Philadelphia Flyers: 0-3 No Time To Panic, But...

Paul Holmgren

The Flyers are off to an 0-3 start in back to back seasons.  Their play as a whole has been leaving something to the imagination.  Funny thing is if you were to list the potential problems heading into the season; a lack of scoring would not have been one of them.  Defensive breakdowns – Check.  Turnovers – Check.  undisciplined penalties – Check; but one goal in each of the first three games???  Some ask if it’s the talent or the system.  My answer is a little of both.  Listen the Flyers have a lot of talent on this team.  Are they the right players for coach Laviolette’s system?  That is a good question.  The Philadelphia Flyers have the most expensive blueline in all the NHL.  It’s not like these guys are trash.  As a whole they are all pretty darn good.  My opinion they are not let to play to their individual strengths for the most part.  It is not time to push the panic button and make bold moves like fire the coach or general manager.  The powers-that-be have to be taking notice though, because the impatient Flyers fan base already has and it will not take too much longer before they will show their displeasure at home games.  Good thing is that it is very early and most of the problems can be fixed.

*They way the defense is set up they cannot pinch in the offensive zone as deep as they are now.  That leads to too many odd man breaks and generally leaves them out of position due to the lack of speed.  A great example of this is on the second goal that Carolina scored tonight; It was on a turnover from Luke Schenn.  Had he played further back he would have had plenty of time to get to the puck and calmly passed it out of the zone, but due to the fact that he was chasing back he got pressured into making a really bad turnover that ended in the back of the net.  Mason really had no chace on that one.

*Las Vegas odds makers have Coach Laviolette as the leading candidate to be the first coach fired this year.

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*Scott Laughton is tearing it up in the minors and there is no reason he should have been sent down in the first place.

*Do we really need Rinaldo, Rosehill, and Newbury all on the same roster.

*I am a big fan of Max Talbot, but he is nothing more than a fourth liner at this point.

*I am a fan of Zac Rinaldo as well, although if he is on your third line things aren’t going well for your first two.

*Vincent Lecavalier has looked as good as advertised.  He is one of the few bright spots so far.  The other one I would have to say is Steve Mason.  The first goal he let in tonight was a bit weak but other than that he has looked good in both games he was in.

At the end of the day I really never put too much stock into the first two weeks of any regular season.  So the Flyers slow start may just be that a slow start.  A win against Florida would go a long way for the teams confidence along with the fans.

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