19 October 2010
So Matt Walker is taking a seat for 10-12 weeks. Actually, with that surgery, he probably won't be able to sit at all for a while. It presents a problem for the Flyers that actually creates a key opportunity.
It's time to make a move and find a winger who can skate with Richards and Carter.
The organization is obviously focused on winning this season. Teams usually have a short two to three year window for winning the Cup and the Flyers are smack-dab in the middle of that opportunity. So it's really the time to take stock of things.
The Orange and Black have come out of the gates with a respectable record, but they are showing troubling tendencies of inconsistency that hearken back to squeezing into the playoffs last year. Other than Danny Briere, Claude Giroux, and a couple luckies by Carter... no one seems to want to touch the twine this season so far. And the vaunted, invincible defensive core that supposed to be hasn't been.
Of course, it's early in the season and there's plenty of time left for the team to come together. But it's never too early to prognosticate and strategize for making the team better.
It's clear that the Flyers need a Knublesque winger to accompany our two young guns. Carcillo coulda, shoulda, woulda... but he appears to have checked out over the summer and lost his edge. No one else currently on the team seems suited for filling that checking winger with a scoring touch role.
So what can the Flyers do? (here's where I put on my Homer-hat)
- Sign Bill Guerin: Richie and Carts gained some key/needed experience in last year's playoffs, but having some more experience and calm on that line couldn't hurt. Sure, Billy-boy didn't wow us in the pre-season... but he's a proven performer. Plus, he wouldn't be asked to carry the line; just support, hustle and pick up the garbage. An added bonus would be watching him score game-winners against the Pens. Soo money.
- Trade for a Knublesque winger: There are a number of affordable guys out there in the league right now that would be a compliment to the Flyers' top line... albeit, some salary would have to go the other way to make it happen. I could see a guy like Chris Clark in Columbus being a good fit.
- Wait and hope: It's still early in the season. A little time and patience could cure whatever funk has taken over Carbomb. If not Danny C, then perhaps it's Nodl's time to shine... or even Maroon, Legein or Testwuide. A young energy guy could be what the doctor ordered for sparking this line's production. The cap situation makes this one the likely outcome.
Whatever happens, that line needs to get producing and soon. At first, I thought the Richie/Carts combo would be a disaster but, now that we've seen it in action, it actually has potential. That third guy is the key to unlocking tremendous seasons for both those guys.
Better to make that decision early. Not a panic move, a strategery.