mikey287 wrote:The Flyers didn't do anything to us two years ago. It was a game without coaches and all hell broke loose. There's no roster changes that would have affected that outcome. HCDB lost control of his team, Peter Laviolette lost control of his...the team didn't play a lick of defense, Fleury was hard to hit in the series, it was not hockey. A disciplined team wins that series. It was an embarrassment for both teams that only Philadelphia fans can take solace in despite getting brutally out-coached by a similar or lesser team in the very next series - a series that was never close from the word "go".
This roster is of a good quality. At some point or another, you have to make lemonade out of your lemons because eating them raw isn't as fun. Ray Shero has provided his staff with a very good team. On his way out of the casino last year, Shero put a lot of "house money" on the inside instead of betting red and black...you don't get rich betting red and black. Where did we fail? In my opinion, we failed because we were outcoached in the Boston series. Adjustments could have been made and it's not evident that they were. A wasted opportunity.
This year, the expectation is that we'll get better, more disciplined coaching out of Jacques Martin. Coaches make a big difference and they can fill roster holes or they can augment existing ones - it depends on the quality of the coach and his philosophy.
I'm not aware of any particularly gaping holes on offense with a healthy roster. We score at an outstanding clip relative to our foes. Our transition game has many options, it's just a matter of proper utilization.
Defensively, we could improve the bottom six certainly but it doesn't need as much help as it does need a direction. I was watched the fourth line vs. Philadelphia last week and they did a fine job in terms of possession. There is potential there for that group, but it could certainly be augmented a bit. A Brenden Morrow type addition would be ideal. But, above all, they need a task. Players that go out there with nothing to do can wreak havoc on your success. Watch the Buffalo Sabres game from last night (or any previous night, or hell, any of the next 70 games, I doubt it'll change)...every line goes out there and has no obvious directive. Last year, our bottom six seemed to struggle with an identity. Cooke and Sutter did a nice job of keeping the puck out of our own net despite the situationally disadvantageous positions that HCDB intentionally put them in...but with the puck, there seemed to be little objective. Perhaps that's because they started the shift deep in their own end and getting the puck 200 feet away from our goalie was the objective, but to me, I feel you need direction in all three zones so that you're ready for all situations. I'm not sure exactly what was or wasn't preached by the coaching staff last year, I'm not privy to such information, but the execution was wonky sometimes.
Bottom line, I'd like to see a healthy team (Neal, Letang) coached by HCDB and ACJM for some time, see that progression and see where we're at.
Well, Petey did lose control at points like Game 3 but he constantly adjusted his neutral zone coverage and breakouts. It's when I first really noticed how just awful HCDB was at in game managing, although the end of that regular season he was picked apart pretty bad too. It's why as the first few games went on the Flyers go stronger after poor starts. I am a huge fan but not a coach and I noticed what the Flyers did to combat us.
That being said I put a lot if not a ton of blame on HCDB for the playoffs as he was terrible but I still say that roster is being fairly overrated on this board. The guys that left aren't exactly having banner years and the way Nisky was playing we had a bottom 3 on defense that was (coaching or not) really awful. Some of our depth forwards just didint have the legs to carry us when needed (Adams, Jussi) and guys like Bennett and TK while they had moments just couldn't carry any play at all.
Adams and Glass are certainly performing better this season but let's see if they can continue this.
I said before the playoffs last year that my biggest concern was our bottom lines ability to cycle and carry play or come in waves. GMRS definitely added some guys who in theory can aid in that regard and they brought in a more structured coach. We will see what happens, at least the problem was recognized. But the cap doesn't always allow for solutions.