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Post-Mortem for The '21-'22 Season: Systems Failure


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I pledged to start a post-mortem (a good descriptor given how bad it was) thread for the season.  Here is a take based on percentages derived from my wine-rotted, nearly Medicare-eligible brain:


1. Management (30%)

2. Drafting and Development (20%)

3. Cost-effective Complementary Trades/Signings (20%)

4. Medical Care/Training (15%)

5. Coaching (15%)


I was around for 2006-7, and from my vantage, this year was worse relative to expectations and on-paper, the roster.  But the rot has been here since 2004-05.  This team has never caught on with the "New NHL."  We saw the beginnings of the current mess during the playoff bubble in '19-'20 when Montreal gave us fits and the Isles top line skated through us.  


Here's rationale:


1.  Management:  The brass sets the tone and tenor of the organization.  They draw the big picture strategy and fill in the blanks.  Some will say Comcast is a bad owner.  I agree but for this reason--they haven't rid the organization of its Stanley Cup-era mindset and win-now philosophy.  The Roberts family wouldn't have built a cable and entertainment behemoth without sound capital allocation and long-range thinking.  Perhaps they have given Spectacor and the team too much autonomy.

2.  Drafting and Development:  Dave Scott and Chuck Fletcher have said it--we haven't gotten high-end talent.  We don't seem to draft or develop game-changers.  

3.  Cost-effective Complementary Trades/Signings:  Dale Weise. Vinny Lecavalier. JVR.  Risto. Hayes.  We seem to overpay undeserving players for inordinate term. And save for the fourth line, we don't seem to make careful add-on trades with big payoffs.  

4. Medical Care/Training:  It is hard to imagine that sound medical care is unavailable in a city filled with world-class med schools and hospitals.  I wonder if diagnoses are gummed up in the bureaucracy, with players and coaching getting poor guidance on prognosis and follow-up.  On the training side, I wonder if McCrossin and staff do enough to bolster "resilience" and injury-avoidance, not just strength and cardio? 

5.  Coaching:  We have brought in coaches with good pedigree and differing styles.  Lavy, Stevens, and Berube have had respectable to excellent post-Flyers records--including a Stanley Cup for the greatest mind in hockey.  I am not dissing the importance of coaching.  But I do think the long-term problems we've had since 2005-06 transcend the person behind the bench and his assistants.


A final thought.  We are 32nd in win percentage in the shootout since inception in 2005-06--.360.  Some say this is "Skills Competition" that doesn't warrant attention.  I think it's the other way around.  Our poor percentage reflects how "de-skilled" we have been for a long time.  


NHL Records - Team Record


From my vantage--I don't see a 2007-8 turnaround in the making.  I think we'll be lucky to play .500 hockey and our walk in the desert may go on for longer than we care to think.  






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Great post Howie. I'm simply holding on to the belief that when you sink this low, you can only go up. 


All I want in the immediate, is a team that is fighting and competing on the ice, while getting better


I hate boring, uninspired hockey.....and Scott Laughton 😁

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Spot on, Howie.  How many empty seats and for how long will it take for upper management to figure this out.  Nostalgia lasts for only so long so maybe it's time for the " Old Boys Club " to go into the dust bin of history.

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