If I had a dollar for every time I’ve heard some hockey pundit opine the Flyers “need a goaltender that can steal them a game or two,” I could probably have a pretty good night down in Atlantic City. Hookers included.
The game stealer is a constant meme whenever there’s discussion about what exactly it is the Flyers need between the pipes every time there is a trading deadline or free agency period approaching.
Alright, I’ll take a bite. Say the Flyers got themselves this mythical game thief.
Let’s say he went on to steal the Flyers two games in which they had no business winning (a pair of 1-0 victories over Southeast Division opponents, both game-winning goals materializing via Chris Pronger point shots deflected off Riley Cote’s jock).
What then? Is the game thief between the pipes supposed to go out and steal the other 32 games where the Flyers couldn’t muster more than two tallies?
Try this one on for size: Philadelphia has scored two goals or less in 34 games out of a possible 72 games this season, 23 of which were Flyers' losses.
If you’re doing the math on your fingers trying to figure out the percentage, the numbers work out to 47 percent of total games played this season where the Flyers lost because they couldn’t score, or eked out a win by just doing enough to get by.
I’m not going to suggest that the Flyers don't a need an answer between the pipes. They do.
There’s been a goaltending vacuum in the organization for a couple of decades now.
But this season, the Flyers have much larger problems than a tandem of goaltenders who currently rank third and seventh on the organizational depth chart.
You can’t win games if you don’t score. And this season, the Flyers are not scoring on a consistent basis.
Right now the Flyers have about $29 million tied up in a whole lot of suck on the forward lines.
Sure, all of that firepower looks great on paper, but you know what you wipe your ass with, right?
This season, I’d say goaltending has been the least of the Flyers' problems, for once.
Unless the top two lines start finding their boom sticks on a consistent basis, this team is a first round elimination—if they even get to the playoffs.
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