Ah, The Connection You'll Be Hearing Plenty Of...
Puck Daddy's lead story today, and you should check it out here.
The one line that got me was the Hawks taking over the Flyers problem of, "Yeah, but their goalie is....". Ever since last season, and particularly since our exit in the Conference Finals, I have wondered and worried if the Hawks are the Western version of the Flyers. We've all laughed for years and years, since the Legion of Doom days, about the Flyers inability to ever have anything other than a shortbus in flames between the pipes. A competent goalie may very well have seen them lift a Cup during the Lindros era. Well, could the Hawks be in the same predicament?
But the similarities between these two teams now are pretty frightening. Two teams that came up from the bottom and burst onto the scene, one year apart. The Flyers are loaded with a young forward corps every bit the equal of the Hawks (if you don't think Richards, Carter, Gagne, Hartnell and the since departed Lupul aren't up to snuff, watch more hockey), who rose up to the East finals two seasons ago before being dispatched by the Pens. They then spent most of the first half of last season putting skates in asses, before shoddy goaltending landed them the worst possible first-round matchup against the Pens.
Let me say, the Flyers do not have the Hawks blue line, though it's better than you think. Let me also say I think Huet is better than Biron or Nithethagamhalghgfalhjdmbamaki. Also, Mirtle has an interesting piece about how average Khabby was from february on last season, and how bad his free agent deal with Edmonton is. I think Cris can easily match Khabby late-season performances, which got us one step from the final. With growth from those in front of him, who knows how far that will take the Hawks. But still, for those of us, myself included at times, who think next season is pretty much a year-long March To The Sea, well, one need look no further than the Wachovia Center (or whatever it's called these days) to see it doesn't always work out that way.