When a team is armed with mediocre netminding, it’s up to the rest of the group to pick up the slack. The Flyers were a picture of this in last year’s playoffs, using defense to prop up career backup and AHL goalie Michael Leighton all the way into the Stanley Cup Finals.”-Ryan Bright, Philadelphia Sports Daily
Ironically, that is an excerpt from an article titled “Don’t Blame the Goalie.” Hah. It is truly tragic how the Flyers roster was gutted in the offseason. So much so that in 82 games they could not prop up either one of their goalies, both so very much better than Leighton, to
NOW it’s time to not blame the goalie? Gee, where have I heard that before? Oh, right, it’s what I’ve been saying from the start of this mania.
Nabby, Leights, Boosh, Bob, Nemo, Nitty, Luongo, Fleury… Doesn’t matter how good the goalie is, fans still want to blame them for the loss. And they do not get an equivalent quantity of unwarranted credit.
Today’s boondoggle of a game was simply the Flyers being off their game. “Their” game has a simple strategy: don’t let the other team shoot. You do this by maintaining sustained and intelligently executed offense. Just like the Sharks do when they lose a Dman or two during the game. Engage brain before releasing puck. Simple.
If you stick to that with even a 75% success rate, you will usually win no matter what your goalie does. But don’t try to say that inside the walled kingdom of the sound-byte driven, they will not hear you over the din of their lockstep knee-jerking.
Is there a way over the wall? Can reason be introduced? Why even try? I don’t know. I do know that I don’t have a horn loud enough to blow that wall down.