Fans, Philadelphians, Gritty, lend me your ears;
I come to bury Hextall, not to praise him.
The bad GMs do lives after them;
The good is oft interred with their bones;
So let it be with Hextall. The noble Brelic
Hath told you Hextall damaged the franchise:
If it were so, it was a grievous fault,
And grievously hath Hextall answer’d it.
Here, under leave of Brelic and the rest–
For Brelic is an honourable man;
So are they all, all honourable men–
Just absolute WOW on Carter Hart's performance. What a difference it makes when you have a goalie who actually stops the puck. Kudos to the PP too. They had a lot of attack zone time and it looks like they are going to be dangerous. NJ goalie kept this a game with some amazing stops himself. I almost forgot what it was like to watch an exciting hockey game. Welcome back Flyers!!!
Well, that was one helluva hockey game.
- That 2nd period was probably the most organized and dominant stretch of hockey I've seen the Flyers play in about a decade.
- As brilliant as Hart was, last night really was a complete team effort. Special teams, all lines and defense pairs. They seem to just control play at will. The 1st period was more even - probably a bit of rust, nerves, and just a feeling out process. After that it was all Philly.
- Hughes is alr
I won't indict Hextall to hell, he was not perfect, he did sign some bad NHL players while he was rebuilding the farm system and prospect pool.
I don't think the half-assed rebuild was fun. I do, however, like seeing guys like Carsen Twarinski look like legit NHL players. 81 was on zero people's radar as a "youngster primed to make the NHL roster". And here he is blowing up Norris trophy candidate PK Subban in the home opener and handcuffing the Devils goalie with his ++ shot.
I missed the game, but this is the single most important takeaway. Fun and loose = winning. They have not looked fun and loose for a long, long time. And I don't mean Carter and Richards kind of fun and loose either, but on the ice.
It's funny how it all adds up:
A good, confident young goalie: check
A few veteran D-men: check
A coach with a pedigree: check
Skill, talent, found from within through the draft: check
No. Which is one of the reasons I re-posted the note about his achievement being the first since Steve Mason.
Franchise goalies are made by sustained excellence over time.
I'm on the bandwagon because I believe he can do it. But, like the rest of the team, he has to go out and actually do it.