41 Tips On How To Fix The Philadelphia Flyers Hockey Team

Flyers

Flyers

Yikes well it seriously has not been a good start to the 2014 season for our Philadelphia Flyers to say the least! The Flyboys are 0-2-2 and sit at the highly coveted 13th spot in the Eastern Conference, which puts them tied with the Buffalo Sabres and ahead of only the Carolina Hurricanes and Florida Panthers, who have played only three games. Suffice to say the Flyers are not good.

But there is hope! Oh yes, there is hope. If the Flyers wish to ever compete again, all they have to do is address each of the following things listed below and they will surely be Stanley Cup contenders before we know it!

  1. Score more goals (put puck in net)

  2. Give up less goals (not as many per game as they currently are)

  3. Hire a guy to tell Ron Hextall every day that Andrew MacDonald has the worst contract in Flyers history

  4. Clone Claude Giroux 11 times

  5. SHOOT THE PUCK! SHOOOOOOOOOOT!!!

  6. Take the C from Claude Giroux and give it to Remaldo because heart

  7. Remove the other team’s net and put in a smaller net approx. 25% the size of the regulation net

  8. Get another alternate jersey

  9. Fire Carig Berubey

  10. Fire Rob Hextall

  11. Bring, back the true, Flyer, Scott Hartnell

  12. Bring back Joffrey Lupul’s guitar, smash it on Luke Schenn’s head

  13. Bring back Luca Sbisa, then trade him for a 1st Round pick

  14. Get ANOTHER alternate jersey

  15. Trade Vincent Lecavalier to the Sabres for two (2) 1st Round draft picks

  16. Get more guys like Nicklas Grossmann who are hard-nosed, tough defense-first defensemen

  17. Don’t do No. 14 on this list that was a test and if you believed it stop reading this now

  18. Where’s John Stevens when you need him this group needs another team bonding trip

  19. Trade Chris Pronger’s contract to a team like Florida and tell them Chris is ready to play again (he’s not actually ready this is just a way to trick Florida because they don’t know much about hockey)

  20. Skate better

  21. Bring back Jagr

  22. Fix the bathroom water in the mezzanine level jesus christ that shit is like 300 degrees

  23. Fire Paul Holmgren

  24. Get ONE MORE alternate jersey

  25. Threaten to move the team to Camden if the team doesn’t win 50 games this year

  26. Move the team to Camden anyway to prove a point

  27. Fire the equipment manager tomorrow

  28. Play Flyers hockey!

  29. Burn down the Vorhees Skate Zone

  30. Change the Wells Fargo Center to The Wells Fargo Center: Home of the 2014-15 Stanley Cup Champion Philadelphia Flyers

  31. More dollar dog nights

  32. How about you can trade any current or former Flyers jersey in now for a Connor McDavid jersey for 80% off?

  33. Just throwing this out there Dan Bylsma

  34. Put rockets on the skates because the team clearly can’t skate fast enough to keep up with any team and that must mean all the other teams have rocket skates except the flyers

  35. What’s Donald Brashear up to just kidding

  36. Trade for Stamkos (3rd Round pick next year should do it that draft is LOAAAAADED)

  37. Bring back the 2004 goal horn, keep the current song I love it

  38. Hire me to be the GM, coach, equip. manager, goalie coach, special teams coach and ticket sales manager

  39. Send Andrew MacDonald to the moon in a rocket ship the size of a Kia Sorento

  40. MOAR ICE GIRLZ

  41. Try harder overall as a team

Flyers-Ducks Preview: Quack Attack

*note: I was way too angry to write a recap on Saturday after blowing that 3 goal lead with 13 minutes left. Sorry to the 4 people who wanted to read it.

The Flyers get back at it tonight at home vs. the Ducks as they try to shake off an 0-2-1 start and get their first win. That would be nice, especially with a 3 game road trip against Dallas, Chicago, and Pittsburgh coming up. Please do this, Flyers.

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Flyers-Canadiens Preview: North Of The Wall

Flyers have a big game in Montreal tonight, trying to avoid dropping to 0-3. That would be nice.

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About Last Night: Flyers-Devils

The Flyers somehow managed to score 4 goals against Cory Schneider and the Devils last night after a long stretch of offensive futility against New Jersey, but even more shockingly they allowed them to pot 6 on the road and fell 6-4 last night. The loss puts them at 0-2 on the season headed into a brutal run of games.

COBURNED

Braydon Coburn was introduced on crutches last night and according to Ron Hextall, he’s going to be out for a while. The Flyers were left to ice a defense group of Nick Schultz-Andrew MacDonald’s Contract, Streit-Grossmann, and Schenn-Del Zotto, and it predictably didn’t go very well. Last night aside, this is a serious blow for the Flyers. They managed to lose both players from the top pairing of an already-mediocre defense from last season after just 1 game of the regular season. I don’t expect Schultz to draw into the lineup on a regular basis, but I also don’t expect GhostBear to be called up either. Instead, expect to see Brandon Manning or Mark Alt recalled and given a chance to play some regular minutes. It will be interesting to see what Berube does with the pairings on defense for the long-term. He can’t put Andrew MacDonald and Mark Streit together without leaving the other two pairings even thinner than they already are. I wouldn’t be surprised to see him reunite Schenn and MacDonald, who played together down the stretch last season, and keep Streit-Grossmann together. That would leave Del Zotto on the 3rd pairing with whoever the Coburn replacement is, whether it’s Schultz, Manning, or Alt.

FANCY STATS

The Flyers actually did very well at 5v5 last night, with a 56.8 FF%. Del Zotto and Schenn were +18 and +14 in Fenwick despite their -4 and -5 ratings, respectively. Other Flyers possession standouts were the Schenn-Lecavalier-Simmonds line that got put together in the 2nd period, as Simmer was +12, Schenn was +10, and Vinny was +8. Nice to see them do well in possession after generally being a black hole when used together last season.

SO WHY DID THEY LOSE?

Defense and goaltending. Steve Mason didn’t have much of a chance on the first four NJ goals, but at a certain point some blame has to fall on the goaltender for only stopping 20 out of 25 shots. With the team being on a back-to-back and having another game tomorrow in Montreal, it would have made a lot of sense to start Ray Emery last night. Luke Schenn was at least partially responsible for 3 NJ goals, as he tipped one into his own net, screened Mason while letting Cammalleri get a deflection on another, and left Patrik Elias wide open to tap a cross-ice pass in because he wanted to check Marty Havlat. The special teams did their jobs (3/3 on the PK, 2/5 on the PP), but the goaltending and in-zone defensive play were bad enough that the team was outscored 5-2 at 5v5 despite controlling play.

FLYERS 3 STARS:

3. Claude Giroux. 1 goal, 1 assist, 7 SOG, +2 Fenwick. He was on the ice for 4 NJ goals, which certainly isn’t ideal, but G got his season started with a tracer on the PP to open the scoring for the Flyers, and later added a secondary assist on Simm Daddy’s PP goal. The top line seemed to play better once Brayden Schenn was taken off it, with Rafflcopter, Frenchie, and Ake Show all getting shifts with G and Jake. It remains to be seen what they’ll do with the LW1 long-term.

2. Vincent The Cavalier. 1 goal, 1 assist, 3 SOG, +8 Fenwick. Vinny has looked shockingly spry to start the year (though it’s important to remember that he was the Flyers’ best forward at the beginning of last year before falling off a cliff as the year went on). He got the primary assist on Simmer’s PP goal to tie the game with 0.5 seconds left in the 2nd period, and it was a wonderful job of holding onto the puck for as long as humanly possible before feeding Simmer in the perfect spot right before the period ended. Seriously good awareness from him there. He also tied the game again in the 3rd period just 15 seconds after the Devils took the lead by looking off BSchenn on a 2-on-1 and going top shelf where Mama Lecavalier keeps the poutine. If he’s anything like what the Flyers thought they were getting when they signed him, it’s a huge boon to this forward group.

1. Simm Daddy. 2 goals, 1 assist, 4 SOG, +12 Fenwick. What else can you say about Train? 2 goals in under a minute to close out the 2nd period and send the Flyers into the 3rd period with a chance to get a point. His first goal was a thing of beauty, as he pulled the puck back and around a sliding defender before beating Schneider, and the second was textbook Simm Daddy dirty work down low on the PP. He also had the primary assist on Vinny’s goal in the 3rd, as he made a nice play to take the hit to move the puck out of the defensive zone and start the rush. He looks good with the A on his chest.

WHAT’S NEXT

Saturday night in Montreal at 7pm. Would be really nice to get a win, guys.

Flyers-Devils Preview and Flyers-Bruins Wrapup

ABOUT LAST NIGHT…

The Flyers lost a hard-fought road game 2-1 to the Boston Bruins. Chris Kelly scored the game-winning goal with just 1:51 left in regulation to prevent the Flyers from getting a point. Overall, not a bad effort from the Flyers I thought. Sloppy game from both teams and the struggles of the top line and the power play weren’t what I wanted to see but things will get better.

The main reasons for the Flyers’ loss? The Giroux line and the Schenn-Del Zotto pairing. While every other player on the team was no worse than -5 in CF last night (with special gold stars for Cooters, Simmer, Read, and Streit for having a positive CF), Baby Schenn and G were -17, Huge Dong and Fat Schenn were -14, and Del Zotto was -12. The top line being run over in possession had everything to do with Patrice Bergeron, who was a +15 and was +13 individually against each of the members of the top line. Full H2H Corsi chart can be found courtesy of BSH’s Kurt R here.

3 STARS FOR THE FLYERS:

3. Matt Read–3 shots on goal, 1 assist, and a +3 CF. Specifically, he was +6 against Zdeno Chara. Good game from him.

2. Steve Mason–31 saves on 33 shots. Kept the Flyers in the game for all 60 minutes despite being outshot by 13. There was nothing he could do about the first goal and the second goal was bad luck. Nice performance from Ma$e.

1. Sean Couturier–3 shots on goal, 1 goal, and a +4 CF. He was also +6 against Chara and was one of only 3 players on the team to be even or better against Bergeron. Nice to see him get off to a good start after slow starts the past couple seasons. Need him to grow the beard/flow back, though.

TONIGHT’S LINEUPS

Should be the same as last night for the Flyers, though there was no morning skate to officially confirm that:

Baby Schenn-Big Daddy Dollar Bills-Huge Dong

Read-Coots-Train

Front Ponytail-Vinny-Umberger

Rinaldo-Frenchie-Ake Show

The Devils appear set to attempt to bore you to death with the following lineup:

Cammalleri-Zajac-Uncle Jags

Zubrus-Elias-Havlat

Clowe-Henrique-Ryder

Ruutu-Gionta-Tootoo

Greene-Seversyn

Salvador-Zidlicky

Gelinas-Merrill

Money Ma$e and Cory Schneider will be in net for the Flyers and Devils.

MATCHUPS

The Flyers have last change, and I imagine they’ll try to get the Couturier line on against the Zajac line as often as possible. They’ll likely try to get Giroux on the ice against Salvador when they can, but look for the Devils to try to counter that with Andy Greene’s pairing as often as possible. The Devils have some good depth down the middle with Zajac-Elias-Henrique, and the Lecavalier line and the Schenn-Del Zotto pairing will need to hold their own in what could potentially be difficult matchups.

SPECIAL TEAMS

Both teams were in the top 10 on the PP and PK last year, and the Devils had the best penalty kill in the league at 86.4% last year. The Flyers had a tough night on special teams in Boston, going 0-3 on the power play and 1-2 on the PK.

FANCY STATS

The Flyers as a team managed only a CF% of 40.5% last night, which is not a number that’s going to put you in a position to win many hockey games. The Devils were one of the few teams in the NHL to not translate good puck possession numbers into wins. They ranked 7th in SF%, 5th in FF%, and 3rd in CF%, but only ranked 21st in GF% thanks to the 5th-worst team shooting percentage in the league and some truly hideous goaltending from Marty Brodeur that brought their team save percentage down to 25th in the league. They’re probably going to dominate play at 5 on 5 like they usually do against the Flyers by playing low-event, mind-numbingly boring hockey.

PLAYERS TO WATCH

New Jersey: Cory Schneider. It’s his first career game at the WFC, and it’s his first game as the unquestioned starting goalie for the Devils. He and the team would love to get this new era off to a good start with a nice road win in Philly tonight, and if Schneider plays well he’ll give them every opportunity to do that.

Philadelphia: Claude Giroux. His line had a rough game last night, and he’ll face another tough matchup against the tight-checking Devils. They’ll try to take time and space away from him and prevent him from making plays. On the bright side, there’s no Patrice Bergeron on NJ to follow G around and harass him. On the negative side, the NJ system seems to sap the creativity and general playmaking ability away from everyone on the ice no matter who is playing for the Devils.

RELEVANT SONG/LYRICS

“Homecoming”-Kanye West

“We from P-H-I-L-A period, PA period, Eve they hearin’ it, believe they fearin’ it”-Beanie Sigel, “Philly Philly”-Eve ft. Beanie Sigel

THE PICK

Philadelphia 2, New Jersey 1. You don’t want to call this a “must-win” for the Flyers because it’s October 9th and all, but after this they play 8 consecutive games against playoff teams from last season to close out October (@Montreal, vs. Anaheim, @Dallas, @Chicago, @Pittsburgh, vs. Red Wings, vs. Kings, @Lightning) so it would certainly be nice to grab a win in this home opener. No real reason to think the Flyers will win other than that they kind of need it, and hopefully they’re able to feed off the home crowd and secure a much-needed 2 points in what will in all likelihood be a boring, ugly hockey game.

 

 

 

 

Doc P’s Comprehensive 2014-15 NHL Season Preview

Hocket Time!

Hockey Time!

First off I would like to apologize to everyone for a lack of content recently. I’m a worthless human being who got caught up doing other things like watching Total Divas and saving some paraplegic kids from a burning home nbd but I want to first say sorry to you, the FANS.

But anyway, back to the real story here: THE 2014-15 NHL SEASON! Man oh man am I excited for this year. My buddy @dklausner and I are officially Flyers season ticket holders and also life partners for the first time this year. What a thrilling feeling! But beyond the Flyers, there are some seriously awesome NHL teams this year but also there are some bad teams as well. The following preview will detail those who are good as well a those who are bad. Please enjoy.

Eastern Conference

Metropolitan Division

Philadelphia Flyers
Not much you can say about this year’s Flyers other than, yeah, they’re gonna be good. They got some great offensive pieces but it’s their defense that will really shine this year. The Flyers’ blue line is chick full of VETERAN, DEFENSE-FIRST defensemen, which I love. Defense wins championships.

Bold Prediction: Craig Berube is fired tonight

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Flyers-Bruins Preview: It Begins

It’s been an interminable 161 day wait since the Flyers last played a competitive hockey game, and while the team got universally worse across the board and will likely fall out of the playoffs this season, THE FLYERS ARE BACK! They get the season underway at 7:30 tonight in Boston against the Bruins at TD Garden on NBC Sports.

RELEVANT SONG AND LYRICS

“I’m Back”-Eminem

 

“When I come back like Jordan, wearing the 4-5 // It ain’t to play games with you, it’s to aim at you, probably maim you.”–Jay-Z, “Encore”

LINEUPS

It looks like everyone will play for the Flyers tonight. Noted hockey enthusiast Wayne “Train” “Simm Daddy” Simmonds has been battling a foot injury but returned

to practice on Monday and is expected to go tonight. For the Bruins, C David Krejci is on IR with an undisclosed injury and will miss tonight’s game. The Flyers’ line combos and pairings:

Baby Schenn-G-Huge Dong

Read-Coots-Simm Daddy

Raffl-Vincent The Cavalier-Umberger

Rinaldo-Bellemare-Akeson

Coburn-Andrew MacDonald’s Contract

Streit-Grossmann

Fat Schenn-Del Zotto

The Krejci injury leaves the Bruins lineup looking like this:

Marchand-Bergeron-Smith

Lucic-Spooner-Fraser

Kelly-Soderberg-Eriksson

Paille-Cunningham-Robins

Chara-Hamilton

Seidenberg-McQuaid

Krug-Miller

Steve “Money Ma$e” Mason and Tuukka Rask will go in net for their respective teams.

THE MATCHUPS

Krejci’s injury helps the Flyers out in multiple ways. Not only is Krejci historically very good against the Flyers (5 goals, 20 assists in 25 regular season games against the Flyers), but it also has jumbled up the Bruins lines, with Ryan Spooner called up from the AHL to fill his spot. Boston has last change, and will likely try to get Patrice Bergeron’s line on the ice against Claude “Big Daddy Dollar Bills” Giroux’s line whenever possible. Because Claude Julien doesn’t seem like a particularly stupid man, I would also expect to see at least one of Zdeno Chara and Dennis Seidenberg on the ice when Giroux and friends are out. This is, to say the least, not great for the Flyers. When Patrice Bergeron and Zdeno Chara have shared the ice the past two seasons, they’ve dominated to a tune of a 60.6% CF% and a 76.0% CF%. Julien isn’t a big Ryan Spooner fan, as he was sent down to the AHL because Julien isn’t comfortable with his defense, so I would imagine he tries to get the Lucic-Spooner-Fraser line out against the Lecavalier line and Schenn-Del Zotto pairing for the Flyers when he can. Craig Berube, as one would expect, will probably do whatever he can to get Giroux away from Bergeron/Chara. It’ll be interesting to see what he does with the rest of the lines. If Krejci was playing, he’d likely use the Couturier line against his line as often as he could, but without Krejci in the Bruins don’t have a true offensive-oriented scoring line that Couturier’s line would focus on shutting down the way they do against other teams. Same goes for the nominal shutdown pairing of Coburn and MacDonald (lol). I expect Berube tries to get them and the Coots line out against Bergeron’s line, but that remains to be seen.

SPECIAL TEAMS

Boston’s power play clicked at a 21.7% rate last year, good for 3rd in the league, but lost key contributor Jarome Iginla to Colorado in addition to Krejci’s injury. The Flyers were 7th in the league on the man advantage last year at 19.8%, and while they lost Scott Hartnell and Kimmo Timonen from the top unit it didn’t seem to matter much in the preseason, as the PP put on a clinic. Timonen’s role will be filled by Mark Streit, who has much more of a propensity to shoot from the point than Timonen did. Hartnell’s role will probably be filled by Vinny Lecavalier to start with, though look for Brayden Schenn to get some opportunities there as well. The Flyers and Bruins ranked 7th and 8th respectively in PK% last year, so they could have some success slowing down each other’s power plays tonight.

FANCY STATS

By any measure, the Bruins are an elite team. They ranked 1st in GF%, 4th in CF%, and 6th in FF% last season. The Flyers, meanwhile, ranked 18th, 17th, and 20th in those respective stats. The Flyers also lost 2 of the best possession players on the team last season in Timonen and Hartnell. This is not a strong area for the Flyers.

THE LAST TIME WE MET…

…the Bruins stomped the Flyers 5-2 in a Saturday matinee in Boston on April 5th. The win allowed the Bruins to clinch the top seed in the Eastern Conference. Milan Lucic had 2 goals and an assist, Krejci had a goal and an assist, and Loui Eriksson had 4 assists. Wayne Simmonds and Jay Rosehill (!!!) scored for the Flyers in the loss.

RELEVANT HISTORY*

October 6, 2011: The Flyers beat the defending champion Bruins 2-1 on the road in the season opener thanks to goals from Huge Dong Voracek (in his first game as a Flyer) and a filthy breakaway goal by Claude Giroux.

Spring 2010: The Flyers came back from a 3-0 deficit in the 2010 Eastern Conference Semifinals and a 3-0 deficit in Game 7 of said series to beat the Boston Bruins 4-3 (on both counts) en route to a Stanley Cup Finals appearance. This will never not be hilarious to me. Skip to 3:00 for the good stuff. 

*Relevant to me

PLAYERS TO WATCH

Boston: Patrice Bergeron. With Krejci out, Bergeron is the team’s top offensive center in addition to being its best defensive player. He’s going to be asked to do some serious heavy lifting at both ends of the ice tonight, but if anyone is capable of it, it’s him. Dude is a Corsi monster and generally a fantastic player.

Philadelphia: Brayden Schenn. Scott Hartnell’s gone and there’s a big spot to be filled on G and Huge Dong’s wing. Schenn has been given the job to start the season, and he’ll have every opportunity to remain there for the foreseeable future. There are still questions about whether Schenn is better at LW or C and he hasn’t developed as fast as many (me included) would have liked, but he’s arguably the team’s most important forward this season and that starts tonight against an elite defensive team.

THE PICK

Boston 3, Philadelphia 2. Despite the loss of Krejci, the Bruins should still be able to win this game. I expect the Bruins to dominate at even-strength, and that combined with their far superior goaltending should get them a win in this game despite any special teams advantage the Flyers might have.

Has Nick Foles Found The Trick To Seeing Open Receivers?

Our boy Nicky Foles has has a lot of trouble through the first two games of the Eagles’ season finding the open wide receivers. It seems like every game there have been at least a dozen plays where there’s a receiver wide open down field and Foles simply doesn’t seem to see him.

Well it looks like Nick is taking some cues from acting legend Robert De Niro in his role of Sam “Ace” Rothstein in Martin Scorsese’s classic film Casino  and is doing anything he can to improve his QB vision.

My mom had these glasses in the 80s.

My mom had these glasses in the 80s.

This image has not been altered in any way.

This image has not been altered in any way.

Twitter Talk With The Garbage Gang — Episode 3

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Eagles Preview, Part III: Desean Jackson Was Way Better Than You Remember

Remember this? Good times

Remember this? Good times

For lack of a better word, I’m a Desean Jackson “truther” of the highest degree. I still have major questions about why the Eagles would cut a 27-year old Pro Bowl WR due to “system issues” coming off a career year in said system. But 2013 wasn’t Desean Jackson’s only good year as an Eagle by any stretch of the imagination, and in fact I would go as far as to say that DJacc was one of the most underrated players by the fanbase in franchise history. Here are Desean’s historical ranks among Eagles receivers:

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