Will Clarke finally get a Goalie for the playoffs??

Or will the Flyers be forced to rely on their future goaltender in Robert Eshe? Or even worse the OVERRATED Jeff Hackett? Lets face it, the Flyers need a goalie as bad as the Eagles need a Wide Receiver.
I don’t want to criticize Eshe because I think he has potential in the future, but can he really get the job DONE this year? If the playoffs started this week the Flyers would have to play the Montreal Canadians, meaning Eshe would have to out-duel Jose Theodore. I think we all know who would win that battle.

With next year up in the air as to whether or not we will even have a season; I think the Flyers window of opportunity may be closing. This team is getting OLD, and FAST: Roenick (34), Recchi (36), LeClair (34), Amonte (33), Primeau (32), Dejardins (34), Weinrich (37), Lapointe (35), Therien (32), Brashear (32), Ragnarsson (32), and Hackett (35). It is quite possible that all these players might be two years older next time we have an NHL season. I don’t know about anyone else, but I think the Flyers need to make a HUGE move and FINALLY pull in a proven goaltender. If the Flyers can get someone in net I think they have as good of a chance in winning the cup as anyone.

Now the question is which goalies should we pursue? Personally I don’t think I would bother with Sean Burke or Martin Biron. I don’t think these guys would be too much of an upgrade on what we have now. There are three goalies however that I think have the potential of getting the job done: Kolzig, Khabibulin, and Hasek. Kolzig and Hasek are a risk, however if they get hot in the playoffs they have the potential to carry this team. I would rather take my chances with one of these guys then what we have now. Khabibulin on the other hand definitely has a few good years left in him, and could really shine for this team.

This is where our hope lies. Though year after year there are plenty of rumors about Flyers getting a goalie, though it never happens. Lets face it our best chance is that Eshe will get hurt while Hackett is still recovering, forcing Clarke to make a move. Realistically, Clarke will probably make a move for a forward at the deadline leaving us to the same fate that has plagued us in the past. I for one am keeping my fingers crossed! So Eshe please do us all a favor and pull your groin, because Clarke isn’t going to pull the trigger unless he absolutely has to.

40 Responses to Will Clarke finally get a Goalie for the playoffs??

  1. HAL2000 says:

    Problem right now is that a good veterna goalie is going to cost a good young player and a top prospect. I do not think Hasek is going to be traded.. Rather, Kohlzig, Khabibulin and Burke will be the front runners. After trading Williams to Carolina for Markov, I really doubt Clucke will be willing to part with Simone Gagne.. but they might be willing to toss away Kapanen.

    NYRangers are also looking to make a deal for a goalie (as well as a defenseman).. which means until they buy, the prices will be overinflated. Clarke knowing this, will cause him to tighten up his sphincter and wait to see what he can get later for less. Rangers may have to offer up Jaime Lundamark.. (who is returning from a Peca-induced knee injury, and has underperformed this year), but will be hard-pressed to give up a prospect (Jessiman, Tjutin..etc).. but who knows – this being Sather’s make/break season he may blow the wad.

    Rangers could also offer up Purinton, Poti, Hlavac, or a handful of others instead. My guess is Rangers will pick up a goalie and or a stay-at-home defenseman in the next week. Not sure if Clarke would want to trade away any more young talent that could otherwise help restore their erroding core.

    In the end, I don’t think it matters if Philly gets Broder.. Two things are highly likely: Rangers will come close to getting in (but will most likelely be golfing early); and 2. The flyers know this team will not be the same next year (if there is a next year), so they know this is the best chance they will have for a few years. If they get caught in a long series with a tough, disciplined team – they will either run out of gas, or Esche wil roll over. Everyone knows that Philadelphia has ongoing issues regarding goalie confidence.. and a midseason change may only tip that fragile balance.. Their defensemen have really plugged some holes this year.. Against good solid pressure, they may not be able to sustain. Flyers will choke in the end.

  2. jacosta says:

    I hav a feeling that whatever team gets Kolzig will be disapointed. I think his best days are definetely behind him. The year they went to the finals he may have pulled of a Jiggy. Having one good year with flashes of brilliance. Unfortunately I think the flashes are gone. The difference being is that he could blame his poor team for his record.

    If he goes to a good team, his weaknesses may show


  3. LeafyMcLeaf says:

    You really gotta give Esche a chance he is a great goalie and will never gain playoff experience if Philly doesn’t play him in the playoffs. And you do have to admit he has kept you guys in alot of games like the last two Toronto games Philly still probabley would have won with Hacket in but Toronto would have come back a few times. I may be kinda biast as a Leaf fan but its true. I really doubt Philly will win the Cup I think there are only two possibilities in the East and they are the most consistant teams in the palyoffs. NJ always does really well like Conf. finals or the cup. and Toronto has not lost in the first round (aside from last year) in quyite a while. Philly is the only one as consistant and they will get beaten by Ottawa somewhere in there but if you really look at the other playoff teams Tor and Nj are more consistant









    If you look Montreal has only made the playoffs once in 8 years Ottawa has just started two make it’s name TB is new to the P offs and Boston always gets beaten early if they even make it the Islanders have only just started making the playoffs again. the only other two poswsibilities in the league are Colorado and Detroit. I honestly think it’ll be NJ Tor Col or Det.

  4. FlyHigh says:

    Esche this, Esche that…… The MAN HAS WON 5 OF HIS LAST 6 STARTS. He beat the Leafs twice in playoff atmospheres. He’s beaten the NYR at MSG. He won a close game against Buffalo and a game against Washington. In the Montreal game, two of those goals were two-on-none. Out of goalies with more than 20 games, he is 10th in S% and 2nd in GAA. Of course you will say “He plays behind a good D” So what? That D won’t change in the playoffs except it gets Desjardins and Ragnarrsson back. Khabibulin has only been to the playoffs a few times, but his stats were horrible. Give Esche a chance. Playing better than all of the guys that you have mentioned.

  5. Aetherial says:

    A little while ago I said try for Kolzig. Obviously Khabibulin IF you could land him. Forget Burke or Hasek…. I bet Hasek could be had for cheap though if you can stomach his salary. He is a BIG risk.

    I also don’t believe Kolzig is the same goalie he was 5 years ago.

    In any case, there will one day be hockey again. Philadelphia is positioned to have a good core after the lockout.

    As much as I do not believe Esche is the guy, I am tempted to say stick with Esche if another goalie is going to cost too much. The names I am hearing are not much better and I would not take too much away from the core/draft picks. Philly has already given up quite a bit in the last couple years.

    There are still only a few goalies out there capable of stealing a series and I doubt any are available. For once, this may be the year Philly should sit tight.

  6. dkball7 says:

    No he won’t, and even if he does, they’ll still *CHOKE* like they do every year.

  7. Spektor says:

    If they go south in the next week or two, the flyers will go out and get a playoff rental goalie like the Blues did a few years ago with Osbad! The Eagles will address their wide receiver situation with the Terrel Owens! Go Leafs Go, Rangers Blow!

  8. terry says:

    i dont know if this is a possibility, but how about potvin? inconsistent in the regular season, but you cant deny the fact that he is dynamite in the playoffs. now the question is, is boston willing to give him up and risk having a rookie goaltender in the playoffs AND how much will it take to get potvin? im thinking a mid draft pick. thoughts?

  9. SaskSen says:

    Ottawa just started to make a name???

    They have been in the playoffs the last seven or eight years. Besides that I am convined the Sens would win a 7 game series now. They are a superior team than the Leafs. I think that you are being incredibly biased when you say only two teams could win the East.

    They are a better at everything: scoring, defence, goaltending, PP, PK, everything.

    I would love to see them play this year.

    PS Ottawa will be in first place by the end of next Saturday. I guarantee it.

  10. UsedandAbused says:

    I do agree with a lot of what you said, and I do think Eshe will be a good goaltender. Flyers have choked in the playoffs the last few years, however the only Flyer to choke last year in the playoffs was Chokemanek. Lets face it Hitchcock has done a WONDERFUL Job. I truly believe their goaltending was the reason they lost the 1st, 3rd, and 6th game of the series against Ottawa last year, then finally they ran out of gas. Many believe the series against Toronto wouldn’t have even gone seven games if Chockmanek played more consistent in the net. I think they will play good hockey come playoffs. I don’t think they will be able to get by NJ or Ottawa without a goalie that can steal a few games. I suppose Eshe can do it, but that’s a lot of pressure for a goaltender who hasn’t played in the playoffs.

  11. UsedandAbused says:

    Yea… Toronto and NJ have been the most consistent. Though I think it is only fair to look at the Flyers with their current coach, Hitchcock. The fact is they didn’t choke with him in their first year. If they had good goaltending last year they may have even beaten Ottawa. Ceckmanek blew a 2-goal lead in game one against that team. He also Blew a lead in game 3 in Philly. Not to mention this team was very beat up and had many players playing injured after a WAR with Toronto. They didn’t choke with Hitchcock as their coach which is a very good sign. They lost because of goaltending. In fact I think Eshe is actually better then Cechmanek, so they may even go further this year, however I don’t think they can beat NJ or Ottawa with out an elite goaltender. As for Toronto well… I think if I was a Toronto fan the one team I wouldn’t want to play come playoffs is the Flyers. The Flyers are just a BAD match up for Toronto. I think Toronto can beat Ottawa, because Toronto is a bad match up for Ottawa. The scary team in NJ, because they can beat ANYONE in the NHL. Lets face it they have the best current goaltender in hockey.

  12. UsedandAbused says:

    Eshe is a good young goaltender, but as we learned with Cechmanek the last few years, regular season tells us NOTHING about how a goaltender will play come playoffs.

  13. UsedandAbused says:

    I don’t think they Choked last year, again they lost because of goaltending. I think you have to give Hitchcock enough credit to assume they won’t choke like they had done alot in the past. If they lose it will be because of goaltending. If they choked last year they would have never beaten a tough Toronto team that many felt would finally make it to the finals after making some big moves during the trade deadline.

  14. UsedandAbused says:

    You may very well be right. That is why I said Kolzig is a RISK. I think Khabibulin would be a nice fit.

  15. matteo says:

    Did anyone notice that Kolzig was a healthy scratch in the Flyers game on Sunday….conspiracy theorists begin to theorize.

  16. matteo says:

    I hope to god that you are right, but I think TO is going to Atlanta. I think the Eagles will get a couple good receivers like Jackson and maybe Northcutt, but not a gamebreaker like TO.

    I am praying for TO though

  17. matteo says:

    Right now Esche is putting up the numbers of a #1 goalie (yeah yeah I know so did Chokemaniac). The biggest gripe is that he has no playof experience, but the catch 22 is that he won’t get any until you play him.

    If Esche is going to be the man in Philly you have to stick with him and give him the shot. I think the best and most likely scenario for Philly now is trading for a decent backup that can actually handle a small part of the load. That way if Esche fails we have someone that can potentially fill in and try to pick up some slack. I would like to see the Flyers pull something with Calgary and get Either Turek or Kiprusoff….hopefully Kiprusoff, but Turek is a nice pick-up too. Once all Calgary’s goalies are healthy they will have a logjam and be able to deal one.

    The decision that must be made is whether or not Esche is the projected starter in Philly. Although, Aside from everything I have said above a piece of me really wants Khabibulin in the nets in Philly come playoff time. I think he would fit our need perfectly.

  18. matteo says:

    If I was Boston right now I would stay the course with Raycroft as the man. I think he will be an excellent starter for them in the coming years.

  19. matteo says:

    I tend to agree. If Philly can’t get Khabby, then I think their best bet is to get a backup to replace Hackett. As I said below, Calgary is a great place to go looking. Maybe this is the year Clarke should add another forward for the playoff run, that is, unless Sharp keeps playing like he is. That kid is going to be a player. LaPointe was the perfect playoff warrior, but who knows what shape he will be in come playoff time. So maybe you add another warrior to bang along the boards and do the dirty work Lapointe is so good at.

  20. cgolding says:

    That’s possibly the most irritating thing i’ve ever read…

    Toronto with its 1-5-2 record against Ottawa, NJ, and Philly not to mention being outscored 27-8 has little chance of winning anything if they don’t turn that around quickly…

  21. cgolding says:

    Unless it’s Khabi I don’t want a trade. As others have said the only way we are going to find out about Esche is if we throw him in the fire. The other side to all this is that I am very nervous about the idea of throwing any picks, youth, or prospects away going into the CBA since we have very little idea what the make-up of the NHL will be after that.

    The other thing to remember about Esche is that he has some solid international tourney experience under his belt which will help some, and a very solid team in front of him, which helps any goalie.

    Have faith in Hitch. We choked in the past due to idiotic coaching, which always reared its head with a vengeance in the playoffs.

    nevermind the bullox,


  22. FlyHigh says:

    but we won’t know until we give him a chance.

  23. habsoverserver says:

    The Flyers need a goalie for the regular season because they have a lousy road record and they need to secure home ice advantage for the playoffs. However, everyone knows Clarke is stuck and most teams are good at making him overpay for talent. Hitch is better playing a system to minimize shots on goal and hoping for the best.

  24. CupBoundFlyers says:

    We need a goalie desperately!! From the begining of the summer we all said get Hackett the hell out of here we dont trust him one bit, now look what happens he cant even play! Trade for Khabi i dont trust any of the other washed up garbage out there either!

    *I don’t want to criticize Eshe because I think he has potential in the future, but can he really get the job DONE this year? If the playoffs started this week the Flyers would have to play the Montreal Canadians, meaning Eshe would have to out-duel Jose Theodore. I think we all know who would win that battle. *

    What the hell is this? In philly we are prayin we get the canadiens in the 1st round so we can beat them in 4 and not lose anyone to injury cause they are pussies. If you’re a Flyers fan u want Montreal in the 1st round, forget about Esche, LeClair will put up enough pts by himself to beat them.

  25. ORANGEandBLACK says:

    The Flyers DO NOT need a goalie. Esche has gotten us this far, and he will get us to the Cup. Hackett is a hack, they should never of picked him up to begin with and we don’t need Khabibulin. He doesn’t really have that much playoff experience to begin with. Let’s give Esche a chance and with the D he has in front of him, I think they will do just fine. The Flyers MAIN problem is their inconsistincy to score goals. They score 4 or more goals a couple times and then they can’t score on a wide open net sometimes. If the scoring stays consistent, the D holds up the way they have been and Esche plays the way he has been all year….You have a Stanley Cup Contender in Philadelphia for the first time in a long time.

  26. Hyfte says:

    I would give Esche A Chance maybe he can be another dimond in the rough like J.S Gigere.

    If by the trade deadline they are still are unsure he can handle himself than maybe the could try and land Roman Turek they could get him for nothing from Calgary.

  27. UsedandAbused says:

    My point is they have a great goaltender and if he gets hot in the playoffs and Flyers are inconsistent scoring goals then they can be in trouble, especially if goaltending decides the series.

  28. the_hockey_bandit says:

    Was good in the Toronto games with the help of the teams solid d-play, but the other three are kninda iffy, non are in the playoffs right now, and are all easily dominated with Philly’s d. Don’t read to much into those three.

  29. TC_4 says:

    I think he’ll go get Kolzig. Does he remind anyone else of Ronnie Hextall??? A big goaltender with a mean streak, but when hot is one of the best netminders in the game. At least with Kolzig your putting in a guy who has done it before. But Kolzig is also very overrated. The guy hasn’t one a playoff series since 98, and never won a series before that. But you have to think “Ok, what if he gets THAT hot again??? If he does, we win our Cup.” With Robert Esche, your hoping he plays well, you know that Kolzig can play well. That’s what I believe Bobby Clarke will FINALLY do.

  30. Freeze says:

    I don’t see much difference between Eshe (GP:25 W:15 L:6 T:4 GAA:1.86 SV%:.921, SO 2) and David Aebischer (GP:37, W:21, L:9, T:6, GAA:2.04, SV% .928, SO 3). Aebischer has played in more games, but the numbers look proportionately the same.

    Colorado is #1 in the NHL. Philadelphia is #3 in the NHL.

    All we hear about is how brilliant Pierre Lacroix is for not trading for a high-priced goalie as Aebischer is getting the job done in Colorado. Why don’t we hear folks saying the same thing about Clarke regarding Eshe in Philly? No, I’m really not a Clarke fan, but Eshe seems to be getting the job done.

  31. The_Conductor says:

    If Clarke can admit they need a goalie… its either Washington or The Ducks. I mean both need more offence, so why the hell not?

  32. gojiclan says:

    Heres the one little (but good) problem. Esche is playing very well. I know there are a lot of people out there that are quick to point that chechmanek was the same, but the positive side is that these two goalies are totaly different. Esche is showing he can become a go-to goalie. Hes won back to back games against a toronto team that was on an absolute tear at the time, and he came to play. I read in the paper his quote on the fluke goal he let in the other night in buffalo and he simply said “”I let that unbelievable shot in and that made it pretty easy to get going for myself wasn’t giving up another one.” thats the sign of a guy thats up to the challenge. You never heard that come from chechmanek at all, ever. He was quick to blame the team, or simply had no response at all if he let in soft goals. And dont forget, Esche was playing well last year as well, in fact he and chechmanek had identical numbers until hitchcock gave the nod to chechmanek…we saw less and less of esche and the consequence was he;d come out cold and cost the game for the team. Thats not happening this year. You dont see esche costing the team a game, if anything he has saves a handfull of games for the flyers this season….

    that being said, esche has no playoff experience. That could be a problem, or it couldnt be. Since he doesnt have the experience, he might crumble under the pressure, or he could shine and carry the team like he has at points this season. Remember, Guigerre (sp?) didnt have playoff experience either. EVeryone has had a point where they had no playoff experience. How did Patrick Roy become a playoff winning monster? he was thrown into it his rookie year, the canadians went with him and it payed off. The same with any winning goalie….theyre not born with big game experience, its earned at somepoint or another…

    Who would i trade for…..i dont really know.Khabibulin hadnt been in a playoff situation in the better part of five years, and he didnt really do all that for me either. Kolzig hasnt done anything since the caps finals run in 98, and i dont think he had all that much playoff experience either……my point is sometimes you just haveta go with it. If esche gets real hot come april, i think he is just as good as any goalie out there (except brodeur but then again nobody is) if anything i would see whats goin on with hackett and if he cant go then id trade for someone that has some playoff experience and can back up esche…im thinkin of maybe Turek depending on whats doin with calgary in a month…thats my opinion anyways

  33. shady_records says:

    How could you be so rude towards Esche.. He is better than all the goalie you name. He is ready to be a starter and can lead a team in the playoffs. Everytime he plays he only surrenders one goal.

  34. LondonK says:

    And Ottawa being 0-3 in the playoffs shows that they have no shot at beating the leafs in the playoffs. And they are 0-1 against Jersey. The only team they have beaten is Philly.

    When will you people get it through you heads that the regular season means absolutely nothing. The Sens have historically owned the leafs in the regular season but have yet to beat the leafs.

    Toronto has been historically terrible against the Flyers (something like 36-72 plus some ties). It means absolutely nothing.

    And just for fun, lets pretend I didn’t just make that previous argument:

    That must be bad for the Sens as they are the only team that the leafs have beat. That must mean that they aren’t going to be able to handle the big guys if they can’t dominate the leafs every time they play them. (sarcastic eye roll)

    And the Sens have lost to Pittsburgh so that must mean they are toast….

  35. ILiveOnBroadStreet says:

    you can see the difference after that goal goes in too, I grew up with Rob, and he has been like this his entire career, he lets in one goal then fights back his emotion and acts like he wants to show that that one was a mistake.

  36. UsedandAbused says:

    I am not being rude… I like Eshe Myself, but for the future.

  37. ILiveOnBroadStreet says:

    never said you were being rude, i mena, yes, he only lets in one goal, but then there is a difference in play after, he bears down.

  38. cgolding says:

    dude, if you getting outscored 27-8 by those three teams you aren’t even being competitive. NOT EVEN BEING COMPETITIVE. you can delude yourself that the regular season means nothing, but seeds do. so keep losing and get a tough matchup in the first round again and see if you can get to the ultimate prize, which you haven’t done in how long… even with beating ottawa three times?

    but lets disregard the regualar season

    and records against other teams and all those things. teams do not win the cup that can’t play defense… which the leafs have a tendency not to do, which has absolutely nothing to do with the regular season. and consistently bites the leafs in the ass when they get into tight playoff series over the long haul, eventually they open it up a little bit and get burned.

    and who’s making the argument that every single game matters? do you have to win every game. no. but you gotta be able to at the very least step on the ice and put up a fight, and the leafs are simply not getting that done against the class of the east so far this year.

    so someone getting on here and saying that the ONLY teams that can reach the finals from the east are the Leafs and the Devils is what i was responding to, and if you honestly believe that then you are as stupid as him, since he clearly hasn’t been watching the way the East works over the past 10 years. Hell, we are prolly gonna send someone completely random like Atlanta or Montreal… Buffalo, Carolina… Washington.. there’s a trend there…. ANYONE CAN MAKE IT. i was responding to what the mother article said buddy.

    by the way, enjoy the 4 seed, ottawa has emerged from their coma. it either gonna be Philly v. Toronto, or NJ v. Toronto in the first round most likely, since if nothing else Ottawa has proven itself to be VERY good over the regular season. Should be a fun first round… maybe the winner can get past the second this year…


  39. LondonK says:

    I wasn’t paying much attention to the original article and if it did say that the Devils and the Leafs are the only ones, then I somewhat apologize, but my comment still stands. Losing that way really means nothing. In the end the games are still an L in the standings. Just like Ottawa is 1W-1L against Toronto this year. Yeah the leafs have gotten blown out by Philly and Ottawa, but at the same time should have won against NJ early in the season (2 seconds left the leafs blew a 2-1 lead), tied another game and lost 1-0 in a snore fest. And I think that we can all agree that the Devils are the team to beat. And while the Devils aren’t going to win games 9-1 or anything like that, the leafs very easily could have come out on top in each of those games.

    Regading the losses to Philly. Well they have sucked against them. I still read less into them than others seem to though. The first time was an embarassment because they had their lineup and just plain lost the game. They stunk it up, but they got terrible goaltending. That loss turned their season around. The other two losses were again lack of effort but they were much closer score-wise and effort-wise but again soft goaltending and this time they had a massively depleted lineup.

    The Ottawa win was absolutely solid. The loss wasn’t. But Kidd stunk it up letting in 3 soft goals on three soft shots. That hurts a team real bad and the score snowballed from there as Kidd really sucked. The had the depleted lineup and once the score was 3-0 the game was over anyway as you don’t come back from 3-0 in the regular season with that kind of depleted lineup.

    The next two games against Ottawa will be big for both teams. If the leafs come out on top I think the most they have to do is split the two games. But I really feel that Ottawa needs to win both to gain top spot. Perhaps Ottawa will be pointwise on top but the leafs have the far easier schedule coming up than Ottawa until the end and I think that the leafs will have an easier time gaining points than the Sens.

    Regardless this is certainly going to be an interesting finish in the North East. While it isn’t going to happen Boston and Montreal still have a shot at taking first, and even Buffalo could somehow go on a big streak and climb up the standings (even less likely to happen).

    I just hope that NJ stumbles against their first round opponent as they are the team that worries me the most of anyone in the league.

  40. flyersfan10897 says:

    the thing is, there is a big difference between a playoff goalie, and a veteran goalie. only 4 goalies playing in the NHL right now have ever won a cup. four. kolzig has made it past the first round once in his career, and the same for burke, who made the second round 16 years ago. there are not many playoff tested goalies out there, especially available ones. just picking up a playoff goalie is unrealistic, as there are less than a dozen in the league, and most of them are not available.

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