Wednesday, February 28

Wait a second, have the Flyers actually acquired a real starting goalie?

I'm so confused.

Is the Bobby Clarke two goalie era really over for this town? I really can't be certain until I see it for myself, but this seems unreal.

Martin Biron would probably start on this team under normal circumstances. At this point, it's up for grabs. Next season, if he resigns in the offseason, he is most likely the best choice to start. With a career goals against average of 2.53 and a save percentage of 90.9, he has to be the choice. Way better than Nittymaki's 3.08 and 89.7, and better than Esche's 2.75 and 89.9.

The Flyers didn't trade much to get him, just a second round pick. In the NHL that can be valuable, or completely worthless. It's just as much of a crapshoot as any other league.

The question is this: now that Bobby Clarke is gone, will the team finally be able to settle on a single goalie? One more deserving than either of our other goalies? Biron has the potential to be a very good goaltender, and if the team is able to gel with the good draft picks they should get in the offseason, and any free agent acquisitions, the team might actually have a good chance of rebounding next season.

Monday, February 26

Who Loves You, Five?

Andy Reid. More than his mother, more than his father, more than the kid in south-side Chicago that Donnie gave three dollars to buy himself and his buddies a couple bags of funyuns. Andy loves him so much that he'll go so far as to shortchange the organization by not even offering an Eagles-brand lowball initial contract to Jeff Garcia, just to avoid the possibility of disturbing a hair on the chin of our franchise quarterback (not to be mistaken for our franchise player, Brian Westbrook).

Overview of moves made by Eagles management this offseason:
1. Re-sign a quarterback who has ONE win in his entire collegiate and professional career versus a team with a win percentage above 500 (don't worry, he knows the system).
2. Discard a quarterback who went 5-2, including the playoffs, including a stretch of three straight divisional games on the road that no one had us winning with or without Donovan.
3. (Ostensibly) discard the only potential number one receiver on the team.

The big questions heading into the 2007 season has to be: which does Andy love more, his quarterback or his system? Which system does he love more, the 70/30 pass scheme that has taken his quarterback out of 3 of the last 4 seasons, or the 60/40 run game that got him into the playoffs with a quarterback that the Lions, Browns, and Niners didn't want?

The only shot this team has is to play real football. There are plenty of coaches around the league who love to spread the field and throw 60% of their plays out of shotgun (see Bill Belichick), but they know that come playoff time, you have to put the ball on the ground, run the clock, and let your defense mash something together. Give Five the run support that Garcia had and he will thrive. Maybe he'll even put enough points on the board to support our defense while their AARP cards are still out at the printer's.

Friday, February 23

I know I've been silent

Yeah I'm the only one who likes hockey here. I know, you don't have to rub it in.

So why the silence? God knows we've endured much worse performances in the past. But there's just something about this Flyers team that makes it all the more painful. In fact, I really haven't even been watching. I watch every third or fourth game, whereas normally I don't miss any. The real reason is that I can't figure out why they're so bad. I can figure out why the defense sucks....we have no good veteran defenseman. I can tell why our goaltending is mediocre...we have mediocre goalies. But the offense boggles my mind. The entire season, when I do watch, I've devoted way too much brain power and time to trying to think of a reason WHY they can't ever score more than a goal or two. Forsberg being out didn't help, but that wasn't the reason. Firing Hitchcock really didn't help, but once again, not the main reason. Who knows really.

Once again we're left in an awkward situation. Tons of young "talent," with very little consistent veteran leadership and effort. After we got knocked out by Buffalo in the playoffs last season, I remember the common sentiment being "Well next season we'll be great, now that all these kids have a season under their belt blah blah blah blah blah." So who's saying that now? Not me. Not that I'm a pessimist, because really I'm not. But you have to do some serious mental gymnastics to convince me that without major changes this team is better than average next year.

Wednesday, February 21

The Great No-Talent NBA Debate

As is usually the case for our discussions, Hal, myself, and another friend were discussing the NBA over some beers the other day. We were watching the Lakers, so of course we discussed how the Mamba is unstoppable. They were playing the Cavs, so of course we discussed how Bron really needs to quit it with the nail biting nonsense.

However, the most interesting question was this. If you were to play in the NBA for one game, what statistic could you most easily acquire? And I don't mean a turnover.

Let's discuss the relative merits of all of them.

1) Point -- fat chance I could ever score in the NBA. Even if fouled, I most certainly guarantee that I would miss both free throws because I'm a no-talent loser.

2) Block -- Even if we were playing in a reverse gravity gym, with 8 foot ceilings, and I was still in normal gravity, I couldn't block anyone. I'm not strong enough.

So that leaves us with the last three: rebounds, steals, and assists. A tough decision, as there is potential in each of these. For instance, a rebound can come off the rim in a weird enough way that it could fall into my hands, no matter where on the court I am. Similarly, if AI knocked the ball loose from an unsuspecting opponent, and I caught it, the steal counts for me. I could pass the ball to almost anyone in the NBA, and they could score, giving me an assist. So which of these three viable options is the most viable?

First, I'm going to rule out the rebound, simply because at any moment, virtually anyone in the NBA could box me out, or just take the ball from my hands.

For basically the same reason, I'm going to rule out the steal. In any sort of scrum scenario, anyone would be able to rip the ball out of my hands.

Now we come to the assist. Given the right scenario, I believe that I could successfully move the ball from under my own basket after an opposing point, across half court, and pass to someone who could take a shot, or drive to the net, and score. Giving me an assist, and putting my name in the NBA record books.