I can't help but find the negative in a lot of things. It's part of my downfall, there's no doubt about it. But in this case, it's right in front of me, and I can't let it sit there and smile at me. I have to smack it.
Ilya Bryzgalov has surrendered 12 goals in 3 games. His GAA is the second worst out of the 16 playoff goalies-behind Marc-Andre Fleury. Beating the Penguins in a seven-game series would be a huge win for Philly in the cross-state rivalry, but expecting this team score eight goals against Henrik Lundqvist or Tim Thomas or any other breathing, living goalie in the NHL would be ludicrous.
Don't get me wrong, the Flyers can score. And with the re-emergence of Danny Briere, this team can be in any game. But I find no solace with Bryzgalov in net and at some point, the fact that the Flyers have trailed in the first 10 minutes in 53 of their last 57 games, will catch up to them. You just can't expect to trail every game, give up four or five goals, and move on to the next round.
But for now, I'll enjoy a 3-0 series lead and some Philly playoff excitement. Lord knows we won't get it from the Sixers. ***Please fire Doug Collins*** ***Please trade Andre Iguodala for two D-Leaguers.***
I have kept my blogs mostly to appeal to Philly sports. That's where my heart lies and that's where my (few as they may be) readers are. But after three years in Boston, I couldn't help but follow some Boston sports. I didn't root for them, ever, but I did follow.
With the Francona departure and the beer in the locker room and chicken wings and late season collapse and whatever else happened in that organization the past few years, it is very refreshing to see Bobby Valentine call out his players.
Please don't confuse this with me supporting Bobby Valentine as a credible coach- I don't. He made the World Series once and lost in five games. In 14 years, he made the World Series once. Fine. Whatever. I don't care, but I do think the Red Sox could have found someone better.
Back to my main point. Bobby Valentine called out Kevin Youkilis for his demeanor and attitude. And he was right. The feel about Youkilis in Boston for the past few seasons is that he doesn't care, he doesn't show emotion, and he doesn't work hard. But Francona was afraid to say anything to Youk or anyone else for that matter. Valentine, with his team in the cellar of the AL East, didn't hesitate early in the season to call out Youk. And in my opinion, Valentine had no need to issue an apology because he was right and he's the manager and he should call out his players if they don't perform. The least you can do if you are in a slump is pretend to care about it and pretend to the fans that pay your salary that you want to do better for them. Cool batting stance Youk- change it. It's not working. Your body is catching up to you -get in shape. After an off year like last year, a terrible spring, and a terrible start to this season, stop being stubborn and change something. Until then, you are subject to being called out by your manager.
On the flip side-if your manager sucks, don't be afraid to call him out. Good job Pedroia. Let's see if others follow suit.