Flyers Mania

booty’s (no, not big_booty) take on the gigantic goalie Cechmanek, and flyersrule94 continues the judgement to be made on Bobby Clarke.Please, if you don’t know anything about the situation, don’t even bother reading the article. I want to hear people’s honest opinions, not ramblings from those who hate the Flyers.

This offseason, the Flyers traded Brian Boucher to Phoenix for Michal Handzus and Robert Esche. This cleared the goalie controversy, with Roman Cechmanek getting the nod as the full time number one. However, players and fans alike were angry over Cechmanek’s outburst during their first-round playoff series against the Senators. There were rumors that in practice the next day, players were firing shots at Cechmanek’s head because of their anger at him. When Ken Hitchcack was brought in as coach, he made it clear from day one that he was going to stick with Cechmanek. So now, people are saying that Cechmanek has to earn back his teammates’ trust in order for Philly to succeed.

My take on the whole situation is that Cechmanek is a damn good goalie. After his first year, I had no faith in him following the 8 – 0 shellacking Philly got when they were eliminated from the playoffs by the Sabres. But he followed that up with more outstanding play in the regular season, being in the top 3 in GAA and save% this past year. He also played his ass off in the playoffs when it seemed that the rest of the team didn’t care. So after this past year, I have much more faith in him. But still, in most peoples’ minds, he remains a question mark. I personally think he’s going to do very well under Hitchcack, who won a Cup with Eddie Belfour as his number one. I think Cechmanek is a much better goalie than Belfour, but that’s just my opinion. I’m not claiming Philly will win the cup, but I think their chances are pretty good, not great, but good.

As for Boucher, I liked him, and he was definately a fan favorite in Philly. But the guy was just too damn inconsistent. I’ve heard some people on this site talk about how great he is, but those aren’t people who have watched him play. Some of the goals that guy used to let in were just ridiculous. So I want to know what you guys think. Please, nobody say something like “Cechmanek sucks.” The guy is definately a good goalie, but where this team goes largely depends on how good he is. I’m very optimistic about the Flyers this coming season, and I can’t wait until the season starts.

flyersrule94 writes:

Bob Clarke – Bad G.M. or Bad Rep Label?

This is article is about Bob Clarke. And just to let you all know beforehand, I am not a Bob Clarke fan by any means, I am a diehard Flyers fan giving my opinion of our GM. And if you break it all down he probably should of already been fired. But Im not here to solely criticize him, only to analyze his doings over the past year or two.

Don’t get me wrong. I hate Bob Clarke, I really do. I think he is a horrible GM. But he is 100% right with what he said in this interview. 100%. The damn Philly reporters think they are the greatest in the world. They can dish it out but they cant take it. They criticize people who have more talent then they could ever dream of having and when the players come back and criticize them for being assholes and idiots, they get mad. Too bad. You want to dish it out, DEAL WITH IT. Clarke is right. This is not like this in any other city, but Philly. I’m not even close to a Bob Clarke fan, Im a diehard flyers fan, but Im happy that Bob Clarke did this interview and got this off his chest. I mean really how many 100 pt seasons do u have to have before u get some respect. Team like Anaheim and Calgary dont get nearly criticized as much as philly does. And it has nothing to do with small market teams.

Now on to him as a GM. He has done a lot of Bonehead things over the last couple years. I dont think anyone would disagree with me on that. But he has done some good. Handzus will make a great addition and even though Cechmanek isnt the answer, unfortunately, because Im a big fan of Boucher, he wasnt the answer either. But that was the best Bob Clarke could do with that situation, and Handzus will make a great contribution at both ends of the rink this year. Signing Gagne was a smart move as well, he cant risk losing him, he is one of the two best players on this team (Roenick) and he needs to be kept in philly, he has two much upside to be even considered to be dealt or let go. However for the good, thats as far as it goes this year. although last year, bringing in Roenick and Weinrich, a solid defensman who played well all year and of course everyone knows J.R. were great moves. Getting rid of Dopita was a must and he did that. But that is it for the good doings of Bob Clarke.

Now the bad. Starting last year, Hlavac for Brashear was good short term, but horrible long term, they could of got a decent enforcer for a little bit cheaper but clarke decided to give away a young talented winger instead. Boggles my mind. Then what boggles my mind even more was the Oates trade, which needs no explaining because everyone in the hockey world knows about that. Also letting Richardson go was the dumbest thing clarke did this offseason. Hes the most physical defenseman on the team, aside from McGillis and he is a solid defenseman who plays consistantly all year without a single complaint. Now I agree St. Jaques has to come up this year but not at Richardson’s expense. Without a doubt it should of been Therien. Therien is a guy that is 6’4 (approximately, not exactly sure) 220 something pounds and is afraid to hit, afraid to get hit and afraid to go into the corners. Enough said on that. Flyer fans know what i am talking about there. And last but not least the biggest mistake of all was the hiring of Ken Hitch*****. Great coach, great coach, no mistake about it. But he doesnt suit this team. He is totally different. He has a similar coaching style as Herb Brooks. The only problem is the flyers arent going to care, they wont respond to him and no results will come other than the destroying of the locker room morale as if it wasnt bad already. Clarkie, The guys you needed were either Pat Burns or Ted Nolan, real hockey fans know what Im talking about there and why. Those guys are players coaches and thats what suits this team. Thats why they responded so good to Neilson, unfortunately Clarke screwed him over as well. Clarke, after this year, you wont have the coach excuse. Lets see what you throw at us next offseason. Maybe it’ll be the trainers, the equipment managers, or even the Conditioning Coaches fault?

In conclusion, Bob Clarke has not always made the right move or the right decision, but the reporters have no right to get pissed of when the man fires back after being heavily criticized for so many years yet he continues to have his team in contention for the Cup every single year. I know many people will have a different opinion than me, but let me know what you think anyway.


15 Responses to Flyers Mania

  1. BWbullies says:

    For the first article I would have reacted the same way cech did. The team gave no offense and provided little d. He had to try something to get them to play. So I think he will have a very good year. He might lead the league this year with Hitch as coach.

    The second article I agree with you about the writers. Does it seem to you that thier is a double standard when it comes to covering teams. Look at the Eagles, imagine if Clarke did what Reid did with Trotter, lets say he just dropped JR for nothing just let him go. They would kill him but it ok when its the eagles. I could be wrong but thats my opinion.

    I also agree with you about Luke. There is no way I would keep Thieren.

    Now for the coaching, I couldn’t disagree with you anymore. I think bringing in Hitch was the best move. He has won recently and is a proven winning coach. I don’t think a players coach would work here. These players would walk all over him. I think they will do alot better then what people are thinking.

  2. The_Baron says:

    I don’t know about Cechmanek being better than Belfour, he outdueled the best in Roy two years in a row and was pretty darn solid until last year. Cechmanek doesn’t have a resume like that, but he’s not as old as Belfour. Cechmanek just always seems shakey in my mind, can’t seem to handle the pressure either. Maybe he can prove otherwise this year. Goaltending has always seemed to be the question mark with the Flyers of late, maybe that’s the nature of the beast. They just haven’t had a guy that clicked right in town since Hextall (l loved that guy, he was one of my favourites).

  3. mikster says:

    I think the Cechmanek trade was a gamble, and i give credit to Clarke for doing that.

    Handzus is currently known as a decent solid forward, starting as a 3rd line player. I think he can be a solid 2nd line winger, but as of now he is no more than a 3rd line player.

    We all know Boucher has the potential and ability to be a solid starter, he has solid numbers as well with a solid defense in front of him. Now, let’s compare Boucher’s stats to Cechmanek.

    Boucher:

    gp gs min w l t ga gaa

    99-00 Phi 35 33 2038 20 10 3 65 1.91

    gp gs min w l t ga gaa

    00-01 Phi 27 24 1469 8 12 5 80 3.27

    gp gs min w l t ga gaa

    01-02 Phi 41 38 2294 18 16 4 92 2.41

    Cechmanek

    gp gs min w l t ga gaa

    00-01 Phi 59 57 3431 35 15 6 115 2.01

    gp gs min w l t ga gaa

    01-02 Phi 46 43 2603 24 13 6 89 2.05

    Now, the Sv% average of Boucher is .901. Cechmanek’s is .921.

    Boucher played three seasons and none surpassed the 50 game range. In his first season, 4 SO’s, 1.91 gaa and a .918 Sv%. in 35 games played. Second season could be seen as a sophomore jinx. Third season was decent, but nothing thrilling.

    The one thing that i seriously would look at is Boucher’s performance in the post season. Except for that one playoff game he played in his second season, he is solid in the post season, and that is where it counts for the Flyers.

    Cechmanek has only played 2 seasons, one he played 59 and put up superb numbers. But, look at his post-season’s numbers that year……not good, not good at all. Then his second season, he plays 46 games because of a slump, and his numbers still remain about equal. Now, in the post season he played against the low scoring Senators, so the GAA and Sv% are solid. But, as i recall…he allowed some dumb goals in. Admit it, he didn’t perform well, and Boucher was back on the ice as well.

    So, to me….i think Boucher will still be the better goalie. Not to forget, Cechmanek dislikes how the organization treats Europeans, and he is not a goalie you’d want in the locker room.

    I say both are unproven as of now, but i say the good deal goes to the Coyotes who have a solid defense up front, no distractions on the team, and Boucher could replace Burke come playoff time. Burke’s post-season numbers are not solid, he is getting old.

    In conclusion, if Boucher does get the startin position and leads the Coyotes to a successful post-season (doubt they’d be Cup winners/finalists), and i still see Handzus as the 3rd line player….scoring 18 goals, then i say it was a bad trade. You can’t avoid that scenario. Obiously the winning scenario for Clarke is if Handzus becomes a solid 2nd line center with 20 goal seasons, +20 -/+ ratings, and solid performance.

    Skills-wise, i prefer Boucher’s skills. I think his consistency is a matter of maturity and more experiences. He is still 26 years old, he will most likely be the starter of the Coyotes, i think it was too early to give up on this guy. Also, i think he didn’t get enough in return for this guy. I would choose Boucher over Cechmanek…especially if Richter was on my team for two more years. Cechmanek is 31 years old, he doesn’t have good reflexes when pucks are shot from outside the blue line.

    Oh well, it’s just my opinion…but i would really just shake my head if Cechmanek is a bust in the playoffs again.

  4. mikster says:

    I am going to start something way far beyond the hockey world,…..nothing to do with hockey. There is the site called DG’s World Issue. I don’t see how everyone is avoiding that at this time of the year. I mean, are you kidding me? Where are the US citizens here? Are you all Democrats? Waiting for the UN to say yes?

    I’m going to start something wild, and i could give a rat’s ass what i start. I want to be a part of this, i want to let my voice be heard and my mind to be seen. I am not fully American, but damn…i feel like i am more a part of what is going on now more than US citizens who are on this site. When DG posted that 9/11 article, there were only 2 comments. TWO COMMENTS. Are you too lazy to even right something on it? To say something to honor those people?

    I even wrote a comment on DG’s site, and i can’t believe no one even saw it. I am no into politics, but i do get to hear the news every night since my parents watch them. Both italian (european) and US.

    I guess i do support more republican ideas than democrat ideas, but i am not really into politics…so as long as everything works, i am fine with it. But, in Europe, especially Italy, i’d tell the leftists/socialists to go join the circus clowns, because that is what they are. They are a complete joke.

    Anyway, i will piss some democrats off here, i don’t care because i want do get some of your lazy asses on DG’s site to talk about your country. For crying out loud, this is the US and basically the World against Iraq.

    Watching Hannity and Colmes tonight, Hannity brought a good point. What the hell has the Clinton administration done for the past 8 years? Nothing was done in the middle east. If Gore was elected, Europe wouldn’t have supported him as much. WHo knows, maybe he wouldn’t even have aimed at Iraq.

    Also, what is up with these liberal journalists? Like, the one who talked about the plan to attack Iraq. SHHH, keep it a secret ok? Newsweek, liberal, talking about how harsh it was for the American soldiers to not do much about the Israel soldiers torturing the prisoners…surrenders. HELLO. Do they need to see the WTC get hit again? The people jumping out the windows? How abou Pearl? Yeah…”poor muslims” who support terrorism.

    How can the Democratic politicians wait for what the UN has to say. WHO THE HELL CARES! UN was a complete joke, and an embarassment. This is the USA. There are still MIA’s in Iraq, and you would try to get them back? Pathetic.

    Start acting up people. This is a time to feel patriotic, and strong about your country. I am proud of Italy giving its full support for the US. Finally someone form the conservative side who has BALLS. Not the socialists who would back away. Attack on Iraq. We have to fight against the evil who will then attack the innocent again.

    Sorry, and Thanks…but this is a huge event of our lives, and i want to take part of it.

  5. gprodent says:

    This is for the second article…

    I’m the Flyers fan living in Cleveland, so let me try to illustrate some comparisons with the sports writers here, and what I’ve read about Philly’s.

    Having had a successful baseball team (not this year) since 1995, the team should be praised no doubt for winning many games throughout the years, always winnings our conference and making it to the World Series twice, but nevertheless, the management got blasted by the writers after these W.S. losses. In years past when the Browns were a dominant for in the mid-eighties, they missed the SuperBowl by one game twice over. Once again, management gets blasted. I’m not even going to talk about basketball :p A motto was developed here in Cleveland about our sports teams : Next Year – Next Year we’ll win it, Next Year we’ll be better, Next Year we’ll be the best team in the league…

    Sure it’s a great thing to have winning seasons year after year after year, but sooner or later the Management MUST make good and take the team all the way. You can have only so many Next Years before the fans get sick and tired of waiting for it to happen. Where does this tie in with sports writers? Sports writers are the pulse of the people in many repects, lest they not have a friggin job as writers! These guys are not Food Critics, or Movie Critics…they write about what is on everyones minds when it comes to a particular team (although there are writers that write their ‘commentaries’ which are no more than there own opinions and feelings).

    These writers may be writing out of passion (good or bad) for the team, but odds are they are just saying what everyone else is saying.

    Believe me on this: the Flyers may have pissed away some of their best chances to bring a cup to Philly within the last few years. Teams in all sports ebb and flow throughout the years except for a select golden few, and the Flyers may have seen their best years. Does this mean that Bobby should be Blasted? I believe yes and no. Yes, because he should recognize what the team needs and supply it properly (defense lately). He should recognize problems within the team and fix it (Barber before the playoffs last year). He should know how to make important investments for the team (unlike the Oates trade – rather the Oates loss). On the other hand he shouldn’t be criticized for a few of his managerial decisions, like the trading of some players, and standing up and speaking his mind against his critics to name the few.

    On the overall though, the Flyers organization should be called upon by the writers and fans of the city: Make it Happen – The sooner The better

  6. aaron says:

    The rest of the world hates us already, if we piss off the UN, we’re screwed. The US ain’t as great as everyone thinks it is. I agree we need to invade Iraq regardless of what the UN says, but if we don’t at least try to look like we care about them, we’ll lose almost all world support. And the US can’t take on the entire world when it comes down to it.

  7. aaron says:

    Cechmanek’s playoff stats were better than like anyone’s in the playoffs. I don’t remember them exactly, but they were top 3 I’m pretty sure.

    Cechmanek is way better than Boucher, at least right now. Clarke made the right choice.

    And you’re forgetting something about Handzus; he won the Selke. Why don’t you just say Lehtinen sucks b/c he only scores 20 goals a season? Or Peca? Not everyone is an offensive player. Fedorov’s stats perenially suck, but he’s frequently on the list ppl come up w/ of best players in the NHL. That’s b/c there’s more to the NHL than just offense.

  8. mikster says:

    We’ll see how it turns out :)

  9. mikster says:

    US has Italy, Spain, England, and Australia on its side. I can apply for either the Italian special forces, or the US Army.

    The other European countries are an embarrassment, and a bunch of no balls cowards. I am pissed off at them and it is humiliating that my country is part of the Euro crap. I agree with Bush, are we waiting for Iraq to launch an A-bomb?

  10. Rushing says:

    I totally agree that we “must” invade Iraq. But, Bush did the perfect thing by dumping this situation in the U.N.’s lap. Now, they are sitting there to be made to look like the stupid idiot if anything happens.

    As proven in Bush’s U.N. speech, Iraq has broken/violated 16 resolutions since the beginning in 1990.

    We, the U.S., have been claiming that Iraq will soon be capable to have nuclear weapons yet there are numerous to not quite want to do anything yet. Just recently there was an independent organization in London to come out and claim that it could be within just months if Iraq were to get their hands on the nuclear resources.

    Study: Iraq near nuclear capability

    If Hussein can get material, group says, bomb is months away

    09/10/2002

    By GREGORY KATZ / The Dallas Morning News

    LONDON – An independent research group known for its authoritative reports on military capabilities warned Monday that Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein could develop a nuclear bomb within months if he is able to buy or steal weapons-grade nuclear material.

    The report by the International Institute for Strategic Studies concluded that Mr. Hussein’s existing weapons of mass destruction pose a substantial threat and supported President Bush’s assertion that Iraq is stockpiling weapons for possible use against neighbors such as Israel and Kuwait.

    Director John Chipman said that Iraq already has substantial chemical and biological weapons and may be able to obtain enough enriched nuclear material from friendly countries or through the black market to enable Iraq to quickly build a devastating bomb.

    Also Online

    Graphic: Suspected weapons in Iraq

    Special Report: Axis of Evil

    “There is a nuclear wild card,” Mr. Chipman said. “If, somehow, Iraq were able to acquire sufficient nuclear material from foreign sources, it could probably produce nuclear weapons on short order, probably in a matter of months.”

    Mr. Chipman, whose group on Monday published a 100-page investigation into Mr. Hussein’s arsenal, warned that the balance of power in the Middle East would be changed overnight if Mr. Hussein obtains nuclear capability.

    He said the dossier was based on extensive reports by United Nations weapons inspectors, on declassified CIA documents and on interviews with many government sources with knowledge of intelligence estimates.

    A spokesman for British Prime Minister Tony Blair, a strong supporter of military action against Iraq, called the new report extremely significant.

    Mr. Chipman said it is not clear what course should be followed to address the danger posed by Iraq. If nothing is done, the threat will grow, he said. Mr. Hussein may also unleash the weapons of mass destruction he already possesses if Iraq is attacked, Mr. Chipman said.

    The institute’s analysis concludes that Iraq will need several years, at least, to develop a nuclear bomb unless enriched weapons-grade material is obtained from a foreign source. But researchers said they could not determine if it would be “two years” or “five or seven years” before Mr. Hussein could develop nuclear weapons on his own.

    There is far less doubt about Iraq’s biological weapons, the report states, indicating that Iraq still has the expertise and industrial capability to quickly produce them. Iraq may have thousands of liters of anthrax stored for weapons use and could use it or other biological weapons against advancing troops, Mr. Chipman said.

    It is not clear how effective these weapons would be against Israel, however, because delivering them effectively with Iraq’s ballistic missiles would not be easy, he said. Nonetheless, a successful strike could still cause “hundreds or thousands” of civilian deaths, he said.

    The threat against Israel, which could also be hit by ballistic missiles armed with chemical warheads, is difficult to gauge. The report concludes that Mr. Hussein probably has about a dozen Scud missiles, but some analysts believe the number is three times higher.

    These weapons could also be fired at Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Iran and Kuwait, Mr. Chipman said.

    In response to this threat, Israel – believing that an attack from Mr. Hussein would be a likely response to a U.S.-led invasion of Iraq – has substantially upgraded its missile defense capability by installing the Arrow system, said Dennis Gormley, a senior researcher on the project.

    “The Arrow is absolutely critical to Israel’s national security plans,” he said. “In tests, it has performed better than some U.S. systems.”

    Researchers were unable to determine whether Iraq has produced viral agents that could be used as weapons, and it is also not known whether Iraq has access to small pox that could be used to infect civilians.

    Mr. Chipman said it would not have been difficult for Mr. Hussein to use the four years since U.N. weapons inspectors pulled out to rebuild his chemical weapons stocks, which had largely been destroyed after the Persian Gulf War. Accurately estimating these stocks is impossible, he said.

  11. Rushing says:

    Uh……the Selke is the best Defensive player. What does scoring goals have to do with that? Like you said, “Not everyone is an offensive player.” Or, “That’s b/c there’s more to the NHL than just offense.”

    Handzus looked great with that a +/- of -8(pts. 45), while Lehtinen had a +27 (pts. 49)last year. He also scored 25 goals last year. Handzus has scored more than 20 goals only twice in his entire career. WOW!!!!!!!!! In Handzus’ career, he has had 3 +/-‘s above zero with 2 negatives! Lehtinen never has had a negative season. Should that be Handzus sux?

    BTW, your Handzus played “6” more games than Handzus than Lehtinen as well last year. Get your facts straight dude.

  12. mikster says:

    Speaking of London….

    Those bastards who had posters of “Islam Will Take Over the world” should have been kicked out of the country and sent back to the Middle East. I think the US should do it as well. Italy has this as a law. That if an immigrant acts and speaks against the country, the he/she could be banned. Why should they stay if they hate it? Why should they be making money and not wanting to stay? Too many muslims are brainwashed, and too many are a threat.

  13. Rushing says:

    This country was built around “Freedom of Speech.”

    I cannot(like you evidently) stand to hear such protests or claims and honestly, wish the very same thing. If you can’t stand the heat, get out of the kitchen!!!!

    But, the Freedom of Speech must have it’s place.

  14. mikster says:

    I believe their freedom of speech is practicing the religion to kill.

  15. big_booty says:

    Lighten up, mikster.

    I come to this site to get away from all the other crap that’s going on in the world. This is my escape, and I’m sure other people feel the same way.

    When I read such a downer comment like this that has nothing to do with hockey whatsoever, it takes away from the fun that HTR provides.

    If you want to talk about Hannity and Colmes, do it on your own time on another website. No one saw it on DG’s site? Maybe that’s because nobody wanted to see it. I’ve been to that site, and I don’t particularly care for it, which is why I haven’t been back there – I don’t need some youngster from Toronto with too much time on his hands telling me how he thinks and how he thinks everyone else should think.

    Keep talking hockey, not this other bullshit.

    Coming to a hockey website and seeing talk about democrats and republicans? What a buzzkill.

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