Tortorella gets brutally honest about the Flyers goaltending.

Tortorella gets brutally honest about the Flyers goaltending.

Flyers head coach John Tortorella faced the music on Monday and did not pull any punches.

Jonathan Larivee

The Philadelphia Flyers have embarked on a truly epic collapse as of late, one that has now put a playoff spot they appeared destined to claim in serious jeopardy. To make matters worse, bitter intrastate rivals the Pittsburgh Penguins have gone on a run of the opposite kind and have now overtaken them in the standings.

As you might expect in a catastrophic situation such as this, the finger of blame is being being pointed and most appear to be pointing it firmly in the direction of the Flyers goaltending. The Flyers have simply not been able to stop pucks from going into their net, and a rotating carousel of goaltenders that has included Samuel Ersson, Felix Sandstrom and even Ivan Fedotov has provided no solutions to what has become a major problem for the Flyers.

A very brief overview of the Flyers goaltending this season:
Ersson - 47 GP - 0.889 save percentage.
Sandstrom - 5 GP - 0.823 save percentage.
Fedotov - 2 GP - .850 save percentage.

On Monday Tortorella was asked about the collapse and the goaltendings role in that particular situation and what we got was a brutally honest response from the Flyers head coach. Tortorella not only admitted that he has overworked Samuel Ersson, and as a result does not blame him at all for faltering, but even made reference to Flyers goaltender Carter Hart and the problems that situation has caused.

"Everybody throws the numbers that are out there. And the numbers are bad," admitted Tortorella. "But we're not even talking about these games meaning anything for us, if Erss doesn't play the way he's played."

Tortorella also refused to throw Fedotov, who is coming into a terribly difficult situation after some very difficult circumstances in his home country, under the bus.

"Then I throw Ivan into the situation, coming in... who knows where the hell he came from, and he has to play a game, "added Tortorella. "We have Erss penciled in at maybe playing 18 to 22 games this year. Look at where he is now. So there's no blaming."

As mentioned Tortorella dove head first into the Carter Hart situation, rightfully pointing out how that has drastically altered the goaltending landscape for the Flyers.

"Let's face it: things got thrown into a really weird situation when we lost Carter," admitted Tortorella. "But having said that, we had discussions in the summer about the situation with Carter, and figured something was gonna go on, right? We've got to be honest about it."

If there was one man that Tortorella was willing to place some blame on, it was himself.

"I made the decision I'm gonna live or die with Erss when I played him all those games," said Tortorella. "I did not have the confidence, and it's certainly not a criticism, it's just my assessment of Sandy -- I made the decision that we're going with Erss.

"I've played the hell out of him. He's tired."