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Meltzer's column a must-read...


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... for the players and coaches:




An excerpt:


That is just one example. There are many others. The Flyers have collectively allowed a host of bad habits to creep back into their games -- things that Berube and his staff spent a lot of time in October and November trying to clean up, and which have reared their ugly heads again. Just to name some of the problems that run through the forward lines as well as the defensemen:

Players not moving their feet consistently. The Flyers may not have the fastest roster in the NHL under any circumstances, but they manage the game a hell of a lot better at both ends when their feet are moving. 

Terrible gap control and poor puck support. For far too many segments of games, it seems like there are two opposing players around the puck. Too many turnovers are taking place in the defensive and neutral zones. The backchecking by the forwards is spotty. Players cheat out of the defensive zone too early.

Subpar puck management. Failed clearing attempts create extended shifts in the defensive zone (one such shift was a turning point in last night's game after Philly had taken a lead). Bad outlet passes in skates or wide of the target create abortive breakouts, turnovers or needless icings. Giving up real estate with risky back passes and diagonal passes in the offensive zone creates potential odd-man rushes for the opposition. The Flyers have been guilty of each and every one of these things with alarming frequency. 

Needless, momentum-killing penalties. The Flyers have good PK units, but the team still takes far too many dumb penalties. Of late, some have been ending up as opposing power play goals and changing the course of games

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I was at last night's game and, as a Flyers fan, it was painful to watch.  Not to mention embarrassing.  All of the points made above were only too clearly reinforced last night.  Every single one.  And on a consistent, almost continuous basis - from the start of the game to its finish.  So frustrating.  No heart in the game, no head in the game, no legs in the game.  They looked dog tired and defeated.  Maybe three games in four nights does that to a team, but still.  Looks like the team is back to solving its problem from scratch.  Maybe it's a good thing they're going out west again - they did pretty well on their first road trip.  This time, though, I don't know that we'll be so fortunate.

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