46 years. Thats how long its been since the Flyers hoisted the Stanley Cup. And the streak aint ending this year. The Flyers had hopes of ending the drought, and had reason to be hopeful after the way the Flyers ended last season. Having entered the NHL’s round robin tournament and taking first place, until ultimately falling to the Islanders in the second round. But there was hope.
A good mix of veteran leaders, and young upstarts (which included a franchise goalie) led by a man with a proven track record of winning. But somewhere between the end of last season, and the start of this season, something happened. The wheels fell off. The franchise goalie looked frazzled. Which was a problem for a kid we were told was “unflappable.” The coach had no answer for the downward spiral, and expensive vets came up short. What happened?
A lot of the blame went to the defensive core, or lack thereof. I can tell you now, that Matt Niskanen was not THAT good. He was a good vet, but the more the defense struggled the more Niskanen was made out to be Niklas Lindström. But Niskanen was that veteran presence on the blue line who was just solid. Not a world beater, but solid. They never replaced that.
But that’s only part of the problem. Kevin Hayes was horrible this year. Taking long stretches of going MIA. At over $7 million dollars, you are expecting a bit more than 29 points. Travis Konecny went from a 60 point, all-star, breakout season to getting healthy scratched and posting just 33 points. Both guys were looked at as key members who looked disinterested at times.
No one other than Joel Farabee seemed to improve this season. Everyone else seemed to stagnate or take a step back. Some of the younger players showed promise. Wade Allison seemed to take advantage of his opportunity. But for the most part, this entire season has been a disappointment for 99% of everyone in that building.
Chuck Fletcher needs to regroup. Identifying the problem is the first step. This season was a complete dumpster fire. They need to figure out how to get Carter Hart right. That’s the first step. This team CAN NOT WIN with a goalie tandem. We have found that out for the past 20+ years. In the long run, as Carter Hart goes, this team will go. He needs to regain his form.
This team needs leadership. I am not a fan of “Rip the C” but this isnt just about Giroux. They need a leader behind the bench as well. They need a shakeup. They need to get it together. Or else were looking at 47 years and counting. Time to look at the man in the mirror