Jump to content

Flyers versus Chicago: What does a Comparison Reveal?


Howie58
 Share

Recommended Posts

Greetings:

I often tell my students that comparisons of the extreme cases reveal a lot. Looking at the standings this morning made me think about us versus the Blackhawks. Here we are, just shy of three years after meeting in the Cup Final. They are atop the standings in their division and in points. We are going nowhere and heading for the bottom.

So...what does it mean?

1) Being lousy a few years in a row means accumulation of Toes, Kane...Giroux is good but not in their league..or Stamkos, etc.

2) Quenneville may be a better coach than Lavy?

3) Tallon-Bowman are better judges of talent than Homer, et. al?

4) Above-referenced GMs can hold a core together better in a Cap era than Homer and Philly?

5) We say bye to Emery...and keep the likes of Boosh and Leighton?

I don't know all the answers. But the comparison seemed interesting. My deep fear of this season is the Flyers will learn nothing from it. They are "Path Dependent." They will deploy the same scouts, same whatever...and not ask some tough questions. Meanwhile, three years after the fact, the Hawks are Cup contenders, and we are trying to find some bearings. And our top scorer is an unheralded free agent, not a draft pick, something that can be viewed as a good thing...or an indicator that our drafting isn't so good.

Peace,

Howie

Link to comment
Share on other sites

My deep fear of this season is the Flyers will learn nothing from it.

Mine too Howie. Worse yet, the lesson they will probably take away from this year is "Bryzgalov was a smart signing."

and not ask some tough questions.

Exactly. Like, "why has it been years upon years since we've had a young, hot goalie prospect? Why, when we finally get one do we throw him under the bus after 60 games?"

and, "Why are we so penny-wise and pound-foolish when it comes to D-men?" Conversely, "why do we throw everything behind One Big Move that, if it goes awry wrecks our hope for a decent blue line?"

5) We say bye to Emery...and keep the likes of Boosh and Leighton?

This to me is a huge question and very depressing to think about. Yes he had may-never-walk-again surgery...but then he came back from it. He came back and LA (or was it Anaheim?) took a chance on him and he proved himself plenty capable. Why wasn't us who took the chance? He played extremely well before he got hurt but we dismiss him without a thought (apparently, since I never heard we were even considering bringing him back - even for a tryout) and try to ride Boosh/Leighton to the Cup. Amazing how close we came but surely that was a recipe for mediocrity. Razor has the goods to be a starting goalie. He's proving it in Chicago. Although he's playing backup his starts have been excellent and his numbers bear me out (.930, 2.21 GAA, 4-0 W/L).

Anyway - great post as always Howie - lots to think about...thanks!

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I *think* the largest difference between Chicago and Philly from three years ago is that Chicago won and Philly didn't. Seriously. I'm not trying to be overly simplistic but think about it.

The win in Chicago caused some players to leave via free-agency and made Chicago simply tweak and re-tool.

The loss in Philly caused a rebuild for the most part. It was glaringly obvious we got to the finals despite not having a goalie to speak of. Since, the Flyers have tried to adrdress that, at least at the starter position. They decided their core wasn't going to get it done, so they scrapped it and pretty much started over.

So, three years later, Chicago still has their core and we are into the second year of the rebuild and experiencing the growing pains that come from rebuilding with youth and--for whatever reason--not being able to do it all at once (part because I guess you can't and part because I'm not sure the GM is competent enough given the gaping holes on defense and backup goalie).

Also, the win three years ago makes the fan base pressure since probably a little less intense. Not quite as frustrating when you've just had a parade.

As for Quenneville vs. Lavy. Maybe. I think at THIS point, though, Q has a bit more to work with.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Impressive post Rux. Seriously. I didn't even consider how such an "obvious" thing - the outcome - affected the 2 teams. You're right, the difference between winning and losing the Cup, compounded with the way* we lost presented the teams with two completely different sets of challenges. Good recap too, contrasting the directions the teams took.

*even if other factors played their part in the end the Flyers' loss came down to despicably weak goaltending in the Final. Thank goodness we shipped that loser out of town... :wacko:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Again, I thought Chicago could run away with the West this year, I picked them first, even with a scrub like Crawford in net.

If you look at the Hawks roster, most is homegrown. You have a Sharp or Hossa mixed in, but look at the homegrown talent:

Kane

Toews

Keith

Hjalmarsson

Shaw

Kruger

Bolland

Bickell

Bollig

Saad

Leddy

Crawford

Seabrook

Plus a deep farm system, one of the deepst in the league.

Chicago fans have been screaming for Bowman to pull the trigger on a deal for years now, but he has been patient and put an ORGANIZATION together that could be relevant year in year out for the next decade.

Now outside looking in, I think you were hard on Giroux, I feel he is in the same class as Kane and Toews, but as far as other homegrown talent:

Giroux

Couturier

Read

Coburn

Other than that, about every relevant piece came from elsewhere. The farm system has not been producing, the constant flow of players in and out of the organization make cohesiveness difficult.

drafting better, building a system in the minors and teaching the kids Flyer hockey where everyone is on the same page would be a great jumping off point. Not tooting our horn but the Wings have done that for almost a quarter century of excellence, and Bowman is applying it in chicago with great results. Anyone can win in a given year, catch lightning in a bottle but organizational cohesiveness is the key.

  • Like 4
Link to comment
Share on other sites

And Ray Emery wins again - 5-0 now on the year. The 2 goals he gave up were to ... Mike Richards.

Ray Emery, 5-0 for $1.15 million. Well he's UFA this summer...love to see Bryzgalov gone and Emery back in the O&B.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

And Ray Emery wins again - 5-0 now on the year. The 2 goals he gave up were to ... Mike Richards.

Ray Emery, 5-0 for $1.15 million. Well he's UFA this summer...love to see Bryzgalov gone and Emery back in the O&B.

Agreed on Emery. I never understood why they were so quick to quit on him after his revitalization in Philly.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Here's an interesting mind**** for you: what if the Flyers didn't lose the lottery and got Kane? Hmmm.

He would have started slow, went on a hot streak. Then when the hot streak cooled,he would have been traded out west for an aging 35 year old winger who could "win now."

You ask, I answer. It's what I do.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I *think* the largest difference between Chicago and Philly from three years ago is that Chicago won and Philly didn't. Seriously. I'm not trying to be overly simplistic but think about it.

The win in Chicago caused some players to leave via free-agency and made Chicago simply tweak and re-tool.

The loss in Philly caused a rebuild for the most part. It was glaringly obvious we got to the finals despite not having a goalie to speak of. Since, the Flyers have tried to adrdress that, at least at the starter position. They decided their core wasn't going to get it done, so they scrapped it and pretty much started over.

So, three years later, Chicago still has their core and we are into the second year of the rebuild and experiencing the growing pains that come from rebuilding with youth and--for whatever reason--not being able to do it all at once (part because I guess you can't and part because I'm not sure the GM is competent enough given the gaping holes on defense and backup goalie).

Also, the win three years ago makes the fan base pressure since probably a little less intense. Not quite as frustrating when you've just had a parade.

As for Quenneville vs. Lavy. Maybe. I think at THIS point, though, Q has a bit more to work with.

Rux:

Good point. But our "rebuild" seems to be going backward. The forwards may be moving forward. The D and G...shaky ground. Our lack of patience is also, I think, a factor.

Thanks for moderating.

Howie

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Greetings:

I often tell my students that comparisons of the extreme cases reveal a lot. Looking at the standings this morning made me think about us versus the Blackhawks. Here we are, just shy of three years after meeting in the Cup Final. They are atop the standings in their division and in points. We are going nowhere and heading for the bottom.

So...what does it mean?

1) Being lousy a few years in a row means accumulation of Toes, Kane...Giroux is good but not in their league..or Stamkos, etc.

2) Quenneville may be a better coach than Lavy?

3) Tallon-Bowman are better judges of talent than Homer, et. al?

4) Above-referenced GMs can hold a core together better in a Cap era than Homer and Philly?

5) We say bye to Emery...and keep the likes of Boosh and Leighton?

I don't know all the answers. But the comparison seemed interesting. My deep fear of this season is the Flyers will learn nothing from it. They are "Path Dependent." They will deploy the same scouts, same whatever...and not ask some tough questions. Meanwhile, three years after the fact, the Hawks are Cup contenders, and we are trying to find some bearings. And our top scorer is an unheralded free agent, not a draft pick, something that can be viewed as a good thing...or an indicator that our drafting isn't so good.

Peace,

Howie

Howie, god bless you for being a teacher. Excellent post. Rux great add-in. I think it is even simplier. The Flyers have Snider as owner. In his zeal to always win at basically whatever cost he forces the organization and GM's hand to make moves they should not. Everything is a short-term strategy. Snider is a desperate man trying to win that desperate cup that has eluded him since he put a team the in the mid-70's that could win with a brusing style that was allowed in the NHL at that time. Snider does not understand that building a Cup winner is an organic and internal process. And it takes years. Snider simply lacks the patience. He is always trying to short-circuit the cycle. And, it is reinforced by many of the Flyers Faithful mentality of gotta have the Cup now. This year. Chicago is a good example of how it is done.

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Howie, god bless you for being a teacher. Excellent post. Rux great add-in. I think it is even simplier. The Flyers have Snider as owner. In his zeal to always win at basically whatever cost he forces the organization and GM's hand to make moves they should not. Everything is a short-term strategy. Snider is a desperate man trying to win that desperate cup that has eluded him since he put a team the in the mid-70's that could win with a brusing style that was allowed in the NHL at that time. Snider does not understand that building a Cup winner is an organic and internal process. And it takes years. Snider simply lacks the patience. He is always trying to short-circuit the cycle. And, it is reinforced by many of the Flyers Faithful mentality of gotta have the Cup now. This year. Chicago is a good example of how it is done.

To be fair to the organization, one of - if not *the* - principal reason we made it to the SCF is that we had Pronger on the blueline playing half the game. And he came here in one of those classic mortgage-the-future-to-win-now trades.

Another reason we made it that far is that many have argued we simply had an easy path. The big dominoes were taken out by underdogs. I don't know if I completely buy that, but there's definitely some truth to it.

EDIT: And before we go copying the Chicago model, let's not forget that they missed the playoffs for 9 of the 10 years before they won the Cup. That's a lot of time to be stockpiling high level draft picks. In all honesty, would you tolerate such a dismal record as a Flyers fan?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Howie, god bless you for being a teacher. Excellent post. Rux great add-in. I think it is even simplier. The Flyers have Snider as owner. In his zeal to always win at basically whatever cost he forces the organization and GM's hand to make moves they should not. Everything is a short-term strategy. Snider is a desperate man trying to win that desperate cup that has eluded him since he put a team the in the mid-70's that could win with a brusing style that was allowed in the NHL at that time. Snider does not understand that building a Cup winner is an organic and internal process. And it takes years. Snider simply lacks the patience. He is always trying to short-circuit the cycle. And, it is reinforced by many of the Flyers Faithful mentality of gotta have the Cup now. This year. Chicago is a good example of how it is done.

Great Post @BearOnIce! And there my friend is the crux of the Flyers organization!

1. Building a cup winner takes years to build correctly (there are of course exceptions)

2. Snider is impatient - wants to win the cup every year despite what it woudld cost

3. Alot of Flyer fans share this same mentality - alto have the we deserve the cup mentality.

In most simplelist and basic terms - Flyers management and alot of the Flyers fan base are INPATIENT!

Chicago is scary good and barring catastrophic injuries, looks to be built for many years to come.

Great Post Bear!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

To be fair to the organization, one of - if not *the* - principal reason we made it to the SCF is that we had Pronger on the blueline playing half the game. And he came here in one of those classic mortgage-the-future-to-win-now trades.

Another reason we made it that far is that many have argued we simply had an easy path. The big dominoes were taken out by underdogs. I don't know if I completely buy that, but there's definitely some truth to it.

EDIT: And before we go copying the Chicago model, let's not forget that they missed the playoffs for 9 of the 10 years before they won the Cup. That's a lot of time to be stockpiling high level draft picks. In all honesty, would you tolerate such a dismal record as a Flyers fan?

I agree @brelic...we did make a cup run because of Pronger. The whole risk vs. reward thing. And yes Chicago sucked for quite some many years, but correct me if I am wrong. Wasn't alot of that due to bad owenership? I thought they changed owners a few years ago. The Wertz family sold part of their share. The Wertz family for years were cheapskates......

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Great Post @BearOnIce! And there my friend is the crux of the Flyers organization!

1. Building a cup winner takes years to build correctly (there are of course exceptions)

2. Snider is impatient - wants to win the cup every year despite what it woudld cost

3. Alot of Flyer fans share this same mentality - alto have the we deserve the cup mentality.

In most simplelist and basic terms - Flyers management and alot of the Flyers fan base are INPATIENT!

Chicago is scary good and barring catastrophic injuries, looks to be built for many years to come.

Great Post Bear!

Thanks, I guess all I was trying to say is that it takes time. I read this morning that Luekko says Holmgren and Laviolette are not on the chopping block so maybe just spin or maybe they realize now, finally now, that they have a good nucleus of kids but it will take time. I suspect that Holmgren already has a game plan for getting the defence better this summer and although still a bit too early maybe Bryz is returning to form. This is not the Flyers year by far so let's look to next year. I suspect that future Hall of Famer CP12 is going to get tapped for a defensive coaching post in this organization. That, in my humble opinion, would be one of the best coaching additions that they could make.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I agree @brelic...we did make a cup run because of Pronger. The whole risk vs. reward thing. And yes Chicago sucked for quite some many years, but correct me if I am wrong. Wasn't alot of that due to bad owenership? I thought they changed owners a few years ago. The Wertz family sold part of their share. The Wertz family for years were cheapskates......

Yes, you're right. It was bad management by the Wurtz family (Wertz? Wirtz?). But the point remains that their organizational depth is largely due to missing the post season for a decade and getting a number of high quality draft picks. That's how you can build from within.

I love that in principle... but I certainly would not watch Flyers hockey for 10 years if their team was that crappy. And that's what happened to Chicago and Pittsburgh. Fans tuned out in what is normally a strong hockey market.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

To be fair to the organization, one of - if not *the* - principal reason we made it to the SCF is that we had Pronger on the blueline playing half the game. And he came here in one of those classic mortgage-the-future-to-win-now trades.

Another reason we made it that far is that many have argued we simply had an easy path. The big dominoes were taken out by underdogs. I don't know if I completely buy that, but there's definitely some truth to it.

EDIT: And before we go copying the Chicago model, let's not forget that they missed the playoffs for 9 of the 10 years before they won the Cup. That's a lot of time to be stockpiling high level draft picks. In all honesty, would you tolerate such a dismal record as a Flyers fan?

Greetings:

We agree that 9-10 years is too long. But my gut says we don't need that in the "New NHL." Three-four years would build a foundation for a decade. But that kind of patience isn't around the franchise...management and fans. But we have had 37+ years of frustration to show for it.

I also think (and this is partially broken record, forgive me) that at some point many folks begin to forget the Cup years and history before the first strike. Seen in that light--our franchise has been inconsistent. Two fluke-type Cup runs, the worst season in franchise history...and 100+ point seasons with little to show for it.

It's tough. Maybe we need Trotz and Poile!

Peace,

Howie

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yes, you're right. It was bad management by the Wurtz family (Wertz? Wirtz?). But the point remains that their organizational depth is largely due to missing the post season for a decade and getting a number of high quality draft picks. That's how you can build from within.

I love that in principle... but I certainly would not watch Flyers hockey for 10 years if their team was that crappy. And that's what happened to Chicago and Pittsburgh. Fans tuned out in what is normally a strong hockey market.

I agree...there has to be a balance.......

but then explain Detroit.....they have a solid organization through and through and yet always put a great team on the ice. i can't remember when the last time they had a really bad season. Granted it helps having one of THE BEST defensman to ever play the game in N. Lidstrom. Datsuyk was a find. (I believe a 6th round pick if I remember)

Edited by pilldoc
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I agree...there has to be a balance.......

but then explain Detroit.....they have a solid organization through and through and yet always put a great team on the ice. i can't remember when the last time they had a really bad season. Granted it helps having one of THE BEST defensman to ever play the game in N. Lidstrom. Datsuyk was fine. (I believe a 6th round pick if I remember)

Totally agree with you on this one. Detroit would be a great model to emulate. They rarely have high draft picks, but somehow get very very good ones. We draft excellently in the 1st round despite usually picking in the bottom 3rd (Richards, Carter, Giroux) but where Detroit excels is in the later rounds (Zetterberg [7th Rd], Datsyuk [6th Rd], Holmstrom [10th Rd]). That's just excellent scouting. I have no idea what percentage of players drafted past the 3rd round ever make it to the NHL, but it's gotta be low... 5-10%?

I know I and others have mentioned it before, but there was a great little documentary on the Wings organization and how they draft, and their philosophy is to always pick players with above-average puck handling skills. The rest, they believe, can be taught.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think there is a combination of several factors.

1. The Flyers have always put a competitive team on the ice. Pre-salary cap, the organization wasn't afraid to spend money. After the cap was instituted, they tried (and still try) to keep the same philosophy, spend to the cap. So, they entice players to sign with them because of the big pay day then don't have the cap space to sign the middle of the pay scale support players. Use CapGeek to compare the Flyers to the Bruins, Rangers, Penguins, and/or for a perfect examples.

2. The draft has helped and hindered. The Flyers seem to do very well with their 1st round pick but haven't had as much luck in the subsequent rounds. They trade away a lot of these picks (especially 2nd round) trying to put a competitive team on the ice (see #1 above). The players chosen with the picks they don't trade don't seem to pan out. They haven't found any "diamond in the rough" kind of players. Name the last 4th round pick that has turned out to be a gem like a Pavel Datsuyk. I can't think of one.

3. The Flyers don't seem to follow the "Stanley Cup Model". For years the model was the smaller, faster player. Flyers had the big, slow, lumbering team that could not keep up with the smaller, faster teams. Now the model is a combination of big, physical and fast. And here are the Flyers, physical but rather smallish with some fast players. I don't believe the smallish players wear down a team even though they are physical. They just don't have enough oomph behind the physical play even though they lead the league in hits. Teams are not afraid to come to Philly like they used to be.

They don't really have a heavyweight fighter. Sestito would probably qualify, but he isn't in the lineup enough. So the big fighter is 5'11", 165 lbs. A player like Colton Orr can run around without having to face the music. Shelly would just bleed on him.

4. Weak development of draft picks & minor league players. I really think the Phantoms moving to Adirondak has hurt the Flyers. The Flyers have lost control and visibility over the Phantoms and thet shows in the attitude towards the team. When the GM comes out and says he really doesn't care what happens with the Phantoms, well, that's pretty telling. Hopefully, that relationship will get better when the team moves to Allentown.

5. The Flyers have done well in finding undrafted/NCAA players. Matt Read is a good find. Harry Z & Manning have an upside, too. They probably won't be as good as Read but do add some depth. That said, you can't build an organization with the occaisional find. Fix #2 and this becomes a bonus.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Totally agree with you on this one. Detroit would be a great model to emulate. They rarely have high draft picks, but somehow get very very good ones. We draft excellently in the 1st round despite usually picking in the bottom 3rd (Richards, Carter, Giroux) but where Detroit excels is in the later rounds (Zetterberg [7th Rd], Datsyuk [6th Rd], Holmstrom [10th Rd]). That's just excellent scouting. I have no idea what percentage of players drafted past the 3rd round ever make it to the NHL, but it's gotta be low... 5-10%?

It's harder to find those guys deeper in the draft these days because the scouting has improved so dramaticially because those guys went where they did.

There is, believe it or not, a heavy bias towards North American players and Canadians with Junior pedigrees in the NHL - the "soft Euro" theory.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It's harder to find those guys deeper in the draft these days because the scouting has improved so dramaticially because those guys went where they did.

There is, believe it or not, a heavy bias towards North American players and Canadians with Junior pedigrees in the NHL - the "soft Euro" theory.

Yes, and that bias certainly exists with the Flyers. It might do the Flyers some good to get rid of the dinosaurs who run the show and are living in the past, and get guys with a more modern perspective of the game. Lindros, LeClair, etc. It would be great if Kimmo stuck around after retirement to help with defensive coaching, but I'm sure he's already got one foot back in Finland.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

But the point remains that their organizational depth is largely due to missing the post season for a decade and getting a number of high quality draft picks. That's how you can build from within

Finding some numbnut to trade you Patrick Sharp for a plumber also works well.

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...