Long, drawn out lines. Empty words, lacking meaning. If one were to have ventured to the Sydney Opera House in glorious Sydney, Australia, the immediate comparison would be to the Flyers.
Such is life after playoff elimination.
After a dagger of a loss to the New Jersey Devils, the Flyers’ playoff hopes dissipated. New Jersey picked Philadelphia apart, to the tune of a three-goal victory. By shutting out the Flyers scorers, they also blanked Philly from a playoff berth.
Philadelphia would reel off four successive wins to end the season Unfortunately, it was too little too late. Victories over three playoff-bound clubs failed to undo the errors of a 23-22-3 season. The fact of the matter is that the Flyers will be watching the 2013 NHL playoffs on television.
General Manager Paul Holmgren has already declared that Peter Laviolette will coach the team next year. A shortened season cannot amputate the job security of a coach, whose team finished around .500. Ultimately, the fault is on Homer. Abandoning his coach by trying to sign Parise and Weber, Holmgren swung and missed. Consequently, the Flyers were left without a presence on the blue line, a scoring forward, and a solid backup goaltender.
There are many decisions to be made this offseason. With two amnesty opportunities present, Danny Briere and Ilya Bryzgalov could be on their way out. Philadelphia will need to add a =forward in free agency, and many options exist to do so. Players like David Clarkson and Pascal Dupuis could cure the forward ailment present in Philly. The Flyers may wish to add a small piece to the blue line, such as Alexander Sulzer. In contrast, they may wish to trade for a stronger player, possibly Dustin Byfuglien of the Jets.
Whatever moves are made, the player or compensation is irrelevant. What matters, as is the case in all sports, is wins. And after the Flyers ensured that Philly would miss the playoffs in all sports this year, winning is everything. It is the delicacy that few can prepare, but all can devour. Only time will tell if Paul Holmgren can prepare his team for victory, and put them in a stronger position than this past year.
To the 2013 lockout season, Flyers fans bid adieu.