Emery Shut Down – Now What?

Enjoying another blizzard in the Philadelphia area – two feet of snow yesterday on top of two feet of snow five days ago. We have boards four feet high on our school’s roller hockey rink and the snow is at the top of them! Meanwhile, the Flyers have iced Ray Emery, putting the goalie on the shelf for three weeks to see if his injured hip responds to rest. That forces the question about the Flyers’ goalie situation for the stretch run. If Emery cannot play after the rest period, do the Flyers acquire a goalie via trade or go with Michael Leighton? Rumors have circulated about Flyers’ interest in Montreal’s Jaroslav Halak, Dallas’ Marty Turco, and the Islanders’ Marty Biron – remember him? Leighton, claimed off the scrap heap earlier this season, has been great with the Flyers, going 10-3-1 with a 2.21 GAA and a .925 save percentage. But is he the guy to carry the team down the stretch and in the playoffs?

OK, let’s think: Emery won’t be able to carry the load when his rest is over. He may have a torn labrum, they expect that he’ll need surgery in the summer, so they’re just trying to get him through the season. Hips don’t usually respond to rest. So don’t expect that Emery will be able to go far in March.

Can we afford to acquire a #1 goalie without hurting ourselves at forward or defense? Probably not. Forget about Turco – he’s got a huge contract and is in the twilight of his career. Halak is playing well now, but remember him in the playoffs against the Flyers a couple years ago? Biron we could get for cheap, but I thought everyone agreed that he wasn’t the guy (at least for the salary he was looking for).

Do we have a legitimate shot at the Cup this season? Despite two nice wins over the Devils this week, this team hasn’t shown the consistency necessary plus they haven’t shown that the players they have now can compete with the elite. They’re ten points behind last year’s pace.

No, we ride Michael Leighton through the end of the season, pack it up in April, and then make some major moves with personnel over the summer. Dump the high salaried-low production-no effort guys, look at trading for or signing a bona fide #1 goalie like Ilya Bryzgalov and start it over again.

In the meantime, let’s play in the snow.

One Response to “Emery Shut Down – Now What?”

  1. Unfortunately some real good points ha! I think that it would be a stretch to imagine the Flyers winning the cup this season. They need to look at the big picture and continue managing personell for next year. Ride it out with Leighton and hope for the best! Maybe bring Hextall out of retirement? With that obviously not being possible, it only seems appropriate the “Hextall” chant echoes from across the parkinglot as his former home the Spectrum is prepared to be torn down. That is if all this snow doesn’t cave the roof in first!

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