(Photo via Amy Irvin/38Photography)
Despite back to back wins, the Flyers are still sitting over 10 points out of a playoff spot with 33 games remaining in the 14-15 campaign. According to SportsClubStats.com, their playoff odds are currently sitting at a cool 2.2%. Rather than keep these dire playoff hopes alive by trying to win games, the Flyers should be looking to tank from here on out for a better chance at generational talents like Connor McDavid or Jack Eichel.
When it comes to tanking, the Flyers face the problem of still having some elite talent on their current roster. It’s clearly going to take something extreme in order for the Flyers to drop into position to realistically obtain the first or second overall pick in 2015. Lets look at some ways that they could pull this off.
1. Trade for Mike Richards
Former Flyers captain Mike Richards was waived by Los Angeles earlier this week, and is clearly being made available to other teams via trade. Hmmm.
Richards’ play has fallen off over the past few seasons, which could help with the tank. At the same time, he could teach Claude Giroux how to be an effective captain, which would be worth every penny.
He also has a good value contract that is securely locked in for the next 5 seasons. Thus there is no risk that he will bolt for a big free agency offer from the Toronto Maple Leafs or Colorado Avalanche.
A package of Sean Couturier and a second round pick should be able to get this deal done. Make it happen, Hextall.
2. Play with Opposite-Handed Sticks
Now, hear me out. The Flyers should send the right-handed players out with left-handed sticks, and vice versa. LOL! Who would even really notice?
Flyers Hockey™ has never been about stick handling anyway. It’s been about toughness, grit, and intensity. This idea would help them get back to playing Flyers Hockey™ instead of focusing on stupid things like carrying the puck into the zone with control.
Also shouldn’t a truly great player be able to play with any equipment? If they can’t, isn’t it really just the equipment that is great and not the player? Makes you think.
Lets be honest here… it might even help Andrew MacDonald actually get a slap shot on target before the season ends.
3. Try Out an Ostrich At Goalie
I’ve referenced the value of ostriches to the NHL before this season. Somehow I seem to be the only one who is talking about this.
An ostrich has a wide torso with a very long and tall neck. It’s torso would stop most attempts on goal, while it’s neck would allow it to see over almost any screens in front! It is perfect and I can’t believe none of you shmucks thought of this before I did.
Using advanced statistics, I have calculated that even a replacement-level Ostrich would put up a save percentage of at least .669 in it’s first season, which could go a long way towards helping the Flyers land McDavid. Those same advanced statistics say that a second-season ostrich would put up at least a .950 save percentage after gaining some Experience™.
I’d recommend signing the ostrich to a 9 year, 51 million dollar contract so that nobody can offer sheet it after the first season.
4. Let Claude Giroux Play More
Claude Giroux has only scored in 14 games this season out of 48. That means that he has had 0 goals in 34 different games. Yet he is supposedly a star player. Hmm.
Can you imagine if LeBron James or Kevin Durant had 0 points that often? You think they’d be considered superstars? Heck no.
A player this bad should see as much ice time as possible if the Flyers are looking to grab a top draft pick this year.
5. Focus on Corsi Instead of Goals
Instead of trying to get shots on goal, the Flyers should just try for Corsi events instead. Think about it. Even if you shoot it from the red line and it goes way over the goal it still counts as a Corsi! HAha! They wouldn’t even have to worry about stupid zone entries anymore!
This would make certain players more appealing to the pocket protector crowd that “watches” games through their excel charts. After this the Flyers could trade almost any player to a team that has defected to the Corsi Hockey League.
6. Only Dress 6 Players Every Night
The Flyers clearly need to get their endurance up. Since I majored in Exercise Science at Bloomsburg University, I understand this stuff. Playing a hockey player in shifts only trains their body to be lazier and slower. What better way to get their endurance up than to play the entire game?
It is ridiculous that a supposed star player can only play for a third of a contest. Once again, if LeBron James only played 20 minutes each night he’d get killed for it! Claude Giroux is already getting over 8 million dollars a year to score 0 goals on most nights! Now you’re telling me he gets 2/3rds of this money to sit on a bench doing nothing? I COULD DO THAT! DISGRACEFUL, CLAUDE.
The Flyers need to spend the rest of this season conditioning themselves so that they are ready to play this way next year. Cut the roster down to 12 people like basketball and get rid of the players who aren’t trying!
If Jakub Voracek really wants that big extension this summer, tell him he’s going to have to earn it by playing 53-60 minutes every game.
7. Bench Zac Rinaldo For The Rest Of The Season
The Flyers need to take note of what has happened over the last week. Not only did Rinaldo sacrifice himself to change the outcome of the Penguins game last Tuesday, but that momentum STILL has not dissipated over the All-Star break and they won again last night. Those 4 points are killer in the McDavid standings. Do you people realize how long it will take for Buffalo or Edmonton to get 4 points?
We cannot risk having this happen again. If Rinaldo suits up one more time this season, the momentum could just be enough to carry the Flyers to the playoffs, which is not what we want. It could also bump up the value of his next multi-year contract extension, which is bad news for the cap-strapped Flyers.
Keep him on the bench and let him accumulate energy for next season, then unleash him on the NHL.