Home HockeyBuzz Register Login
Bringing Hexy Back • 42 Years Old • Male
One year ago, the governments of the Philadelphia region were discussing adding Prozac to the water supply to keep unhappy Flyers fans from jumping off the Walt Whitman bridge as the team staggered to a 1-8-1 start on the way to a 56 point season.

Now a year later, much is good about the Flyers.

-Trade Deadline pick up Martin Biron has been providing good to excellent goaltending since pulling on a Flyers sweater. He's provided the team with confidence and comfort and when he's mic'd up, he provides Flyers fans with several good chuckles during the game telecast.

-Big ticket free agent signing Danny "Don't Call Me Daniel" Briere has been the gamebreaker the team was missing last season.

-Joffrey Lupul looks a lot more like the guy that scored 28 goals for Anaheim than the guy that never found a comfort level last year in Edmonton. Lupul has meshed well in the line-up and has been playing a physical, defensively responsible game.

-Braydon Coburn has progressed nicely and been a big solid component for the team's defense. His mix of size and mobility has brought what the team thought it had when it added Mike Rathje after the lockout.

-Jeff Carter seems to have finally the key to the door of his world class talent. I don't know if it's maturity or if he found a way to simplify the game in his head, but he's been the offensive presence the team saw in him when they made him the 11th pick of the 2003 NHL draft.

-Jason Smith has brought stability and leadership to the roster and the defense. The team's eagerness to stick up for one another is exemplified in Smith's play-blocking shots, being physical and doing whatever it takes to win.

-Mike Richards is being rewarded for his hard work. Last year this guy busted his tail and got minimal offensive production for it. Now, he's a key piece of the power play unit, playing with Lupul and RJ Umberger on a surprisingly effective two way line and providing the snarling leadership he did every since his rookie season. Richards is also showing the face-off ability he displayed in juniors-winning draws at a 63% clip.

-Lasse Kukkonen might be a slightly built European, but he plays a game straight outta Moosejaw. He sacrifices offense for a responsible defensive game, blocks shots without a care for health or safety and is more than willing to stand up for teammates who he feels get treated wrongly by opposing players.

-John Stevens has done a great job at making adjustments and fostering a sense of team. This team simply doesn't have two bad periods in a row and that is a testament to Stevens and his staff. He also revamped his system to take better advantage of his players' abilities and hides their weaknesses.

-Randy Jones has paired with Kukkonen and has played like Mark Howe. Ok, that is overstating things, but Jones has been great for the Flyers in the role of a regular rotation defenseman and lessened the need to play guys like Kimmo Timmonen for 30+ minutes a night.

-Timonen, for that matter, has done a good job of providing the steady all around play that Eric Desjardins gave the Flyers for a decade. He's also been more physical than I expected.

-A four game winning streak with limited offensive production from the KGB line? Last year the only consistent offense came from the 2112 line, and then it was only when Peter Forsberg was healthy enough to play at his HOF level.

-Sami Kapanen has found the rejuvenation machine. The tough little Finn has rediscovered his scoring touch and been an excellent all around player to boot. He and Carter have found great chemistry.

-I personally LIKE the new RBK jerseys.

-I have concerns about a few things, most notably the lack of production by the KGB line over the past few games. Simon Gagne and Mike Knuble seem to be battling injuries or perhaps they just have some adjustments to make as they further gel with Briere's style and get used to the system. Hopefully it's a temporary thing, because that line started off on fire for the Flyers.

-One other minor concern is that Scott Hartnell has started slowly, at least as far as production goes. He's played well, but the results aren't there yet.

In closing, what a great turnabout. so far the elation over the work of Paul Holmgren and the rest of the front office has been justified. It's been a great start for Flyers fans and all I have to say is, Let's Go Flyers
October 19, 2007 9:04 AM ET | Delete
Well stated.
October 19, 2007 9:05 AM ET | Delete
Jsaq, you said it all and very well. i share the same compliments and concerns. to some, moving knuble even temporarily, is sacrilege. to me it's just a temporary adjustment and if it works out w/ someone like hartnell, it'll help the team. if they are a really productive line, KGB will stay together. otherwise, stevens will make an adjustment, no biggie. the main thing is that we are winning- often in the manner that we were beaten last year. it would be nice to throw in some canuck games though, lol.
October 19, 2007 9:12 AM ET | Delete
i think at this point. it would do more harm to mess with L2 and L3 than it would to break up the top line. that line attracts the top defensive pairing (even at home) and has still benn creating opportunities. switching hartnell with knuble will be counter productive. i was at the atlanta game the other nite. and i had a careful eye on the guy. he is pretty much large and in charge out there. his forchecking is one of the better on the team. i think we can start being concerned come december and nothing has changed.
October 19, 2007 11:05 AM ET | Delete
Great Blog and some spot on observations! And I did NOT steal your material....just had a good thought on my own - imagine the horror :surprise. Well done JS!SYF
October 19, 2007 12:06 PM ET | Delete
great job js your blogs are so good great comment ojn richards
October 19, 2007 12:38 PM ET | Delete
Great stuff Jsaq. I think the top line is still working out its chemistry. Maybe they worked on it more on the road than they have here at home -- at least thats what I'm thinking. Anyway, I was having the same concerns about the top line. When I watched a DVD of the game again last night, I noticed they are working hard, at both ends of the ice, but they seem to be still working out their chemistry in the offensive zone -- they are not finding each other like they were in the first few games. I think they will work it out though -- just give it more time, and then look out!
October 19, 2007 5:36 PM ET | Delete
I thought last night Gagne just looked lazy on his skates. Other then that, the team played very tough.
October 19, 2007 8:10 PM ET | Delete
I think one more Eagles loss will make the Flyers the hottest ticket in town. They're simply a great-looking team right now and are playing some dynamite hockey. A big "ugh" on the black jersey, for me, anyway. It looks... odd. And is it me, or are you giving Stevens too much credit? It's not as though he had no opportunities to make adjustments last season. One thing notably missing - leadership in the room. I think signing 3 former captains is paying dividends.
October 20, 2007 2:21 AM ET | Delete
Good to see happy Flyers fans again. Long faces, Prozac, and suicidal tendencies are a bad mix. Keep skating guys.
Leave a Comment
You must be logged in to leave a comment.

Blog Archive