Ah yes, we get to the fun part of my three-part year in review: The Ugly.
Without further ado…
Ilya Bryzgalov: I told you that there would be more on Bryz later. This ugly version of Bryzgalov has nothing to do with his performance on the ice, but rather what happened to and with Bryzgalov off the ice. Since Bryz stepped foot in Philadelphia, he has been a lightning rod of criticism. Whether he is talking or not talking, Bryz is at the center of the Flyers’ storm. The ugliest storm came late in the season with “sleep gate.” I will not dedicate any time to sleep gate, but will note that it was an ugly period for Bryz and the media
Five-On-Five Play: With the likes of Claude Giroux, Scott Hartnell, Jakub Voracek, and Kimmo Timonen, among others, there is no reason why the Flyers even-strength play should have been bad. Well, it wasn’t bad, it was just historically bad. The Flyers found themselves at the bottom of the league in goals for/against in five-on-five play. It is rare that a team excels on special teams but is so terrible in even-strength. Somehow, the Flyers managed that.
Losing Streaks: The Flyers suffered five 3 or more-game losing streaks throughout the 48-game season. Two of such came in the first eight games. That ugly start, combined with a four-game losing streak near the end of the season, crippled the Flyers’ chances of making the playoffs.
Free Agency: Quite frankly, the Flyers were shut out, and because of that, the Flyers lost their own free agents, which directly contributed to the team struggling offensively and defensively.
So there you have it, my friends. The Flyers year in review broken down to what are the meat and potatoes. There are many things that the Flyers can do to improve the team for the 2013-14 season, but that will addressed later on in the summer.
Until then, enjoy the majesty that is the NHL playoffs…and Go Kings Go!