So by now I’m sure everybody knows that Jeff Carter was traded to the LA Kings for Jack Johnson and a conditional first round pick. In LA, Carts will team up with his old buddy Mike Richards. How about that, Richie and Carts together again. Unlike, many people, I didn’t want these guys gone. I don’t buy into all that bs about Dry Island and these guys partying too much. I loved having them on the Flyers, and I was devastated when they were traded away last summer.
If you’re judging by offensive numbers, everyone thinks the Flyers won out on both trades. Brayden Schenn, Sean Couturier, Wayne Simmonds and Jakub Voracek are having a pretty good season for the Orange and Black. Meanwhile, the production for Richards and Carter has tailed off from what it was when they played here. In addition to that, our team is much higher in the standings than the Blue Jackets or the Kings. As much as I like some of the new additions, I’m not fully convinced that anything is better.
Management told us that Richards and Carter were dealt purely for hockey decisions, so I’m sticking with that. We thought the team would score less goals, but would be much tighter on defense. 60 games into the season, we have the best offense, and the 4th worst defense. The goalie that we created salary cap space for is having a terrible season, thus far. So when looking at the trades, I don’t look at how the other teams are doing. I’m looking at how the Flyers are doing. And thus far, we are not an improved team.
With a record of 33-20-7, we have 73 points right now. After 60 games last season, we were 39-15-6, with 84 points. We’re tied for 5th right now with Pittsburgh. Last year, we were sitting on top of the NHL. Last year, we had the 11th best defense, and the 3rd best offense. So did we really get better? I don’t think so. Just because we’re scoring a lot of goals, doesn’t mean a damn thing. The Washington Capitals scored a ton of goals for the past 5 years, how far has that gotten them?
I understand that the guys we received are young, and it’s not fair to judge them yet. But right now, our team is not better. It’s simply not as dominant as it was a season ago. And I believe the main reason for that is because we got rid of two really good, two-way centers. I love Giroux, but he’s not as good in his own end as our former captain. Our entire team has taken a giant step back defensively.
So while everyone is making fun of the Kings, and expecting Richie and Carts to just go party in LA, I’m not sure about that. Maybe they will go out and have a great time. I don’t think that has ever stopped them from performing before. Maybe the Kings don’t do much yet this season, or maybe they do. They have a pretty good core group of players now that they added a premier center. I can’t stress enough how far you can go with solid depth down the middle and either a good goalie or a good defense. The Kings are 3rd in goals against this season. Their problem has been scoring. Now, they’ve added a big guy who can definitely score, and whose defense is underrated. If I were an LA fan, I’d let the talking heads keep making their jokes, and I’d sleep soundly knowing that my team got a lot better yesterday.
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Tags: 2011-12 Nhl Season Brayden Schenn Claude Giroux Columbus Blue Jackets Jack Johnson Jakub Voracek Jeff Carter Los Angeles Kings Mike Richards NHL Philadelphia Flyers Pittsburgh Penguins Sean Couturier Washington Capitals Wayne Simmonds