Friday morning, another depressing loss for the Philadelphia Flyers and the fans of this city after last nights 4-1 loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins. The Flyers are now 1-7 to start this season and are now off until next Thursday, when they face another rival, the New York Rangers. What has to happen next for the Flyers? Does there need to be a trade? A major move in the management? Or, bring up some young guns?
We all have seen that the goalie situation isn't really a situation at all anymore. Steve Mason has stepped up his play this season and has pretty good numbers thus far, besides the win:loss ratio. He has posted a 2.37 GAA and a .923 SV%. Every night that he has started in net, he has been the Flyers best player, but continues to get no help. The problems rest heavily on the offense. They have still yet to manage a 3 goal game, which places them as the only team in the NHL not to do so this season. Looking at this offense, they seem out of sync, absolutely no chemistry on any of the lines. The defense has had some holes yes, but they are much improved from last season. The defense can only do so much, when the offense musters only 1 goal. Good news from last night, they scored a powerplay goal! All joking aside, head coach Craig Berube, needs to practice heavily on the special teams.
Does there need to be a trade to shake things up? Perhaps that is the only option to get this team going. There is some speculation going around that the Flyers are interested in sharp shooter Thomas Vanek from the Buffalo Sabres, among other teams as well. Maybe it's time to part ways with Scott Hartnell, he has been injury prone as of late and has not produced much of anything. Also, we have depth on the defensive side, for once. Braydon Coburn and Andrej Meszaros are also two potential trade bait options, that maybe a team will have interest it. Erick Gustafsson has played very well, since being called up to take Mez's spot. They also have Oliver Lauridsen waiting in the wind to be called back up. He played well last season, when the Flyers had all those injury problems. What in the world happened to Claude Giroux? Who would have thought after 8 games, he has no goals and only 3 points. Maybe the pressure of the captaincy is getting to him? Maybe they should remove it, and see how he reacts to it? Tough questions to answer, but something needs to be done.
Is Paul Holmgren to blame? Maybe. He did put this group together and they have done nothing but under perform. This team, like I stated before, has no chemistry. They are missing passes and the shots seem to go 6 feet wide, left or right. Maybe it is time for Holmgren to realize that bringing in players in their 30's in not the best option, example Vinny Lecavalier, but he did perform before getting injured. As far as the young talent is concerned, they have not stepped up, and doesn't look like they are going to step up. I hate to say it, but knowing Holmgrens' past he may try and move Sean Couturier or Brayden Schenn, to get players in their late 20's and early 30's, he desperately wants to win now and it looks like Ed Snider is pushing him into some of these signings and trades that have been made lately. Or, maybe Paul has punched his last ticket? Their was talk when Ron Hextall came back into town, that he would be replacing Holmgren. Hexy did a great job in helping the Los Angeles Kings put together a Stanley Cup winning team, and they still continue to compete and win games.
All in all this team needs to make something happen in the week they have off. If they want to get this city's fans behind the team again, there needs to be a change, be it trade, management switch, or bringing up the young guys, it has to happen now. There is no excuse for not attempting to do anything in this time off to get this team better. The next two games are against divisional rivals in the Rangers and Islanders, which will be tough tasks if nothing is resolved. I still fully support this team, but it is getting very hard to be happy about upcoming games, based on their performance in this season and the last.