Holmgren: Has He Assembled a Fragile Hockey Team?

Doug DonofrioCorrespondent IFebruary 7, 2010

PITTSBURGH - MAY 10:  (L-R) President and C.O.O. of Comcast-Spectacor Peter Luukko, Assistant General Manager Barry Hanrahan and General Manager Paul Holmgren of the Philadelphia Flyers watch the off day skate of the NHL Eastern Conference Playoffs at the Mellon Arena May 10, 2008 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

When a professional sports team cannot come from behind to win that is a cause for concern. What does that signify? A team with very little resolve, a team with a weak constitution. Possibly a little of both.

They are a hockey team that has not a won a hockey game once they are behind by a goal or more going into the third period. It is unacceptable, it is very unsettling, and it is a downright embarrassment.

Beyond that horrifying statistic it goes deeper in the locker room and on the ice. Listless, apathetic, uninspired, fragile, overvalued, overpriced, undermanned and undisciplined are few of the words that come to mind.

Paul Holmgren has constructed a team which may have been over valued by many in the front office in the areas of sheer talent and skill and accompany that with a heartless disposition notwithstanding and you have built the recipe for the 2009-2010 Philadelphia Flyers.

The Capitals, Penguins, Sabres, and Devils they are not. Those four teams have elite players at every level, secondary contributors, complementary role players, the mental toughness it takes to get to the next level, stocked minor league affiliates, and strong front office decision makers.

Watching the Flyers you get a sense of their soft underbelly; loose pucks that cannot be corralled in front of their goal, point blank shots headed to the rafters, wide open shots sent wide, lack of a killer instinct when ahead, and selfish penalties taken for no reason.

Paul does not have much time until the trade deadline. He must act swiftly and with purpose. He needs to do what he does not want to do.

He must do it and do it quickly.