Flyers Analyst Bill Clement Thinks The Flyers Have A Chance To Turn Things Around In The Next Few Games
1/28/2013 3:35:00 PM
The Flyers currently stand at 2-4 after last night’s 5-1 loss to the Tampa Bay Lightning. Flyers analyst Bill Clement joined Tony Bruno and Jon Marks to break down the team’s early-season struggles and talk about what we can expect going forward.
Lots of fans were surprised that Michael Leighton was given the nod last night but Clement couldn’t fault him for the majority of the goals he allowed.
“As far as Michael Leighton’s performance, I didn’t think there was one thing he could do on the first three goals. And when you’re only going to get one goal in support of his effort then you’re done anyway. I think the big issue last night was discipline, staying out of the penalty box and not being as good defensively as they had to be.
“Early in the game last night, the Flyers were coming out of their own end pretty easily with a lot of reverses. The only time you can do that is when you force a team to dump pucks in. As the game progressed, Tampa able was carry it the length of the ice almost any time they wanted.”
According to Clement, the Flyers need to focus their energy on becoming more consistent in all facets of the game.
“You can only say for so long, ‘We’re not getting the bounces, we’re not getting the breaks, some good plays beat us’ you have to start winning hockey games. The good news for the Flyers is that they’re only one point out of the playoffs. There are eight teams in the East that have won two games or fewer.
“[There’s] lots of time, no time to panic, but I would like to see them be more consistent with their defense, and more consistent with their effort and more consistent with their discipline.”
Though the start was less than ideal, Clement believes that the Flyers are coming up on a stretch of games in which they can gain some ground on the teams ahead of them in the Eastern Conference playoff race.
“The Flyers are coming up here to a stretch in the schedule after the Rangers which will be a tough game tomorrow night, they’re in Washington on Friday then they’re at home against Carolina, Tampa Bay, Florida and then they go to Toronto.
“There are teams you should be able to get your share of points against.”
Finally, Clement addressed general manager Paul Holmgren’s decision to send Scott Laughton back to juniors.
“You run into injuries and you’re going to need depth and now they can’t recall Laughton. The thing that was in my mind that might lead to Laughton staying was this isn’t October, it’s almost February and there are only a couple of months left in the regular season.
“That said, they can have him back if Oshawa doesn’t do well in the playoffs and their season ends in March. I agree with Paul Holmgren, if you have a young player then he has to play in all situations. Even if the competition isn’t as good, the one thing you want to try to make sure when a kid makes it to the NHL that he’s got at least some confidence in every area of the game.”