Festivus is a wonderful time when families gather around the festivus pole to shun the consumerist ideas of Christmas, but more importantly it’s an excuse for me to tell every family member what pisses me off about each one of them; this is the festivus tradition of “airing of grievances”. Today I’m going to take the time to tell the Flyers what they do almost every day that is a problem for not only me, but the whole fanbase. Sure we’re doing the Grievances a little early, but something tells me that we won’t be able to get all of the Flyers to sit down to a dinner with us to listen to fans bitch, although it would be a chance for them to tell us to stop yelling “Shoot!”
Let’s start with the coach, cause of all our stress and recent alcoholism.
Craig Berube: There are way too many grievances against Berube to keep this post short enough so that you don’t lose focus, so we’ll keep it to only a few.
- The goddamn defense. I can’t imagine what is going through Berube’s head when deciding which defensemen to bench every night and coming up wit hMichael Del Zotto. By now everyone knows that (when he was playing) Del Zotto was one of the Flyers best defensemen along with Makr Streit ans Luke Schenn. Luke Schenn and MDZ have become the new defensive tandem to replace the Meszaros/Gustafsson duo back in the day; both deserve to be in the line up, but apparently the Flyer have a talent quota. Colaiacovo and MDZ should be in the lineup instead of a number of D who are getting a lot of minutes; Coburn, Grossmann, McDonald. The defense as it is is crap, trying to say it looks good is insanity.
- Killing chemistry. Early on Brayden Schenn was quickly shuffled off the top line because they didn’t click right away. Later on Schenn caught fire on the top line leaving us to wonder, what could have been had Schenn been left in the top winger spot? That’s not the biggest line combo issue we’ve had and really it’s hard to pick the worst, whether it was breaking up the Schenn Simmonds and Bellmare line for seemingly no reason or for continually putting young skilled players on the shit line of Umberger and Lecavalier just to see them fail. There was also that one time where VandeVelde got a promotion from the 4th line to the 1st line, but that didn’t last too long so it didn’t have too much of an impact. Lines have been shuffled around so much that it’s not surprising that none have been able to click and get working well together.
- “Accountability”. Yeah Berube preaches accountability a lot, but doesn’t really seem to know how to apply it. We’re supposed to be seeing the players who are underachieving getting a bit of a wake up call and sitting their asses in the press box. Instead we’ve got forwards who can’t produce still playing while VandeVelde and Bellmare take turns sitting and defense that barely know how to play their position not even in fear of being scratched. For a while Lecavalier was warming the bench when Berube was struck with a moment of clarity, even Andrew McDonald got a little time in the press box, but all good things must come to an end and now we’ve got Umberger, Lecavalier, Grossmann and McDonald on the ice.
Paul Holmgren: Yeah, in case you forgot this guy s still with the organization although thankfully he can’t make important decisions that directly impact the roster. While he did make some positive moves like acquiring Jake Voracek, Brayden Schenn and Wayne Simmonds, he also did some massively stupid shit. Some of those uber dumb decisions have crippled the Flyers present and near future, hopefully Hextall is actually a literal wizard because this cap situation is an issue and a half.
- Ilya Bryzgalov. If you defend this move,i’m not sure what to tell you, you’re a giant idiot, much like Paul Holmgren was when he threw away major pieces of the roster just so he could sign Ilya Bryzgalov to a 9 year $51 million deal without actually knowing how Bryz would play. Yeah I understand the “best available” thought process that multiple people have thrown in my face to defend the Bryz signing but 9 YEARS AND 51 MILLION DOLLARS??? If you’re one of those people who still think we would have been better off with Carter and Richards, you should hate Bryz. If you liked Bobrovsky you should hate Bryz (as soon as Bryz was signed everyone knew that Bob would be the next casualty to clear cap room for Bryz). I will never get over this dumbass signing, ever. The Flyers will be paying Bryzgalov until he crumbles into dust and floats off into the universe he won’t shut up about.
- Andrew McDonald. Andrew McDonald played 19 games with the Flyers before they gave him one of the worst defensive extensions ever. 6 years and $30 million for a player that would be severely unimpressive and not play anywhere near the level he was supposed to. Why Holmgren was so hot to resign McDonald no one knows, but now we’re stuck with him.
- Vincent Lecavalier. Yeah Vinny was signed and meant to play in Peter Laviolette’s system, but that was a dumb idea. Laviolette was basically already getting fired before the season even started. They knew what they wanted to do with him or else we wouldn’t have seen a coaching change only 3 games into the season. To sign a player for a coach that you were contemplating firing THAT EARLY is pointless. you got Lecavalier here by baiting Laviolette’s system, now Lecavalier is stuck in a system that’s made him less talented than a 4th liner. Even worse, Lecavalier got bought out, obviously the lightning saw something wrong with him that convinced them to drop him and there the Flyers were to pick up the scraps for some reason. Picking Lecavalier up in the first place was stupid signing him to a 5 year $22.5 million dollar deal was even more stupid.
- Jaromir Jagr. This might just be me, but i’m pissed about how we lost out on Jagr. When Zach Parise and Ryan Suter were deciding on where they wanted to go together, Jagr’s one year contract with the Flyers was up and the Flyers should have been looking to resign him. Unfortunately, Holmgren though he had a chance at Parise and Suter and spent all his time focusing on watching what they were gonna do and throwing money at them. In his eagerness to sign two players who everyone already knew were going to Minnesota, Holmgren ignored Jagr and let his contract expire, Jagr didn’t want to wait for Homer to decide that he wanted him after he couldn’t have Parise and Suter. Jagr walked and now in what I assume is irony, Jagr made his way to the Devils. Homer also lost Matt Carle while waiting for Parise and Suters’ decisions.
Now we’ve got the more general grievances.
- Flyers secondary scoring. Where the hell are all of you? Giroux and Voracek have been carrying the team offensively for way too long. It’s almost impossible to have the highest scoring duo in the NHL, but also be a bottom seed team and yet here the Flyers are. Recently they’ve taken offense to people pointing out how ineffectively they’ve been playing and have stepped up their game. How long they’ll be able to keep their production going has yet to be seen, but their absence in the beginning of the season is what got us in this position.
- Flyers Defense. Go home, everyone who isn’t Streit, MDZ, Schenn, and Colaiacovo just go home. Don’t worry about playing because you really can’t. Count your blessing that you’re now getting paid stupid amounts of money to do basically nothing. The inconsistency is remarkable and the difference in hustle when Emery and Mason are in the net is equally confusing. What kind of team plays worse for their starter than the backup? I know Mason’s good, but he literally cannot win a game by himself or else i’m sure he’d go ahead and do it because god knows the defense is no big help to him.
- Kimmo Timonen’s blood. First off, how dare you. Who do you think you are to be clotting up and threatening the life of the Finnish God of Defense that is Kimmo Timonen? You are blood, you are a liquid, you flow freely, get your damn shit together and leave Timonen alone, let him live, let him be healthy.
We know you’ve got some grievances for the Flyers, let it all out, it’s Festivus tradition! Comment something that’s bugging you about the Flyers.