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2009 Years Old • Male
My apologizes to anyone I ever offended with offensive language. I have used offensive language with some posters, especially if annoyed by the post posted by the poster. But, even so, I always tried to keep it in a fun format. Although, I understand, any offensive language can always be taken the wrong way, and have been annoyed by it, myself, when others have directed it toward me. So, I truly am sorry about offending anyone with any offensive language, even if it was used in fun. I will be available to post again on 7/13 at 7:51 AM, and I look forward to becoming involved in the discussions again, with each and every HockeyBuzz user. I will choose my words more carefully -- or disengage completely -- in the future, especially if engaged in discussions where some smack is being thrown around.

Since I havent been able to post, I'm just going to blog a little on the Flyers.

I think we have a really good team; one that will challenge for the division and which could make some "hey!" in the playoffs, especially if our young guys breakout this season. The maturity of our kids and the chemistry the guys develop with one another is going to be key. It is imperative the guys find chemistry and excel in their positions this season, if we are really going to challenge for the division, and later in the playoffs.

We are going to have a really tough division, not just because of the Rangers and Penguins, but also because we cant overlook Lou, Brodeur and the Devils nor the Islanders, either. Both the Devils and the Islanders made the playoffs last season, and while they have lost some key players, they have also made some very good additions to their teams as well. I don’t think any team in the Atlantic, nor the NHL, really, can be taken lightly. Welcome to the “new’ NHL! Parity in the league has reached new highs, imo, and there are going to be very few teams, if any, who are going to be pushovers. All us Flyers fans need to do is to think back to last season, and some of the teams our last place Flyers beat to understand this – the Cup Champion Ducks, the Thrashers (four times) and the Sabres come to mind.

As of today, I’m going to throw out the lines with which I think we start the season, and some alternative lines I think we may also see, depending on how the chemistry works.

Gagne – Briere – Knuble
Hartnell – Carter – Lupul
Kapanen – Richards – Upshall
Eager – Umberger – Afanasenkov / Downie / Rucizka / Heavy-Weight Fighter or Someone else acquired.

Some other possibilities:

Gagne – Briere – Knuble
Upshall – Carter – Lupul
Hartnell – Richards – Kapanen

Gagne – Briere – Lupul
Upshall – Carter – Knuble
Hartnell – Richards – Kapanen

On defense:
Timonen – Smith
Coburn – Hatcher
Kukkonen – Gauthier / Picard or Jones

I know we all have our own thoughts on line combinations, and I’ve seen some really unusual ones. The main thing is to sort it all out in the preseason, or within the first month of the season and find the chemistry which works best as soon as possible, and then let the chemistry further develop through the season.

Anyone else suspect Afanasenkov signs with the Islanders? Supposedly, he and Fedotenko are friends from their days in Tampa. I don’t know about the rest of you, but I’d still like to keep the Shark, should we be able to sign him to the offer he’s been given (850K/yr, I believe), but not more, since we may be better off giving his position to one of our rookies, at a lesser salary.
Filed Under:   Flyers   Atlantic Division   NHL  
July 14, 2007 8:55 AM ET | Delete
From what I'm hearing the Flyers have lost all interest in signing Afanasenkov, unless he seriously comes down in price. My guess is their last forward spot will be filled by combination of Downie and a goon, and that they will pick up a veteran checking center before the playoffs and move Umberger to wing.
July 14, 2007 1:22 PM ET | Delete
Yeah, you're probably right. I could see Afanasenkov going to the Islanders, though. He and Fedotenko became friends in Tampa. He'd probably fit in well with them too. I just dont like to lose a decent forward with his skills, especially to a rival team we face 8 times a year. And, as much as I'd like to leave a roster spot open for one of our rookies, I think Shark is a better forward than any of our prospects, at least at this point of their careers -- at least we know what we have with Afanasenov, given his proven record; where we cant really be sure what we will have with any of the prospects at the NHL level. Furthermore, I think our prospects will probably develop better with at least one season in the AHL. I agree, though, about the salary issue. Theres not enough cap space to spare, so, for sure, he'd have to come down to a rate at which the Flyers can work with.
July 14, 2007 1:43 PM ET | Delete
I was also thinking more about our lines. More specifically about rotating lines, and possibly playing with 7 defensemen. Initially I like the idea of Upshall (buzzsaw or buzz) – Carter (gumby) – Lupul (wolfy) as our second line. But, the more I’ve though about it, Hartnell (the bull) is probably a better option on the LW. He brings the presence in the corners and in front of the net, much like Knuble brings to the first line. And, Upshall probably is the best fit on our speedy third line, checking line. The more I thought about it, Upshall probably adds more to the third line than what Hartnell would add. But, Upshall and Carter had some real good chemistry, last year, so I wanted (and still would like) to see how he works on the Carter’s LW with Lupul on the RW. This got me thinking that I’d like to actually see a rotation of wingers between all three/four lines and the idea of maybe going with just 11 forwards and 7 defensemen. This way we could give Lupul, Upshall and Hartnell some time on the first line, and give Knuble some time on a second line with Carter and also a throw-together line like Eager – Umberger – Knuble. We could give the Upshall – Carter – Lupul line some looks, as well. By moving Hartnell onto a throw-together line like Hartnell – Umberger – Eager.
July 14, 2007 2:19 PM ET | Delete
Okay. I used some nicknames. Back in the 70’s when I was a kid growing up, there was a cartoon called Gumby. Gumby was a green rubber man, who was capable of all kinds of fantastic moves, because of his rubber body. He also had good size, and could stretch his arms or legs to pull off amazing feats. The way Carter backs in the defense and maneuvers through the defense at center really reminds me of Gumby. I don’t know if it will stick, but since Bill Meltzer’s article the other day, I started thinking about it as a nickname for Carter or Carts or Gumby. Someone else brought up Buzzsaw – or Buzz – for Upshall, which I also liked. And others referred to Lupul as the Wolf and Hartnell as the Bull. So, the nicknames – Carter (Gumby or Carts); Upshall (Buzz or Buzzsaw); Lupul (Wolfy or Wolf) and Hartnell (the Bull).
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