Philly's defence is scary… and not in a good way.

Why hasn’t Clarke done anything to address the most obvious of problems for the Flyers? I remember feeling good about the signing of Hatcher and Rathje. Ahhh those were the good ole days. The blissful ignorance of what the new NHL would turn into. As it turns out, paying Hatcher and Rathje a combined 7 million is not a good thing!

Clarke really needs to pull his thumb out and get to work on revamping the large, pylon-like defence that got ravaged by Buffalo in the playoffs. Make no mistake, there is more to come in the near future for the Flyers if changes aren’t made. Hatcher, for all the talk about his defensive awareness, was barely on the good side of the +/- scale. At least on the surface, Rathje’s stats look a bit better, but he is hardly going to win any fastest skater awards at the annual All Star comp. The problem is that both players lack lateral speed and lateral speed is everything if you can’t clutch and grab.

I can’t see the Baumgartner move actually addressing the problem. He might help, but he is a 5th or 6th dman at best. The same can be said about Gauthier. I am hoping for Meyer to step up and make a difference, but is he ready for top 4 defencemen minutes? I’m not sure.

Pitkanen looks to be the only shining light on that back line, but as good as he is, he cannot carry the entire defensive corps. Maybe Keith’s salary will be able to go toward a trade deadline signing. One thing is for sure, this defence is not going to bring the Cup back home to Philly.

123 Responses to Philly's defence is scary… and not in a good way.

  1. celph9 says:

    sine you guys were talking about ottawa i’ll jump in..i do like the flyers actually…a lot because of how they dominate toronto…and because of forsberg…yea their defence is pretty weak..their depth up front is alright if carter and umberger continue to develop…calder was a good pick up but handzus is such a gotta respect that guy….i think rathje will be better..i watch a lot of western conference teams and he was pretty good for san jose for a number of years..he was playing pretty hurt last playoffs so if he can be healthy i don’t think he’ll be as big a concern as hatcher..and hatcher does bring a lot of leadership and intensity to the team…maybe some reduced minutes would help…they really gotta play niittymaki over esche though…as a sens fan the flyers are actually one of the teams that scares me the most…i don’t care what anyone else thinks..forsberg is still the most dominant player in the league and when it’s playoff time there is nobody i would rather have and nobody i would rather avoid in a playoff series..if he’s in the lineup you can’t count out philly

  2. Lindy_4_Prez says:

    Thats a pretty solid lineup. But i think Nedved needs to go, and Calder can then play on the second line. Gagne, Forsberg, Knuble, Sanderson, Calder, and Carter make a really nice top 6 if you ask me…

  3. bpanther83 says:

    Not only Does Gill cost less, he had better states then them on a worse team! Stop saying he is slow when his states show he can still do what he is payed to do!

  4. bpanther83 says:

    Is gagne signed?

  5. bpanther83 says:

    You would take them over Ovechkin? AHAHAHAHA you got to be smoking something bad.

  6. NiittymakiForVezina says:

    I don’t think they should split up Carter and Umberger yet. That was a great combo last year. So stick Calder onto that line, then Sanderson can play where needed, hopefully with Richards.

  7. 19AVSFANFoLIFE19 says:

    Kaberle and pronger or Blake and Kaberle. that would be the best combo by in a league by far.

  8. 19AVSFANFoLIFE19 says:

    Kaberle is my top 10 heck on his best night my top 5. but mccabe for the fact that he can only shoot and not play defence hes not even in my top 20.

  9. 19AVSFANFoLIFE19 says:


  10. bpanther83 says:

    So his lines are completely irrelevant considering they probably can’t afford Gagne.

  11. bpanther83 says:

    Handzus is gone. Thats how Philly got Calder.

  12. BLUE_AND_WHITE says:

    not Blake, but Kabby and Pronger would be fantastic. Almost as good as neidermeyer and Pronger.

  13. BLUE_AND_WHITE says:

    i’d prefer a Kaberle – Kubina duo with Gill and 3 rookies. Then the Leafs would have 6 mil in cap space. But McCabe has a 5 year deal. he’s quick though, and he rarely ever lets a guy get to the net. If a player gets by him, he trips him and takes a penalty.

  14. BLUE_AND_WHITE says:

    not really, the flyers have 4 million in cap space to resign him, plus 3mil if Premeau retires, due to injury.

  15. BLUE_AND_WHITE says:

    Forsberg is not the most dominant player in the League. Lindstrom, Ovechkin, Thornton are easily mre dominant players. Forsberg is a fantastic player when healthy, but I don’t think the Fyers offence will rely on him. They have 4 lines that can score goals. Defence is still an issue. I don’t think philly will get 6 strong defenders from they’re core.

    They’ll make the playoffs, but I don’t think they’ll beat the Rangers.

  16. Atomic_Wedgy says:

    Interesting comment. I did consider that the Calder move might mean that Gags was going to be traded. However, I don’t feel that replacing Gags with Calder is actually replacing him at all. Calder is a role player, 2nd line at best, not a 1st line forward. Gags is the real thing. If he’s good enough for Wayne to continually choose him for Team Canada, he is certainly worth hanging onto. Even the most optimistic of appraisals for Calder would not have him scoring in the same region as Gags. Not even close.

    Consider this… Bob trades Gags for a defenceman plus extras. 2nd game in October, Forsbreg injures himself and is out for a signficant number of games. Who is going to carry the offense? Knuble by himself? Calder? I dont think so.

    The Flyers needs Gags or a forward of Gags’ quality. I dont feel we can or should replace him with a defenceman and picks or prospects. Gags scored 47 goals last year and is still only 26. He is still getting better.

    I know Bob’s got something up his sleeve, but who know what.

  17. PeterTheGreat21 says:

    gotta go with reigning norris winner lidstrom and pronger as the best possible pairing in the nhl.

  18. Andy-O says:

    I am hoping that they keep Gagne. I am glad they dumped a center, but I really liked Zeus. Th eproblem is Claders contract is more than Handzus’. It’s going to be tough to lock up Gagne, but I don’t think Clarke will let him walk without replacing him, and trust me, Calder is not the answer.

    It’s going to be an interesting couple of weeks in Philly.

  19. BLUE_AND_WHITE says:

    Lindstrom and Neidermeyer

  20. lynchmob540 says:

    How does Ottawa OWN the Flyers? How many times have the Sens beaten the Flyers in the playoffs? And if they owned them, wouldn’t they whip them in regular season games as well?

    You’re obviously a frustrated Sens fan…too bad your bias blinds you to a point where you can’t watch a hockey game without believing your team is SOOO good (wake up and smell the coffee, Muckler!). I think it might be time to grow up a bit!

  21. nova_scotia123 says:

    Exactly. That is why he will be signed. Its just the matter of Primeau. Bob is waitting on Primeau so he knows how much money he has available to sign Gagne and for how long. Its safe to say if someone wanted Nedved they would let him go too. But he has potential to be a solid contributer. If he wants another contract in the show he is going to need to produce.

  22. Milohabs says:

    The bottom line is that you are only as good as the weakest link on your team. if your 5 & 6 D men play well, you’ll have success. If your 3rd & 4th lines contribute you’ll do well. This, and this alone is why Carolina won the Cup. No super stars, just a well balanced team from their best to worst player. I honestly think Montreal has a good D (not great) for the same reason. 5 & 6 are Boullion & Dandenault who can both play effectively.

  23. big_booty says:

    Congratulations, you’ve just won the HTR monthly “How To Make Yourself Sound Like A Lobotomy Patient” award. Allow the Professor to school you…

    1) Hatcher/Rathje:

    Yes, they’re older. Yes, they’re a little slow. And yes, they’re under contract for a while. They also don’t score a lot of goals. Those are the facts, and no one here disputes them. So thank you for stating the obvious.

    What you fail to comprehend is that:

    a) They will likely not see those contracts run their courses. Anyone who believes that Hatcher will still be worth $3.5 mil at age 38 is kidding themselves. The beauty of the “New NHL” is that they can be bought out. It will probably occur after this coming season, especially with Hatcher if his play doesn’t improve. Waiting three or four more full seasons isn’t just going to happen. Your thinking that it will only further cements your growing reputation as a class “A” nimrod.

    b) They don’t get paid to score goals. You’re an absolute dimwit to bring up an idiotic imaginary statistic like “per goal production” when referring to two players who aren’t exactly known for their deft touch around the net. For God’s sake, the two of them COMBINED average about 10 goals per season over the past decade.

    Now, to other business:

    2) Ottawa “owning” Philadelphia:

    Two, count them, TWO (2) series victories in the past FIVE YEARS (the last three seasons ago) does NOT constitute “ownership.” The Montreal Canadiens “own” the Boston Bruins. Everyone agrees with that statement. Even I, as a Flyer fan, wouldn’t say that the Flyers “own” Toronto, only after two series wins in the past three seasons.

    3) Lalime/Esche:

    This courtesy of, widely regarded as an authority on on-ice fisticuffs:

    “Comments: Esche gets involved in the brawl so Lalime makes the skate down the ice to fight Esche. When Lalime engages Esche, Esche is still wearing the mask but Lalime goes in anyway. Esche tries a right that might have connected. After the right Lalime rips Esche’s mask off and then gets Esche’s jersey over his head, but Lalime couldn’t take advantage. Both goalies were trying to get some punches off, but nothing much was happening so the camera cuts away from these two. Other Penalties: Lalime received a goalie leaving the crease and game misconduct; Esche a goalie leaving the crease and double game misconduct. “

    Doesn’t exactly sound like anybody got “tooled.” Again, you sound less than intelligent in making your arguement.

    Here endeth the lesson.

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