job done in OT, then sucked in Games 3 & 4. So, the season is over.
What's the answer?
They were one of, if not the most dominant teams in the NHL for 48 games...with the same two goaltenders they took into the playoffs. Did the goaltenders have some soft games? Sure. But did the rest of the team leave them out to dry in several of them? Absolutely.
I don't think this is a coaching issue. I think the players need to look solely at themselves. Didn't help that they were missing Pronger for the playoffs and Carter for a few games.
A consistent veteran goaltender to mentor Bob couldn't help, but you don't get much better of a teammate than Boosh Bag.
I think Leino and Zherdev are two of the big question marks for UFAs. Boosh is on that list as well, but I can't see him coming back...not after game 3.
For as much as the Flyers dominate when they get the their forecheck going, there were way too many times I saw Zherdev, Leino, and Versteeg, all on different lines, try to walk the puck in and end up turning it over rather than dumping and chasing.
I'm hoping Versteeg is much better next year with a full Flyers training camp under his belt.
There isn't a chance Zherdev comes back and I hope he goes and tears it up on some other NHL team. I mean come on, Shelley over Zherdev in a must win game? It's terrible. I actually wasn't happy with the coaching staff at all. I think the Flyers all sort of lost it when Leighton started, especially Boosh. That shows how much the Flyers really trusted in Bob and Boosh. The guy had one awful game in the NHL all season, yet they think they have a better chance of winning with him in net compared to the two guys who got them where they were. They just didn't handle the goalie situation like they did in the season and I don't get why. I don't even want to talk about the PP, because obviously things needed to change and they didn't.
A big concern I have other than goaltending is Richards. He just simply didn't earn his paycheck in the playoffs and had a good, but another point drop of a season.
I think Leino's price tag will have to drop after how he played in the playoffs and it really makes me glad they didn't sign him to an extension during the season.
We'll see on him.
Zherdev? Too many games scratched. He had times where he was on fire and other times he was barely noticeable. He played his best games when he was skating hard and playing physical. I don't think he's a 35-40 goal scorer on any team in the NHL. I think he's probably good for 20-30 if he plays 75-80 games and works hard all of them. Too many ifs, but I wouldn't be upset to see him come back at a cheaper price tag than his 2 million from this year.
I don't think I want Bryzer here...he's not done anything in the playoffs albeit being on a Phoenix team can't always be the best, but then again look how the Flyers played this year. I think the goaltending was marginal most of the time.
I can't say the goaltending shook the confidence of the rest of the team, but at the same time, the team just didn't play the same as they did during that 48 game stretch where they won 34 of them. It seems they got comfortable being average since they had locked a playoff spot, but never adjusted for the playoff intensity.
I just don't see how a team that scratched and clawed its way in last year made it to the Cup finals and then a team that dominated for a large portion of the season couldn't get it going in the playoffs at all this year.
Carcillo is a player I like, unfortunately his reputation is his biggest problem. He can't draw power plays because he's constantly getting called for matching minors because of his history...then he pulls a stunt like last night after being in control for the entire playoffs...he blatantly cross checks a dude in the back as he's trying to limp off the ice. WTF are you thinking?
The Flyers have a better record when Carcillo skates, but I think his overall effectiveness is way down, mostly due to that reputation.
I thought Boosh might earn himself a contract after finishing off Buffalo, but he was just brutal 3 out of 4. I mean, even Game 2 where he looked good...that second goal has to be a save. Had he made that save and the rest of the game went according to schedule, they win 2-1 and go to Boston tied rather than in a 2-0 hole. I still doubt they would have won the series after how they responded in Game 3 by being in a 0-2 hole 63 seconds into the game, but that's another story.
There's just so much that went wrong, but after seeing the end of the season and the Buffalo series, I can't say I'm surprised they're out already.
Whatever they do, they need to address the crease. They lived on their 4-5 goals per game for a long time during the season and clearly, that's not always going to be there (2 shutouts against during the Sabres series, and under 2 goals per game average for the Boston series).
They have to figure out that goaltender situation. I'm still convinced this team has what it needs to win the Cup next year, IF IF IF they pay the taxes for a goaltender who is capable of pitching a shutout once in a while.
Turns out Richards was playing injured, had a wrist injury.
Upcoming UFA players-
Upcoming RFA players-
I don't think it would bother me too much to see Boucher go. As long as we got a decent goal tender to cover.
I actual like Carcillo. I'd rather see him in the team then Shelley. I'd like to see Leino given another year to prove himself. I think Zherdev, Boynton and maybe O'Donnell is gone.
Nodl, Powe and Syvret I'd like to see resigned as well.
We do have some good up and coming defenders in Bartulis, Syvret and Gustafsson.
First of all, any confirmation on Pronger having a herniated disc (which has, in turn, led to hip and leg problems) yet? Or are all reports still just talking about the hand injury he had?
It's all about goaltending this summer. That much is obvious and Homer will be killed if he doesn't address it.
Here's the update on Pronger
I read today Betts, Meszaros, Richards, Versteeg, Leighton (I think that was all of them) will undergo surgery and Pronger and Carter will be reevaluated tomorrow to see if they need it. Talk about being banged up.
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