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So where do we go from here?


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Obviously this is the not the start we had all hope for. Anytime type of slow start we all knew could be disasterous in a shorten season. We are 0-3 and staring at 0-4 down a double barrel shotgun. So a few observations:

1. This team misses Briere. No if and or buts about it.

2. This team is gonna miss Jagr. Now could he hold up for another season, even a shorten oen is open for debate.

3. For whatever reason this team starts off EVERY game flat. This has been their M.O. going back to last year.

4. Bryz although not horrible, hs been average at best.

I'm sure there a few more. Please add on.

So how the hell does this get fixed? It has been mentioned / discussed that this a young team and just let them play and get the experience. If so do you bag the season and get in the running for this kid that might go #1 in the draft this spring?

Do you think Lavy is on the hot seat? If so...who do you bring in?

So as the title of my post suggests....Where do we go from here???

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First of all this team won't be in the running for MacKinnon or Jones. Even if they didn't make the playoffs they aren't winning the lottery.

Second, take the C off Giroux. That thing is a curse. Anyone who didn't believe it before can now.

I've never been a Lavi fan. His system is fun to watch. But unless your goalie can stand on his head for 4 rounds of playoff hockey (and our goalie can't put together 3 periods) you aren't winning. Playoffs are about D. Laviolette doesn't know the meaning.

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A good read from Bill Meltzer

Last night's 3-0 debacle in Newark reminded me a bit of games the Flyers played early in the 2006-07 season. They did some things right early in the game, but a couple breakdowns and a little self-created bad luck put them in a hole.

When Ilya Kovalchuk scored on a penalty shot -- after a shorthanded semi-breakaway -- early in the second period, the Flyers did not respond very well. They basically stopped competing in the game and just acted out of frustration. Martin Brodeur only had to make about three non-routine saves the entire game to earn a shutout.

The first period was by far the Flyers' best of the game. They worked hard on the forecheck and responded well after New Jersey capitalized on an early-game breakdown for a Travis Zajac goal. Even so, I thought the announcing team oversold how well the team was playing and how "unlucky" they were in that stanza.

In reality, Philly had the territorial and shot (9-3) edge but they were largely kept to the perimeter with few second-chance opportunities. The Devils got to the loose pucks first around the net, and cleared them to safety. Defensively, there were a couple of worrisome shifts in which the Flyers turned pucks over but subsequently recovered.

The first Devils goal was a coverage breakdown by Philly. For whatever reason, Sean Couturier has been in the middle of a lot of these in the early going of the season, and he's the main guy who got singled out on this one. Even so, it was a collective breakdown. Braydon Coburn practically bumped into Andrej Meszaros on the same side of the ice, leaving all sorts of time and space for Zajac to collect the puck and deposit it past Ilya Bryzgalov.

New Jersey's second goal, scored in the final 25 seconds of the opening period, was yet another penalty killing failure by the Flyers. Ilya Bryzgalov missed a swipe at the puck near the side of his net. David Clarkson put the puck out in the crease where it went off the skate of Ruslan Fedotenko and into the net. Bad luck? Yes, but it's equally true that teams create their own luck, whether it's good or bad. Good things happen when you get the puck to the net, bad things happen when you are back on your heels.

The game was over at 2:44 of the second period when Kovalchuk elevated a nasty backhand shot under the crossbar on his penalty shot opportunity against Bryzgalov. At that point, it was pretty clear that the Flyers were going to fall to 0-3 on the season because the team was unlikely to generate the sort of response that leads to comebacks.

When things are going poorly for a team, it's a popular pastime to single out this or that individual as a culprit. Right now, though, I would have a hard time saying that more than a couple players are shouldering the load. Where does one even start?

The team's top four defensemen have been collectively awful. The second-year (Couturier, Brayden Schenn, Matt Read) players expected to step up this year have played instead like they've regressed -- despite having played during the lockout. The veterans -- Scott Hartnell in the last two games, Max Talbot, and others aren't setting a good tone. No one outside of Claude Giroux is scoring, and he had an awful game last night.

The penalty killing has been atrocious, although they did end going 6-for-7 against the Devils. The power play had seemed to be making progress but regressed again last night.

Right now, the Flyers look too young (and a bit soft) up front and too slow and reactive on the blueline. I have not liked how any of the Flyers' defensemen except Meszaros (who is coming off Achilles tendon repair surgery after back surgery last MarThat's a bad combination.

The "we can overcome anything" attitude that the team had a year ago is missing thus far. The team has been lacking the moxie and swagger that Chris Pronger, Jaromir Jagr and even the injured Danny Briere had previously instilled. Briere's injury and Jagr's departure via free agency means that a combined 947 regular season goals worth of NHL offensive experience are not in the Philadlephia lineup. At least Briere will be back soon.

Way down on the list of issues right now is goaltending. Ilya Bryzgalov has not been a miracle-worker and he hasn't played every shot perfectly. What he has done, however, is to erase many breakdowns that have occurred in all three games to date. He's bought the team some time in games to recover and go to the attack.

Are you going to fault Bryzgalov for getting beaten on a breakaway by Thomas Vanek or a penalty shot by Kovalchuk? Those are two world-class snipers and they're going to score most of the time when they successfully execute the move that Vanek made and the backhanded shot Kovalchuk put upstairs.

I put ninety percent of the blame for opposing goals thus far on breakdowns by the Flyers team defense (defensemen and forwards alike). Besides, you aren't going to win many games when you put one, two, and zero regulation goals on the scoreboard.

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FC is right, without stellar goaltending Lavy's system has been exposed. For the past few years they have been mainly flat in the 1st period. In hindsight, it was easy to dump this all on Mike Richards, but now it's time to look at the coach. I like the fire that he has brought to this squad, but with the mess we have on defense and in net, I thought, maybe, just maybe Lavy would address his game plan in the extended off season.

I like Larry Robinson for his defensive prowess, but outside of that I cannot see canning Lavy yet. He just needs to get his guys playing 60 minutes of hockey.

Oh and Luke Schenn needs to be riding the bus in the AHL for a few weeks. That kid blowssss!

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To all,

I live in Ecuador and this is my daily dose of Flyers info. I thank you all for your participation. I have watched all three games and have concluded Briere is not a difference maker at this point. He comes to life during the playoffs and this we already know so with or without him the results remain the same. Most will agree this is a very young team and I think it best to just let them play and allow the chips to fall where they may. Unless Homer has a crystal ball I think this is the only way we really find out what we have and who we can build around.

I noticed a couple of things so far that are probably obvious to all. The teams we have faced so far all seem to have much more speed than the flyers. Are we really this slow? Next I notice the same approach when we try to cycle and that is run the puck around the boards, and always someone from the opposition is waiting for it. They just station a player there anticipating the puck. This is like watching Andy and MM! Everyone knows whats coming!

We got bigger and tougher on D, but the opposition just motors around us 'cause our d is so flat footed. An obvious area in need of an upgrade - speed. Not especially easy to come by, but I question the drafting philosophy. How mant centers do we need?

Could it be that Lavy and or his system is stiffleing the offensive ability of some of his players? Some have written the devils hockey is boring, but how entertaing do you find dump and chase? Example would be the Sabres who have nice crisp passing on the breakout and work the puck into the offensive zone. I can't remember the last time I watched the Flyers play that style of hockey.

Feel free to add your observations and correct me if my observations are off base.

The best to all.

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Obviously this is the not the start we had all hope for. Anytime type of slow start we all knew could be disasterous in a shorten season. We are 0-3 and staring at 0-4 down a double barrel shotgun. So a few observations:

1. This team misses Briere. No if and or buts about it.

2. This team is gonna miss Jagr. Now could he hold up for another season, even a shorten oen is open for debate.

3. For whatever reason this team starts off EVERY game flat. This has been their M.O. going back to last year.

4. Bryz although not horrible, hs been average at best.

I'm sure there a few more. Please add on.

So how the hell does this get fixed? It has been mentioned / discussed that this a young team and just let them play and get the experience. If so do you bag the season and get in the running for this kid that might go #1 in the draft this spring?

Do you think Lavy is on the hot seat? If so...who do you bring in?

So as the title of my post suggests....Where do we go from here???

They need a goalie, defenseman and power forward.

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Practice is where we go. We suck at all the fundamentals:

- Can't pass

- Can't take a pass

- Can't win a faceoff

- Can't cycle effectively

- Can't dump the puck in properly

It goes on and on.

Oh yeah: can't stop a puck.

You forgot can't shoot and can't hit the net when they do shoot...

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They need a goalie, defenseman and power forward.

This is a great thread. I am upset as are many.

One thought comes to mind And Meltzer's take has an element of my thinking. The one constant of this team since the first strike is inconsistency. It is between and within games and seasons. Our deepest playoff runs have been "flukey." And this seems to be an issue regardless of coach.

What does it mean? I can't answer the question but will ask questions.

1) Is Homer a strategist or an opportunist?

2) Is this organization "blind" in terms of goaltending and defensive recruitment-development?

3) Is this franchise still wedded to "old-style" hockey that puts physicality over speed/skill?

4) Have we been patient enough to develop a cadre of young players as a cohesive whole?

I think the last may be important because on paper, this is a good group of youngsters. But...it may be "forward centric" and we don't know if it will gel into a real unit. Lavy may be a problem. And if there are few more losses to start the season, we may not have time to test the theory of "coach vs. other." But the patterns we observe are long-standing. My training and outlook say we have a "system" problem that starts with management. Homer is ballsy. But that may not be a substitute for drafting and patience.

Peace,

Howie

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This team is gonna miss Jagr.

This team misses Jagr right now, a lot. I don't think doing anything like making a coaching change, as a few have suggested, will make a difference. I think the problem comes down to two things, really. They underestimated Jagr's impact on the team, even though he's 40. They also miss a big time blue-liner, because I thought Coburn would emerge as that guy, but it hasn't happened. The team was right to be so aggressive, of course, in trying to get Weber. Until they truly upgrade their d, with another dman who can muscle a guy off the puck, they are going to suffer. They are a little thin back there still, IMO. Also, Timonen is getting older and doesn't skate the way he used to. The team needs a #1 dman, back there who can skate, and throw an occassional check. I know they don't grow on trees. Who is that? Who knows? PK Subban? Just a suggestion, don't kill me for it.

Edited by Digityman
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guys, before we go trading our Players and firing Lavy I think we all need to step back and take a deep breath. Yes, this season has started on a bad note and things have to turn around quickly. In all honesty, I am not suprised at all about how the Flyers are playing... does anyone think this is better than last year's team? Really?

Our defense is terrible - period (.), exclamation point (!), bold letters - absolutely f'ing terrible. As Pods related to earlier it looks like the fundamentals are not all that sharp right now.

There is no way this Team can make a run with this defense and dependance on 2nd year players.

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In the offseason, our squad did not get better. It lost Jagr and Carle. Bobrovsky has been replaced by Leighton. OUt with JVR and in with Luke Schenn. Last night, we had a 20 year old rookie playing his first NHL game on the 2nd PP unit.

Bottom line, this squad is inferior to last year's team. That's the fault of the GM since he makes personnel moves. Whether or not he could or should have done more is not what I'm getting at here - that's a WHOLE other thread - but he's responsible for the personnel.

On the ice, it looks like more of the same, only a little worse, hehe.

I think Laviolette has about 15 games. If we are far out of the playoff picture at that mark, I think he gets canned. If we turn this thing around and hover around .500, I think he stays and Homer looks at player moves.

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guys, before we go trading our Players and firing Lavy I think we all need to step back and take a deep breath. Yes, this season has started on a bad note and things have to turn around quickly. In all honesty, I am not suprised at all about how the Flyers are playing... does anyone think this is better than last year's team? Really?

Our defense is terrible - period (.), exclamation point (!), bold letters - absolutely f'ing terrible. As Pods related to earlier it looks like the fundamentals are not all that sharp right now.

There is no way this Team can make a run with this defense and dependance on 2nd year players.

And how good would Weber have looked on this team? He would have changed the entire complexion of the defense and provided a stabilizing force,

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Brelic, I agree on all points except the coaching change (more on that later)... I just dont see this Team doing much this year and find it hard to believe that, if you look on paper, we are going to compete w/ the Pens and Rangers... the defense is just not there and I think we are going to see the dreaded sop***re slump... I hope I am wrong!

As I said before I have the suspicion that Lavy is here for a while. I think Homer made a statement when sending off carter and richards. I just think they feel he if the right guy to do the job. I like Lavy's aggressive style but there needs to be more focus on defense... we can argue all day that Bryz sucks but I would not want to be a goalie in that system. Moreso, considering the defense in front of him...

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And how good would Weber have looked on this team? He would have changed the entire complexion of the defense and provided a stabilizing force,

^ What Dynamo47 said...Our biggest problem is on D. Without Pronger, there's just not enough talent there. Coaching and scheme and the other things people have mentioned, these of course can always be debated and tweaked and improved, and Bryz might not be "the answer" in net for 7 more years, but ultimately the Flyers are too thin on defense.

For a number of years now, the Flyers have been unable or unwilling to draft and develop quality top-pair defensemen. In the last 10 years, Philly has used their 1st round pick for 2 defensemen: Luca Sbisa (2008) and Joni Pitkanen (2002). They now have a superabundance of what are realistically #4 through #7 NHL defensemen, but no #1 and and a great but aging #2 (Kimmo). After Timonen, Meszaros and Coburn are the best we've got -- both nice players but not able to be the cornerstone of a D-corps.

At the end of the day, if the Flyers want to win anytime soon, I think they'll have to trade some of their young, top-flight talent at forward (specifically, center) for some young, top-flight talent on defense. We basically have 5 guys who could/should be 1st or 2nd line centers:

Giroux

Briere

Couturier

B. Schenn

Laughton (* eventually, probably?)

With the offer sheet for Weber having failed, and no big-time FAs hitting the market this summer (Timonen is by far the best of the bunch), I don't see another way for the Flyers to get the defenseman they need. It's frustrating. Ugh.

Edited by Lucky13
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As I said before I have the suspicion that Lavy is here for a while. I think Homer made a statement when sending off carter and richards. I just think they feel he if the right guy to do the job.

That's my impression too - Lavy is here for awhile, at least this season and next. But these Team D breakdowns must get solved - quickly.

I'm not convinced it's a coaching style problem more than an execution problem. Lavy is known for being an Attack-style coach but I can't believe Team D is simply left to chance or opportunity. Everybody has defensive responsibilities and if the system was unworkable - if he's asking skaters to do the impossible - I doubt Lavy would have a job.

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**grunch**

hey... let's face it... we have/had no reason to expect a stanley cup run this year. we did not improve from last year. let me repeat... we did NOT improve. in fact, we got younger/older and thinner in all the wrong positions. bryz is still the enigma and is not the shutdown goalie we're paying for. timo is still great, but old. he shouldn't be counted on, at this point, to be our number 1 minute burner.

we are a very young team. while this is nice and all, it really shows out there. sloppy sloppy and did i say... sloppy? this year already reminds me of the last lockout return season. except, that one i had a bit more hope with forsberg. this one? seriously... i'm looking to the next few years. i'm looking forward till the summer to see if we're gonna buy out bryz.

that's what i'm lookin forward to. in the meanwhile, im' just trying to enjoy the beauty that is nhl ice hockey. it goes well with my beers on these cold winter nights.

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**grunch**

hey... let's face it... we have/had no reason to expect a stanley cup run this year. we did not improve from last year. let me repeat... we did NOT improve. in fact, we got younger/older and thinner in all the wrong positions. bryz is still the enigma and is not the shutdown goalie we're paying for. timo is still great, but old. he shouldn't be counted on, at this point, to be our number 1 minute burner.

we are a very young team. while this is nice and all, it really shows out there. sloppy sloppy and did i say... sloppy? this year already reminds me of the last lockout return season. except, that one i had a bit more hope with forsberg. this one? seriously... i'm looking to the next few years. i'm looking forward till the summer to see if we're gonna buy out bryz.

that's what i'm lookin forward to. in the meanwhile, im' just trying to enjoy the beauty that is nhl ice hockey. it goes well with my beers on these cold winter nights.

-- bak, well said my friend. I am thankful for hockey being back on the ice. Although I am, and have been, not so hopeful for this Team. there are a few moves for them to make and I believe the shortened season will give us a glimpse of our future in Philly - Schenn(s), Couts, Read, Laughton, etc...

I think this is the year for Homer to seriosuly evaluate players for the long term.

My last point here b/c I need to vent... can we please take Voracek off the PP? How many fargin' pucks is he going to turn over, eh?

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-- bak, well said my friend. I am thankful for hockey being back on the ice. Although I am, and have been, not so hopeful for this Team. there are a few moves for them to make and I believe the shortened season will give us a glimpse of our future in Philly - Schenn(s), Couts, Read, Laughton, etc...

I think this is the year for Homer to seriosuly evaluate players for the long term.

My last point here b/c I need to vent... can we please take Voracek off the PP? How many fargin' pucks is he going to turn over, eh?

the last 3 games, i've been way more impressed by our opponents teams than ours. those 3 teams have a lot more to be excited about than we do. where is all of our scoring going to come from? how is our D ever gonna stop these offensive juggernauts? i mean... i really can't see us beating the rags tomorrow night. of course, i'll be watching and i really hope we do... but seriously, i just can't see how. they're a much better team top to bottom.

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Brelic, I agree on all points except the coaching change (more on that later)... I just dont see this Team doing much this year and find it hard to believe that, if you look on paper, we are going to compete w/ the Pens and Rangers... the defense is just not there and I think we are going to see the dreaded sop***re slump... I hope I am wrong!

As I said before I have the suspicion that Lavy is here for a while. I think Homer made a statement when sending off carter and richards. I just think they feel he if the right guy to do the job. I like Lavy's aggressive style but there needs to be more focus on defense... we can argue all day that Bryz sucks but I would not want to be a goalie in that system. Moreso, considering the defense in front of him...

Sure, maybe Laviolette is the right guy for the job. I don't dislike him. I had been calling for Laviolette for a looooooong time, even before Stevens was fired! Of course, I only knew small bits about his style. That being said, he could still be the 'right' guy, but each 'right' guy needs the 'right' team. Hitchcock needs a certain type of team composition for his style to be effective, so does Torts, and Tippett. Same for Lavi. What is that style? I'm not sure, but this ain't it. The forwards are the right idea, just inexperiened. They're fast, young, and aggressive. We could use a top line winger, no doubt.

On defense, we would need the same. Fast, defensive-minded, but that can also jump in the rush and support the forwards. OUr guys are probably a little too slow, and don't have enough offensive capabilities. When was the last time we had a guy with a serious point shot that made teams tremble? A PP specialist? Pronger was that guy, but that lasted all of ONE season of Pronger awesomeness.

Weber would have been that guy, but what can you do? Nashville matched. As they should. He's a franchise player. Same with Suter to a lesser extent.

Now, Subban could be that guy too. It's worth exploring.

Other than that, those guys are just usually not available. And with good reason!

THe bottom line is that the FLyers *know* that. It's not like they haven't tried. They made a bold move to get Kimmo, and that worked. Another bold move for PRonger, and that sorta worked. We made it to the Cup final, not much to complain about there... but that was pretty much it. SOme bad luck came our way, and his career is over prematurely.

THey also made super bold moves in signing Weber to a massive offer sheet, and then offering Suter a 14 year deal. Weber was out of our control, but Suter wasn't. He chose not to come to Philly. It's his career, he can do what he wants.

Homer tried his ass off to land a top defenseman. He was all-freakin-in. It didn't work.

So now what do you do? I think Subban is our best bet to get a guy like that. Other than him, we;ll have to wait until one becomes available, or draft one. Drafting one should be in the plans regardless of what happens. They take a long time to develop. If we drafted the top defenseman next year, and let's say he panned out, he would really only be a top pairing defenseman in about 5 years from now, and even then he would still be developing. Try 10 years. At 27-28-29, they start to hit their prime. Giroux will be in his mid-30s by then.

If Subban is really available, you go for him. If that doesn't work, wait about a month and see which teams have fallen out of the playoff picture. Maybe they become desperate to make a move, and give up a nice defensive prospect.

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If Subban is really available, you go for him. If that doesn't work, wait about a month and see which teams have fallen out of the playoff picture. Maybe they become desperate to make a move, and give up a nice defensive prospect.

The problem with going after Subban is that we have to trade for him and Montreal knows how badly we need top young stud d-man (not even sure pk qualifies for that) so they have us over a barrel and we would grossly "over pay" for him in terms of what we would have to give up. I think this season is a joke anyway (though I didnt think the players would think it's a joke but that seems to be their mentality right now) so I would just assume we essentially keep the squad as is and let the youngs guys develop and gel together. There's a good chance this team doesnt make the playoffs anyhow and they certainly woudnt be considered cup contenders this year so I see no need to give up too much for one player that probably wouldnt have a big impact in their overall performance anyhow.

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The problem with going after Subban is that we have to trade for him and Montreal knows how badly we need top young stud d-man (not even sure pk qualifies for that) so they have us over a barrel and we would grossly "over pay" for him in terms of what we would have to give up. I think this season is a joke anyway (though I didnt think the players would think it's a joke but that seems to be their mentality right now) so I would just assume we essentially keep the squad as is and let the youngs guys develop and gel together. There's a good chance this team doesnt make the playoffs anyhow and they certainly woudnt be considered cup contenders this year so I see no need to give up too much for one player that probably wouldnt have a big impact in their overall performance anyhow.

Normally, I would agree with this. But Montreal doesn't even have him under contract. Montreal does not have us over a barrel. We don't have to make a deal with them or anyone, but Montreal is weaker every game they don't have this guy under contract, and the frustration between them probably increases.

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