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Flyers boss getting edgy

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The last time the Flyers won the Stanley Cup, One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest was a box-office sensation, sentences were handed out for the Watergate coverup, and gas was about 57 cents a gallon.

Yeah, it's been a while.

Thirty-eight years, to be exact.

No one is more frustrated than Ed Snider, the Flyers' founder and chairman of Comcast-Spectacor, the team's parent company.

The frustration grew this season. First there was the senseless lockout. Then the Flyers' head-scratching, inconsistent play caused them to miss the playoffs for just the second time in the last 18 years.

Snider said there were extenuating circumstances surrounding the abbreviated, 48-game season.

"I don't want this to sound like excuses because all teams had a shortened schedule and just a one-week training camp," Snider said. "Some teams did well (the previous season) and were happy with their system. We got knocked out by New Jersey in the second round, and New Jersey dominated, and I think the coach wanted to tweak the system."

That, Snider said, was difficult to accomplish in a short training camp. "And we ended up with the worst schedule in the league. At one point, we played 20 games, and Boston had played 15 (actually, 14). You already have a compressed schedule, and ours was compressed more than anyone else's. And when you have tweaking, no practices, and a bad start, we never recovered."

Injuries, Snider said, didn't help. Neither did this: The Flyers didn't have the resiliency (like Ottawa), the depth, or the speed to compensate.

"Most teams would have a difficult time recovering from a depleted defence like ours," Snider said. "It was sort of like everything that could go wrong did go wrong. It was the perfect storm."

For all of those reasons, Snider gives coach Peter Laviolette a pass on the 23-22-3 season.

"He's the same coach who won a Stanley Cup in Carolina and took us to the Finals," Snider said. "I like him and his style of play."

-- The Philadelphia Inquirer

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition May 5, 2013 B6

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