Why is it that the Flyers LOVE taking penalties?
In previous blogs, I've already mentioned how I don't like the fact that the Flyers love taking penalties. I'm not sure where the obsession comes from, but the Flyers taking a penalty is just as common an occurrence as Sean Avery proving how much of an idiot he is time and time again.
I have also mentioned before how the Flyers were tied with Anaheim for the most penalized team in the league last season and one of the most shorthanded teams as well. This may have cost the Flyers a number of games, not just because it gave the opposing team an advantage, but also because it stole quality five on five minutes when they could have been creating scoring chances (with the exception of Mike Richards, the SHG guru).
I would like to believe that the Flyers will have more disciplined play this upcoming season, but that is hard to believe when the Flyers currently have on their roster 5 of the top 25 league leading players in the PIM dept. Between Carcillo (254 PIM), Cote (174 PIM), Laperierre (163 PIM), Asham (155 PIM), and Hartnell (143 PIM), the Flyers might as well keep a player in the box at all times in order to save stoppage of play time.
Obviously, Hartnell is a valuable asset as he actually produces. His 30 goals and 60 points were a career high this past season and I believe he can top that this upcoming season. Laperierre at least has great faceoff skills and can play some big PK minutes. Hell, even Asham put up 20 points last season and came out with a 0 plus-minus. What exactly do Cote and Carcillo bring to this Flyers team? Not much, if you ask me.
I like the fact that the Flyers have a tough and gritty team to play against. But all those penalties don't make us any tougher or any more gritty. I've said it before and I'll say it again: penalties make us vulnerable. I think that's pretty obvious. A team can play very physically and very tough without taking nearly as many penalties. I'm not saying don't fight or don't make big hits, but we can be more disciplined and thereby allow us more time to create scoring chances.
I mentioned in my previous blog that I could definitely see Sykora playing for the Flyers if they signed him to a relatively inexpensive deal. Some believe we don't need the additional scoring and that may be true, but I would rather have more goal potential than more penalty box visits game after game.
Personally, I am very excited to see Pat Maroon lace up for some games this season and we all know that JVR will do the same as well. Maybe put Powe in between JVR and Maroon and see what happens. I think that line would do nicely.
As for Cote and Carcillo, I can do without both of them. Some people feel they bring an intimidation presence to the Flyers that a lot of other teams are lacking. But I honestly would like to see them either go to the Phantoms or just go. I'm still wondering why we traded Upshall for Carcillo in the first place.
I am confident that Homer will not be keeping all of these enforcer type players, especially if Maroon and JVR show a lot of promise at the start of this season. Maroon had a great season last year with the Phantoms and he's only going to get better.
However, maybe I'm wrong about all of this. Of course, that's a risk we all have to be willing to take.
Constructive criticism and thoughts much appreciated.