Philadelphia,PA- Just past the halfway point in the 2011 season, it has become clear that the Philadelphia Wings are in the same position they have been in for the last six seasons.
Each year, the team starts off slowly based on a number of issues, including, having the new faces mesh as a cohesive functioning unit. Slowly, they get their legs and begin to improve.
Generally, the team fails to make the playoffs and management responds by bringing in a lot of new faces. The cycle continues year after year.
This off-season indicated storm clouds on the horizon. New Coach, John Tucker clearly was putting his finger prints on this team. John Mouradian, one the great minds in the game was brought in to be the GM.
Issues began almost immediately, Geoff Snider was sent packing in a controversial trade. Dispersal draft saw Philadelphia sitting with the pick that could have been Casey Powell. Instead, they moved the pick.
Newcomers would include Paul Dawson who has been a good addition. Brandon Mundorf, who finally found his scoring touch, Ryan Boyle, who has been a major disappointment.
Thomas Hajek was not brought back and the defense seemed to be strong in the early going without his presence. Lately, it has been a different story.
But, the defense would not be as heavily counted on if the offense was a bit more effective. Far too many dropped or missed passes and far too many bad decisions on shots. After all, a cadaver can stop a shot from 25 feet that is right in his stomach.
The past week, Toronto bested Philadelphia, 16-13. Actually, it was more like the Wings gave the Rock a victory. A team simply cannot give up a 5-0 lead in the first quarter in thier own building.
Throw in a Toronto short handed goal on a 5 on 3 and it is easy to see why this team is on the bottom looking up.
Brandon Miller, who had been outstanding all season, simply was not on his "A" game. Moreover, the defense who plays Toronto at least twice a year for the past decade simply cannot understand that Toronto plays a "pick and roll', nothing fancy, a pick and roll.
At the halfway point the reality is that Philadelphia simply cannot afford to lose more than two more games. 10-6 is going to be the playoff cutoff. Too many teams are too good. Look at the Division, the Wings can play with any of the teams, but shorthanded goals and 5-0 deficits are not getting it done.