Poor starts victimize Flyers again, drop fourth game of season

Somehow in this very young season, the Flyers have managed to fall behind in every game they’ve played this season. Thursday night, an early first period barrage from the Coyotes put the club behind 2-0 once again; only this time, the Flyers couldn’t climb out of the hole they dug for themselves. The team has now fallen to 3-4-1 with their next game coming Saturday night against the arch-rival Penguins.

The Flyers received goals from Nick Cousins (1), Brayden Schenn (2), Andrew MacDonald (1), and Wayne Simmonds (5) in the losing cause. In each of their last three games, the Flyers have gotten off to very poor starts; poor decision making with the puck, ill-timed penalties and just not winning enough 50/50 pucks have made each game feel like the team needs to make an insurmountable comeback to win. I understand that the Flyers are somewhat makeshift right now due to injuries, but they need to figure this out in a hurry. Starts like this, as we’ve seen with past Flyers teams, can tax the players late in the year when the games get tougher. Better starts to games are imperative.

Losing goaltender Steve Mason stopped 20 of 25 shots in the loss. I absolutely believe that Mason could have been better last night, but I wouldn’t necessarily hinge the loss on his performance. The Flyers really struggled with the puck and weren’t very Sharp with it throughout the game. The eventual game winning goal was one I’m sure Mason would have liked back, the other four scored in the game are difficult to lay at his feet.

Here’s the game’s final thought:

Final Thought: With the Flyers getting healthier, tough decisions to be made

With Michael Del Zotto, Scott Laughton and Michael Raffl primed to be back over the next two weeks, Coach Hakstol and his staff have some difficult decisions to make. Several spots on the roster are solidified already, but the makeup of the bottom six will lead to interesting choices. From my view, Dale Weise, Pierre Eduard Bellemare, and Matt Read spots are safe. Meaning some combination of Roman Lyubimov, Nick Cousins and Chris Vandevelde will be coming out of the lineup to make room. None of those players have done anything wrong per say so it’ll be interesting to see what Hak will do.               

 

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