Orange & Black Breakdown
by Marc Siciliano on 10/28/11 at 09:28 PM ET
Initially, the plan with this column was to take a more relaxed approach to the topics swirling around the Flyers, but it didn’t really work out that way. With the addition of Vindisi to The OBB, that plan is back in action.
So if you’re looking for a way to spend your time after a hectic workweek (or before the starting your weekend), join us for our discussion on all things Flyers after the jump
Marc: What a game last night. Even though they lost, I still feel lucky to have witnessed such the event in person (#humblebrag). It’s unfortunate because I thought the team had a really good opportunity to come out of a sloppy game with a highly motivational win. Instead, we’re left picking apart a rather gruesome and disheartening loss. What did you think about last night?
Vince: The Flyers played their heart out last night. Problem is, they only did it on one side of the puck. Their offensive tenacity was downright intimidating, but their defensive approach was tepid. One thing that we lost this past offseason was the luxury of defensively responsible forwards (Richie and Carter). The kids need to grow up fast or this season is going to have a fair share of high scoring affairs (I’m looking at you JvR, Voracek and Simmonds). Do you see these high scoring tilts becoming a recurring theme all season?
The only re-occurring theme I want to see from the back end (besides success)
Marc: I hope not, because the defense looked atrocious last night. I can’t recall one time where they made an overly positive play. I left last night confident I had seen Timonen’s worst game as a Flyer, and Coburn wasn’t that far off either. The good news here is that I think this is just a bump in the grind. Once Pronger comes back things will change, and it is highly unlikely that Timonen and Coburn will continue playing so poorly. Some have been blaming the goalies, but I think the rotten defense was at the core of the issues last night.
Vince: The defense was indeed atrocious last night; I can only pin one goal as the goalie’s fault. The team is playing too quick and trying to force too many stretch passes to get into the offensive zone (backing up the old adage that Pronger slows down the game). Slow down the game and pick your spots, and the Flyers would have walked away from last night with an easy victory. Instead, they were jittery and not playing as one unit.
Anyways, I’m not trying to beat a dead horse, but I feel it’s time to bring up a topic that has become an annual tradition: Goaltending. There has been talk that Bryzgalov has lost his confidence, and at first, I thought so as well. But then I started to dissect him and quickly realized what his true intentions were: he is pulling a Pronger. He is a pretty smart guy (huge history buff) and is utilizing a strategic ploy to alleviate the pressure on his defensemen and put it all on him. Do you see it that way or am I simply manipulating the circumstances to make the situation sound positive?
Marc: I didn’t really think of it that way, but that might not actually be that far off. I’m not in the mood to make excuses for Bryz’s poor play, but I will say this: he had a tough night the night before, and wasn’t at all expecting to play. To have to come in without being mentally prepared after being shelled the night before is probably not the greatest way to rebound. The puck has taken some odd bounces lately, and I don’t think the goalies (particularly Bryz) should really worry themselves too much. If they just get back to working hard in practice, breaking some good sweats and building momentum on each solid save they’ll rebound. It’s a long season. Speaking of long seasons, Couturier is officially a Flyer. You OK with that?
Vince: I love it. He plays a sound game and can only benefit from the daily grind of an NHL season. He’s improving in the faceoff circle, winning almost 60% of his faceoff last night. He is also surprisingly strong on the puck and wins the majority of the 50/50 battles. Also, I’ve made the comparison like this:
Option A: 72 (10 already played) games at 12 minutes in the NHL a game
Option B: 49 (19 already played) games at 20 minutes a game in the Q.
Hmm. If my math is correct, the minutes are similar. He would likely be receiving the same amount of ice time against tougher competition. It’s a shame he won’t have the most talented line-mates surrounding him when Schenn comes back from injury though. Having too many forwards is never a bad thing, but if you were GM for a day, what would you do with the glut at the forward spot?
Marc: I never thought I would say this, but if I were the Flyers GM and Schenn and Couturier proved to be successful down the line, I might look to trading Voracek while his value is still somewhat high. He was one of my favorite acquisitions this summer and I think he has great physical abilities to compliment his finesse, but once again it seems like he is a bit lost. In a purely hypothetical situation, if the Flyers could get a 1st rounder and a 4/5/6 defenseman for him (how awesome would Souray look on the PP and 3rd pairing if the Stars began to falter?), I might have to make that trade if I were the GM. It’s nothing against the player or his talent, just a numbers thing.
Step aside, Paul
Vince: I can see that. But in all honesty, my main reasoning for dumping Voracek would be because he is a carbon copy of JvR on the ice. If I see another wide drive in the zone by either one of them followed by a low percentage pass, than I’m going to break my TV. It rarely works and needs to be thrown out of their repertoires.
I would look towards one of the bottom feeder teams of the league to see if you can ship him as well as one of our free agent to be defenseman (Coburn and Carle) for a significant upgrade at defense. I know you love Souray’s powerful shot, but he is too old for me (we already have Timonen and Pronger). We need an established defenseman that way when Pronger goes down, we still have another horse to take the lead on the team. I’ve heard the name Jay Bouwmeester from Calgary being thrown around… (just sayin’)
That wraps up this week’s Flyer Friday column. Want to be a part of future #FF columns? Be sure to let us know via twitter (@marcs797 and @thevintern), email (firstname.lastname@example.org), or in the comments below
Lets Go Flyers!
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About Orange & Black Breakdown
The Orange & Black Breakdown looks to be the ultimate, around the clock source for news and information on the Philadelphia Flyers organization and it’s ever-present quest for the Stanley Cup. Focusing on what the team can do to achieve success is the ultimate goal.
The OBB is written and maintained by myself - Marc Siciliano. I’m a college graduate and media production professional in the sports industry with credits on projects like Hard Knocks: Bengals and 24/7 Penguins vs. Capitals: Road to the Winter Classic. A man of many hobbies, I always seem to find a way to spend a disproportionate amount of my daily routine with two things: Flyers hockey and social media (much to the dismay of my hockey impartial friends on twitter).
So what does this mean for you? The plan is to combine these
time-wasting habits passions with my love for writing to provide you with complete coverage of the Flyers from both my head and around the web, 24/7.
This is my second writing stint focusing on the Flyers, but for a much larger audience - so do be gentle. Different perspectives and opinions on the organization are welcome and encouraged. Just because I see it one way doesn’t mean I’m beyond seeing it your way as well, so speak up!
I’m always interested in interacting with readers, so find me on twitter (@marcs797) or email me (email@example.com) and let’s talk hockey.
Thanks for reading; Lets go Flyers!