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Jack McCaffery is the lead sports columnist for the Daily Times and He has spent several decades covering everything from the Phillies, Eagles, Flyers and Sixers, to college hoops, to high school sports in Delco.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012


After taking a 3-0 lead in the best-of-seven, the Flyers could afford to lose a game in the first round of the Stanley Cup playoffs. Or two. Or three.

They could not afford to lose their self confidence.

That, they well may have done Wednesday in a 10-3 loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins.


Because their two goaltenders, including $51 million Ilya Bryzgalov, let them down ... and let them know that no matter how well they play, they are not necessarily any more qualified in goal than they have been since Ron Hextall was the postseason MVP in 1987.

Bryzgalov was useless. Bobrovsky was unacceptable. Each allowed five goals on 18 shots.

Bryzgalov was injured late in the season. Interestingly, when that topic arose after the game, he bristled, insisting he would not discuss the bone chip in his foot. If that's a problem, the Flyers have an even bigger one: That Bobrovsky is overmatched at the big-league level.

Since Michael Leighton is hanging around, now that the Phantoms have been eliminated from the AHL playoffs, he should be the No. 2 goalie.

Because he had no choice, Peter Laviolette dismissed any discussion of a goalie crisis, allowing only that all of the Flyers must play better. He's right. But if they play well and have goalies who fail, they ultimately will collapse.

And the Flyers have a long, long history as proof.

Check out my column in the Daily Times Thursday and, as always, on ... along with a piece on the Flyers' reaction to the crisis.


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