I was a fool to take the Flyers win last night against the Bruins as a sign of hope. A sign that maybe the Flyers would turn things around with the roster that got off to an impressive 12-5 start this season.
Oh what a fool I was.
Apparently firing Stevens wasn't enough. Towards the end of the losing streak shortly before his termination, I began to think that yes, giving Stevens the axe will send a message to this team. I was wrong, as were many other Flyers fans who used Stevens as a scapegoat and dumped all of the blame on his shoulders.
So here we are, in the midst of trailing the Pittsburgh Penguins 4-1 going into the third period. It begs the question, "How can a team with this kind of a payroll be performing at such a low level?"
I'm done with the excuses: they're not catching any breaks, they have a busy schedule, their schedule isn't busy enough, blame the coach, injuries, travel conflicts. I don't care about any of that anymore.
This team is getting beaten to the puck constantly, getting out-hit, and just out played. They honestly look like a mediocre AHL team trying to compete in the NHL.
Let's take a look at the Flyers who just aren't doing their million dollar jobs:
Daniel Briere: I had faith that he would come back as an offensive force this season and be the set up man the Flyers were missing so much. I was wrong. So far he has been good around the net (which makes no sense whatsoever due to his lacking size) and that's about it. He's done pretty much nothing on the power play and his defense still sucks.
Jeff Carter: He isn't skating and dominating nearly as much as he did last year. Last season, Carter found ways to score. He's not doing a lot of the same things this year. I've heard the rumors about his excessive night life escapades and whether they are true or not, it's obvious Carter is distracted on the ice.
Mike Richards: This is HIS team. He needs to start acting like it is. If that means asking Pronger for some help, then lose the superiority attitude and find out what you can do to help your team win games.
Chris Pronger: Has been ok. Not nearly as physical as the Flyers need him to be. There was a time this past season when Pronger and Carle were considered one of the top defensive pairings in the league. That's definitely not the case as of late.
Braydon Corburn: Just looks like he forgot how to play the game. Amnesia?
The Flyers, in general, are just not skating and not forechecking like they did through the first 17 games. I'm not sure what the deal is, but some believe that a big trade is on its way in order to spark this team. In my opinion, that's not going to be enough. I'm not really sure what will be enough, but I'm starting to see a repeat of 2006-2007, this time just with a much higher payroll.
Something's gotta give.