Thursday, May 10, 2012
Thanks For Coming Out, Philadelphia Flyers
Of course, this all started with the amazingly heavy deal they gave to their goalie, Ilya Bryzgalov. With eight years left at $5.6M per, you have to think that the Flyers and Philly fans are hoping for an amnesty buy-out in the new CBA. Granted, this is Bryz's first time in the spotlight in a big hockey market. The HBO presence probably didn't help either. Yet, it adds to the downfall and short-shelf life of Flyers' goalies since Ron Hextall's first stint with the Flyers. The big question is if Bryz leaves, can Sergei Bobrovsky or anyone else make things better??
Defensively, the loss of Chris Pronger didn't help, nor did the loss of Andrej Meszaros late in the season; but as a whole-- the Flyers stayed as strong as they could with what they had. Though, the prospect of losing Kimmo Timonen next season, even with one year left on his current contract, would be a big hit. Luckily, Brayden Coburn and Nicklas Grossmann will be back and will be the cornerstones to the new wave. However, they'll have to play very tight in order to actually help out whoever is behind him.
And while Mike Richards and Jeff Carter were shown the door (and are now together in the Western Final), the offense did play well and it was able to get new faces up there; including the emergence of Claude Giroux. Sure, he shoulder blocked Dainius Zubrus in Game Four, but other than that-- he played amazingly for the Flyers-- helping out Scott Hartnell and a returning Jaromir Jagr produce as well.
Even with all the good points, it was shock in Philadelphia for the playoffs. The bright spot is that the Flyers did beat the Penguins, winning the Keystone Cup. However, in their second round-- they looked like the Keystone Cops, running around and not producing much of anything. It's another long off-season; looking for a more propserous future.