Michael DeNicola

04/06/11

 

Mr. Ismay: "But this ship can't SINK!"

Thomas Andrews: "She's made of iron, sir! I assure you, she can..."

 

Guys, don't even pretend you don't have any idea where that quote's from. You were rooting for Rose and Leo just as I was and singing along to Celine's My Heart Will Go On everytime it came on the radio at the tail-end of the '90s. 

Granted, we rolled the windows up  and breathed the lyrics out of the corners of our mouths so no one at the red light next to us knew we were more fem than Richard Simmons baking cupcakes. 

But it's a real shame we cannot just roll up the windows (metaphorically speaking) while we watch our beloved Orange & Black sink faster than the Titanic tied to another Titanic. 

 

Last night the Flyers lost their number one seed in the standings after suffering defeat at the hands of a putrid Ottawa Senators club, 5 goals to 2. 

Despite the tilt starting off with a Mike Richards PPG, a crunch check from  our called-up AHLer Ben Holmstrom who soon faced an instigating Chris Neil giving Ben a pounding....the match ended leaving more panic and disgust in its wake. 

 

It marked the Flyers fourth consecutive loss, and to rub exceeding salt in the wound, we haven't gotten two wins in a row since March 8th/March 10th versus the Oilers and Leafs. 

If you did not know already, Blair Betts and Danny Briere both sat out with aggrivating injuries and Chris Pronger remains an injury scratch until what's rumored to be the start of the playoffs. 

Ottawa converted on three of four man advantages which only highlights how much our PK's missing Blair Betts. In our last four losses we've managed to net a whopping 6 goals which goes to show you that we need all the goal scorers we can get. Briere's absence is definitely felt. 

And this blue line of ours has allowed more dirt through our vacuum than I've seen in a long time. So Pronger needs to come back asap.

I'm not saying that this team wasn't in a skid already when these three players dressed, but now our record is hemorrhaging and their vacancy from the lines is only accelerating the bleeding. 

 

Fans are playing the blame game and pointing their fingers in every direction. And I mean...EVERY direction. 

Just last night and this morning I read Flyers fanatics' posts bashing head coach Peter Laviolette. Their comments and replies raped every Philadelphia Sports Facebook fanpage as far as the eye could see. Comments such as, "FIRE LAVVY!" or, "Laviolette has no control over this team anymore. They just don't want to play for him."

Others continued to point the finger at Mike Richards and his Captaincy even after he potted two PPG's against the Senators. Then again, it did seem to be his only good performance in the last ten competitions. 

Who's ever shoulders you decide to lay the heavyweight on, one thing's for certain -- It's the entire team that's playing like crap. It's been a collected effort, or should I say non-effort. 

"It was a big game for us and pretty much the whole team came out flat and didn't really help our goalie," Flyers right wing Claude Giroux added. "We've got two games left and I don't think you can turn on a switch when playoffs come, so I think the next two games are going to be huge. If we play like that in the playoffs, we'll be in trouble." ~ Flyers

 

Giroux mentions how you can't just "turn on a light switch" by the time the post season arrives, which should shut the pie-holes of every single one of you who continually argue that they'll turn it around in the playoffs and not to worry. 

Cup runs end very quickly for teams who have no chemistry and dish out little effort. It doesn't matter how deep this Flyers roster goes, performance will always outmatch big talent. If you want to argue that perspective then may I direct your attention to the end results of last night's tilt, last Friday and Tuesday's match ups? I won't bring up the Rangers game because (in my opinion) they're the hottest Eastern Conference team heading into the Cup run. 

 

So what now? We're down three vital players going into our last two games of the regular season, and we're riding a wave of failure that's about roll and crash leaving us beachside watching what was once supposed to be ours continue on without us. 

Some of us cannot calm our panic-soaked thoughts that seem to wish-wash in our minds like an overstuffed washing machine. We're sitting in a rowboat heading into a White Squall when we were once a smooth steaming battleship. 

“A lack of intensity and focus for this game led by me and it’s gotta change and it’s going to change starting Friday,” Richards vowed. “It’s extremely frustrating. It’s tough to come into a building when we desperately need the points and just not play well.” ~ CSNPhilly

 

We've all heard it before, Mike. At this point all the excuses sound like background noise in Center City. And even worse because you just lost to a squad built from recalled AHL players.

I'm not concerned with getting the #1 seed any longer. We've seen #1 seeds come and go in the first rounds of the playoffs, so at this point I just don't give a damn. 

What I want, and what this team needs in order to succeed, is established momentum. What sucks is they only have 120 more minutes to do so. If our boys can't take advantage of points against bottom seeded offenses, then how in the hell am I supposed to keep positive expectations for the remainder of this 2010-11 season? And if this team ultimately winds up crapping the bed, then who DO you have the right to point the finger at?

 

Flyers head into Buffalo on Friday evening to face the Sabres. The puck drops at 7:30 EST. I'm sure you'll be sweating bullets and getting ready to throw something heavy just as I will be. Don't miss a minute.

Good night. Good hockey.