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John Tortorella on if Flyers are good at anything: No

Sometimes you just need to hear it.

Philadelphia Flyers v New York Islanders Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

Saying that a team is coming into their season with a blank slate, is a cliché for a reason. Whether it is a bad postseason loss hanging over their head, or a disappointing finish to the regular season that saw them tumble down the standings and not even get to sniff the stench of the championship — there are reasons to try to shake off the proverbial cobwebs (hey, another one) and try to not get bogged down by your own failures.

But then there are the 2022-23 Philadelphia Flyers. A completely lost team that has no true direction other than straight forward on a roundabout just as fast as they can, hoping no one will notice.

And in a recent interview with NBC Sports, head coach John Tortorella was fairly straight forward in his answer to the question that asked if he thinks this team is good at anything.

“No. No,” Tortorella said bluntly. “And I think that’s a huge part of becoming a team, is developing that identity. No. I think we’re a bit scattered. It’s a huge part of my job, to bring it together and develop that identity.”

Skating? No. Shooting? No. Forechecking? No. Stickhandling? No. Defensive structure? Hell no. Being a hockey team? Well, maybe?

There is the add-on point that Tortorella wanted to make, about finding this team’s identity and being able to mold the team to be what he envisions. But to answer in such a succinct way, to tell everyone that this team is pretty damn crap, is such a perfect way to start what should be an entertaining but awful Flyers season.

We will see how this season eventually goes, but everyone, including the coach, is now assuming that it is going to be bad and possibly worse than you even initially envisioned. It’s beyond the being bad on purpose teams that we have come to expect, this might be a whole new breed of terrible. One that has big contracts tied to multiple below-average players and are just stuck in this logjam of people until someone forces their way out.

Well, good luck!

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