BITTER BIRDS
Dave Hakstol Not to Blame For Flyers' Sub-Par Play
By Adele Tippett Hot off an overtime win on Saturday against the Sharks, the Flyers hoped to clinch a win in regulation against the Flames. Wayne Simmonds, scoring his first overtime goal, vaulted the Flyers to a 27-22-7 record, putting them 5th in the division behind the Rangers. It might be easy to attribute Saturday’s win to the force that is Wayne Simmonds; but it’s not as easy to place the blame on the lackluster performance the team has been putting on since the win streak back in December. Many blame the sub-par defense and lack of secondary scoring, more blame the coach, Dave Hakstol. So what’s the problem? There are a multitude of reasons, but the blame cannot fall entirely on Hakstol. You can blame him for his excessive line scrambling or for sitting players for an unreasonable amount of time. To blame him for the average to downright poor performance the team has been putting on, starts to downplay the bigger reasons. It’s no secret the Flyers weren’t a serious cup contender this season. Despite their record, which is streaky at best, the Flyers have no depth. Without depth, the team is unable to adapt and when that happens, the same mistakes are made repeatedly night after night. It’s impossible to rely on 2-3 people to carry the team because eventually, those players become burnt out. The reason for the hot streak was simply because the team itself was hot. No depth and no consistency creates the streaky play we have been subjected to and people have had enough. Despite that, we have a short-term memory here in Philadelphia, while not always a bad thing, when it comes to a few wins after a line of losses, cup chatter starts up again. The Flyers will not win the cup this year or even next year I wager. Trust the process of our young players’ development and the plan that Hextall and Hakstol have in place for the future. An expression comes to mind somewhere along the lines of putting lipstick on a pig. The excessive line changes and sitting players is all the lipstick that Hakstol is trying to put on the current roster he has been dealt. How it’s been handled and the effectiveness of those moves varies on the night and the player. My opinion is to just ride out this season and look for better times ahead. Where the future is concerned, Hextall has us covered and my faith is in his hands.