Season Ending Bullets

- Bloody goalposts. Three more last night. The series count was 7-1 (not counting the one by Prospal in g4 that landed on Upshall's stick for a goal). "In a playoff series between closely matched teams, the team that hits less iron usually wins."

- In 2006, "After two rounds of the playoffs the teams that had been helped out by the posts the most were EDM(12) and CAR(10) and BUF(9). If the nets were a couple of inches bigger each way ... none of these three teams would have still been alive by that point... In the four game winning streak vs the Habs, Ward got help from the posts and crossbar 5 times, Huet only once."

- RJ Umberger isn't a career 40% shooter. The Flyers weren't saved by 80+ more goalposts than they hit in the reg. season. Biron is not 70 sv% points better than Price. By the numbers, it looks like the Pens might devour these guys like they did the Senators.

- Did they outsource the Bell Centre music to Spectrum Audio Services Ltd., Philadelphia PA?? The song they played just before the puck drop in the 3rd was "For Whom the Bell Tolls."

- Unlike most of this series, Flyers came to play in game 5. When you outplay a team in three straight and lose them all, it's hard to expect a win when the play is even.

- A 30 year old Briere for a cap hit of $6.5M over the next 7 years?? The fans should have been cheering this guy for choosing Philly. He scores on the PP and against 3rd stringers at EV. Valuable contributions, no doubt, but not #1 centre material by a long shot.

- Would Huet have made a difference? Probably not in games 2, 3 and 4. The Canadiens scored two goals in each of those three losses. Huet wouldn't have helped in that department, as evidenced by his 0 goals in the regular season. I don't think it's fair to assume he would have stolen a game either.

- It is fair to second guess Gainey's deadline inactivity. I've been over this before. The 4th line was killed all through the playoffs. A solid, cheap vet or two could have remedied this, but Gainey chose to give the kids experience instead.

- On the upside, it's hard to be too disappointed with the season. They were 10 points better than I expected in the reg. season. They faced two weak teams in the playoffs and outplayed both. It bodes well for the future. These guys are built to compete for the title of Penguins' bridesmaids for the next 4-6 years.



Anonymous MathMan said...


There's an incredible amount of reluctance on the part of analysts to call the Flyers' win a result of luck, or, at least, a result of Montreal's "lack of opportunism" (which amounts to the same thing but is more politically correct).

There's going to be a lot of ink and bytes wasted in the next few weeks trying to explain why the team that consistently outplayed the other lost. A lot of analysts will make idiots of themselves doing so.

The notion that the better team must win playoff series is closely held by many people in the hockey world, in face of much evidence to the contrary, and instead of doing what they call "make excuses for the winner", they will make excuses for not looking the facts straight in the face.

The series in a nutshell: with the score tied 4-4, Latendresse takes a brilliant pass, embarasses the Flyers defensemen, beats Biron with a beautiful shot that clangs off the post. Moments later, there's an ungodly high bounce in the Habs zone, it lands on a Flyer's stick, there's a shot, it's deflected off Kostopoulos then tipped in by Upshall.

5/04/2008 5:19 p.m.  
Blogger Jeff J said...

There's going to be a lot of ink and bytes wasted in the next few weeks...

Yep, it's begun. Not quite as bad as I was expecting, though. There is very little mention of the word "choke," which is a relief.

5/05/2008 9:11 p.m.  
Anonymous MathMan said...

The commentary is not nearly as bad as I thought. A lot of people are commenting off boxscores, and claim the Flyers dominated, rather than flummoxed. Some Montreal commentators don't want to be seen as making excuses for losing, and end up making excuses for not explaining the loss correctly. There's the usual collection of silliness from the usual suspects (see: Blanchard, Michel) but that's to be expected. There's also a lot of ink about Price's "weak glove hand" (which was not in evidence in the regular season -- was he injured or not?) and mental toughness...

But I'm impressed by some of the commentary actually. Bob Hartley, on the RDS site, calls it like I saw it without making excuses, which is extremely refreshing. He's been there, obviously.

Rationally I'm not too worried about Carey, I suspect the almost nonstop two years of hockey finally got to him, but the worrywart that I am, I've got to admit to a sliver of doubt. Still, he is very young and has plenty of room to improve (which is a scary thought).

By the way, it's amusing to compile RJ Umberger's shooting percentage and isolate it from the rest of the Flyers. The shooting percentage of the Flyers minus Umberger is a trifle high, but not ridiculous. As we know, though Umberger could not have missed the Habs' net if he fired the other way.

It wasn't even the Flyers having a great shooting streak. The Flyers' timely scoring and opportunism was almost entirely RJ Umberger having an *insane* shooting streak.

The Flyers had better hope that RJ keeps it up, someone else goes on a rampage, or they elevate their game a few notches. Logic doesn't always prevail, but somehow I don't think that they'll win the Cup relying on RJ Umberger's shooting skills.

5/06/2008 11:24 a.m.  
Blogger Jeff J said...

Thanks for pointing out that Hartley article. I always like to see what coaches have to say, even when it's filtered and processed by mass media outlets.

Mirtle took a look at goaltenders in the playoffs by age. 20 is very young for a goalie.

I gotta admit I like Druce - er, I mean Umberger as a player - he can play against anyone and should be a 20 goal scorer.

5/07/2008 9:18 a.m.  

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