Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Esche lobs barb at Hitchcock

Flyers goaltender Bob Esche is a weird fellow, but the following quote from him in today's Courier-Post makes me think the troubled netminder is soon to be on his way out of Philadelphia:
Asked Monday about Flyers coach Ken Hitchcock's decision to start him against the Sabres, Esche said, "I don't try getting in his head, that's for sure. It's an empty place."

Hitchcock grew red-faced when told of Esche's comment and could only come back with the reply, "Tit for tat."
It's difficult to know what to make of that, as Esche has a history of being sort of a joker with the press, but with this team in as much of a mess as it is right now, one would imagine this is the last thing Hitchcock wants to be dealing with. And given that the coach is on a long-term deal and has the ear of Flyers owner Ed Snider, it's not hard to see who will win out in a spat like this.
GM Bob Clarke's problem? Who in the world wants Robert Esche?

UPDATE With the score 9-1 in Buffalo and Esche still in goal, I think we can expect some fireworks following tonight's game.


At 3:09 p.m., October 17, 2006, Anonymous Brian said...

Might be digressing a bit from the point of this post but what puzzles me and many others is why call me "Bob" Bobby Clarke doesn't place more importance in the goaltending position. It may have cost him a Stanley Cup or 2. To name a few in addition to Bob Esche, there's Roman ChekManic, Brian Boucher, Sean Burke, Ron Hextall. Non of the like are upper echolon money goalies. The beat goes on......

At 3:30 p.m., October 17, 2006, Blogger Matt said...

Brian, you're also forgetting former *brilliant* first round picks in Jean-Marc Pelletier and Maxime Oullette. It has seemed for a for seasons now that management has gone out of its way to give Esche every opportunity in the world to be the #1 guy, ahead of Niittymaki -- who, you know, only managed to win a Calder Cup in the AHL along with a silver medal in the last Olympics (while being named the tournament MVP). But yeah, he's definitely not good enough to be The Man.

What will it take for Snider to fire Clarke? This team is going and has been going nowhere for years and Clarke has been the one constant. Coincidence?

At 4:41 p.m., October 17, 2006, Anonymous Brian said...

Hey Matt. Yup...certainly didn't think of the stellar drafting.
No concidence indeed. Who has a thicker teflon coating (in terms of accountability sticking to them)? Clarke or Mike Milbury.

At 8:04 p.m., October 17, 2006, Anonymous kris beattie said...

For the guy shitting on Esche and Cechmanek,have you forgotten they split the Jennings with Brodeur in 2003? You also bashed Hextall. Did you forget he won the Vezina and the Conn Smythe in 87?
They couldnt have been that bad of goaltenders.

At 9:06 p.m., October 17, 2006, Blogger Nick said...

I thought the same thing. Esche and ChekManic had their days, and Ron Hextall was THE MAN back in the day. I remember seeing him at Joe Louis Arena years ago blow a shutout with a minute or two left in a game. The Flyers had the game won but Hextall was so pissed about the goal he broke his stick over the crossbar

At 1:06 a.m., October 18, 2006, Anonymous Penny said...

Antero Niittymaki?

At 1:06 a.m., October 18, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

and as it goes for bad goalies, or goalies who are terrible, at the end of their careers, and end up overpaid in philly, please don't forget about jeff hackett.

At 12:01 p.m., October 18, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

1) Flyer goalies (this year not withstanding) seem to always put up good regular season numbers, but when the chips are down in the playoffs are not up to the task
2) The Flyers of the past 10 years in terms of personnel are/were every bit as good as some of the teams that won the cup EXCEPT in goal.
3) Clarke will never admit a mistake, and don't expect him to now. He'll blame others for his failures, as always.

At 3:07 p.m., October 18, 2006, Blogger Matt said...

Actually, Hextall was drafted in 1982 -- while Clarke was still playing. Cechmanek I will give you. Clarke tried to make that work and it didn't -- though he didn't support him when the team turned on him in the playoffs.


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