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Carbonneau isn't the only person showing no respect to the Flyers. The Capitals, the NHL media, and most fans have downed the way the team plays. The Flyers are a team that will allow you to possess the puck in their end on the perimeter. They will even let you shoot, however when they are on their game, you cannot bring the puck into the slot area without severe punishment. And during the last few weeks of the season and playoffs, they have been on their game. Only a few of the very fleet players will chase. Hatcher and Smith are smart enough to let the play come to them in the high scoring areas.

The other key point is that every player on the Flyers roster is willing to be hit. If you watch the game closely, on 50/50 pucks the Flyer will always go to the wall first to move the puck, even if a big hit is coming. It doesn't matter if the puck is in the offensive or defensive zone. I have witnessed this all season. Many of the other teams prefer to let the Flyer go for the puck and deliver a hit. This shows the courage of the Flyers overall. Another key factor is the fact that every player will block shots on this team. Some teams have a few guys that do it regularly, but find me other teams where the overwhelming majority of the top forwards slide and block shots. I can only think that Briere and Prospal are not really shot blockers. Everyone else does it regularly.

These two points go to show that when evaluating the Flyers that you cannot look at shots on goal or hits. Neither is an indicator in the flow of the game. Holmgren has built a team that can score off the rush as good as anyone in the league, but can also win battles in the offensive zone and score with possession.

The addition of Coach Mullen has given the talented players a concept of an unstoppable unit on the powerplay. It appears to be just a "blue collar get it to the point and shoot" powerplay, but the point men (Richards, Timmonen, Coburn, Jones, Briere) can also all make highly skilled plays from the top to wide open players down low. Since these players are also all willing to blast away due to the presence of Knuble and Hartnell down low, it draws the defenders out and creates the pretty powerplay goals. If the defending team backs in, Richards and Timonen creep in and blast away with very hard accurate shots. This is a lethal combination and an example of "taking what the defense gives you" just like in football.

Overall this team is playing with a very detailed plan of keep pucks to the outside in their zone and take pucks into traffic at the offensive end. A very good strategy especially in the playoffs. The goaltending is not complaining about anything, he is just stopping the pucks that come his way. Some goalies complain about shot blockers but Biron seems to be happy either way.

I know that the coaching staff is using this lack of respect for the team as further motivation privately. This is the 2nd straight series with a 3-1 lead, and yet the media is still talking how the other team still is right there. In the other 3-1 series, they are over!

Go Flyers, stay focussed. Win it in Montreal and get some much needed rest. Hopefully everyone will continue to doubt you in the next round and beyond!
Filed Under:   Flyers   Canadians   Playoffs  
May 2, 2008 1:05 PM ET | Delete
I agree with most of this, very good points. The Flyers are still subject to mental mistakes and dumb penalties, but their balanced scoring and willingness to get dirty can take them a long way as long as Biron continues his stellar play.Honestly I'm tired of conspiracy theories. If the Flyers make it past the Habs and the Penguins don't choke, we're going to continue hearing about how the league wants Crosby to be in the finals, since they couldn't have Ovechkin v Crosby and their last canadian team will be gone. I'm just enjoying this ride.
May 2, 2008 1:18 PM ET | Delete
You're right...Carbo's arrogance and lack of respect have put him in a hole. May he stay there. He'll take any exvuse for losing EXCEPT bad coaching. You've got a talented team, dude, get it together!I don't believe it's a conspiracy w/ the pens. But I do think they get preferential treatment. They get away with alot of stuff that other teams couldn't.
May 2, 2008 1:36 PM ET | Delete
I like the lack of respect the Flyes are getting and I hope it continues
May 2, 2008 2:31 PM ET | Delete
The Flyers are respected and do have Montreal concerned. This team can go from worst to first. The series analysis in this blog is what most hockey fans fail to see. The Flyers reputation is tough-guy, intimidation with passinate fans. When are the Flyers going to drop the "Flyers" name and winged "P" logo and replace it with a hooded gunman logo on those ugly black uniforms and become the "Philadelphia Assasins".BRING BACK HOME WHITES and the ORANGE!
May 2, 2008 2:40 PM ET | Delete
Listen, I like the black uniforms. Deal with it.
May 2, 2008 2:45 PM ET | Delete
I second home whites, and I do prefer the orange roadies to the black, but you can't change their logo. I think Philly has earned their rep as a tough, physical team, they're playing with an edge, which I like, thought at times a bit cheap and dirty, but who isn't this time of year? I think some of their dumber penalties have been overlooked by Biron's play and the Habs' floundering PP, and could really be a problem for them down the road.
May 2, 2008 2:46 PM ET | Delete
Who on the Capitals didn't give the Flyers respect ? I think as a team the Caps were pretty gracious in defeat (some of the fans acted like morons, but that is another story). As a fan of the Caps, I certainly realized going into that series that it was going to be a tough one (which is why I was bummed that Pittsburgh didn't compete against Philly in the final game of the regular season). It ended up being a 50/50 series which was decided in a Game 7 OT. I personally think the Caps were the slightly better team by the end of the series, but it doesn't really matter what I think -- just what the result ended up being. I hate the Flyers, always have, but I respect that they have a solid team. They do play on the edge (even Bill Clement said that on XM a few days ago), which is why I sometimes wonder why some Flyers fan seem amazed when they pick up undisciplined penalties. I do believe that Philly, should they advance to the ECF to play Pittsburgh (assuming no Pens collapse against the Rangers), is going to have a rough go of it. I just don't see them getting past Pittsburgh.And I agree with the Ranger guy -- why no Orange uniforms (the black uniform thing is played out).
May 2, 2008 3:24 PM ET | Delete
MadCap2008: I can't speak for anyone else but I am personally talking about Montreal and the many people who have picked against the Flyers. I like the underdog status
May 2, 2008 4:12 PM ET | Delete
Orange Uni's will be back soon.
May 2, 2008 4:44 PM ET | Delete
flyersfan15 - Is that a fact (that the Orange Uni's will be back soon) ? I know it's sort of a silly thing to dwell on, but I really like the traditional look of most teams (the Caps went with an updated retro, which I was unsure about at first but ended up really liking). The Flyers to me should be orange -- it's how I grew up hating them, and it's how I like to see them.
May 2, 2008 5:48 PM ET | Delete
I know its probably blasphemy, but I'm only OK with the orange as a third jersey. I just like the black. If Philly is going to be painted as a bunch of bad boys by the media and the rest of the NHL, hell they may as well dress the part, and black unis say that much better than the pumpkin suits.
May 2, 2008 6:48 PM ET | Delete
Good blog...I want to add that, at times, the Flyers have let the gap open and allowed the Habs to enter the zone and create shots...yes, Biron has been sharp and stopped them but I'd like to see them close the gap and play better overall team D. The way the Flyers played against NJ and Pit in their final meeting of the regular season and the effort in Game two of the Caps series is the way I'd like to see the team play. In those games there was a distinct commitment to team defense...the forwards came with a consistent backcheck and helped the D get the puck out too. The result is we end up limiting the opponents shots and dominating the game. In this series I have only seen flashes of that kind of play and we're being vastly outshot..if we want to advance to the Finals and have a shot I think we need to see a higher level of commitment, for 60 minutes, to that team defense.
May 2, 2008 7:41 PM ET | Delete
That's not blasphemy Lexington, I agree with that. Plus I've always enjoyed the way the black unis look with our logo, with slight bits of orange complementing it. Granted I wasn't alive in the 70's/early 80's to enjoy the old orange unis, but I like black as the base color.
May 2, 2008 7:42 PM ET | Delete
Plus, the orange unis they've had recently aren't the same as the old ones, unless I'm mistaken.. and the most recent ones were kind of ugly.
May 3, 2008 2:29 AM ET | Delete
MadCap...you grew up hating them in Orange and Black, and I grew up loving them in Orange and Black. I miss the Orange - I like the black - but I MISS the Orange. The Orange pajamas that they were now as a third jersey are ridiculous!
May 3, 2008 1:44 PM ET | Delete
The "Philadelphia Assasins" is an exageration to short-term cheap gimmicks compromising long and great tradition. The Flyers have the richest expansion history and could be mistaken for original 6. The Flyers don't need to cheapen themselves craving attention such as other insecure expansion franchises. The Flyers have built their reputation and look for 40 years. The ORANGE is the Flyers. It's disturbing tradition is being trashed. How do long-time(10 years ) fans tolerate the black? I hate watching the Rangers wear road blues at MSG!
May 3, 2008 3:37 PM ET | Delete
lots of valid points, great job! About the unis, I prefer the orange over the black. I have no problem having a black as a third (lord know Mr. Snyder could use the extra cash) but its not the same ole' Flyers I grew up with. I vote for Orange and White.
May 3, 2008 6:40 PM ET | Delete
Melrose thinks that Price will carry the Habs to a victory tonight and stretch it to 7 games. He still likes the Habs. I think his hair products are rotting his brain.
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