I love comparisions and analogies. I try and use them a lot in my writing and this comparision seems fitting. Last year's Flyers team was the most frustrating sports team to follow for an entire season. The talent was there and the coach had a Stanley Cup title to his name but the team always underperformed. How they are similar after the jump.
Both teams came into their seasons with very high expectations. The Flyers were coming off a tough loss in the Stanley Cup finals to a loaded Blackhawks team while the Eagles drove the ball down very late against the Packers in the Wildcard round fo the playoffs last season. Both teams did enough leading up to their seasons to believe they could bring home a title for the first time in over 30 years for the Flyers and over 50 years for the Eagles.
So far the Eagles are 1-3 and have become a very soft finese team. 3rd and 1 feels more like 3rd and 11 while the defense has gotten dominated in the run game. The Flyers went from being know as the Broad Street Bullies to the Broad Street Bullied. The Flyers were one of the softest teams in the NHL last season, especially without Pronger. They looked like a junior hockey team agains the Bruins in the 2nd round of the playoffs last Spring.
Another way they remind me of each other is the overated amount of yards/shots. The Flyers became a team that could outshoot almost anyone in the league, but in the second half of the season and in the playoffs they struggled to get the puck in the net. In the playoffs the Flyers finished third in shots per game but ninth in goals per game. I remember a game against the Atlanta Thrashers last March. The Flyers lost to the Thrashers 1-0 despite outshooting them 43-22. The Flyers weren't a good passing team. They could got a ton of shots off but rarely got a great shot off. It's comparable to the Eagles putting up 500 yards on the 49ers but doing nothing in the red zone.
This offseason the Flyers traded two of their veteran leaders with bloated contracts to make room for something that they have been lacking since before I was born in the 80s, a goalie. The Flyers also got some young young players and an top 10 draft pick. Is that where the Eagles are headed. An All-Pro linebacker is probably the Eagles "goalie". When was the last time the Eagles have a great linebacker? Trotter was good for a few years but I wouldn't call him All-Pro.
Will the Eagles trade Asante Samuel and Nnamdi Asomugha for a slew of talented young players, a top 10 pick and an All-Pro linebacker? Probably not, but let's play that game anyway. The Flyers traded Mike Richards and Jeff Carter seperatley. Maybe Asante goes to the 49ers for Patrick Willis and a good young player. Then we trade Nnamdi to a team with a top 10 pick and a couple good young players.
Do I think we should do this? Its not likely to happen so it doesn't matter. Just thought I would make this observation about how last year's Flyers and like this year's Eagles. It's not a perfect comparision, but it makes some sense. The Flyers certainly started out better than the Eagles have. Also, the Flyers didn't hire a former Left Winger to be the goaltending coach either.