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Hole 1: Par 4

The Flyers’ season has ended. After one of the more promising Quarterfinal rounds in recent history, the Flyers couldn’t find their way back to that emotional peak against the Devils in the Semifinals. Just five frustrating games into the series, the Philadelphia Flyers were eliminated from the 2012 Stanley Cup Playoffs.

 

What were some of the reasons for the frustration? To be honest, there may be too many to list. The Flyers were outplayed in every possible category. The one most obvious in each game was the forecheck. The Devils’ forecheck was phenomenal. Dump and chase; just like you’re taught from the time you’re a kid. And the Devils used that tactic to perfection. The Flyers’ defensemen were backing off, fearing the inevitable hit, turning pucks over, and simply becoming flustered. While at the other end, things were completely different, all thanks to Martin Brodeur.

I have been a Flyers fan my entire life. I’ve seen a ton of Flyers/Devils games. Maybe I never really paid attention before this series, but Brodeur is an amazing puckhandler. I know he’s known for it, but I’ve never seen him pick apart an opposing team the way he did the Flyers. Ninety-eight percent of Flyers’ dump-ins were stopped behind the net by Brodeur and played to a Devils’ defensemen. It was almost as if each dump-in by the Flyers was a turnover. It was depleting to watch. I couldn’t imagine how helpless the Flyers’ bench must have felt. Which brings me to my next obvious Flyers loss: coaching.

Peter Laviolette has done a fantastic job since he was brought into the Philadelphia organization in December of 2009. He has led the team to 3 playoff appearances, including the Stanley Cup Final in 2010. However in this one particular series, he was completely out-coached. He had no answer to Peter DeBoer’s system. Everything the Flyers tried, the Devils had an answer. It was embarrassing and, once again, painful to watch.

Some of the other areas where the Devils beat the Flyers were shots, blocked shots, faceoffs, and that Devils PK against the Flyers PP that was (numbers-wise) going to play a big part in this series; and it did, but for the Devils. The Flyers never could seem to win a faceoff in the offensive zone. Not only were shots blocked by the Devils, but passing lanes were as well. In-fact the Devils outshot the Flyers in each of the final four games in the series, each resulting in a Devils win. It wasn’t pretty.

All in all, this series was ugly for the Flyers. They began to lose their composure in Game 4 and it carried over into Game 5. They Flyers had no answers. Which now places them on the golf course, and the New Jersey Devils continuing on in their quest for the cup.

John Feldman

John Feldman

Avid Flyers fan, former hockey player, and current drinker. I'm 27 years old and I still act like I'm 12. I've chosen to watch regular season Flyers games over work, girlfriends, special family occasions, and proper hygiene. And when the playoffs start...well I'm sure you can imagine. It's no wonder I'm still single, unemployed, and living with my parents. But until something comes along and changes my opinion about the Flyers (nothing ever will), I'm totally cool with it. By the way, I wrote a book. It has absolutely nothing to do with hockey. http://www.amazon.com/How-Be-Unsuccessful-John-Feldman/dp/1469982269/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1342974305&sr=8-1&keywords=how+to+be+unsuccessful (I don't know how to hyperlink it. I'm not too smart.)
John Feldman

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