Ed Snider

Flyers owner: Failed season ‘was the perfect storm’


While other teams battle in the first round, the Philadelphia Flyers don’t have anything to do beyond prepare for next season and reflect on what went wrong.

When Flyers owner Ed Snider was asked about the latter, he was able to come up with several causes for his team’s failed campaign.

“I don’t want this to sound like excuses because all teams had a shortened schedule and just a one-week training camp,” Snider told the Philadelphia Inquirer. “Some teams did well [the previous season] and were happy with their system. We got knocked out by New Jersey in the second round, and New Jersey dominated, and I think the coach wanted to tweak the system.

“And we ended up with the worst schedule in the league. At one point, we played 20 games, and Boston had played 15 [actually, 14]. You already have a compressed schedule, and ours was compressed more than anyone else’s. And when you have tweaking, no practices, and a bad start, we never recovered.”

It didn’t help that the Philadelphia Flyers dealt with plenty of injuries along the way, especially when it came to their defense. Luke Schenn and Kimmo Timonen were the only blueliners to play in more than 37 games for the Flyers in 2013

“It was sort of like everything that could go wrong did go wrong,” Snider added. “It was the perfect storm.”

That doesn’t mean that there weren’t a few positives for the Flyers this season. Forward Jakub Voracek enjoyed a breakout season and Snider liked what he saw from defenseman Erik Gustafsson. He also was happy with goaltender Steve Mason, who had a 1.90 GAA and .944 save percentage in seven games.

Mason, 24, won the Calder Trophy in 2008–09, but struggled mightily after that until the Blue Jackets finally traded him. Still, Snider dismissed the notion that his seven-game stint with Philadelphia was too small a sample size to judge him on.

“It’s not like he’s just a kid right out of juniors,” Snider said. “He had great credentials coming into the NHL, and those credentials don’t just float away.”

Snider also expressed confidence in coach Peter Laviolette and GM Paul Holmgren.

He added that the organization will continue to do everything possible to win their first Stanley Cup since 1975. Although he jokingly admitted that some of the near misses over the years make him feel like “someone has a pin in a voodoo doll somewhere and is putting it to us.”

Jason Demers tweets #FreeTorres, gets mocked

Los Angeles Kings v San Jose Sharks - Game One

Following his stunning 41-game suspension, it looks like Raffi Torres has at least one former teammate in his corner.

We haven’t yet seen how the San Jose Sharks or the NHLPA are reacting to the league’s hammer-dropping decision to punish Torres for his Torres-like hit on Jakob Silfverberg, but Jason Demers decided to put in a good word for Torres tonight.

It was a simple message: “#FreeTorres.”

Demers, now of the Dallas Stars, was once with Torres and the Sharks. (In case this post’s main image didn’t make that clear enough already.)

Perhaps this will become “a thing” at some point.

So far, it seems like it’s instead “a thing (that people are making fun of).”

… You get the idea.

The bottom line is that there are some who either a) blindly support Torres because they’re Sharks fans or b) simply think that the punishment was excessive.

The most important statement came from the Department of Player Safety, though.

Bruins list Chara on IR, for now

Zdeno Chara

Those who feel as though the Boston Bruins may rebound – John Tortorella, maybe? – likely rest some of their optimism on the back of a healthy Zdeno Chara.

It’s possible that he’s merely limping into what may otherwise be a healthy 2015-16 season, but it’s definitely looking like a slow start thanks to a lower-body injury.

The latest sign of a bumpy beginning came on Monday, as several onlookers (including CSNNE.com’s Joe Haggerty) pointed out that Chara was listed on injured reserve.

As Haggerty notes, that move is retroactive to Sept. 24, so his status really just opens up options for the Bruins.

Still … it’s a little unsettling, isn’t it?

The Bruins likely realize that they need to transition away from their generational behemoth, but last season provided a stark suggestion that may not be ready yet. Trading Dougie Hamilton and losing Dennis Seidenberg to injury only make them more dependent on the towering 38-year-old.

This isn’t really something to panic about, yet it might leave a few extra seats open on the Bruins’ bandwagon.