Damage Control

Results this week: Flyers 7, Red Wings 2; Senators 2, Flyers 1 (SO); Canucks 4, Flyers 1; Flames 4, Flyers 1

Current record: 29-29-15, 73 points
Record at this point last year: 39-27-7, 85 points

Upcoming schedule: a bunch of teams who will beat us either in regulation or in overtime.


That Detroit game was fun, eh?  Back to reality though.


Just for fun, here’s how we’ve played in the last month: 2W, 2L, W, L, W, 4L, W, 3L. Groovy.


Initially, I was against shutting down Steve Mason.  Now I think it’s the best thing for him and the team.  Consider the following: Berube continues to jerk him around, including removing him after the second goal against the Flames (which he couldn’t see because he was screened) and then telling reporters “you have to fight through screens” after the game, which is ridiculous.  Mason’s knee probably still isn’t right, because hey, it’s the Flyers and it seems like they never wait until Steve is fully healthy before throwing him back out there.  There’s no more Jeff Reese in the locker room for Mason to talk to, either for advice or to act as a sounding board.  At this point, I think the team is in danger of losing Steve Mason, to the point of not being surprised if he asks for a trade this off-season if Berube isn’t fired.  While Anthony Stolarz is still “the future”, you can never count on that, and you have someone who’s pretty darn good right now and is still fairly young.  You might as well take care of him, especially considering goalie is no longer a problem except when the head coach acts irrationally and makes it one.


Fire Berube, Ron.  Now.  The damage he’s doing goes beyond this season.  Let Lappy or someone else coach the team for the last nine games.  You’re probably not keeping Craig past this season anyhow, and if you are, you’re an idiot and I question your entire plan.  But you’re not an idiot, Ron.  You made smart moves at the deadline.  You found guys like Zepp and Bellemare in Europe.  (We’ll give you a pass on the Rinaldo extension).  You’re not rushing our defensive core to the show early.  You have to see this, right?  We can only hope.


This team has been on life support for far too long.  They have been aided by the loser point more times (15!) than any other team, good for over twenty percent of their total point accumulation.  Only the Oilers at over 25 percent have a higher percentage of their total points comprised of loser points.


It’s time for the NHL to stop handing out participation medals, time to stop the loser point.  It’s time to truly emphasize wins.  And yes, it’s time to bring back ties.  Play an hour, then play a five minute, 3v3 OT.  If no one wins, give out a point each.  If someone wins, give them three points. If you lose, we award you no points and may God have mercy on your team.  Better luck tomorrow.


The Offense is Offensive


The league is probably going to have a scoring leader with less than a hundred points.  To be fair, these things happen in cycles; rules are made to open the game up, they’re observed, offense goes up, defenses adjust and referees allow a little more each year until we’re back to where we started.  The current fad in the game is to suffocate and destroy opposing offenses by playing defensively first.  The Kings won Cups while suffering major scoring problems.  Why?  They were great at playing defense and had an amazing goalie.  It was impossible to score on them.  I’m sure they’ll legislate offense back into the game soon.


Other Thoughts


-I think it’s been a very good year for Bellemare.  He’s blossomed into a great penalty killer for a fraction of what we were paying Max Talbot for it a couple years ago.  I’m excited to see what else he can do under better coaching.


-The Flyers need to hold an event where you can hug Steve Mason and tell him it’s okay and apologize for how he’s been treated by Craig Berube the last two years.


-I can’t see any way Berube saves his job.  None.  He’s not Hextall’s hire, they aren’t playing well, and they don’t like him (and it’s starting to really show in various ways).  At least when they hit slumps in Laviolette’s tenure, it was obvious they still liked him and were playing hard for him.


-I don’t think the Flyers make the playoffs next year, either.


-Two years from now will be interesting, though.

We have nine games left.  Enjoy them as much as you can, because come July, we’ll be jonesing for hockey.  Any hockey.  I recommend DVRing some games to watch.  We have to do what we have to do to make it to next season.

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