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Thursday, April 2, 2009

Martin Biron = Kyle Kendrick?

I frequently find it painful to watch the Flyers. This usually happens when they're getting lit up by a bad team. Last night against the Maple Leafs was one example, and the source of my problems was/is usually Martin Biron. Biron is the Flyers "#1", but plays very inconsistently. One second Marty will make a tremendous glove save, and the next he's letting in a weak wrist shot that find it's way between his tucked-in upper arm and torso (if you're a devoted fan, you know what I mean). I am very aware that in last year's playoffs Biron was outstanding, and for that I am very thankful. Playoff hockey is very exciting especially when your team is winning. However, as many fans of other NHL teams have told me, and I agree, "Biron had no business playing that well in the playoffs last year." I hold this goalkeeper to high standards, and I should. Right? I mean he is the "#1".

This is where I have recently realized that I am a hypocrite. Why should I hold a career backup in any different status than I hold Kyle Kendrick (a lucky rookie that was expected to repeat despite very little in his arsenal)? I shouldn't, but I do and probably will continue to. Do I pound the nearest object everytime Niittymaki lets in a weak goal (Recchi's goal on Sunday that was bologna)? No, I don't. I think the source of all my problems with Biron come from his seemingly lacking fundamentals. He has very poor rebound control, can't find the puck after he gives up rebounds, and lacks any urgency in getting across the crease on wraparound type plays. Probably what drives me the most crazy is when the puck will be behind the net, in the corner near the boards on the side of his glovehand, and he'll be positioned on the far post looking over his right shoulder (the shoulder that makes him turn his head 270 degrees to see the puck). I may have exaggerated a little, or combined multiple wrongs, but I swear that if you pay attention you'll see him look over the more difficult shoulder to find the puck.

I think I should ease off him a bit, but I probably won't. If I were asked to pick who I'd prefer to play goalie, I think I'd say Niitty, but I would probably be wrong. Just needed to get that off my chest. I don't know if anyone else feels this way, but I do. Even with 82 regular season games, I find every Flyers loss extremely painful. Soon I'll have to suffer both Flyers and Phillies losses. I can't wait.

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