Tim Panaccio over at the Philadelphia Inquirer has a huge, huge scoop — something I’ve often wondered about myself: Why do the Flyers refuse to hire a decent goaltender?
Panaccio finally got to the bottom of it.
Apparently Soviet goalie legend Vladislav Tretiak once told Flyers GM Bobby Clarke that goalies aren’t difference-makers in hockey. It seems that Clarke figures that if your team isn’t scoring, it doesn’t make a huge difference who’s in goal, since a goalie can only steal so many games.
Clarke is right to a certain degree. Scoring is an important ingredient in the winning team equation. But so is goaltending. It’s not an either/or proposition. You need scoring and strong goaltending. Unless you’re the Devils. They basically only need a goal a game to beat most of their opponents.
In other Flyer news, Mike Comrie is still learning the Flyers defensive system. He’s been centering Simon Gagne and Justin Williams, but when you’re playing under coach Ken Hitchcock, you probably assume you won’t be playing anywhere too long. I’m just really curious how Comrie, who played a much more freewheeling system in Edmonton, will play under Hitchcock’s more deliberate, or stifling, system. I suspect Comrie is just pretty grateful to be putting his contract issues behind him.