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Briere can’t save sputtering Flyers offense

Apr 13, 2013, 5:52 PM EDT

flyerslosegetty Getty Images

The numbers say that the Buffalo Sabres would need to go undefeated to even have about a 1-in-3 chance to make the playoffs. That sounds hopeless, which is probably how you might also describe the Philadelphia Flyers’ offense.

Buffalo beat Philadelphia 1-0 on Saturday, giving the Flyers four straight losses. They’ve scored just three goals in that skid.

During much of this season, it’s been easy to blame Philly’s problems on a thin defense corps and Ilya Bryzgalov, yet now they’re even struggling to fill opposing teams’ nets.

Jhonas Enroth ended up winning a battle of backups over Steve Mason, stopping all 29 Flyers shots.

One might find some symbolism in how Saturday’s game ended: Daniel Briere hit the post in the closing moments, leaving the Flyers looking for answers for yet another day in the 2013 season.

  1. malkinrulez - Apr 13, 2013 at 5:58 PM

    I hate the Flyers but feel for a fan base that deserves better. I understand the defensive shortcomings but that lineup should score goals

    • eigglesnosuperbowls - Apr 13, 2013 at 7:59 PM

      I have followed the flyers since 1969 trust me on this,,,, this is the only season I can remember that they are playing for a draft pick !

      • xflyersx - Apr 13, 2013 at 11:42 PM


      • coronakid76 - Apr 14, 2013 at 6:20 PM

        and they will probably screw that up too…….Sigh…..This franchise drives me crazy…..

  2. wisdomnfl - Apr 13, 2013 at 6:18 PM


  3. crazemastercraze - Apr 13, 2013 at 6:18 PM

    Their fans deserve to be locked in a mental institution. They probably think that the playoffs are still within the Flyers grasp.

    • phillyphanatic77 - Apr 13, 2013 at 8:00 PM

      Yes we’re all so delusional inside our own reality that we can’t tell that we’ve lost 4 straight and we’re currently 12th in the conference. Flyers cup drought ends 2013! Gimme a break troll.

  4. crashtheboards55 - Apr 13, 2013 at 6:19 PM

    Mason has looked like a really great pickup for the Flyers. There is so much talent in that lineup not to be scoring.

  5. obamareallysucks - Apr 13, 2013 at 7:34 PM

    flyers suck.

  6. phillyphanatic77 - Apr 13, 2013 at 7:44 PM

    Wow all Pens fans commenting on this page. I can understand why though… this game was like watching paint dry. Our offense was anemic, we’re down to two NHL-caliber defenders, and our lethal powerplay suddenly cant get the puck in the offensive zone. There are several bright spots, however… 1) if we continue losing it will seriously improve our chances of winning the Seth Jones lottery. Adding a franchise dman through the draft would take a ton of pressure off Holmgren to trade our young talent to acquire an established #1 dman. He could then focus on filling out the rest of the blueline and other areas of need. And 2) Steve Mason is looking like a steal. It’s only been 3 games but the feeling of having Mason in net is far superior to the feeling Bryz gives me. When Bryz is in, it just feels like havoc is about to break out at any second, like the next shot is going to slip through. With Mason, there is a comfort level. I don’t have to constantly worry whether the next routine save won’t be so routine. He probably should’ve had a shutout today if not for a crazy, fluke goal. I’ve been extremely impressed with his positioning, his agility, and his poise. Give him the rest of the starts! We have to know if he can be “the guy” next season.

    • President Charles Logan - Apr 13, 2013 at 11:06 PM

      77 you getting excited and grasping over the 3 whole games mason has played in? , you guys need to go out and get an established trustworthy goaltender this summer , along with hiring lindy ruff to coach. find a way to get ryan miller

      • phillyphanatic77 - Apr 14, 2013 at 10:16 AM

        Ryan Miller does nothing for me. He’s not the goalie he once was. And the cost to acquire him, coupled with his cap hit, essentially makes him a non-option for the Flyers. The Flyers need cap room to add help on the blue line. If they go out and spend huge amounts of money on a goalie without addressing our defensive deficiencies then we’ll hear the same excuses we hear with Bryz now… mainly that no goaltender could stop the puck with that defensive corps in front of him. I’m not saying Mason is going to win us a Cup but his $1.5 mil cap hit would allow Holmgren plenty of flexibility. And you can’t say he hasn’t performed well in limited action.

      • President Charles Logan - Apr 14, 2013 at 12:41 PM

        Stave Mason isnt Ryan Miller …. Ryan Miller at his worst is a huge upgrade to Steve Mason … Miller just needs a change of scenery.

    • President Charles Logan - Apr 14, 2013 at 11:31 AM

      Ryan Miller wasnt the goalie he once was as you claim? id still take a chance on him , and you guys act like you havre this gold mine of youth thats untouchable or un-tradeable…. ( is this where you cue in those schenn brothers) ?

      • phillyphanatic77 - Apr 14, 2013 at 12:15 PM

        The Flyers don’t set the marketplace themselves. EVERY time a team inquires about a trade with the Flyers, Brayden Schenn and Couturier are the names brought up. If they were no talent hacks with a defined ceiling then opposing franchises wouldn’t be crawling all over themselves to pry these kids away. They are the Flyers most valuable trading chips for a reason. You can have your own opinion on them but in the hockey world they are a treasure trove of potential. Couturier would be the key piece in a move to get someone like, say, Shea Weber. That’s how valuable they are. And I’ve watched Ryan Miller plenty throughout his career, and I’m telling you he’s not the same goalie that he once was. Not to mention he throws his defenders under the bus, so how do you think he’d like playing behind the Flyers defensemen. It wouldn’t work. Have you watched Mason play? Because he’s been very good. If you start him the rest of the way and he stays consistent then I have no issue with him being the starter next season. You amnesty Bryz and Briere, get your top-five pick, and then you have a nice amount of cap space to work with. You bring in a low-priced vet goalie to compete with Mason (Khabibulin?), then attack the other areas of need. Expect the Flyers to be wheeling and dealing this offseason, and I truly believe this team can make a quick turnaround (a la the Montreal Canadiens). It’s a down year but that doesn’t mean there isn’t a bright future for the Flyers.

    • coronakid76 - Apr 14, 2013 at 6:26 PM

      Impressed with his positioning………..except for that bad goal…….where he wasn’t in position……..That’s his M.O. he let’s in too many soft goals. Granted he is a definite upgrade over Bouch and Leighton but he did lose his starting job to the guy we dumped cause of Bryz. Bobs was our goalie of the future and Homer pulled a DOH and dumped him for win now mentality…Bryz did have a good 2 year run in phoenix but our team has proved (shocker) we have not defense to help him out…….How do we go from 1 goal to win a stanley cup to completely dismantling a team who did have their issues but scored more then they allowed!!!! to be back at the bottom of the barrel again……STOP trading the prospects for end of the line vets……

      • phillyphanatic77 - Apr 14, 2013 at 9:40 PM

        I’m sorry but I have to disagree on almost all your points. First, Mason’s positioning on the goal. I don’t see how holding your skate/pad on the post, when the puck is fired behind the net, constitutes poor positioning. Can you really blame a goalie when the puck comes off the boards awkwardly and deflects in off the back of his skate? Even if you do want to blame him for the goal, you can’t blame him for the loss when your offense can’t score a single goal. Second, I didn’t want to see Bob traded, but it wasn’t a “win now” move. He was traded for a 2nd rd pick that became Anthony Stolarz, who is being compared to Pekka Rinne and is the goalie of the future. And third, say what you will about Holmgren, but he absolutely has not traded prospects for “end of the line vets”. He’s been GM since the 06-07 debacle and the ONLY trade like that was the Pronger deal. And that was a home run until Prongers career ending injury. Otherwise, he has done the opposite of what you’re saying. I mean moving Carter and Richards for Voracek, Couturier, Simmonds, and Schenn was dealing vets for young kids, not the other way around. You can criticize Holmgrens moves all you like, but he has gone the opposite route of Bob Clarke, who was infamous for dealing prospects to win now.

  7. buff80 - Apr 13, 2013 at 9:14 PM

    Both teams suck. This is from a die hard Sabres fan. What a disappointing season.

    • billsin20xx - Apr 14, 2013 at 7:40 AM

      That was a terrible game to watch, a faceoff every 30 seconds it seemed like. Two horrible teams.

  8. jacketsfan7 - Apr 13, 2013 at 11:20 PM

    I feel bad for mason , he’s played 1 solid and 1 decent game , while his offense in front of him in those to games have produced all of 1 goal

  9. jacketsfan7 - Apr 13, 2013 at 11:22 PM

    @Phillyphanatic77 I agree with you on mason , he’s looking solid in net , but with Philly , he looks comfortable in net playing with the flyers

  10. bobhpine - Apr 14, 2013 at 2:47 AM

    More obsessing over the Philthy goalie. Shocker. Now it’s Steve Mason to save the day. Scott Hartnell, Sean Couturier, Danny Briere, da bess player in da worl, Luke Schenn and the rest of that Swiss cheese D must LOVE Bryz for taking all of the heat for this epic failure of a season. What about Paul Holmgren? He gets no blame for this spate of awful signings? Extending an ancient Kimo Timonen mid season for $6 mil? Signing a middling 31 year-old goalie for 9 years? Honestly, why do all of these guys get a pass!

    I also enjoy the notion that the Flyers will just bounce back and that these 48 games are somehow a fluke. Check out that cap situation next year. Buying out or amnestying Briere and/or Bryz (to say nothing of all that money going to Pronger for nothing) doesn’t create a bunch of cap space, it merely makes them compliant with the falling ’13-’14 cap.

    Seriously, Steve Mason and one draft pick is what will catapult this 12th seed to the top of the conference?

    Instead of saying that Crosby sucks or the Penguins went bankrupt or whatever, I really would like to hear a cogent defense of Holmgren, Hartnell, Giroux and the rest of this merry band of underachievers.

    I’m sure we will just hear about how many more regular season wins the Flyers have over the Penguins or how Pens fans are gay. Reasonable arguments are welcome however.

    • dmfc1112 - Apr 14, 2013 at 4:31 AM

      Isn’t this “merry band of underacheivers” pretty much the same Flyers team that beat some underacheiving team from the Western side of the state in last year’s playoffs??? You’re not saying much for your favorite team by giving the Flyers zero respect.

      On to your issues with Holmgren and their payroll. Please inform us of this spate of horrible signings. The Bryz disaster is mostly the owner’s doing rather than the GM’s. I do agree for the 20th plus year that the goaltending is unresolved. I would say Jody Shelley is by far Holmgren’s worst signing. All of these fill-ins signed during the year were pretty much like trying to buy a new car with half empty pockets on a used car lot.

      According to CapGeek, The Flyers will have 1.5 million in cap space next year INcluding Bryz and Briere. If they re-sign Rinaldo, Hall and Fedotenko that adds about 3 mill leaving them 1.5 over the cap. That makes a Bryz and/or Briere buy-out inevitable. That could mean 12 mill off the cap which leaves room to spend money on… …Oh yeah, not really a great free agent crop. Hmmm, buy more lottery tickets. I hear there are alot of big prizes this time(unlike’07).

    • sizzle299 - Apr 14, 2013 at 9:04 AM

      Your problem is your memory is too short.

      You can’t fault Holmgren for his offensive signings. Well except that right now there is not a lot of goal scoring, but that’s not his fault. Giroux was drafted late in the first round, he had a monster year last year because evidently he needs top notch talent on his line or else he’s average. There needs to be a marquis offensive player for Giroux and there isn’t- I guess that is his limitation but you can’t create a player like that out of thin air, and they are too expensive to acquire and the Flyers never get good draft picks [unlike some teams]. Jagr should have been paid, and everyone knows it now, but back then? Can’t make that call against Holmgren in hindsight. Moving through the offense, look at the major turnaround in some of these players who had career years last year…Simmonds, Voracek, Talbot…they were discards who were gotten relatively cheaply who have filled major roles in this team. Read came out of nowhere, Coots dominated Malkin after 6 teams passed up on him in the draft. Hartnell had a ton of goals last year. How quickly you forget that. Hell, Richards and Carter were late first rounders as well. Schenn is still young, can’t make any call on him yet. So don’t play the card that Holmgren is completely out of touch. I’ll challenge you to find another GM who gets more out of his players. Defensively is another story, and so is goaltending- both of which Holmgren is lost. He also signs players to big contracts but that is the way the league is. Don’t fault Briere, especially considering his playoff track record. And who is available on defense to replace Kimmo? Don’t you take a risk he will stay healthy? Maybe, just maybe, it is worth that amount for him to play half the games for what he brings to the team in terms of leadership. Hartnell gets a pass for his production last year, he gets distracted but is still solid, he’ll come back.

      Goaltending is constant problem here because management doesn’t know their ass from a hole in the ground and it is distracting more than anything else. They can’t stop the goalie carousel, so start with Jeff Reese and give Paul a pass. Defense isn’t a problem until the goals stop coming in, evidently this squad lost their fight and they aren’t scoring right now. It doesnt mean they never will again. Next year is another year…..your team said that a lot over the last two decades so I don’t want to hear it. Buy out Bryz, build the defense and get a coach to manage it and this team is a solid playoff contender even with average goaltending.

  11. bobhpine - Apr 14, 2013 at 2:31 PM

    At what point does the six game series against the Penguins in April 2012 stop being as relevant as what is happening now? Couturier did frustrate Malkin. He hasn’t done much of anything since. Hartnell scored during that series. How much has he scored in the 2013 season? If Giroux is such a great captain, why hasn’t this team even made a push to make the playoffs. 12th place is embarrassing.

    I listed the bad signings. Who is going to replace Timonen? Really? He’s that important? So he gets a $6 mil extension before he hits free agency. I doubt any other team would have paid 38 year old Timonen half that on the open market. Accepting the premise that the Bryz signing was pushed by the owner, does he really need a 9 year deal? He couldn’t have been signed for less? Teams were beating down Bryzgalov’s doors to sign him until he reaches 40? I doubt it. The Pronger signing was awful considering the risks that come with a 35+ contract. All of this to say nothing of the van Riemsdyk trade (awful), and the giving away of Bobrovsky. Why was he not even good enough to keep as a backup again?

    The fact that Holmgren is being defended even now, proves my point. Some guys get a free pass with this weird organization and the goalie NEVER does. Bryz’s save percentage is about 89. Would a 91 make this team a contender? Hardly.

    • narfmoo12 - Apr 14, 2013 at 5:35 PM

      Let me take a swing at a few of these …

      1. Bobrovsky was terrible last year. He also was just as terrible for the first half of the season. He’s gotten hot the last 6 weeks and now his numbers look great, but for the 6 weeks of the season, his GAA was pushing 3.00.

      2. Pronger was traded for. And his contract hasn’t done anything because it goes on the LTIR, but he did lead us to a Cup finals, so that looks pretty good.

      3. JVR for Schenn. Schenn has been quite good for the Flyers and JVR has been good for the Leafs. Seemed like a trade where both players needed a fresh start.

      4. Giroux is averaging a point per game. The team did make a push by winning 4 straight, but eventually losing Meszaros, Grossman and Coburn for the season will catch up to you. Especially when the best defenseman in the AHL (Bourdon) is also out.

      5. Buying out Bryz and Briere will put the Flyers well under the cap and give them plenty of flexibility this summer.

      6. Also, you don’t think Bryz stopping an extra goal every other game wouldn’t change the Flyers in the standings?

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