Wednesday, October 18, 2006


The Flyers may need some Goaltending help, eh!

A familiar sight…

Asked Monday about coach Ken Hitchcock's decision to start him against the Sabres, Robert Esche said, "I don't try getting in his head, that's for sure. It's an empty place."

That was before Esche played just his second start of the year. Well, The Rebound Machine sure showed him with a 9-1 defeat at the hands of the Buffalo Sabres. Gee, it couldn’t happen to a nicer guy, eh?

Yes, it was just as ugly as the knockout game from last season’s Sabres/Flyers series. Esche sucked eggs, the Flyers defense was skating in quicksand, and Miller Time was denying most every crappy Flyers offensive foray.

Now, will this be the wakeup call Flyers GM Bobby Clarke needs in order to go out and get some actual goaltending help? Is it stubbornness? Is it a lack of ability to analyse goaltending? Whatever it is, the Flyers have been getting crappy goaltending for some time and they aren’t going to do much of anything until this is rectified.

Now, did Alfred Hitchock leave in Robert Esche to be slaughtered out of malice? Perhaps, but it’s more likely that he saw his team getting smoked like a Cuban and decided not to throw his #1 goalie, Antero Niittymaki, into the proverbial fire.

Quoth Ken Hitchock after the game: “Robert Esche played great!”

Hee hee hee!
"If we're not ready for this one, we're never going to be ready for a game," Flyers left wing Simon Gagne said. "That team beat us last year in the playoffs, and they're one of the hottest teams in the league."
Well, I guess they have a pre-made excuse for every other game this season.

So far this season?
Antero Niittymaki: 4GP 1-2-1 2.72GAA 90.1SV%
Rebound Machine: 2GP 0-2-0 6.51GAA 77.6SV%

Oh, and how about the useless mounds of cow patties that Petr Nedved and Derian Hatcher have become? Both guys have 0 points and 6 games and are each -7! Sami Kapanen, normally a defensive conscious, has 0 points and -6. Forsberg and Knuble are having to do more than their fair share, here.

Clarke will do what he's always done: blame the Euros on his team and go out to get big slow North American guys past their prime.
Baumgartner, Dimitrakos and Nedved are on waivers and they called up some AHLers.

I'm just wondering how this team got into the playoffs last season in the first place, but to be fair, Buffalo's pretty scorchin' right now.
I see this being the year that if they flyers don't pull a 180 that Bobby Clarke finally get's the ax. I don't know why Snider has kept him around this long. Is it because he played for the Cup teams? I don't know, Bill Barber was kicked out of town pretty quick when the team was doing better than the current team. I can't wait for Bobby Clarke to go, he's been around too long and has adapted with the game way too little.
The smell of fear is rich in Philadelphia right now. Three players on waivers? If that isn't the equivalent of a fighter pilot pulling the eject chord I don't know what is.

Philly has some serious team management issues, as evidenced by their boneheaded conduct during the last playoffs. No clear number one goalie, a captain without ankles, no depth in the defense corps... no depth in the defense corpse, actually.

The Flyers can't go on like this. Can they?
Actually Esche wasn’t THAT bad. The defense in front of him sucked much worse then he did. It really is a moot point the suckage of Esche when the Flyers only score 1 goal in the 2 games he has been in net.

It’s just a matter of time for Esche to be gone and I hope it is soon, although his chats with the media do tend to be entertaining.
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