And you thought we had it bad

No one is more disturbed by the Sens struggles this season than I, but watching the Flyers get bitchslapped by the Sabres 9-1 really puts things in perspective. As discouraging as this season has mostly been thus far, compared to the situation in Philly, the Sens are firing on all cynlinders.

While Ottawa cannot get its best players to answer the bell, it sure seems like that's all who is coming to play for Philadelphia. Beyond the Peter Forsberg line, they're not getting any offence, and are looking very one dimensional. And slow. Oh so slow.

Meanwhile, Robert Esche's relationship with Ken Hitchcock makes Jason Spezza and Bryan Murray look like best friends by comparison. That situation will only get worse before it gets better. If Esche was calling Hitch brainless before the game upon learning he was getting the start, he surely cannot think much of him after being left in the net for all nine goals. And was that retribution from the willy bench boss? Did he find out about Esche's comments and decide to pay him back by keeping him in goal? I'd say Esche might demand a trade ala Patrick Roy and Mario Tremblay 11 years ago, but really, who wants a backup with an inflated view of his worth and no ability to stop the puck with any consistency?

If I'm a Flyers fan, and that's as disturbing a thought as I've had today, beyond the bad goaltending (because that's not a new worry, I hope) and even the score, I'm most concerned about the absolute lack of heart and desire shown by the players once they were down by six or seven goals. By then, the game was out of reach, but you'd think they'd go down fighting. Nope. Somewhere, Dave Schultz is pissed off. I imagine even he was punching people just out of habit upon seeing the score. This may be where they miss the Eric Desjardins and Keith Primeaus most. With his shootout stick fiasco, Forsberg's leadership abilities have been called into question.Who's going to rally the troops and right this ship?

As is the case when I hear people calling into local sports shows here, demanding the head of the GM or a trade of that star player, I urge Flyers fans to show some patience. Be concerned, but don't fly off the handle. That said, I'm not sure Ed Snyder will show that same restraint. If I was wielding the axe, I know who I'd get rid of, but something tells me, a convenient family link will stop that from happening, again.

By the way, am I ever glad I have Maxim Afinogenov in my pool.