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Philadelphia Flyers: Toughness is the issue


November 16, 2016

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The Philadelphia Flyers rep a city that prides itself on toughness. Don’t let the City of Brotherly Love title fool you, this is still home to Gang Green and the infamous, Broad Street Bullies. But, somewhere along the way of style points and Stanley Cups, the Flyers lost their way. For most teams in the NHL, it’s about the set up for a sweet corner shot and how fast can you get from one end to the other.

Hockey is now a game of speed and finesse when it used to be about power. This is where the Flyers have lost their way and one of the main reasons they sit in the middle of the pack now. The Flyers boast one of the best scoring lines in the league but one of the most non-intimidating as well. Hockey is much like basketball in a sense. If a smaller PG keeps getting into the lane and scoring at will sooner or later someone is going to knock him on is a**, not to hurt him but to remind him that everything must be earned.

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The Flyers are currently in the middle with a paltry 149 PIM. That may seem like a lot but for a team that prides itself on speed, they must be willing to dish the punishment that is coming their way. It’s okay to average 34 shots on goal but when you are giving up the same average, then you know that’s an issue and changes must be made.

The Flyers are ranked 2nd in the league in Goals scored but 29th in Goals against. Much has to do with the play of their weak goalies, Michal Neuvirth and Steve Mason, but the blame must be placed on protection. If a QB gets sacked, some blame must go to the line. This is where all that finesse nonsense goes out the window. This is where players must be forceful. But ,when your biggest player is only  6-2 214 lbs what are you supposed to do? The Flyers are built for offense and speed, not physicality and dominance. You can score as many goals as you like as they have 7 players with 10+ points or more so far this season. But how are you to win if you can’t impose your will?

It’s entertaining for the fans but you know the old saying; “Offense sells tickets, but defense wins championships”. True statement. Ask the Chicago Blackhawks or the Detroit Red Wings how they made it to the Stanley Cup. Look at the talent that surrounds Sidney Crosby in Pittsburgh. He’s the leader but it’s the rest of the guy’s job to protect him. Make sure no one knocks him on his a**

That player for the Flyers is Jakub Voracek as he leads the team with 16 points but he’s also the team leader in PIM with 30. Where’s his protection? You think every driver in NASCAR is out to win? No, it’s a team based sport. Pick one superior driver from the team and watch as  his teammates protect him from the herd.

Until the Flyers understand what’s needed to win they will continue to straddle the line of mediocre and average.

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Robert D. Cobb
Founder, Publisher and CEO of INSCMagazine. Works have appeared and featured in places such as Forbes, Huffington Post, ESPN and NBC Sports to name a few. Follow me on Twitter at @RobCobb_INSC, email me at robert.cobb@theinscribermag.com