Dec 11, 2000
I am sick and tired of sports reporters saying or alluding that the Flyers need Eric Lindros to start winning. They do not need Eric Lindros. One reporter said the Flyers are a middle of the road team without Eric. The sports reporters are using the lack of Eric as a scapegoat to blame the Flyers woes on. Well, they are wrong. They don't need Eric Lindros; they need offense.
Ah, but you may say, that's what we mean when we say Eric Lindros, we mean an offensive power in the front. However, I seriously doubt that. I think that if people believed that the Flyers need an offensive power (which they desperately need) then reporters would say that. If Eric leaves Philly for good, I think the reporters will be sad because their guaranteed story and play maker will be gone, and my goodness they might actually have to find a genuine and substantial article to write about. I think the reporters are more dependent on Eric for a story than the Flyers are for goals. To this humble Flyers fan, the fans and the Flyers have moved on from the former superstar, the reporters should look into that too.
The Flyers do need offence. They need to settle down on the power play and penalty kill. Craig Ramsey is trying to address all of these problems at once, and that's a tough task. The Flyers seem to play like the goals should come to them, now realizing that it's not working that way, the third period is them scrambling around find a goal.
How do they remedy the problem? Well it all comes down to chemistry and talent really. I know that's a revelation to all you readers out there (note sarcasm), but let's take a note from the failings of the Redskins-big money plus big name talents and big egos don't always equal wins. (Granted the Yankees prove my theory wrong, but well baseball is a creature onto itself.) The play of John LeClair cannot be evaluated for another 12 games or so; he has been out for 20 games and is starting to show signs of life. Keith Primeau isn't performing like expected, minus last years once major playoff goal, what difference has he made in Philly?
Mark Recchi, well, in my book he golden so there's no touching him. Justin Williams, Gagne and even Fedotenko are really stepping up, but there greenness still shows up. However, they are too good to let go, but not good enough to really demand nightly clutch performances. The Defense is the defense, which means Eric Desjardins. However, how long can one man carry a defense alone? He needs help.
If LeClair doesn't sign long term with Philly, I see him gone by March. Although in a perfect world for me I would do a straight up trade for Joe Sakic, but let's play in the real world a bit. I love the guy to death, besides it would be too painful to play him on an opposing Eastern Conference team, he'd go westward, but the west isn't having a fire sale with their players either. Is it reasonable to thing we could get Chris Pronger for him? Not likely. I know Ken Hitchcock and Brett Hull have their differences, but Hull for LeClair? Doubtful. Really, it would depend on who needs what after the All Star break out west. That's really the most talented and toughest conference to play in. They are all cup contender worthy (for the most part) John LeClair would probably be the lock up for the Cup.
Could LeClair stay on the East Coast? Maybe but if Lindros does go to Toronto, that team is pretty scratched out as an option. We already gave the Avs a cup in 1996 why help the Leafs to? Maybe if Florida really wants to get rid of Pavel Bure maybe, but well...let's not get a head of ourselves. We can scratch out all Jagr hopes.
I look at the Flyers today and they look tired. Sure there are a lot of hungry young guys on the team, but they veterans look tired. It's a wonderful but hard city to play in and I think the wear and tear of expectations are taking toll on them. Unfortunately they aren't at top condition, Round 3's loss last season knocked the wind out of their sails. Fortunate the Sixers and Eagles are proving a temporary distraction, giving the Flyers time to find their way back to top form. Nevertheless, for once you can't blame this on Eric. It's not his fault, it's not his problem, and it's not his city. Instead of placing blame, look to ways to improve the situation not point out what they are doing wrong. That's why there's game film.
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