Atlanta – 3/12 – Missed this game. But I got ESPN alerts all night long, and I can guess how it went. When you’re up 3-0, you have to close the door. When you lose the game 5-4, you can’t blame refs, or lucky bounces, or anything else. We got outshot 41-24. Plain and simple, Atlanta wanted the game more, and they got the victory because the Flyers didn’t have the heart. By many accounts, Sean O’Donnell is losing a step as the season progresses and really showing his age. I don’t think giving him a break will cure anything. Either you can play, or you can’t, that’s it. At his age, his fitness levels won’t improve. Lavy needs to start balancing the minutes he gives to the d-men a bit differently. Each pair consists of an old head and a younger guy. He’s gotta make sure they’ve got enough fuel in the tank when the games really start to matter again.
Back to that Pronger-Giroux incident. If the reporters heard shouting through closed doors, then I’m sure they heard every word. There’s a reason they don’t report the full details to us. They want to have the inside scoop, and they want access to the players. Sometimes, the players don’t want certain things coming out. Pronger is a gold mine when it comes to quotes. If he doesn’t want something to come out, then they don’t want to piss him off and make him clam up. Or, they can save this incident for later. For all we know, this ignites Giroux, brings the team together, and we forget all about it. Or…the playoffs turn into failure, and reports come out about major turmoil in the locker room. Guys stopped getting along, there were arguments all the time, people played the blame game, etc. Is our team falling apart at the seams? Is this dream season turning into a nightmare? Are things spiraling out of control? Things are always darkest before the dawn. I want to be as optimistic as possible, but I also want to be realistic.
Here’s the optomistic side: The only thing that matters is winning. Despite erratic play, the Flyers came away with 5 out of a possible 6 points. Most teams wouldn’t mind having these “problems”.
And the realistic approach is that on paper, we’re still the best team and the one that should win the Cup. But, that’s only going to happen if this team can come together again. Please, please, please, figure something out boys.
Floriday tomorrow night, followed by a chance to right the ship against Atlanta Thursday. On paper, 4 points. In real life…we’ll see.
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Topics: Atlanta Thrashers, Chris Pronger, Claude Giroux, Dan Carcillo, Danny Briere, Edmonton Oilers, Florida Panthers, Matt Carle, NHL, Paul Holmgren, Peter Laviolette, Philadelphia Flyers, Sean O'Donnel, Toronto Maple Leafs