The Flyers are just plain bad. I said it weeks ago and still believe it today.
There was always the possibility of this happening. No training camp, combined with the loss of veteran leaders like Jaromir Jagr and Matt Carle with no one to replace them, led the Flyers to this situation. There was always a feeling that the Flyers could struggle, but never this drastically.
The Flyers, in the midst of a six-day layoff from their frenetic 48-game schedule, sit three games under the .500 mark with a 13-16-1 record. They are 4-6-0 in their last ten games and were completely outplayed by the Tampa Bay Lightning Monday night in another loss.
The Flyers have dealt with injuries and inconsistent play throughout the year. Their “all-world” star has failed to live up to that title, the defense is slow and plodding, and the coach (and maybe even the general manager) is on the hot seat. Almost everything that could go wrong for the Flyers has gone wrong this year.
So what is there to look forward to?
Well, the Flyers do play their in-state rival Pittsburgh on Sunday. Philadelphia is undefeated in Pittsburgh in the regular season and they are going to have revenge on their minds after blowing a 4-1 lead to the Penguins at home last time the teams met.
But, what else?
By the time the Flyers play again, not only will the rest of the Eastern conference have caught up on games played, but the Flyers will actually have some games-in-hand versus the rest of the conference. Each game from here on out is a four-point swing for the Flyers.
As of this writing, Philadelphia finds themselves sitting five points back of the New York Rangers and Carolina Panthers for the 7th/8th playoff spots. There are 18 games left for the Flyers in this shortened NHL season. The Flyers, long known as “road warriors,” find themselves with a 4-12 record away from the Wells Fargo Center, with eight road games remaining.
At this point, firing the coach and/or general manager should not be on the table. A “big” trade will not help this team either (unless it is for a young, number one puck-moving defenseman). The Flyers need to roll with what they have and re-evaluate the team, attitude, and style of play in the offseason.
It is not too late for the Flyers to turn the season around and make a run at the playoffs. Will this team need a lot of help? To quote Dave Hester: “Yuuuuuuuuuup.” But hope is not completely lost yet.
Now, if they lose their next two games (at Pittsburgh on Sunday and home versus the Rangers on Tuesday), disregard everything I’ve said.