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  1. #1
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    IGT: Colorado Avalanche at Philadelphia Flyers

    Time: 7:00pm
    Place: Wells Fargo Center

    Game Notes:

    - Avs are playing their 3rd game in 4 nights; they are coming off of a 5-1 loss to NYR at the Garden.
    - Avs are 17-8-2 on the road this year, good for 5th best in the NHL.
    - Landeskog carries a 7 game point streak into tonight and has 22 points in his last 21 games.
    - Flyers are coming off of a 5-2 win in San Jose on Monday; they went 2-1 on their California road trip, the only East team to win 2 out of 3 in regulation in California this season.
    - Flyers are clicking at a 25% rate on the PP over the last 16 games.
    - Kimmo Timonen is questionable but expected to play tonight; he missed the previous 2 games.
    - This will be the final meeting between the two teams; the Avs took the first game 2-1.

  2. #2
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    Timonen paired with Coburn at practice so he's definitely in. Mez is paired with Gill so he is likely out.

    Good news: Gus remains in the lineup.

    Just an FYI:

    Team with Gus: 25 gms, 14-9-2, 3.08 goals/game
    Team w/o Gus: 32 gms, 14-14-4, 2.40 goals/game


    To be clear: this has much less to do with Gus being a future all-star (though you never know) than the Flyers simply needing what he brings to the table.

  3. #3
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    Gus is starting to look like a possible 2nd pairing defensemen, however. Kind of reminds me a little of a poor mans Matt Carle. If he can turn into a viable 4th defensemen, with his skating and possible PP contributions....that's a really good thing. I had kind of viewed him as more of a 3rd pairing, but I'm seeing a lot lately to upgrade him into that 2nd pairing type.
    #ClutchTime

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by 1908_Cubs View Post
    Gus is starting to look like a possible 2nd pairing defensemen, however. Kind of reminds me a little of a poor mans Matt Carle. If he can turn into a viable 4th defensemen, with his skating and possible PP contributions....that's a really good thing. I had kind of viewed him as more of a 3rd pairing, but I'm seeing a lot lately to upgrade him into that 2nd pairing type.

    I definitely think he has that ability, and I'm sure that's why the Flyers brought him back.

    He just gives them what they need back there. No, he's not the biggest guy, but you can succeed as a small guy in this NHL if you can use your stick well, position yourself to not take huge hits when defending the forecheck, and have the ability to move the puck.

    Gus can do all of these things, though I do think he takes a lot of big hits, but that know-how comes with experience.


    Flyers are building a nice little nucleus of defensemen right now. Gus, Hagg, Gostisbehere, Morin, Alt. None of them are sure-fire #1 guys, but all of them IMO are guys that have at least 2nd pairing potential, and all of them have puck-moving ability and skating ability; plus, only Gus and Gostisbehere could be considered "small". Hagg, Alt, and Morin all have great size.


    How fast all these guys can contribute is the real question, and hopefully it is sooner rather than later (but DO NOT rush them). But overall they are starting to put together a nice crop of players down there.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by phillyeaglesman View Post
    I definitely think he has that ability, and I'm sure that's why the Flyers brought him back.

    He just gives them what they need back there. No, he's not the biggest guy, but you can succeed as a small guy in this NHL if you can use your stick well, position yourself to not take huge hits when defending the forecheck, and have the ability to move the puck.

    Gus can do all of these things, though I do think he takes a lot of big hits, but that know-how comes with experience.


    Flyers are building a nice little nucleus of defensemen right now. Gus, Hagg, Gostisbehere, Morin, Alt. None of them are sure-fire #1 guys, but all of them IMO are guys that have at least 2nd pairing potential, and all of them have puck-moving ability and skating ability; plus, only Gus and Gostisbehere could be considered "small". Hagg, Alt, and Morin all have great size.


    How fast all these guys can contribute is the real question, and hopefully it is sooner rather than later (but DO NOT rush them). But overall they are starting to put together a nice crop of players down there.
    Question. Say the flyers have 6 good to above average Dmen that are all 2nd line pairing capable. Is that better or at least as good as having a sure fire 1st line pairing, 2nd line pairing, and 3rd line pairing?

    Maybe just have closer ice time for all three pairings rather than the top line having much more ice time than the normal 3rd line pairing?

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by koldjerky View Post
    Question. Say the flyers have 6 good to above average Dmen that are all 2nd line pairing capable. Is that better or at least as good as having a sure fire 1st line pairing, 2nd line pairing, and 3rd line pairing?

    Maybe just have closer ice time for all three pairings rather than the top line having much more ice time than the normal 3rd line pairing?

    That's really a great question. I've asked myself that a bajillion times.

    There's really arguments to both sides. On the one hand, you have great balance, you could roll with the hot pairing for a specific game as far as minutes go, everyone would be more fresh by the end of the year, you know you always have a pairing you can rely on out on the ice.

    On the other hand, you don't have that go-to sure-fire stud defenseman that can dig you out of trouble and be out there in clutch situations.


    Going back through history, it's very tough to find a team that has won it all without a true #1 defenseman, or at least a distinct #1 pairing. The Hurricanes lead by Lavy in 2006 are the only team to really do it without a stud defenseman in recent memory.


    Teams can certainly get to the Finals if they have balance, but it just hasn't been done all that often without a true #1 guy.


    I like what the Flyers have going down in their system right now. They need to keep building on that.

  7. #7
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    It's almost a chicken/egg situation though. Are great defensemen what helps a team win, or is it just that the best teams, the teams who win Cups, just inundated with talent thus they just have awesome talent, like a number 1 defensemen on their roster?

    The Flyers are starting to build some defensive depth in the system. Too bad it's just very, very, far away. Alt is the only thing even nearing NHL ready, and most of the good talent is in the juniors/college/over seas.
    #ClutchTime

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by 1908_Cubs View Post
    It's almost a chicken/egg situation though. Are great defensemen what helps a team win, or is it just that the best teams, the teams who win Cups, just inundated with talent thus they just have awesome talent, like a number 1 defensemen on their roster?

    The Flyers are starting to build some defensive depth in the system. Too bad it's just very, very, far away. Alt is the only thing even nearing NHL ready, and most of the good talent is in the juniors/college/over seas.

    Well....I don't know about that necessarily. It depends on what you mean by "NHL ready". If you mean right away they can step in and what you see is what you get, yeah I'd agree Alt is the only one that is near NHL ready.

    But, if you mean they can play at the NHL level, I think you could easily see Hagg, Morin, and Gostisbehere all ready to play in 2 years, so the 2015-16 season. Gost should definitely be ready. He's been in college for 3 years now, a year in the AHL should be enough (you never know, but it's age appropriate). Hagg is starting to show more consistency in his game of late, and if you saw the World Juniors a few months back, he was pretty awesome during the whole tournament.

    Morin IMO will be the hardest to gauge, given he's so big and bigger guys - especially guys that have to fill out their frame - aren't so easy to pinpoint as far as development goes. He could need 2 years, he could be up next year (though I REALLY hope this isn't the case), he could need 4 years.


    Then again, I guess this all depends on your definition of "very, very far away", too. If it means 2 years from now, then yeah I agree lol.


    What I think you're getting at is will they be ready to have a significant impact and play at their peak in 2 years. To that I would clearly say no. I think that is probably more like 4-6 years away.

    So in that sense, yeah I would say it's pretty far away.


    But, it wouldn't be the most horrible thing ever, either. Our young core of forwards will all be in their late 20s to early 30s. Not young anymore, but this isn't football: these guys will all still be very good players by then. Will they be able to build a "dynasty" at that age difference? No, probably not, but in fairness, with the exception of maybe the current Chicago Blackhawks group, who really does that anymore?



    The Flyers are STARTING to get it, I think, at least in terms of their farm system. Their UFA department still needs some serious work, but I like the direction their scouting department and development department is headed. 2012 was a HELL of a draft and 2013 might just have 2 top 4 defenseman in it by the time it's all said and done.


    It's a process but I think they're moving in the right direction.

  9. #9
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    Well the problem is really three pronged.

    The first is that the Flyers are extremely unlikely to carry three rookie defensemen on the NHL roster at any time barring catastrophic injuries. Which means, at best, you'll see two (though I even find that somewhat unlikely breaking camp). So at the very least, you'll have to stagger them entering the league. I just can't see any franchise, especially one like ours who shouldn't for any reason be in "oh ****, tank!" mode in the next 3 years carrying 50% of their defensive corp under rookie status.

    The second is based on how volatile defensive prospects are. There's a theory in baseball called TINSTAAPP. There is no such thing as a pitching prospect. Basically, pitching prospects arise from strange rounds in the draft, disappear based on injury, and are massive, huge, crazy gambles. Defensive prospects in hockey run the same gambit it seems. They show up on a whim at times, disappear into obscurity and aren't always found in the top of the draft. While defensive prospects don't run the risk of blowing out there arms like pitchers, I think the TINTSAAP principal applies to defensive prospects in hockey to a strong degree. Basically, for a defensive prospect....two years is a long time. More than likely, a lot of our depth will fall by the wayside of prospect attrition.

    Lastly is that even if they are all somehow ready in two years, don't lose any to attrition, they take a while, many times, to get past being 3rd pairing guys. So you're adding 2 years, plus at least another 1-2 in the NHL to them.

    Basically, I do think they're a far ways away. Our 3 best prospects haven't seen minor league hockey, two aren't even playing in America. Add the above stuff, and while I like the depth, I don't want to count on it, either.
    #ClutchTime

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by 1908_Cubs View Post
    Well the problem is really three pronged.

    The first is that the Flyers are extremely unlikely to carry three rookie defensemen on the NHL roster at any time barring catastrophic injuries. Which means, at best, you'll see two (though I even find that somewhat unlikely breaking camp). So at the very least, you'll have to stagger them entering the league. I just can't see any franchise, especially one like ours who shouldn't for any reason be in "oh ****, tank!" mode in the next 3 years carrying 50% of their defensive corp under rookie status.

    The second is based on how volatile defensive prospects are. There's a theory in baseball called TINSTAAPP. There is no such thing as a pitching prospect. Basically, pitching prospects arise from strange rounds in the draft, disappear based on injury, and are massive, huge, crazy gambles. Defensive prospects in hockey run the same gambit it seems. They show up on a whim at times, disappear into obscurity and aren't always found in the top of the draft. While defensive prospects don't run the risk of blowing out there arms like pitchers, I think the TINTSAAP principal applies to defensive prospects in hockey to a strong degree. Basically, for a defensive prospect....two years is a long time. More than likely, a lot of our depth will fall by the wayside of prospect attrition.

    Lastly is that even if they are all somehow ready in two years, don't lose any to attrition, they take a while, many times, to get past being 3rd pairing guys. So you're adding 2 years, plus at least another 1-2 in the NHL to them.

    Basically, I do think they're a far ways away. Our 3 best prospects haven't seen minor league hockey, two aren't even playing in America. Add the above stuff, and while I like the depth, I don't want to count on it, either.
    Honestly, it seems like quite a few of the "elite" defenseman in the NHL were taken in the 2nd or 3rd round of the draft:

    Chara - 3rd (57th)
    Weber - 2nd
    Keith - 2nd
    Letang - 3rd
    Subban - 2nd

    The first round:

    Karlsson
    Pietrangelo
    Suter
    Pronger
    OEL
    Doughty
    Seabrook

    Maybe Morin and Hagg can be our Keith and Seabrook (or Pronger and Niedermayer) Wouldn't that be nice...

  11. #11
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    I just want a shoot first guy on the top line. Please shoot the puck!

    SUPER BOWL
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  12. #12
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    Mase coming out strong
    #ClutchTime

  13. #13
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    Gonna need to really get bodies in front if they are gonna give us the point.

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  14. #14
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    That was stupid Hartnell

  15. #15
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    Huge huge huge.

    5 min major.
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