Heading into the 2009-2010 NHL season, the Philadelphia Flyers were not only predicted to make the playoffs, but to compete for Lord Stanley’s Cup, and with good reason. The Flyers are a very skilled team and a team that addressed a major weakness from last years run to the to playoffs.
That weakness was a true number one defense man and that was solved with the acquisition of big and bad Chris Pronger. Pronger, a stale-worth for Team Canada, has been one of the league’s best defense man for the last decade and change.
With this addition, the Flyers became an elite team and a favorite to make the Cup Finals. The Flyers are strong down the middle with centers Mike Richards and Jeff Carter. They are a very youthful team but that is to their advantage and as stated before, they are an extremely skilled team.
It seemed that this team was on its way, but they forgot one major issue. Goal tending is the most important position in hockey, if not all sports. The Flyers and their fans thought that goal tending was the missing piece last year, along with the shut down defense man. The Flyers and their fans complained about Martin Biron, so he was replaced and the Flyers were happy with his replacement and thought they were on they’re way for sure. Martin Biron is not a superstar, but in his own right is a solid NHL goaltender and stood on his head at times for the Flyers.
So they name their new goalie after going in a different direction then Biron, and that goalie is Ray Emery?
Emery known more for his cancerous attitude that drove him out of Ottawa after leading them to the Stanley Cup in 2007, then his goal tending abilities. It seems to me instead of going forward, Philly took a huge step back with Emery. The results have proven that theory, with Philly struggling for an extended period and not in contention for the top spot in the East. As for Emery, he has struggled mightily, and has missed part of the season due to injury.
Emery has done the job before, in 2007 he backstopped the Senators to the Finals, only losing to the Ducks. But these Flyers are not those Senators, until they can roll out a first line of Danny Heatley, Jason Spezza, and Daniel Alfreddson, which they can’t.
The Flyers will most likely make the playoffs, seated as sixth currently in the east, and will be a tough opponent for a higher seeded team, but that is a far cry from Stanley Cup Contenders. Paging Martin Biron, Philly misses you.