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Net Result: Philadelphia Flyers Need Upgrade in Goal To End Cup Drought

WASHINGTON - APRIL 22:  Nicklas Backstrom #19 of the Washington Capitals scores the 1st goal of the game against Martin Biron #43 and Kimmo Timonen #44 of the Philadelphia Flyers during game seven of the 2008 NHL Eastern Conference Quarterfinals on April 22, 2008 at the Verizon Center in Washington,  DC.  (Photo by Len Redkoles/Getty Images)
Len Redkoles/Getty Images
Bleacher ReportCorrespondent IFebruary 21, 2010

Since their inception into the NHL in 1967, the Philadelphia Flyers have been one of the most prominent and successful franchises in the league.

They have had a plethora of outstanding talent and the list of great players to wear the orange and black is longer than Zdeno Chara.

Taking this information into account you would think the Flyers would have more than the two Stanley Cups from 1973-1974 & 1974-1975 in their trophy case.

I am sure most die-hard Flyer fans would agree that the most glaring reason for the absence of more rings on Ed Snider and Company's fingers is the inconsistency between the pipes.

Since the days of Ron Hextall (the early ones, not his unspectacular and recurring return to Philly when he was injury riddled and well past his prime), the Flyer's goal crease has been a revolving door of mediocrity.

With the likes of Dominic Roussel, Garth Snow, an old John Vanbiesbrouck, the head case Roman Chekmanek, Brian Boucher, Robert Esche, and Marty Biron (there were others, but I don't want to pour anymore salt in the wound...Stephane Beauregard...sorry I had to) it is not surprising that Philadelphia has been unable to achieve its ultimate goal.

(Side Note: I know the Flyers also did not win a Cup when they had very solid, if not spectacular goaltending from 1976 until the early 1990s, but they ran into three potent dynasties with the Habs, the Isles and the Oilers and did still manage to make a few Cup final appearances.)

Many franchises are firm believers in building from the goal out and for some reason the Flyers organization continues to try and refute that oft-proven theory.

They have spent big free agent dollars and made high profile trades, over the years, at every position except goaltender.

They also have passed over several talented, up and coming goaltending prospects in recent drafts (Semyon Varlamov, Michal Neuvirth, Jhonas Enroth, Jacob Markstrom, etc.).

The Flyers have a dearth of talented forwards, especially with the recent emergence of youngsters Claude Giroux and James Van Riemsdyk, that if they had to move a Simon Gagne, Danny Briere or Scotty Hartnell they could afford to do so without sacrificing many goals or giving away one of their aforementioned young stud forwards.

There will be a lot of options for the Flyers this coming summer (and possibly at the impending trade deadline) to pick up, either through trade or free agency, a very solid NHL veteran or a highly regarded prospect (i.e. Corey Schneider of the Vancouver organization). They just need to clear some cap space.

If the Flyers do decide to change their ways and make room on their roster (and within their salary cap restraints) for an elite puck stopper I believe that one season in the near future they very well could be parading down Broad Street with that ever elusive third championship.

The Flyers will not have that opportunity, however, until management realizes you often win in the playoffs because of your goaltending, not in spite of it.

 

 

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