In the wake of their disheartening four-game sweep by the Boston Bruins, the Philadelphia Flyers could face changes this summer. Read on for the latest.
PHILLY.COM: Sam Donnellon reports the Flyers need to get a number one goaltender in the off-season, though GM Paul Holmgren said he believed goaltending is a function of a team. Phil Seridan reported other reasons for the Flyers demise against Boston included poor defense, as well as being out-hit, out-hustled and out-played by the Bruins. He suggested the absence of Chris Pronger to injury was a factor, as well as believing not playing young Sergei Bobrovsky more was a mistake. Still, he suggested it’s hard to gauge the impact wobbly goaltending has on a team’s confidence. Sam Carchidi meanwhile was more blunt, offering up solutions to the Flyers problems, calling for the team to “end the goalie madness” and find a top starting goalie like Phoenix’s pending UFA Ilya Bryzgalov, while employing young Bobrovsky in a backup role to allow him more time to develop. If Bryzgalov proves too expensive, he recommends dealing for Jonathan Bernier of the LA Kings or Cory Schneider of the Vancouver Canucks.
CSNPHILLY.COM: Tim Panaccio suggests unless the Flyers finally land a proven number one goalie, the acquisitions of Danny Briere, Chris Pronger, Kimmo Timonen etc will have been for naught as their window of opportunity slams shut.
PHILLYBURBS.COM: Wayne Fish believes the Flyers will have to address their goaltending, suggesting if it take the trade of a major player like Mike Richards or Jeff Carter, so be it.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The pundits acknowledged the other deficiencies in the Flyers game, but unquestionably the need for a top starting goaltender remains the prominent issue. The question is, will management finally address it? Most Flyers fans undoubtedly will call for GM Paul Holmgren to address this, but he could punt this issue by citing Bobrovsky’s promise, injuries to key players in this year’s post-season, and a lack of cap space. I agree there were contributing factors to the Flyers defeat, but having a quality starter can make a difference and provide a boost to a struggling team. It’s an issue I believe Holmgren ignores at his peril, and he must stop trying to fix a million dollar problem with a ten cent solution. He has the depth of talent he could use to make a trade, and if there’s a deal to be had to finally land a top goalie, it must be done this summer, and as Wayne Fish suggested, if it takes moving a player like Richards or Carter, then do it. If he wants to go big by going for Bryzgalov, fine. If he prefers to go for a more affordable option like Bernier or Schneider, fine. But it has to be done. No more excuses.