In what can only be described as a monumental “Mets-esque” collapse, your Philadelphia Flyers are in the process of going from an 8 point cushion and the 6th spot in the Eastern conference standings, to finishing out of the playoffs all in the matter of two weeks.
There are many reasons for the implosion but one of the biggest culprits appears to be a lack of determination. Injuries obviously are a factor, but the fact still remains that this is still a very talented roster that is playing well below anyone’s expectations not just the dreams of their devotees. Everything is coming to a head at once. The Flyers twenty-plus year goaltending blind spot, wild irrational overspending, and the frat house atmosphere in the locker room that lends itself to the organizations complete lack of accountability for its top players are just a couple of the obvious ones. All of this combined with having no farm system and 7 different goaltenders dressing this year spells disaster.
Players like Scott Hartnell and Braydon Coburn who were looked on to be giant contributors towards a long playoff run, have had seasons that if you wanted to put it lightly would be described as very disappointing, and if you cut the crap would be called horrific.
Hartnell; who is seldom not falling all over himself, has handicapped this team with braindead penalties and countless blind giveaways. A player who when he is on; contributes with a physical edge, agitation and timely offense, only has 2 more goals than grinder Danny Carcillo. In the offseason Paul Holmgren’s first move should be attempting to find some sap GM to take Scott Hartnell’s bloated contract off of this organizations hands.
The supposed elite players on this squad are not immune from criticism either, especially their supposed leader…
Captain Mike Richards; who appears to only play his game when he has a red maple leaf on his chest, is on track to finish about 20 points off of last years pace. His leadership from the outside looking in can be described as monotone and generally lacking. He’s had some minor spats with the media and recently has taken to making excuses after terrible losses. My favorite was after the embarrassing 6-4 defeat to the lowly Islanders, Richards spun this gem…
“This is a hard game to assess. It was such roller coaster…we just came up a little short.”
Oh and I almost forgot good ole’ Richy’s comments after the shutout loss on home ice to the Habs on Friday night…
“We played real well, just didn’t get the result.”
I’m sensing a theme…I’m also sensing that the Flyers will miss the playoff for only the second time in 15 years.