A step in the right direction!!!

This is defiantly a disappointment for us Flyers fans. No doubt about it. We win one of the most hard fought entertaining series of our history only to be knocked out of the playoffs again by the Ottawa Senators. We have a very talented team with a perfect mixture of speed, size, and grit. So what went wrong?

As hard as it is for me to admit to, the Flyers lost this series because of goaltending. I am sure if any of us knew Cechmanek would have two shutouts in this series we would have for sure thought that Flyers would win this series. So what went wrong with Cechmanek? Well again as much as I hate to admit it, I agree with Barry Melrose. Cechmanek didn’t make the key saves that he needed to make. He blew a two-goal lead in game one. In game three he let in a soft goal in overtime, preventing the Flyers from taking a 2-1 series lead in a game that they clearly dominated. In game five when the Flyers had the momentum and the one goal lead, he again allowed in a soft goal. This was obviously the turning point of the series. Finally in game 6 he allowed a soft shorthanded goal, which consequently would be the game winner. Basically Cechmanek didn’t come threw the way a goaltender needs to in order to win a cup. Unlike Allen Iverson, Cechmanek wasn’t “clutch” when he had to be.

The good news is that the Flyers showed a ton of heart in their playoff run. Plus if you are going to lose, well losing to the team with the best record in the NHL isn’t that bad. Ottawa is a very good team with tons of talent. Most likely they will win the cup. To be honest though what really gets me is that I think the Flyers should have won this series. They scored first in the first 5 games, yet they lost 3 of them. That to me reflects poorly on the goaltender. A goaltender needs to be able to hold on to the lead and carry the team when it falters. I think the Flyers in all honesty outplayed the Senators throughout the majority of this series.

Even though this is tough to swallow we still have much to look forward to. We have a great coach and a team full of heart and talent. We have tons of draft picks including two first round defensemen who should crack the lineup next year. The major question this off-season will be whether or not to replace Roman Cechmanek. Then again who is out there? Cechmanek is still better then most goaltenders in the NHL.

Again I defended Cechmanek throughout the season, and I hate to admit it I think he really blew it. Although he still showed that he is capable of playing superb hockey. The question is he worth holding on to another year?

130 Responses to A step in the right direction!!!

  1. calflyers says:

    true, injuries can’t be an excuse

    that wuz amazing to hear what Dimitry went through…

  2. aaron says:

    Salo has the worst playoff winning percentage in NHL history.

    Just thought you’d like to know. And Biron and Markkanen would be run out of town almost instantly. Philly goalies have about a 2 year window before extreme pressure is placed to get rid of them.

  3. aaron says:

    I do. They won’t. Philly would run him out of town w/i a year anyway. Pick again.

  4. aaron says:

    And they already ran Burke out of town.

    Keep in mind: those are the only goalies where it is even POSSIBLE for them to acquire by any means (I think I forgot Salo, but he sucks anyway). Honestly, Burke is the only one that could be considered an upgrade from Cechmanek, so the Flyers should just put up w/ him, b/c you aren’t going to pull a Roy or a Brodeur out of your hat. Even if you draft one, it’ll take years for him to develop to a Cup winning level, and Philly fans don’t have that kind of patience (hence Cechmanek being by far the longest lived Philly goaltender in about a decade).

  5. flyerfanofthepeg says:

    if i had it my way, i would trade the two first rounders for Legace, he would be worth it

  6. flyerfanofthepeg says:

    bring back Hextall!!!

  7. cgolding says:

    works for the sens cuz they young… we gettin old at a lot of key spots, with admitted youth depth. We need to let our youth play next year, regardless of the end results… must get younger for overall future benefits.


  8. amok says:

    Cloutier would make a good Broad Street Bully (was anyone as amused as I was when he went after Roloson last night?) but you can write his name in pen for the Canucks’ starting job next year. He’s not going anywhere. I’d expect guys like Theodore or Giguere to be moved before Cloutier.

    Easy there fellas, I’m not saying Cloutier is better than either of them or that they’ll be moved, just showing that Clouts isn’t going anywhere.

    Philly could always go for Osgood. No guarantees he’ll be back in St. Louis.

  9. amok says:

    If Biron can only last a year I doubt Potvin could last a week.

  10. Tapeworm says:

    Watch todays World Cup game between Sweden and Finland and you will see why philly should ignore you about Tommy Salo

  11. guinsfan4life says:

    I disagree. I think Hitch did a good job. Let’s face it he can’t lace them up and get on the ice. The players are responsible for their own actions once they step foot for their first shift…he can’t make decisions for them. I noticed many times that the Flyers’ defenseman were out of position to ottawa shooters which, when chechmanek gave up rebounds, hurt them because they were scored upon.

    I do think the Sens are the model for the NHL. They have built their team through the draft, primarily and have filled some holes through trades by getting Varada, Smolinski, Chara et.al. Let’s face it, this is the way you need to build now a days. With the salaries increasing and a lockout looming, no longer can you afford the Jeremy Roenick’s, John Leclair’s of the world. And not only that, but the teams that have those players are loosing out to more balanced teams. I look at the Flyers and I see a team that is top heavy; by that I mean they have tons of talent up front, but not a whole lot on defense and goalie. When you spend more money to upgrade your corps of forwards, naturally you can’t put the same into all positions without breaking the bank. What the Flyers have is an imbalance. How do they correct that?

    By trading their strength to fullfill their weakness.

  12. vasko says:

    Checmanek will probably not be back, perhaps neither will Esche. Who replaces them? Theodore and Malek? I’d love to see khabbibulin in Philly, but that is long shot.

    WEinrich gave the Flyers all they had hoped for but he is 36 and his contract is up. Hatcher wants to play for Hitch so it figures the Flyers will find a way to sign him. He would provide the leadership the Flyers defense has needed for years. Desjardin will be resigned. How do you not sign your best defenseman.

    Yushkevich will be offered a contract – 50-50 if he accepts it.

    Therien will probably be traded to make room for the youngsters.

    The Flyers lost to a superior team. I would think

    Ottawa has to be considered the favorite now.

    A few other thoughts:

    Disney has got to be upset and Bettman should be.

    Who is going to watch Ottawa and New Jersey. These two teams might go 3 over times every game before a goal is scored. As Steve Coates, Flyers TV analyst said “Maybe they ought to move the nets to the blue lines!”

    None but the Hockey purists figure to watch the finals. Oh the advertiser rebates – 0uchh!

    With 3 of the 4 teams remaining proponents of trap, I would think that clutching, grabbing and interfernce calls will be back again next year and hopefully called all year. Not for just the first 10 12 games.

    Also, let’s move the nets back where they were, get rid of all the armor the players wear – no more plastic allowed above the hips, regulate the size of the goalie glove – Pang could sleep in some of them! (While we are at it, let’s lobby to get Darren Pang removed from ESPN as game analyst. All he does is state the obvious.)

    If the goaltender leaves the crease, he should be fair game. By making him so, the offenses will benefit.

    Finally, get rid of the instigator and aggressor rules. This will enable the players more freedom

    to police the ice themselves.

  13. Brigand says:

    So am I the only one out there who rates Thibault. He was (almost) dragging Chicago into the playoffs before injury.

  14. matteo says:

    I would trade Gagne in a new york minute. I think they should package him and Primeau and should be able to get something good in return.

  15. matteo says:

    All three of those goalies blow.

  16. matteo says:

    I thought I was watching Hextall when all those soft goals kept going in. I loved Hexy, but he was as streaky as they come.

  17. bender says:

    Are you even watching the World’s???

    Sweden is 4-1, with the only loss coming to the hands of the Canadian team 3-1. Where Salo made some outstanding saves to keep the game close.

    They have only allowed 9 goals in those five games and unless he lets in 6 goals or more against the Finlands, your point is absurd.

    You guys keep thinking of the one bad goal, I’ve ever seen Salo let in, against Belarus in the ’02 Olympics. Let it go man, it’s in the past, Everyone has a couple bad games. Except Cecko who has a bad game every other game.

  18. JeffBurnz09 says:

    Cechmanek was the most entertaining part of the Flyers playoff run. I like Gagne and Roenick, so I don’t mind seeing Philly win, but over all their just one of those “don’t care who wins” teams. Usually I wouldn’t want Philly, but Cechmanek was deffinately worth the watch. The goal Toronto got when he was bending down to get his glove was the highlight of the series. He’s just so funny to watch, especially when he’s having a bad night. He just doesnt look like he knows what he’s doing most of the time, and when he has a bad night to back that up, it’s nothing but good laughs all around.

    But seriously, he’s got to go. Philly’s got a good enough team to win the east if they have a good goaltender…er wait, do they have a good enough team? Roenick, LeClair, Recci, Premieu, Desjardins, Amonte…Sounds like one hell of a team 4 years ago. Maybe Philly just has too many players who hit their prime at the same time, and are on the down side of their prime at the same time? As shitty as Ceckmanek plays, having a team of scorers that don’t score doesnt help.

    But just looking at Ceckmanek, he’s gotta go.He has no style, no consistancy, he just flops all over and tries to stop the puck. He looks like a tall guy that they threw gear on and he doesnt know what he’s doing.

  19. bender says:

    WOW, your the man with the stats. Let us also mention that he plays for one of the smallest markets in the NHL and the team barely scraps into the playoffs (mostly due to him) and then faces one of the biggest powerhouses in the league in Dallas, year in and year out.

    Take your stats and shove them. There is no telling what Salo could do on a premier team with a premier system in front of him. Oh wait…..did you also not know that the Oilers are also the only team in the league that doesn’t rely on the trap.

    Cecko has amazing regular season stats, but they don’t mean a pot of beans in the playoffs either.

    You wanna keep Cecko???, or do you wanna take a chance??? Were not gonna steal one of the top goalies in the league other than Salo at the moment.

  20. bender says:

    Wow, thank you for that indepth retrospective of the three goalies I mentioned. I sure wish you were GM of the flyers and not Bob Clarke….(huge sarcasm warning).

  21. bender says:

    Why didn’t you step up and propose what the Flyers should do about the biggest factor in our lack of playoffs success the last few years. A GOALIE??

    Gagne and Primeau in a package???………thats almost 10 Million Dollars, who’s gonna take that sweet deal with the CBA looming near.

    Brashear stay???…..does his job, his job is to fight, there were only two fights in our playoffs. If we do keep him he should sit like the Fridge during the playoffs.

    The rest of what you said is pretty good stuff. I am one who does like Primeau and think he can stay if we get rid of Zeus and Brashear. But I also cry at nights when I think of who we gave up for PRimeau. My all time fav. Flyer Roddy Brind’Amour, what an asset he would be too our new system.

    We do need more footspeed!!

    We do need a QB for the PP, but perhaps Johnnson and maybe even Pitkanen can fill that role better next year. There aren’t too many guys who could fill that role right now are available.

  22. bender says:

    Well spoken.

  23. Aetherial says:

    Hands of stone and too many penalties from running right through goalies in the playoffs.

    I said Primeau mostly beause he is your captain.

    After the Toronto series, I would say Roenick should have been.

  24. vasko says:

    I doubt they draft a goalie in the first round. The Flyers love Steve Bernier. They will sign Hathcher and trade Woyticka, Ragnarsson, Williams and their own first round choice for Iginla.

  25. Aetherial says:

    I still think the playoff format SUCKS!

    The Flyers vs. the Leafs was a no-win situation. you had 2 of the top 4 teams in the East, by a good margin I would say, playing each other. That just sucks.

    Whoever loses is out, whoever wins was bound to be cannon-fodder for a younger, fresher, heathier Sens team. The Sens would have beaten the Leafs also.

    It sucks.

  26. bender says:

    To answer your one question. Pitkanen is exactly what the Flyers need, he’s a Johnnson type but with more physical presence.

    Woywitka is basically another Therien, maybe a little better. He could stay on the team if we get some other speedier, puck movers like you say. Woywitka is definatlty not a burner.

  27. JeffBurnz09 says:

    Iverson’s a little punk.

  28. defenestrate says:

    I thought I read something on here about a “Cup parade right down Broad Street”. Is that cancelled?

    “Does this mean Ann-Margaret won’t be coming, sir?”

    “Damn it! You mean having a lack of fine motor skills might make me less effective as a goalie!? Who knew???”


  29. matteo says:

    Good full metal jacket quote……I can always appreciate a fine reference such as that.

  30. matteo says:

    You blow too

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