The Flyers, losers of four straight, keep doing the same things over and over while expecting a different result. It isn’t working.
Results this week: Blue Jackets 4, Flyers 3; Canadiens 6, Flyers 3; Rangers 2, Flyers 0; Wild 3, Flyers 2
Current record: 7-9-2, 16 points
Record at this point last year: 7-10-1, 15 points
Upcoming schedule: Nov 22 vs Blue Jackets, Nov 24 at Islanders, Nov 26 at Red Wings
Let’s play a game: I’ll show you some notes I took this week while watching the games and you match each note to the game it belongs to.
“They just can’t clear the puck”
“Our PK is atrocious”
“We have no possession. They don’t even have to resurface their half of the ice; we haven’t been down there at all”
“We need to stop taking penalties”
“Another blind clearing attempt/centering attempt by us results in a chance for them.”
“They’re playing like crap in front of him”
“Our goalie and that top line are the only things working right now”
Give up? Get confused? In reality, you could take those quotes and apply them to any of the first three games played this week. Play like that and you won’t win a lot of games, and yet the Flyers keep doing it.
I’ll give them this: they are riddled with injuries. It’s no mistake the PK went to hell the moment Luke Schenn went down; sure, they killed the last three penalties in the Colorado game without him, but Columbus converted three of four chances, and then an abysmal Montreal power play converted three of three power plays. It’s not that Luke Schenn is some godsend, but rather the fact that every team is a Jenga tower. After it’s missing so many pieces, the tower collapses. Look at the Flyers defensemen who have missed time this year: Timonen, L Schenn, MacDonald, Coburn, now Del Zotto… it’s hard to have a good team when your blue line is in shambles due to injury. Luke just happened to be the last piece to come out of the tower before it collapsed for a couple games.
It’s been a strange week too. Claude Giroux was fine, then doctors were attending to him after a hard practice, then he wasn’t fine and had an injured ankle and he was going to miss a couple games, then he’s skating in warmup at MSG against the Rangers and finally, he’s playing and didn’t miss any time. Broad Street Hockey has the timeline here. The timing of the whole doctor inspection thing was suspect as it was released at the same time as season ticket holders were about to meet Flyers players. It reminded me of when Michael Jordan had the Bulls say he had a minor tweak of the ankle so he could get out of doing the dunk contest during All Star weekend; he really just didn’t want to do it. I’m not saying this is what happened? But I’m not ruling it out, and it’s a shame we have to even consider it. The timing of it is just a little too convenient/odd to me.
On top of that whole mess, then the Flyers get shutout at MSG (big surprise), Coburn accidentally runs Mason (who stood on his damn head only to take the loss), then Hextall goes nuts on the team in the locker room for not giving it full effort. Of course the Flyers come out a house ablaze against the Wild but can’t get one past Kuemper until the second period when they’re already down, then a Giroux power play tally with a couple minutes left ties it only to see a turnover in their own end result in the game winner by the Wild.
At least the Flyers carried play for large stretches against one of the best even strength teams in the league in Minnesota. Usually a turnaround in play comes before a turnaround in results; if they keep playing like this, they should start winning again soon.
-The Flyers called up Scott Laughton then promptly forbade him to see the ice in MSG, basically. He can help you, guys! Give the kid some burn!
– Bellemare watch: doing the little things that help teams succeed.
– The effort against the Wild was much better than in their previous contests. They were winning the battles they needed and generating chances; it’s just those chances weren’t going in. It happens.
– Really nice ceremony for Lindros and LeClair at the WFC. They both deserve all the honors the organization can throw at them. The Legion of Doom line was a real force to be reckoned with, not some brainchild of a marketing director. They were the real deal and they did a lot of damage.
– I was happy the organization and Lindros buried the proverbial hatchet. Time heals all wounds they say, and Lindros had an acrimonious exit from the Flyers, but if Patrick Roy can return to Montreal and be feted after all that happened there, Lindros can certainly come home to Philly and be recognized as the great player he was.
– I couldn’t help but laugh when I thought about all those Cleveland fans burning their LeBron jerseys and now he’s back with them and everything is good again and they wish they had them. My Lindros jersey found its way to a hanger for a solid decade; I knew eventually I’d wear it again, just, not right then. Now I’m happy to have it once again, and can wear it proudly.
– Steve Mason looks to have found his A game. Now if they would just score some goals for him. It’s like watching Hamels pitch and the Phillies bats go quiet.
– Jake Voracek: probably not as good as he’s playing now, but better than his career averages. I think he’s a point a game player ultimately: he’s just 25 and he nearly did it two years ago during the lockout year, when he had 46 points in 48 games. He’s also never missed more than four games in a season. Greatness (or at least very goodness) is there for his taking.
-Last note: the Flyers are a fringe playoff team. We said that in the pre-season and we are sticking to that. They are playing like one right now. In the immortal words of Dennis Green, THEY ARE WHO WE THOUGHT THEY WERE! And no one is crowning them either. Just relax and enjoy what there is to be enjoyed; in two years, that’s when stuff gets awesome.
No best of Twitter this week. No one in the 610 wants to see a bunch of Tweets from defeated Flyers fans. We’ll pick it up next week.