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Roger Neilson


C - Rod Brind'Amour, Marc Bureau, , Daymond Langkow, Eric Lindros. LW - Colin Forbes, Dan Kordic, John LeClair, Roman Vopat, Valeri Zelepukin. RW - Jody Hull, Keith Jones, Mikael Renberg, Dainius Zubrus. D - Dave Babych, Adam Burt, Eric Desjardins, Karl Dykhuis, Dan McGillis, Luke Richardson, Chris Therien, Dmitri Tertyshny. G - Ron Hextall, Jean-Marc Pelletier, John Vanbiesbrouck.


Eric Desjardins, d (stomach flu, day to day).


Traded Andrei Kovalenko, rw, to Carolina in exchange for Adam Burt, d.


02/24 at Florida    L 5-3
02/26 at Tampa Bay  L 4-1
02/28 at Rangers    L 6-5
03/02 at Montreal   L 4-1
03/04 Ottawa        L 5-0
03/06 Islanders     T 3-3
03/07 at Buffalo    T 1-1


Atlantic Division   GP   W   L   T   PTS   GF   GA  
  New Jersey        64  35  21   8    78  191  161  
  Philadelphia      64  30  19  15    75  192  150  
  Pittsburgh        62  32  21   9    73  194  172  
  NY Rangers        64  28  28   8    64  181  177  
  NY Islanders      65  19  38   8    46  152  197


by Chuck Michio, Philadelphia Correspondent

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.

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 Chicago.

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 job done.

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 night.

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 pride.

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.

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 size.

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.

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