NOW HE TELLS US! FLYERS GHOST HAD A BUM KNEE ALL SEASON

By Julie Glass

You may not have noticed because the lame-ass local media generally gives the Flyers a pass on everything.

But Shayne Gostisbehere had a terrible 2018-19 season.

Now that the season has ended he is blaming a knee injury suffered when he blocked a shot against Colorado on Oct. 22 for his lousy performance all season.

Really?

“Definitely the toughest season I’ve been in personally in my four years,” the Flyers defenseman said earlier in the week. “It’s tough, for sure. We’ve been thinking about the season for a while now. I mean, especially when you get knocked out and you have to play four pretty much meaningless games and you’ve just got to go out there and play.”

This season, he had only 37 points (nine goals, 28 assists) and a team-worst minus-21 rating.

“You have to remember, for a lot of these players, this was a different year,” said Chuck Fletcher, who was named the Flyers’ general manager on Dec. 3. “You have a coaching change, a managing change, you’re implementing new systems midstream. Everyone’s wondering what’s the new manager going to do. Is he going to trade everybody? Does he like me, [because] he didn’t bring me in here?”

The knee injury, which Gostisbehere revealed this week, played a role in his struggles this season.

“Everyone deals with their injuries,” he said. “… You can’t use them as an excuse. I’m not an excuse guy. I mean, I didn’t have the best season, obviously. I felt I could’ve helped my teammates a lot more, and it’s a grind. It was a mental grind this year. I think a lot of us grew, not only on the ice, but mentally as well.”

“I got a little better toward the end of the year, but in the middle of the season, I didn’t have the best pop in my step and it was tough for me,” Gostisbehere said. “I mean, you think about it, too.”

Gostisbehere, whose name has surfaced in trade rumors because of his ability and the fact he is signed for four more years with an annual $4.5 million cap hit, started the season on the first pairing with Ivan Provorov. Toward the end of the season, he was

“I think we made the game really hard for our defensemen with the way we played,” Fletcher said. “We spent way too much time in the defensive zone with the decisions we made up the ice. As a result, you defend too much. … We can do things to make the game much easier for everybody, not just Shayne.”

In his four seasons, Gostisbehere has played for three head coaches. He said he liked playing for talkative interim coach Scott Gordon, a down-to-earth type who was both instructive and demanding. He also knows another coach could be named.

“Whoever the coach will be, I’m going to be a different guy next year,” Gostisbehere said. “I’m going to be definitely different in the way I take my approach to the game. I’m just going to be the best player I can be, whoever the coach is.”

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