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Flyers hanging on despite long odds

Apr 4, 2010, 8:15 AM EDT

Carter.jpgPhiladelphia Flyers vs. Detroit Red Wings
12:30
p.m. EST – Sunday, April 4, 2010
Live on NBC

I have to
admit that I’ve grown a soft spot for the Philadelphia Flyers this
season. They could be on their way to heart breaking collapse down the
stretch, falling out of the playoffs after working hard to get such good
position earlier in the season. The fall hasn’t been (not completely,
at least) due to poor play; injuries to several key positions have made
success that much harder to come by.

The goaltending. Oh, the
goaltending….

The Flyers signed free agent Ray Emery last summer to be the
starter, after losing both Martin Biron and Antero Niittymaki in the
offseason. Unfortunately, Emery was lost for the season after December
and the Flyers carousel at goaltender began.

At the trade
deadline, the Flyers appeared open to making a move for a goaltender but
declined based on the recnt play of Michael Leighton. After all,
Leighton had emerged as a legitimate candidate to carry the torch for
the Flyers and there was no need to lose vital assets for a goaltender.

Then Leighton was hurt, like lost for the season, and now the Flyers
will rely on Brian Boucher. Or Johan Backlund, Jeremy Duchesne, or even
Sebastien Caron. Backlund looked promising, for a couple of periods,
before even he was hurt. You can’t write this stuff for Hollywood…too
outlandish.

Jeff Carter, the warrior

To add insult to
the goaltending situation the Flyers leading scorer, Jeff Carter was
supposedly lost for the season with a broken bone in his foot. He’s
going to reportedly give it a try to return to the ice by the end of the
week, based on MRI results, and the fact that he’s trying desperately
to play with a broken foot speaks to how dire the Flyers’ situation
truly is.

So the goaltending is unreliable and the team is without
its top scorer and playmaker. It’s no wonder the team has just two wins
out of the last ten games.

What’s amazing is that they have yet
to fall out of the playoff race. While the Flyers have struggled, those
around them (Boston, Montreal, Atlanta and New York) haven’t taken
advantage to overtake them in the standing. Not just yet, at least.

Tied
with the NY Rangers at 82 points and barely hanging on to 8th place
based on tie breakers, the Flyers are desperate for a win. It’s doubtful
the Flyers can manage to hold on to a playoff spot with no goaltending
and no reliable scoring.

Even if they do, they’ll just be
destroyed by the Capitals in the first round anyways. Right?

  1. Jim - Apr 4, 2010 at 10:17 AM

    Anybody other then Boucher would benefit the flyers!!! Why keep going with a veteran who cant stop a Beach Ball!!! Even if it bounced off of him!! 4-16-2 !!!!!!!!! Even if the Flyers are scoring, if he cannot stop the puck there is no momentum!! Buy him out!!! Do the Fans who pay 100+ bucks a ticket to watch a what is equating to a rookie minor league goaltender (where he should be next year) with those stats see him out there!!!! They know there is no chance if he is in goal….he chokes under pressure and lets in way too many soft goals!!!!!

  2. joe - Apr 4, 2010 at 11:44 AM

    I do agree that Boucher’s record is horrible, but at the same time in games that he has played, we haven’t given him ANY support!! I agree he isn’t the number one goalie we need going down the stretch, but the whole team needs to get it together and keep forcing the play and the goals will come and we will win these key games down the stretch….3 of 4 and WE ARE IN!!! We need the Boosh that won vs. NJ last Sunday and the one that we should’ve won vs. Mon on Friday if it weren’t for a ridiculous performance from Halak.
    LETS GO FLYERS!!!

  3. roboguy - Apr 5, 2010 at 9:29 AM

    i’ve been a flyers fan since the late 1960s. and although the team has played flat numerous times this season, they have the bad habit of scoring in the first period and then laying back their offense to try to protect that one goal lead for the rest of the game. bad idea! finally, it seems quite clear to me that the officiating is totally scewed against the flyers. i’m not trying to display sour grapes, but C’MON! possibly the worst officiating i seen since the flyers were born. i agree that even if the flyers make ity into the playoffs, they will probably be bounced out in the first round. if that happens, there’s always next season.

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