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Category: Philadelphia-Flyers

The Philadelphia Flyers Have A Few Issues

from Sam Carchidi of the Philadelphia Inquirer,

Without being prompted last week, Flyers coach Alain Vigneault again brought up how the Flyers have missed defenseman Matt Niskanen in all situations this season.

Make no mistake, Niskanen was a good player and a very good leader for the Flyers last season, his first and only year with the team.

But by the way the Flyers collapsed after he retired, you might have thought he was Bobby Orr and Victor Hedman rolled into one.

It has been a mystifying season for the Flyers, with goaltender Carter Hart going from ultra-promising to one of the worst goalies in the league, with the special teams being a disaster, with poor starts to games becoming the norm.

The most mystifying part, however, was this: The way so many parts of the Flyers’ game became dreadfully bad without Niskanen, a veteran called “Steady Eddie” by his teammates.

Consider:

– The Flyers allowed just 2.77 goals per game last season, placing them tied for seventh in the league. This year, they are last in the NHL — 31st — as they have allowed 3.57 goals per game.

– The penalty kill was 11th last season, with a success rate of 81.8%. This year, it is 30th, clicking at 73.2%.

continued

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A Season To Forget For The Philadelphia Flyers

from Ed Barkowitz of the Philadelphia Inquirer,

When it comes to writing the obituary on the Flyers’ 2020-21 season, this miserable week against the Devils might not be in the first paragraph, but it is an example of how things have deteriorated since March 1.

The Flyers’ playoff hopes had all been dashed when it started, so these four games were going to be meaningless.

The Devils beat the Flyers again, this time pinning on them a 4-1 loss as the Flyers allowed the first goal for the 10th consecutive game. That should be impossible.

The players, 4-9-2 at home since March 1, have not quit, according to their captain.

“The guys care in [that] locker room,” Claude Giroux said. “I don’t think there’s laziness on the team. I think that when one thing goes wrong, there’s always a second and third thing. I don’t think laziness is part of this.”

The 9-0 loss to Rangers, the laughable trip to Lake Tahoe, or any mention of Carter Hart’s regression will take precedence in telling this season’s story.

continued

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Morning Line- Claude Giroux

“I think last year we took a huge step forward from the year before and not being able to take another step forward is definitely very frustrating to be in the position we’re in now. I don’t think we saw each other being in this position at this point of the year, so it’s confusing and frustrating.”

-Claude Giroux, captain of the Philadelphia Flyers.  Sam Carchidi of the Philadelpia Inquirer has more.

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Playoff Chances Fade For The Philadelphia Flyers After A Loss To The Boston Bruins

from Sam Carchidi of the Philadelphi Inquirer,

The Flyers, playing one of the most important games of their uneven season, faced a Boston Bruins team Tuesday that was missing two of its best defensemen and its three top goaltenders.

They failed to take advantage.

Boston goalie Jeremy Swayman made 40 saves in a memorable NHL debut, and Patrice Bergeron scored three times as the Bruins handed the Flyers a killer loss, 4-2, at the Wells Fargo Center.

The Flyers fell five points behind Boston for the fourth and final East Division playoff spot, and the Bruins have two games in hand. The Flyers could have moved to within a point of the Bruins with a regulation win....

The urgency was missing in the final period. With their playoff lives on the brink, the Flyers went down meekly, managing just four shots in the third.

“Give them credit. They’re a good team, they’re an experienced team,” coach Alain Vigneault said. “... I thought we played extremely well in the second and they tightened things a little bit and it was tougher for us to get through.”

The Flyers outshot the Bruins, 42-26, and had a 77-50 advantage in shot attempts.

“We didn’t give them a lot of looks, and we had some great looks,” Vigneault said. “We weren’t able to finish and they were able to finish.”

read on

Game highlights are below.

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Video- Sam Morin’s First NHL Goal, Eight Years After Being Drafted

from Adam Kimelman of NHL.com,

Samuel Morin scored his first NHL goal for the Philadelphia Flyers in a 2-1 win against the New York Rangers at Wells Fargo Center on Saturday.

"It's the best moment of my life, obviously," Morin said. "I don't score a lot of goals. Was a big moment, big [win] for us. A big moment for me. I'm going to enjoy it and reset for tomorrow."...

Morin put the Flyers ahead 2-1 with 4:27 remaining in the third period. The Rangers turned over the puck in their end and Flyers forward Nicolas Aube-Kubel passed the puck back to Morin, whose shot from the point got past Shesterkin.

Selected by Philadelphia with the No. 11 pick of the 2013 NHL Draft, Morin was playing his 15th NHL game and second since being moved back to defenseman. The Flyers shifted the 25-year-old to left wing during training camp and he played four games there earlier this season.

Morin was limited to 28 games between the NHL and the American Hockey League in 2017-18 and 2019-20 because of a core muscle injury and ACL tears in each knee.

"It's been a hard couple of years for me," Morin said. "I was just trying to take it day by day. ... I got a lot of support here with the Flyers, good teammates, good family. Worked hard, and now I'm there and I'm trying to stay in the lineup."

more, watch the GWG by Morin below...

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The Philadelphia Flyers And Their Goaltender Have Not Been Good

from Ken Campbell of The Hockey News,

More than halfway through the 2020-21 season, it’s safe to say there has not been a more monumental disappointment than the Philadelphia Flyers. It’s probably also safe to say there is nobody in world history who has had a worse month of March than Flyers goalie Carter Hart. OK, that might be a bit of a stretch. Julius Caesar had a pretty bad March back in the day, what with his senators assassinating him and all.

The Flyers are in a free fall and so is their young goaltender. Since posting a 28-save shutout against the Buffalo Sabres Feb. 28, Hart has been dismal. He’s either started or mopped up in nine games since then and the best save percentage he’s posted in any of those appearances is .889. So far this month Hart has faced 211 shots and stopped just 172 of them for a save percentage of .815. His backup, veteran Brian Elliott, has been almost as bad. And once again, the Flyers are doing nothing to dispel the notion that NHL-caliber goaltenders go to southeastern Pennsylvania to watch their careers die.

The latest and most gruesome example of this came Thursday night when the Flyers lost 8-3 to the New York Rangers. Hart started the game and stopped six of 11 shots. He was pulled and replaced by Elliott, who faced exactly the same number of shots and stopped two more than Hart. It’s hard to determine who has been worse, the Flyers goalies or the guys playing in front of them. On the rare occasions they do win lately, it’s because they outscored their own terrible defensive play and the poor play of their own goalies. The Flyers are brutal defensively, and that’s compounded by the fact that their goalies can’t stop the puck. Prior to getting on the ice for a workout today, the Flyers had not practiced in 12 days. But they haven’t forgotten how to play the game.

continued

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Another Loss In Philadelphia And Buffalo

from Sam Carchidi of the Philadelphia Inquirer,

For the free-falling Flyers, it was a bad rerun Thursday night at the Wells Fargo Center.

Eight nights earlier, the Flyers endured the Massacre at Madison Square Garden, where they suffered a nightmarish 9-0 loss to the New York Rangers.

In the rematch, it was more of the same: Blown defensive assignments, shoddy goaltending, lousy special teams.

Rangers 8, Flyers 3.

The Rangers built a 6-0 lead in the opening minutes of the second period en route to giving the Flyers a four-game losing streak for the first time since midway through last season.

Stop the season, the Flyers want to get off.

“This team has really lost its identity from where we were at the beginning of the year to where we are now,” defenseman Shayne Gostisbehere said. “We’re too good of a team to let it squander away.”

continued

from Mike Harrington of the Buffalo News,

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The Philadelphia Flyers Are Shopping For A Defenseman

from Nicholas J. Cotsonika of NHL.com,

The Philadelphia Flyers are initiating conversations with other teams ahead of the NHL Trade Deadline on April 12.

"We're certainly not looking at selling right now," general manager Chuck Fletcher said Wednesday. "I would say to you in my calls with managers around the League, first of all, I've received very few calls. It's been really quiet in terms of receiving calls.

"I've made many. I've been much more aggressive, I think, than a lot of people, just looking at different options. But there doesn't seem to be a lot of teams out there willing to take on dollars and term at this point in time. There seem to be more teams looking to move some pieces than take on pieces for various reasons."

The Flyers are 4-8-1 in their past 13 games. They have allowed at least three goals in 12 of those 13 games, and at least four goals in nine of them. Their .346 points percentage in March is 28th in the NHL and their average of 4.38 goals against per game is 31st.

But Philadelphia (15-12-4) is fifth in the MassMutual East Division, two points behind the Boston Bruins (16-8-4) and two ahead of the New York Rangers (14-13-4)...

continued

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Will The Philadelphia Flyers Be Buying Or Selling At The Trade Deadline?

from Sam Carchidi of the Philadelphia Inquirer,

The Flyers’ defense hasn’t just been bad lately. It has been historically bad.

And it’s been a team effort because their goaltenders, defensemen, and back-checking forwards have all been guilty parties.

No one has any solutions.

“If I could,” coach Alain Vigneault said after Saturday’s 6-1 beatdown by the Islanders, “I would have fixed it already.”

The overall team defense has been weak all season, but it has become unwatchable lately. The Flyers have dropped to 30th in the 31-team NHL in goals allowed per game --3.55 -- which is nearly a goal more than at a corresponding point last season....

This year’s team started 8-3-2, but has dropped dramatically since six regulars came down with the coronavirus and their season was paused. Since then, the Flyers are 7-8-1 and in danger of falling out of the playoff race unless they rebound quickly.

General manager Chuck Fletcher, whose inability to find a reliable replacement for the retired Matt Niskanen is at the root of the Great Defense Dilemma, is now faced with a difficult question: Does he become a buyer or seller before the April 12 trade deadline?

read on

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Throw Away The Video Philadelphia

from Sam Carchidi of the Phiadelphia Inquirer,

The defense had more breakdowns Wednesday night than rush hour on the Schuylkill.

Goalie Brian Elliott, who could have sued for nonsupport, allowed five goals and was pulled for the second straight game as the Flyers were embarrassed on national TV.

The New York Rangers, feeding off repeated odd-man rushes, erupted for seven second-period goals and thrashed the Flyers, 9-0, at Madison Square Garden.

The Flyers set a dubious franchise record by allowing seven goals in a period.

Mika Zibanejad had three goals and three assists in the second period as the Blueshirts ended the Flyers’ string of five straight wins at the Garden. Zibanejad tied an NHL record with six points in a period, matching the Islanders’ Bryan Trottier in a 9-4 win over the visiting Rangers on Dec. 23, 1978.

continued

Game highlights are below.

Continue Reading »

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About Kukla's Korner Hockey

Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.

From breaking news to in-depth stories around the league, KK Hockey is updated with fresh stories all day long and will bring you the latest news as quickly as possible.

Email Paul anytime at pk@kuklaskorner.com

 

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