Will the Flyers EVER win again?
I'm not one for mincing words. The Flyers suck with a capital
"S." Their defense is in shambles, their goalies look like
they're playing dodge ball, and their stars are as lethargic as
fat people after lunch at the Super Bar.
How bad are things in Flyersland? Bad enough that their most
talented prospect, goaltending prodigy goalie Jean-Marc
Pelletier, had to be prematurely summoned to the parent club in a
desperate last-ditch attempt to stop the bleeding between the
pipes. He failed, but it was hardly his fault. General Custer
faced better odds.
Normally a top prospect would be disappointed to be sent back to
the AHL after just one game, but considering the way the Flyers
played in front of Pelletier, he probably returned to the
Phantoms skipping and whistling "Happy Days Are Here Again."
Flyers Coach Roger Neilson sounds like another guy who wishes he
could go somewhere else. He can't, so he did the next best thing,
he sent his players away. After watching his club get shellacked
5-0 by the Senators last Thursday, Neilson uttered the classic
quote, "I told them I don't want to see them until Saturday." I
can certainly understand how he felt.
Predictably, Bob Clarke responded to the carnage by shipping out
another malingerer, this time recently acquired Andrei Kovalenko.
Goodbye, Andrei, we hardly knew ye.
In exchange for Kovalenko, Clarke got Adam Burt, a consistent but
unspectacular defenseman. As a service to dedicated readers of
this column, I've prepared the following in-depth scouting report
on the newest Flyer.
Some d-men have great shots. Others are tremendous playmakers.
Some, like Paul Coffey, have great wheels. Adam Burt has a
similar distinguishing trait. He has a gigantic nose.
I'm not kidding, Flyers fans. It's really, really, REALLY big.
Big like a beak.
Other than that, he's pretty much your generic NHL defenseman.
Yeah, that's what you needed, Clarkie. As if having Rod
Brind'Amour didn't already take care of the nose thing.
RESTART THE CHELIOS WATCH?
What the Flyers really need is a potential monster on the blue
line. And despite the fact that he's a jackass, he doesn't want
to leave the Blackhawks, and he told Bob Clarke to "shut up,"
Chris Chelios may yet be joining the Flyers.
The deal looked dead a couple weeks ago, but that was before
Hawks scout Dale Tallon began following the Flyers around like a
lost puppy. As further evidence that something may be in the
works, Flyers scout Al Hill is presently training his eyes on
Apparently, Chicago offered Chelios to the Flyers for Dainius
Zubrus and Chris Gratton at the beginning of the season, but
Clarke said "no thanks." That was then, this is now. Look for
Trader Bob to do what he has to do, probably part with Dainius
Zubrus and another player, perhaps the suddenly brain-dead Karl
Dykhuis or disappointing Colin Forbes.
Will it really help?
Damn right it would. I hate Chelios more than Celine Dion, the
commies, and old people in the passing lane, but he'd bring some
defensive stability, a history of strong clutch play, and some
much needed attitude and leadership to the orange and black.
As if that isn't enough, it's also possible that he could lift
his play back to All-Star level in Philly. Guys his age aren't
supposed to log 30 minutes of ice time a game, but that's exactly
what he has to do on a terrible Blackhawk squad. With the Flyers,
he could give 100% for 20 minutes instead of 75% for 30.
In short, he's the man for the job. Let's hope Clarke can get the
KUDOS TO LANGKOW
Daymond Langkow is not a big guy, a tough guy, or a scary guy.
Fortunately for the Flyers, that didn't stop him from trying to
kick the hell out of Bill Berg against Ottawa last Thursday
How good was it to see a Flyer with a little fight in him? A
Flyer who wasn't happy about getting pummeled. A Flyer with some
Pretty sad, isn't it? Once upon a time, no one, NO ONE could beat
the Flyers in Philly without unleashing a gigantic can of
whoop-ass on themselves. Teams that escaped with victories also
left with swollen eyes, bloody noses, and the knowledge that the
Flyers would never, EVER accept defeat.
Those days are gone. Ottawa destroyed the Flyers, embarrassed
their promising rookie goalie, and laughed and had a gay old time
throughout. It would make a normal person sick, and an old-time
Flyer kill, but most of the current crew were content to sit
impassively on the bench with stupid looks on their faces and
hometown boos raining down on their heads.
Not Daymond Langkow. He did what any person with a heart would
do. He grabbed one of those smirking, Canadian squirrels and
attempted to lay the smack down on him. God bless him for it.
Losing sucks. I'm glad at least one Flyer realizes that.
PELLETIER STILL PROMISING
Don't be misled by Jean-Marc Pelletier's sacrificial lamb cameo
appearance in the Flyers net last week-the kid is for real.
The line score says five goals in 60 minutes, but that hardly
tells the story. Prior to the embarrassingly shaggy final two
minutes, Pelletier showed a ton of promise, particularly on a
dazzling glove save on a blistering one-timer from between the
circles. The youngster also displayed remarkable side-to-side
quickness, all the more impressive considering his monstrous
Unless the Flyers advance deep into the playoffs this year, look
for Pelletier to take over the number one goaltender role next
season. In other words, look for Pelletier to take over the
number one goaltender role next season. You heard it here first.