How about we take something positive from these happenings just like coach John Stevens did after every loss the past two or three weeks.
The fact of the matter is, yesterday's 5-3 New York Met-esque collapse will go down as one of the most frustrating games in not just Flyers history, but Philadelphia sports history.
I mean what team takes a 3-0 lead AT HOME in a playoff game and lose 5-3? Is that possible? Obviously, especially in this town, it is. To be perfectly honest though, I attended yesterday's game and I just came back from the 76ers game (which will be posted about soon), so I'm too tired, gassed and horse to critique the game. The result speaks for itself. The team became too complacent with their lead and with Dan Carcillo's thrashing of Max Talbot. After that fight everything went downhill. Then, in the third period after Sergei Gonchar's basically blue line goal, the team showed no urgency or intensity until the last couple of minutes. Then, when they pulled Marty Biron for an extra attacker, they botched that up and inexcusably let Sidney Crosby score the fifth goal.
This team needs to be addressed in seriously in some areas. And no, John Stevens in not the problem. He's done no worse than any other of the fifty million coaches the Flyers have had over the past twenty years. Think about it. Since Mike Keenan left after the 1988 season, they Orange and Black have not had a coach for a consistent amount of time. Seriously, other than Roger Nielson (may he R.I.P.), they have either fired or let go of a lot of coaches. So, Stevens is not the issue. From what I can tell, and counter me if you think I'm wrong, here are the issues.
1) The Blue Line: The defense needs improving. Kimmo Timonen is good and Braden Coburn and Ryan Parent are promising young players. Luca Sbisa is another promising young defensman. Matt Carle is OK, but he is not great. Andrew Alberts shows bits and spots of good play. And Randy Jones flat out stinks. I don't care what anyone says. Maybe he did in last year's playoffs, but he is so overrated in my opinion. I am not a Randy Jones fan.
2) Goalie: Marty Biron shows flashes of brilliance, such as Game 5 and the first period of Game 6. Last year's playoffs can go into that mix too. But, he is not consistent enough. While I say the goaltender position is an issue, there is not really anybody out there to replace him. He might be the best option.
Those are the two key areas I see right now. I can't really say offensively because the Flyers did have like six guys with 20 or more goals this year. Yet, where was Jeff Carter in this series? Where was Mike Richards? Where was Scott Hartnell and Joffrey Lupul? They got outplayed by Evgeni Malkin and Sidney Crosby. They did. Say what you want. Make as many excuses as you want. Blame the refs for all I care. They got outplayed. This team got outplayed.
And furthermore, even though the 76ers lost tonight (as I said more on this soon), it's really a shame people continously go out and fill the Wachovia Center for the Flyers but not the 76ers too. The 76ers battle back from decifits and play with heart. They're scrappy. They represent the city well in times of perrill. I'm not saying to stop cheering for the Flyers and being crazy for the Flyers. Keep that going. It's great. We're the best fans in hockey by far. However, it would be nice if more people would support the 76ers. There is no reason the 76ers should have problems filling the arena for playoff games when they're tickets are cheaper than the Flyers. Maybe this town just doesn't like professional basketball. Maybe this town just likes the physicality of hockey better. Maybe I'm just the only one who gets excited for a 41-41 team. Who knows?
All I know is that I'm horse, frustrated and tired as a 99-year-old man. I have a four hour drive back to Ithaca early tomorrow morning. I'm going to bed. There will be a post on the 76ers loss, Phillies win and state of the Eagles tomorrow.