So this last month has been pretty tough if you're a Flyers fan. Since the Flyers beat the LA Kings a month ago, the Flyers are 3-11-1. John Stevens has been fired, and the trade rumors are starting to swirl. Despite this slide, I'm not ready to hit the panic button yet and declare the season over.
While November and December are traditionally strong months for the Flyers, this year they battled a TON of injuries. On this losing streak they've lost: Blair Betts, Darrol Powe, Jared Ross, Ole Kristian Tollefsen and Ray Emery to injuries. Plus they haven't had Gagne since October.
One of the biggest reason for the losing streak has been the Flyers inability to kill penalties. When you lose one of your top PK men (Betts), it gets a lot harder to kill penalties. Another area where the Flyers have struggled is scoring. Powe, when he was injured, had had 6 goals in 19 games. While not stunning numbers, he was off to the best start of his career, and he is a sparkplug for the 3rd and 4th lines. Powe is set to return next week, as is Gagne and Betts came back last night. Hopefully with the Flyers getting healthy, we'll see their game start to pick up.
The Flyers are also still adjusting to new coach Peter Laviolette. Laviolette brings a whole new style of play with him, and with frequent games, it has been hard for the Flyers to practice the new system. Laviolette likes to run a two man forecheck, and to play aggressively in the offensive zone. This isn't something the Flyers are used to, and it requires a lot of conditioning to execute it well. The Flyers obviously weren't conditioned to run this system under Stevens, so it may take a little time for them to get used to it.
The bottom line is, this team has too much talent not to contend with Pittsburgh and other elite teams. This is a rough patch for them, but they have weathered worse in the past (remember that 10 game losing streak back in 08?). I fully expect the Flyers to recover from this slump (they just played a great game against Pittsburgh last night) and to get on a roll for the second half the season. Keep the faith!
6 years ago