Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Sixers Lose; Can Marty Biron Stop a Breakaway?

Both of the winter sports teams lost last night. The Sixers never could get into any sort of rhythm and did not get their running game going in dropping a winnable game to the woeful Minnesota Timberwolves by a score of 104 - 88. The Sixers started out slowly and never recovered. Al Jefferson provided a glimpse as to why the T-Wolves had to get him from the Celtics when they traded away Kevin Garnett, as Jefferson scored 19 points (on 9 of 14 shooting) and grabbed 14 points in a fairly dominant performance.

Andre Iguodala had 17 points for the Sixers in a losing effort. The Sixers come home tonite to face the New York Knicks.

Potential good news off of the court: Mo Cheeks may be getting an extension. I think he's earned at least another year, maybe two. He's done a really good job with the hand he's been dealt. This team will get to a point, however, where they will outgrow the type of coach (laid back) that Cheeks is, but for the state of the team right now, he's the right guy.

Flyers Lose. Again.

The Flyers dropped another game in their march towards saving many season ticket holders some money on playoff tickets by dropping a 3 - 2 decision to the Ottawa Senators that was decided by a shootout.

I felt this was the best game the Flyers played in a long time. The game reminded me of the type of game they played early in the year where they allowed a lot of long shots that Biron handled easily followed by opportunities in transition.

Once again, however, the Flyers lost in a shootout. I don't know what it will take for the Flyers to actually win a shootout. I give John Stevens credit for at least trying something different in giving rookie Claude Giroux an opportunity in the shootout as well as Kimmo Timonen.

By the way, has anyone ever seen Biron make a save on a breakaway? I mean, has it really happened? I don't think I've seen Biron stop one single breakaway since he's been a Flyer. Usually, during the shootouts, it's been the opposing shooter who lost control of the puck or just flat out missed the net. But I don't believe Biron has actively made a save on a breakaway at all this year (whether during the game or during the shootout). Biron simply does not engender confidence during shootouts, which is , I guess, a change of pace from Antero Niittymaki, who doesn't engender confidence (for me) during the 65 minutes it takes to get to a shootout.

Off the ice, the Flyers managed to make a minor deal yesterday that should help them get through the next 3 weeks where they won't have Derian Hatcher. The Flyers traded a 3rd round pick to the LA Kings for defenseman Jaroslav Modry. He's 37 years old, so this trade will give Jim Dowd someone to talk to. He's a good veteran to have around during the stretch run. Not the "WOW" acquisition some Flyer fans are waiting in vain for, but not bad either.


Blake Redgrave said...

There was an article yesterday on about how maybe Billy King didn't botch the Iverson trade after all, that maybe ditching their best player and playing hard (but not always well) since then (as opposed to tanking in order to receive a better draft pick) was the right move. Because, apparently, gunning for the eighth seed in the East is some sort of remarkable achievement. And then they lose to the worst team in the league. Yes, the Sixers have potential. But I have a haunting fear that it will go unrealized and, in five years, people will still be saying that they're only one or two pieces away from being a contender.

JohnDewar said...

I don't disagree with you; being 8th in the East is no great shakes.

If you look at all of the holes on this team, that they are not "dead team walking" is a testament to Cheeks, and King, to some extent, as he did draft Iggy, Young, etc. King's failure was to not trade Iverson earlier when it became evident it would be impossible to find someone for Iverson to play with.

And you're right to be afraid that the potential will go unrealized; let's hope Ed Stefanski knows what he's doing. I have confidence in him to do the right thing until he shows me differently.