Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Paul on 04/26/13 at 02:59 PM ET
By Eli Epstein, TiqIQ
The swan song is on for the Philadelphia Flyers’ 2012-2013 season, and what a disappointing campaign it was. In Philadelphia, expectations were high, as always. Nothing clicked for the Flyers this season, however.
Pricey goalie Ilya Bryzgalov was there one night, and veritably absent the next. Claude Giroux was high-flying, and Jakub Voracek exceeded expectations, but where was Danny Briere all season long, and why were the Flyers forwards so defensively lacking?
Sure it didn’t help that the Flyers lost three key defesenemen to injuries in March, but the team’s defensive core was floundering well before that point. The Flyers weren’t horrendous, but they weren’t exactly exceptional either. They’ll finish the season at around .500, which is a fair indicator of their performance this season: lukewarm.
Saturday, in the team’s closing game, they’ll take on the Ottawa Senators at Scotiabank place in Ottawa. According to TiqIQ, prices are averaging out at $150.79 for the skate, with seats available for as little as $55. This season, the Senators tickets home average has clocked in at around $80.00. That figure has dropped over the course of the season.
The two teams who will square off at Scotiabank Place Saturday represent a tale of two cities. While the Flyers have represented crushing disappointment, the Senators have defied all odds not only by maintaining a high level of competition, but also by succeeding in the standings with a hobbled roster. Without stars Jason Spezza and Erik Karlsson for the majority of the season, and playing with a nearly minor league squad, the Senators scraped together scores of hard-fought victories. Their dogged efforts game in and game out demonstrated that star power alone isn’t enough to propel a team to the postseason. The Senators take care of the puck and play physical and close-to-errorless hockey in their own end. For the Sens, hustle and character count as well. Chatter has Ottawa head coach Paul MacLean in contention for this year’s Coach of the Year award, and rightfully so. He’s done more with less and to a greater degree than any bench boss in recent memory. Look for the Senators to give a higher seed hell come playoff time.
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