Friday, March 16, 2007

Pick a player, any player!

This year, the Flyers have had a record number of transactions. They have called up nearly every player from the Phantoms, and sent down a few surprises (hello Petr Nedved!). At one point, they had so many guys going back and forth, I was sure that I would see Forsberg playing for the Phantoms.

As a minor league season ticket holder, I was looking forward to 40 games with Ben Eager. He played October 15th vs Binghamton, and I thought to myself, “wow, he looks a lot faster and sharper than the other guys.” That was the first and last time I saw him as a Phantom this year. He has spent the rest of the season as a Flyer. He frustrates me a lot as a Flyer...his puck handling skills could use some work. During the Detroit game (or was it Toronto?) he had a clear cut opportunity to score, and opted to pass the puck instead. Argh. His skills as an enforcer and instigator and his energy are what makes him a good addition to the Flyers at this point.

Eager is currently out with an ankle injury, and the Flyers have called up my boy Darren Reid to fill his skates. Why do they have to keep taking my favorites? Reid is fantastic as a Phantom: he works hard every shift, always put himself in scoring position and gets good goals. Prior to being called up, he was our top scorer. His downside is that he is a bit of a puck hog and one trick pony…he sorta scores the same way every time. He is also a mess defensively and when he gets stuck in the defensive zone I have a little panic attack because we are likely to get scored on. I think he will be back once Eager is all better. (edit: Eager was back last night and Reid was sent down)

Two other players have been bounced back and forth a lot this year: Stefan Ruzicka and Ryan Potulny. Both of these guys have been good up with the big club, but there has been so much transition and playing around with the lines that neither has really had an opportunity to find their niche. (edit: Ruzicka earned first star honors in last night’s win over Atlanta with a goal and two assists.)

All this calling up and sending down can drive a girl crazy. I am happy to see the guys get their chance in the NHL. Usually though, this means that they were performing really well on the Phantoms, and that now the Phantoms chemistry will be a little off. Also, I worry that getting sent back down is a huge blow to their self esteem. I know I would be anxiety ridden if my boss couldn't make up his mind on where he wanted me to be!


Ellie said...

seems like all the moving around would really mess up lines for both the flyers and the phantoms. and i hate when a player gets called up for a game but then you miss the news that he got called back down again or vice versa. so confusing sometimes : )

the poor flyers - the curse from the pens of last year blew over to your side of the state....

kristin said...

Last week I had great seats for the Flyers and I was excited because it would be my first game with Reid as a Flyer. Well, Eager was back and Reid was sent back down and I was very disappointed.

I hope this PA curse could blow over to NJ for next year...I don't think we have any Devils reps on here!