“It is what it is.” The comment made by Flyers coach Peter Laviolette after Thursday night’s 5-2 loss to the Florida Panthers says everything I need to know about this Flyers team.
But what do we know about the 2013 Philadelphia Flyers?
Are they resilient? Coming back from down 2-0 in Pittsburgh, I’d say that, yes, these Flyers are resilient.
Are they disciplined? No. The Flyers are leading the NHL in penalties with 120.
Will they give games away? After last night’s debacle of a game versus the Florida Panthers, the obvious answer is yes. But this is also a Flyers team that will steal a game.
There are many more questions that could be asked, but the season is still young. The Flyers are a third of the way through this shortened NHL season and they find themselves fighting for the last playoff spot.
The biggest issue for this Flyers team is not lackadaisical play. No, the Flyers biggest issue stems from their inconsistency, which can be attributed to the schedule that the NHL provided.
The Flyers lead the NHL with 19 games played, boasting an 8-10-1 record. In those 19 games, the Flyers have played the majority on the road (12, to be exact). Also included in those 19 games are six sets of back-to-back games. The Flyers are 4-8 in those games (2-4 in both the first game and second game).
So coach Laviolette’s comments about the Flyers following their embarrassing home loss to Florida speak volumes to his and his team’s struggles this season. Laviolette knows that his team is tired. He knows they’re injured. But more importantly, Laviolette knows that the team lacks fight every night.
This Flyers team plays to the level of their opponent. We’ve seen a Flyers team come out and dominate the rivals such as the Penguins and Rangers. They’ve dominated league doormats like the Panthers and Islanders. But then we see them get dominated by those same Florida Panthers.
It is what it is, Flyers fans. To figure out who this Flyers team is and what they bring each night will take more than just 19 games…it could take all season.