Monday, January 4, 2010

Paul Holmgren Is Smarter Than We All Thought

Why? Reading through Elliot Friedman's always fantastic 30 Thoughts came across a little tidbit from the Flyers GM. It's part psychologist, part Vince Lombardi, part Denzel Washington, and part manipulative bastard, but all genius.

This team has been treading water for a couple weeks now. Inconsistency in net, snake bitten stars, you name it, this Flyers team had it. They were mired in a 2-8-1 December, following a match up with the retribution seeking, and finding, Florida Panthers team. It was a game they never were in. This is when all that bullshit really started flying. There was that irresponsible blog post about the story of unfaithful Flyers wives while their husbands fight for their lives. There were incessant trade rumors, injuries, and a goalie situation that seemed to be coming to a head. It was then that Paul 'Freud' Holmgren paid his visit to the locker room. Check out Thought #9.
9. If the Flyers do save their season, the turning point would be Dec. 21. Philly lost 4-1 at home to Florida that night. But, after it was over, Paul Holmgren told his players, “There will be no trades. This is our group and we believe in it.” Players said it was like a world being lifted off their shoulders.
They were going to battle with Boucher and Leighton. There was no uncertainty about who was shipping out to Montreal for Halak. Holmgren took that bastard elephant and threw him out the room and raped the monkey that was on Carter's back.

What happened? A 4-0-0 run leading up to the Winter Classic. Whether or not that turnaround can be sustained (0-1-1 in 2010) has yet to be determined, but for a guy who's been hard on the Flyers this year, and especially Holmgren's personnel decisions. This time I gotta give credit where credit is due. Not often you see the GM turning a season around with words, not transactions.

But hell, I'm not even sure who the coach of the Flyers is anymore.

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