Jump to content

Is There a Franchise Problem with Goaltending?


Guest Howie58
 Share

Recommended Posts

Greetings:

There are several threads on Bryz/Bobo. All are well-taken. But I am raising a question several of us raised a lot on the old forum: Is goal a blind spot with this franchise?

1) As for Bryz, the question is whether we are facing a lost year or a lost career? If we are having this discussion next year at this time I suspect Homer will bite the bullet and waive the guy and hope somebody picks him up at half price. Or maybe we try to waive him; both would "work" if someone thinks a change of venue will help.

2) Bobo--well, I suspect we have another Nitty on our hands. With Nitty a series of injuries and a lousy, lousy season may have derailed his career. But one way of the other--we moved on when the 1-1A with Esche didn't pan out. And with Bobo--the signals sent by the franchise seem to be "you are a goalie of the future, but probably as a super back-up or somebody's else's starter after a trade...."

Reese may help but the bottom line seems to be simple: Unlike LA or Nashville, we just don't seem to get goal. We can say that Snider was part of this one--he ordered Homer to pull a trigger. But that wouldn't have had to happen if we could either develop our own goalies or trade well. This is an organizational black hole.

Peace,

Howie

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Replies 52
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

Top Posters In This Topic

Bobo--well, I suspect we have another Nitty on our hands.

Can't and wouldn't defend Bryzgalov. However, I wouldn't throw Bob under the bus with him. The NJ debacle wasn't on him at all. Also, he's a very different kettle of fish from Nitty in that he has way more natural talent/athleticism. If we had a decent #1 you might be tempted to move him but he's the only good goaltender in the organization at any level. He's playing pretty well and we need to hang onto him.

Edited by terp
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Lets face it, we have not realy had any goalie to be considered exceptional since Lindbergh and we only had him for 3 years or so. Hextall had one great year, his rookie season, after that his mechanics went to hell and he was flopping around like a fish out of water, and getting beat with horrible 5 hole shots. Hexy was an average goalie. Maybe all the groin and hamstring injuries were to blame, who knows. Since then we have had a parade of mediocrity. Boucher had a great rookie year, then was mediocre, same thing with Cecmanek, Nitty showed flashes of brilliance, but again it was the same old story. We have not had a consistent goalie in 25 years, oh wait, they have been consistent,,,,,, consistantly bad.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thats true about Hexy. People tend to forget that after the first year he was never exactly the same. He had quite his share of backbreakers in both tours of duty with us. His attitude and heart endeared himself to us and tended to cover up a lot of the bad stuff.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Can't and wouldn't defend Bryzgalov. However, I wouldn't throw Bob under the bus with him. The NJ debacle wasn't on him at all. Also, he's a very different kettle of fish from Nitty in that he has way more natural talent/athleticism. If we had a decent #1 you might be tempted to move him but he's the only good goaltender in the organization at any level. He's playing pretty well and we need to hang onto him.

If Bryz gave up six goals in less than 30 minutes, we wouldn't be saying "I wouldn't throw Bryz under the bus" - we'd be driving the bus and backing up to see if we hit him hard enough.

Niittymaki was the MVP of the Calder Cup and the MVP of the Olympics - not bad for a guy without Bob's "natural talent/athleticism". Bob's playoff record isn't quite as stellar.

Since Bernie, this organization has not given a rat's ass about goaltending. It's why Bob Clarke is "Mr. Flyer" while Bernie Parent isn't - the organization believes that the forwards won the 74/75 Cups - not the goaltending. I have all the respect in the world for Clarke's Hart Trophies - but they seem to overshadow Bernie's Conn Smythe and Vezinas for the Flyers.

They've consistently gone for the cheap options - bringing in Cechmanek or Bobrovsky from Europe; taking Vanbiesbrouck over Cujo; reclaiming Boucher and plucking Leighton off waivers (twice). Sean Burke. Martin Biron. Robert Esche. Garth Snow.

Develop their own? They have spent four 1/2 round picks on goalies in THIRTY YEARS.

They haven't made the right decision on goalies since Bernie. They lucked into Lindbergh. Hextall had a brilliant rookie run. The team quit on Barber and blamed Cechmanek.

Aside from that, what?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Can't and wouldn't defend Bryzgalov. However, I wouldn't throw Bob under the bus with him. The NJ debacle wasn't on him at all. Also, he's a very different kettle of fish from Nitty in that he has way more natural talent/athleticism. If we had a decent #1 you might be tempted to move him but he's the only good goaltender in the organization at any level. He's playing pretty well and we need to hang onto him.

Terp: I don't want to throw him under the bus either. That said, I think the organization may have done that by bringing in a youngish Bryz with a long contract. If they had brought in Vokoun or someone along those lines and said, "be this guys understudy while you develop," I would understand that. What they have done, from my vantage, is develop this guy to be a perpetual 1A or trade bait.

Again, I think the "organeyezation" is at fault.

Good to hear from you,

Howie

Link to comment
Share on other sites

If Bryz gave up six goals in less than 30 minutes, we wouldn't be saying "I wouldn't throw Bryz under the bus" - we'd be driving the bus and backing up to see if we hit him hard enough.

Niittymaki was the MVP of the Calder Cup and the MVP of the Olympics - not bad for a guy without Bob's "natural talent/athleticism". Bob's playoff record isn't quite as stellar.

Since Bernie, this organization has not given a rat's ass about goaltending. It's why Bob Clarke is "Mr. Flyer" while Bernie Parent isn't - the organization believes that the forwards won the 74/75 Cups - not the goaltending. I have all the respect in the world for Clarke's Hart Trophies - but they seem to overshadow Bernie's Conn Smythe and Vezinas for the Flyers.

They've consistently gone for the cheap options - bringing in Cechmanek or Bobrovsky from Europe; taking Vanbiesbrouck over Cujo; reclaiming Boucher and plucking Leighton off waivers (twice). Sean Burke. Martin Biron. Robert Esche. Garth Snow.

Develop their own? They have spent four 1/2 round picks on goalies in THIRTY YEARS.

They haven't made the right decision on goalies since Bernie. They lucked into Lindbergh. Hextall had a brilliant rookie run. The team quit on Barber and blamed Cechmanek.

Aside from that, what?

Rad:

Good assessment. I think there is a definite blind spot. And the inbreeding we've had in top management may "nourish" it.

Best,

Howie

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Poulin : You are right on. He acted like an old time Flyer and won the hearts of most fans. I can still see some of those shots from just inside the blue line by NJ that broke the heart he won over.. Mine.

Yeah that Claude Lemiuex goal on Hexy is the epitome of the problem that we are discussing in this thread. If there was an entry about our goalie problems in the Flyers encyclopedia that goal very well could be the picture they use as that was a killer and series ender (even though that win didnt clinch it for the Devils). Although the Leigton Game 6 goal is a good candidate for this honor as well with the Leaf OT series winner vs Beezer. (So many choices unfortunately)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

If Bryz gave up six goals in less than 30 minutes, we wouldn't be saying "I wouldn't throw Bryz under the bus" - we'd be driving the bus and backing up to see if we hit him hard enough.

Some might but they would be wrong if they blamed Bryzgalov when poor team play was to blame. Bob let in the goals but the score was not a function of his play.

Niittymaki was the MVP of the Calder Cup and the MVP of the Olympics - not bad for a guy without Bob's "natural talent/athleticism". Bob's playoff record isn't quite as stellar.

Nitti has had a mediocre NHL career despite the two MVP awards and he's never really been able to win and hold onto a job as a #1. Bob does in fact have more raw skill than Nitti and he's still young, so has a shot at being what Nitti was not: an above average #1 NHL goaltender.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Again, I think the "organeyezation" is at fault.

We agree on this. I would say though that signing Bob was the one shrewd move this organization has made with regard to goaltending in quite some time. Seems like some posters want to paint Bob with the same brush and (mixing metaphors) throw out the baby with the bathwater.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Nitti has had a mediocre NHL career despite the two MVP awards and he's never really been able to win and hold onto a job as a #1. Bob does in fact have more raw skill than Nitti and he's still young, so has a shot at being what Nitti was not: an above average #1 NHL goaltender.

Given that the early and large part of his career was spent with an organization that is the subject of this thread regarding their inability to handle goaltenders properly, I'm not putting that all on Niitty - much the same was Bob wasn't responsible for all six against the Devils.

His first season he split with Esche and they gave Esche the start in the playoffs (virtually identical stats). Esche then took the blame for the loss to Buffalo. Niitty was the goalie for the worst season in franchise history (which I think we can agree was not the goalie's fault) and never given a shot thereafter.

Bob, to me, is still an unproven commodity. I like what I see and I would like to see more of it, but I'm still not 100% sold.

Still, they seem to have done to Bob exactly what they did to Niitty.

Lather. Rinse. Repeat.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

@radoran

At least so far as I was concerned, the conversation was about whether or not Bob was principally at fault for the 6 goals against NJ. Now you're talking about whether or not Nitti got a decent shot in Philly. I really don't know the answer to the later but I think Bob's got talent and that Jeff Reese knows what he's doing, so I disagree with any suggestion that we should unload both of our goaltenders.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

At least so far as I was concerned, the conversation was about whether or not Bob was principally at fault for the 6 goals against NJ. Now you're talking about whether or not Nitti got a decent shot in Philly. I really don't know the answer to the later but I think Bob's got talent and that Jeff Reese knows what he's doing, so I disagree with any suggestion that we should unload both of our goaltenders.

Like This

Given that the early and large part of his career was spent with an organization that is the subject of this thread regarding their inability to handle goaltenders properly, I'm not putting that all on Niitty - much the same was Bob wasn't responsible for all six against the Devils.

His first season he split with Esche and they gave Esche the start in the playoffs (virtually identical stats). Esche then took the blame for the loss to Buffalo. Niitty was the goalie for the worst season in franchise history (which I think we can agree was not the goalie's fault) and never given a shot thereafter.

Bob, to me, is still an unproven commodity. I like what I see and I would like to see more of it, but I'm still not 100% sold.

Still, they seem to have done to Bob exactly what they did to Niitty.

Lather. Rinse. Repeat.

Rad + Terp:

My main concern is with the organization not the individuals. The Quality Assurance gurus always make a point of saying that bad systems drive down good people. I am not sure the Flyers have been a good organization for goalies. Nitti may have been more or less--that one could be debated. But on the face of it, he was scapegoated (in part) for a bad season and with his hip labrum, got disposed of. But I admit that he did not run with the ball either in SJ. That said, I think the signing of Bryz, if I were in Bobo's shoes, has to be viewed as a strange move, and not necessarily uplifting. Reese may be a good guy. But his work may not matter much if he is not provided the best raw material or he is not given the time to develop people.

What's strange--and has been noted by several others in the past--is that Bryz was waived by Anaheim. Brian Burke is no dodo. We apparently didn't want to pay attention to warning signs.

Meanwhile, I think we head into the playoffs (hopefully) with a muddled goalie situation.

Peace,

Howie

Link to comment
Share on other sites

@Howie58

As much as Bryz sucks lately I really believe that Lavi has these guys playing the wrong way. I prefer a 'Hitchcockian' style that puts emphasis on positioning and neutral zone play as to this balls to wall, pond hockey, scheme that Lavi has drawn up. That's fine if Lundkvist or Brodeur (in his prime) is our goalie, but that's not the case here. We just cant rely on Bryz to bail our D-men out from the occasional pinch or mishap -which completely defeats the purpose of signing the guy forever. I would much rather have signed Boucher and gave the starting job to BOB and devise a smart system that focused on defense first. Then we could use our speed to capitalize on transitional offense that stems from strong neutral zone play. Instead we have the complete opposite.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

@radoran

At least so far as I was concerned, the conversation was about whether or not Bob was principally at fault for the 6 goals against NJ. Now you're talking about whether or not Nitti got a decent shot in Philly. I really don't know the answer to the later but I think Bob's got talent and that Jeff Reese knows what he's doing, so I disagree with any suggestion that we should unload both of our goaltenders.

You responded to the comparison of Niittymaki to Bob in the opening post and your opening response.

The discussion furthers that comparison. I think that that comparison is well-founded.

The question of the thread is does the organization have a blind spot for goalies. I think their treatment of Niittymaki and their current handling of Bob is quite relevant to that discussion.

I don't see anyone seriously saying we should get rid of both goalies. There is one guy who thinks we should start Leighton, but c'mon now...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

My main concern is with the organization not the individuals. The Quality Assurance gurus always make a point of saying that bad systems drive down good people. I am not sure the Flyers have been a good organization for goalies. Nitti may have been more or less--that one could be debated. But on the face of it, he was scapegoated (in part) for a bad season and with his hip labrum, got disposed of. But I admit that he did not run with the ball either in SJ. That said, I think the signing of Bryz, if I were in Bobo's shoes, has to be viewed as a strange move, and not necessarily uplifting. Reese may be a good guy. But his work may not matter much if he is not provided the best raw material or he is not given the time to develop people.

Treatment of individuals displays the intent of the organization.

Just for the record, Nitty started 49 for Tampa before Roloson stepped in and was signed to be San Jose's starter before Chicago was forced to waive Niemi.

The only reason that Niittymaki entered into the discussion is that he is referenced in your opening post.

I absolutely and wholeheartedly concur that going with a Vokoun or Nabokov for a short period would have made the most sense.

What's strange--and has been noted by several others in the past--is that Bryz was waived by Anaheim. Brian Burke is no dodo. We apparently didn't want to pay attention to warning signs.

Burke had just signed Hiller and JSG had a new contract as the Cup-winning goalie for the franchise. Not finding any takers on a trade, Burke waived him.

Bryzgalov's career playoff record 12-13, 2.55, .917. In the '06 run he was 6-4, 1.46, .944. He also had some notable struggles.

It's not as black-and-white as Burke's precient "warning signs" - especially as Bryzgalov was subsequently nominated for the Vezina. Hiller is better than Bryz and JSG was their Cup hero.

To be clear, I think the 9-year, $51 million contract is one of the absolute worst mistakes this franchise has ever made and thought so long before he pulled on the sweater for his first game.

To the point of the thread (again) - yes, the organization has a serious blind spot for goalies. As is evidenced by just about every goalie they've had since Bernie Parent - Niittymaki, Bobrovsky and Bryzgalov included.

Meanwhile, I think we head into the playoffs (hopefully) with a muddled goalie situation.

They will start Bryz - barring a complete and total meltdown. Bob will be in the wings looking to be Lavy's next Cam Ward.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Goal has always been the Flyers weak point. Clarke's philosphy thanks to a conversation with former Red Team goaltender Tretiak was that you didn't need superstar goaltending to win championships. I think in the last few years you can see a change in that philosophy. One making Neil Little goaltending scout and two the replacing of Reggie as goaltending coach to me shows a new found committment to the goaltending position.

I feel Bryz is a victum of one a system change (phoenix is showing it was the system not entirely the goalie) and two the white hot spotlight of Philadelphia Media and fan base. He did not have this same level of pressure in Phoenix. I do not think Bryz is capabile of filtering out the noise.

The Flyers went out an went the superstar goalie route and well its not panning out to be what the fan base was anticipating. I don't think that it is solely the goalie's fault. Missing key cogs in Pronger and Briere I feel really hurts this team. I am interested to see how Holmgren goes about filling those voids should neither be able to return.

Even year coach right? Who would you pick as the next coach of the Flyers? Or if need be the next GM? I don't see Holmgren getting the same passes that Clarke got to have the job for life.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Clarke's philosphy thanks to a conversation with former Red Team goaltender Tretiak was that you didn't need superstar goaltending to win championships.

Clarke can barely read, but you think he had an entire philosophy?

It is a fact to say that teams have won the Stanley Cup without having superstar goaltending. Recently even. Like against the Flyers!

Edited by Podein25
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yup Clarke is on Record with his goaltending Philosophy.

I agree teams have recently won the cup with passable goaltending. The difference on those team defense and the system. Which is why I was asking who the next coach would be. New System = New Coach.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

You responded to the comparison of Niittymaki to Bob in the opening post and your opening response. The discussion furthers that comparison. I think that that comparison is well-founded. The question of the thread is does the organization have a blind spot for goalies. I think their treatment of Niittymaki and their current handling of Bob is quite relevant to that discussion. I don't see anyone seriously saying we should get rid of both goalies. There is one guy who thinks we should start Leighton, but c'mon now...

Among the things I responded to was you saying that had Bryzgalov let in 6 goals, people would have made a big deal out of it. It sounded to me like you thought Bob was part of the problem and I disagreed with that. In fact, I would go so far as to say that signing him was the one shrewd thing the Flyers have done lately with their goaltending.

I don't know that there is much of a comparison between Bob and Nitti, at least not yet. Bob is in his second year and he's actually improving and playing well. As I said earlier, I think he has a lot more skill and what's more )and unlike Nitti) he seems to have a good goaltending coach. To the extent that his expectations may have been mismanaged, I view the Bryzgalov signing as more of an isolated event hatched by Snider (and not by Homer, his goaltending coach, scouts and anyone else who involved in selecting goaltenders). So while the Flyers may still not be all that good at selecting goaltenders, Bryzgalov's signing and the blow back from it aren't an indication of that shortcoming.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

If management had calmed down for 5 fkn minutes after the Boston sweep and looked at THE TEAM play of the previous 3 months they would've realized from February on it was a disaster. They would've seen the coaching mistakes in the POs - calling up Leighton? - for what they were, mistakes - nothing to use for evaluating why we lost 4 straight, why Buff took us to 7 games.

They could've factored in the fact that Bob, barely speaking a word of English, never playing more than 30-some games in a season but going over 50 last year - had a helluva good season all in all - IF you kept your expectations reasonable. Instead of saying (like some posters here did) "He faded, obviously he's not ready" they should've realized he was the product of the TEAM PLAY - a team that felt it had to jettison its captain and its leading goal-scorer - and that he was surely going to be better this year.

We didn't need to go overboard on goaltending this past summer but our stupid management apparently didn't even consider anything less than Buy The Highest-Priced FA. They wanted a Media Splash. Well they got it.

And now guaranteed every skater in that room who's young enough is thinking "WTF NINE more years of THIS?"

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Greetings:

SoCal raises the question of Lavy's style--this is clearly not your Grandpa's Flyers' squad. Defense/goal may not mean as much as in the past. And in post-Lockout NHL play, that may be the case. But I think that goal and D win Cups. Hence my concern as we enter the playoffs (hopefully).

As I've said before, we play in one of the most competitive divisions in the League, if not all the major sports. This weekend left me very concerned about our defense and D. Four goals should win most games but we lost to NJ. We seemed well on our way to coming back yesterday and couldn't keep them off the board. In theory our D should be OK. The same should be said for our goaltending. The numbers don't bear the latter out.

Homer's apparently good forward trades (and I don't hear complaints about Hartnell being overpaid) may pale compared to our goal situation. But this seems to be part of our DNA.

Best,

Howie

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I feel Bryz is a victum of one a system change (phoenix is showing it was the system not entirely the goalie) and two the white hot spotlight of Philadelphia Media and fan base. He did not have this same level of pressure in Phoenix. I do not think Bryz is capabile of filtering out the noise.

I don't, either, and having the 24/7 crew around only exacerbated it. He was apparently a well-known eccentric in the league. I don't understand the Flyers tethering the franchise to him. At. All.

The Flyers went out an went the superstar goalie route and well its not panning out to be what the fan base was anticipating. I don't think that it is solely the goalie's fault. Missing key cogs in Pronger and Briere I feel really hurts this team. I am interested to see how Holmgren goes about filling those voids should neither be able to return.

Even year coach right? Who would you pick as the next coach of the Flyers? Or if need be the next GM? I don't see Holmgren getting the same passes that Clarke got to have the job for life.

Well, there's one guy who IMO is feeling a LOT of "win now" pressure.

Mr. Snider.

I suspect we will hear ad infinitum after this about how "signing the superstar goalie" didn't work. It'll be checked off - "well, tried that. see? didn't work. Let's get back to the important stuff like making sure we're big down the middle..."

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share


×
×
  • Create New...