It’s no secret that the Philadelphia Flyers have had their fair share of issues throughout the season. While many teams dealt with their own share of problems, the Flyers seemed to take the cake.
The Flyers looked to close out the series against the New Jersey Devils with a win in front of the home crowd despite being officially eliminated from the 2021 Stanley Cup Playoffs. The Devils led the series going into the game 2-1, a series that could’ve kept the Flyers’ playoff hopes alive. Much like the rest of their season, the constant turnovers and missed offensive opportunities got the best of them, costing them a post-season run. The final game of the series marked 3-consecutive regulation losses for the Flyers against the Devils.
Down and Out
The Flyers never held the lead throughout the four-game series, even in their 4-3 shootout win in game one. In fact, the orange and black went down two goals in every game of the series. All season long, the Flyers have followed suit in falling behind early on in the game, only making it harder for a come-back. The squad has been known to “chase the game” for continuous seasons over the past few years. They start slow and make simple mistakes, only to attempt a come-back late in the third period.
Case in point, Joel Farabee scored late in the third period making it 4-1 with the Devils on top. The only upside of Farabee’s late efforts was preventing Devil’s netminder, MacKenzie Blackwood, from obtaining a shutout. This trend hasn’t worked much in the Flyers’ favor as it’s usually too little too late.
As the Flyers came into the series fighting for a playoff spot regardless of their chances, not much in their play has changed between game one and four. Just as the series began, the team was expected to turn things around to play catchup with the Boston Bruins in an attempt to take their playoff spot. Even though the Flyers took game one of the series, their play has stayed the same throughout. While they weren’t yet mathematically eliminated from the playoff picture, the club looked deflated from the start.
Shoot the Puck
If you live in the city of Philadelphia and have attended Flyers games, you know all too well that fans are vocal when it comes to their team. Well, if there were ever a time to encourage fans to do so, now would be perfect timing for the infamous “shoot!”. It’s been apparent for quite some time that the Flyers haven’t been shooting nearly enough and the numbers have proven just that.
In game four of the series versus the Devils, the Flyers didn’t have a single shot on goal until midway through the first period. They would finish the first with only nine shots on goal (SOG). The team has struggled with shooting the puck on net and instead spent too much time on the passing game. As a result, the Flyers have lacked a great deal on the scoreboard as their production has been absent.
As if things weren’t bad enough for the Broad Street Bullies, their goaltending situation has recently made things even messier.
Injury update: Goaltender Carter Hart will miss the remainder of the regular season with an MCL sprain in his left knee. pic.twitter.com/cfsEyfIePg— Philadelphia Flyers (@NHLFlyers) April 29, 2021
The Flyers “sure thing” Carter Hart was sidelined for the remainder of the season with an MCL sprain in the midst of the series. Even though Hart hasn’t performed as expected this season, with a save percentage (SV%) of just .877, Flyers fans would have surely liked to see the 22-year-old finish the season on a strong note. The young stud of a goaltender took the NHL by surprise when he made his debut in Dec. 2018 against the Detroit Red Wings. He would finish his rookie year with a .917 SV%.
With Hart out, the Flyers were now left to rely on veteran goalie Brian Elliott and backup goaltender, Alex Lyon who has had his fair share of time between the Flyers and the Lehigh Valley Phantoms. The netminder duo didn’t fair well with a combined 12 goals against (GA).
Moving forward, one can hope that Hart returns with a vengeance to redeem his poor effort during this season. If that’s not the case, the Flyers will face some serious obstacles in finding a solid starting goaltender.
Nonetheless, the Flyers need relief in all departments.
A 24-year-old Drexel University graduate with a deep love and passion for the game of hockey. Bri grew up around the game, watching the Philadelphia Flyers as a little girl and playing street hockey. It was early on that she knew she was destined to work in sports, more specifically in hockey. Bri spent two seasons working for the Flyers as a Public Relations Game Day Intern. For more on me, check out my website, and be sure to keep up with my work here at THW!