By Steve Kelly
Jeremy Roenick played for the Flyers for three years and now is a commentator on NBC Sports. He has strong opinions and an edgy personality, unlike the Flyers’ white-bread coach Dave Hakstol, about whom he has many opinions:
“It’s the same old problems that have haunted them the last few years, inconsistent goaltending and the lack of scoring from their third and fourth lines,” Roenick told the PhillyVoice. “Secondary scoring is so important in the NHL. You can’t rely on one line to win hockey games for you.
“You’ll find teams shutting down your main offensive weapon leaves you a very low percentage of winning the hockey game. Some of the guys on that team have got to step up and do things that are out of their character. They’re not doing that. I think Sean Couturier has been amazing this year, playing probably bigger than I thought he was capable of. Brian Elliott will be very good, then let up a bad goal and the team deflates.
“When you’re punch drunk and something happens, then you’re like, ‘Here we go again.’”
Roenick is not ready to lay the blame on Hakstol.
“I still believe in Dave Hakstol,” Roenick said. “I believe he has the right mentality and the right game plan for this team. He’s not getting the results and production that he needs. The players just have to bear down when situations get tough and not second-guess themselves. That’s what’s happening here. This is a team that, no question, needs an identity. That’s for the leaders to create. Everybody has to follow them.
“But I do think [Claude] Giroux and [Jakub] Voracek have been great. Wayne Simmonds has slowed down, but I can’t really say anything bad about Simmonds because he always gives you everything that he has. He may be hurt. Nolan Patrick may not have the speed for the NHL, as I said before. He’s very smart, but you have to get to the puck to make those plays.”