The Philadelphia Flyers can kiss their playoff hopes goodbye after an almost embarrassing week. The team has obviously given up on the season as their play on the ice has shown and Flyers fans should look to the future talent with this team going forward.
This past Saturday, the Flyers played a great game against Boston but were unlucky after a shot by Boston’s Drew Stafford deflected off Brandon Manning into the net with five seconds left in the game giving Boston the 2-1 victory. The Flyers would then come home to face Columbus on Monday in a losing effort 5-3. On Wednesday the Flyers really got my hopes up with a 4-0 shutout victory over the rival Pittsburgh Penguins. As I looked back at this game Pittsburgh had been without some key starters and had just made a long trip from Calgary the past night. Yesterday just about did it for me this season when the Flyers lost to the last place New Jersey Devils 6-2 in a game where they just looked sloppy.
Goalie Steve Mason was injured after attempting to save a great goal by Taylor Hall in the third period of Thursday’s game. Ron Hextall stated that Mason was suffering from cramps and will be reevaluated today. Michal Neuvirth would them come in to finish the game and didn’t have much to work with. Mason now moves to 0-9 against the Devils and always seems to struggle against this team.
The Flyers fell to six points out of the playoff race and were well outplayed by the Devils. At one point in the second period, the Flyers were outshot by the Devils 15-1 and just looked tired throughout the game.
These are teams the Flyers need to take advantage of. The Devils hadn’t won a game in nearly a month (February 18th against the Islanders). The Flyers now move to 0-3 against the Devils this season.
After the game, head coach Dave Hakstol and captain Claude Giroux had no answers for the media on why they played such a lifeless game with their playoff hopes on the line. Flyers fans really have to wonder why this team has been so inconsistent all year and Thursday was a prime example after just beating the defending Stanley Cup champions the night before.
Dave Hakstol will definitely be on the hot seat if the Flyers play this way the rest of the season and it’s hard for the players to see their coach go through this. A prime example of this was when the Flyers fired Craig Berube after their 2015 season after the team just missed the playoffs. Playoff hockey has become common in Philadelphia and one has to assume there will be a lot of changes if the Flyers fall short this year.
GM Ron Hextall has done a lot of good in Philadelphia but if he wants his team to continue their success from the past, there will need to be changes that some fans may not agree with. Hextall will get the team in the right direction but it may mean letting go of some good players and cleaning up the coaching staff. He’s no Paul Holmgren so the Flyers future will be on the rise.