Philadelphia Flyers need to make better decisions

PHILADELPHIA, PA - JANUARY 18: Sean Couturier /

The Philadelphia Flyers came up big on a night celebrating Eric Lindros, but bad decisions on the ice and behind the bench still haunt this team.

Unfortunately a big win on a night like Thursday for the Philadelphia Flyers is still scarred by the inconsistency of the head coach Dave Hakstol. His decisions are perplexing to be nice, and disturbingly enough there seems to be no end in sight. He may have learned the lesson of offside challenges on Thursday when he refrained on the second Toronto Maple Leafs goal.

Other than that it would seem he refuses to evaluate the situation and make in-game adjustments. He is scratching a rookie kid who was just starting to get his feet underneath him, for a seventh at best defensemen in Brandon Manning. This was a no brainer after the blowout in New York, but now he was inserted back in. Because of this and other novice decisions, he’s being consistently out coached by the opposition.

It’s an absolute wonder how the slowest forward in the NHL has been in the lineup without an injury being the factor. We’re stuck with Dale Weise this season and presumably two more, so you think he’d have made his way back in and Jori Lehtera would sit, right?

If Taylor Leier is not ready or made for the NHL, then why is he sitting in the rafters?  It’s an absolute testament to the core of this team that they’re even in a position to make the playoffs this season. They’re not given enough credit, but it should be recognized that their head coach has consistently put them at a disadvantage and not optimized his lineup to the fullest.

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Philadelphia is still growing as a group, as they’ve tightened right up, but to no credit of the coach.  Some bad decisions on the ice are still being made like the “Ghost” ill-advised pinch for the breakaway first goal Thursday night. A bad gamble that most of us can live with because we know he will try his best to make up for that and more often than not he will. These mistakes we can also live with from young Travis Sanheim. The live and learn approach that has a deep history of success. Hakstol is stifling this kid and I believe Ron Hextall is wondering the same thing.

I mean if they were dressing Manning for some of the bigger teams every once in a while, then we could get on board with that if Manning provides that toughness and veteran presence that we are told he possesses. Couple that with running a career platoon goalie to the ground while keeping a healthy Michael Neuvirth on the bench, finally being unshackled for Thursday’s matchup (played well) and it’ll eventually come back to bite the team. This young Flyers squad with albatross like MacDonald and Weiss hanging around their necks have enough issues without the coach putting them behind the eight ball before the game has even started. This cannot continue or he (Hakstol) will jeopardize their playoff hopes.

Thursdays’ game was a see-saw affair which was definitely tipping towards the Leafs side of the playground. With two quick goals against, (Ghost’s ill-advised pinch and a fluke pinball bounce which should’ve been offside before it even got to the net) and the top six not generating much offense, things looked bleak. Then the wonderful thing about hockey took place and inside of two minutes we were in a tie game and the Flyers found life and, well, you should know how it ended with Coots from Konecny on a two-on-one.

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You think Hakstol’s been listening to the masses? Just to stubborn to implement our views and maybe waits till the topic dies down and then takes credit for the change? Your guess is as good as mine. Try not holding your breath for too long though, Flyers fans.