The Philadelphia Flyers have been very inconsistent lately, and have lost a good amount of games that have been in their reach. A lot of the blame for the inconsistency has been put on the shoulders of the defense. Here, we will take a look at their strengths and weakness of each defensemen to see where the problem lies.
Strengths: Strong, consistent, tough. A leader on defense, and a scrappy veteran. When hot, can put together some really good games.
Weaknesses: His age is starting to catch up with him. Slow, less agile than other defensemen on this team. Needs to work on his accuracy.
Strengths: Fast, steady, smart. A workhorse who spends the most time on the ice out of any defenseman. Has good awareness, and a good sense for the game. Hits hard and is a good penalty killer.
Weaknesses: Prone to making mistakes. Needs to settle down and commit less penalties.
Strengths: Quick, intelligent, versatile. The best defenseman on the team. Has great puck-handling skills, and can drive hard to the net. Is able to do all the duties on defense, while helping out on offense.
Weaknesses: Needs to be more accurate with shots and get on/off the ice during shift changes.
Strengths: Big, burly consistent. Can block shots with his body and deliver bone-crushing hits. Able to wear down opposing offenses.
Weaknesses: Slow, but not very agile. Does not give much on offense.
Strengths: Speedy, brings more energy to the defense. Contributes on offense.
Weaknesses: Wildly inconsistent. Has poor puck-handling skills and has a tendency to wiff on shots.
Strengths: Quick, smart, experienced. Can clear pucks and help out on offense.
Weaknesses: Not very physical. Can disappear on the ice sometimes.
Strengths: A big player who has a wicked slapshot. A good blue line shooter. Is good at setting up rebounds for the forwards.
Weaknesses: Slow, and a liability when trying to get up ice.
As you can see, the Flyers have a good mixture of experience and freshness, toughness and speed. So, why are they doing so badly? Well, some of the blame can be put on the forwards for the Flyers, who are not as physical as they should be on defense. The other part of the blame can be put on a third line (Gustafsson and Gervais) that just isn't very good. But once Andrej Meszaros comes back, we will probably see more consistency with this unit, but until then the Flyers can help stop the bleeding by putting Foster on the third line, to bring a physical presence to the back end of the unit. So until Meszaros comes back and Foster is plugged back into the lineup, we can expect to see more inconsistent play among the Flyers as they continue in the season.