It couldn't happen to a nicer guy

I must admit, I took great pleasure in seeing the Philadelphia Flyers get bitch slapped on home ice last night as they were eliminated from the playoffs.

Anytime Bob Clarke gets exposed as a know-nothing, I'm overjoyed.

What's great is that all the things people like me, who just talk about hockey for fun, said would happen did: the Flyers were overmatched by the Sabres speed and their defence was too slow to be a factor. I'd pat myself on the back for my insight, but it's not as if it was difficult to see coming to fruition. The only ones who didn't, I guess, were the Flyers braintrust. Oops. Not the first time that's happened though, and I doubt it will be the last.

Robert Esche's situation reminds me a lot of Patrick Lalime in Ottawa last season. There are some differences, of course. Esche struggled with consistency throughout the series, bouncing from great games to outright awful ones, while Lalime, from game one to six, was pretty solid. Esche also doesn't have those Joe Nieuwendyk goals to haunt him.

Esche, like Lalime the year before, took the Flyers pretty deep into the playoffs the year before and I suspect that success blinded Ken Hitchcock the way it did Jacques Martin. The warning signs have been there all season that Esche was not the guy to go with. Unlike Ottawa though, Philly had a great go-to-guy in the wings in Antero Niittymaki.

The one thing I do think Lalime and Esche will have in common is that they'll be with new teams. I can't see how Esche could stick around in Philadelphia.