In a season where the Flyers started 1-7, it’s hard to pinpoint a time when things could have actually gone worse; well, guess what people? Tuesday night’s loss to the Anaheim Ducks was that moment. After building a quick 2-0 advantage in the 1st period, the FlyGuy’s appeared to be cruising to an easy win. They were dominating puck battles, beating the Ducks defense to the puck, and Anaheim net-minder Frederik Andersson had no answer. But then, halfway through the second period, like a flip had been switched, the entire game pulled a sudden 180. The Ducks took control of the puck and never relinquished for the rest of the tilt. But, the worst part was, after the unbelievable first 30 minutes, the Flyers just gave up; they stood around, stationary, watching as Anaheim skated up and down the ice. It was an embarrassment; the worst loss of the season, no doubt. It was the type of game you want to forget, but it isn’t that easy.
So where do the Flyers go from here? 11 games into an 82-game season, here they sit, at a dysmal 3-8 (which should have absolutely been 4-7). Steve Mason has continued to stand on his head so, for once, you cannot blame the Flyers net-minder. No, this disheartening loss rests solely on the shoulders of the big money players; the guys who are paid to be elite, and yet couldn’t hit a wide-open barn door.
It’s not in Philadelphian’s nature to be eternal optimist’s, (eventhough it is something that I personally strive for) but this club is utterly frusterating. They put up solid consecutive efforts agaisnt Metropolitan foes like the Rangers and Islanders, then come in and dominate the Anaheim Ducks (one of the league’s best), before blowing it in typical Philadelphia fashion. This was the game that could’ve led to a Flyers turnaround; it was the opportunity to prove that the orange and black were, in fact, back, but they let it slip away.
Don’t get me wrong, there’s plenty of time to get the ship righted, but it’s these back-breaking losses that can send your squad snowballing in the opposite direction. A game that was there for the taking and, instead, it was taken from them. And Head Coach Craig Berube did NOTHING to adjust the faltering gameplan. It was like he took page right out of the old Laviolette playbook.
The orange and black return to action Friday night against a Washington Capitals club who is missing their best player, Alexander Ovechkin. If we cannot find a way to pull off a victory in that environment then the doubt will continue to grow amongst the Flyers faithful as to whether this roster truly is a lost cause. Right now things aren’t looking good, but the biggest positive is that there’s still more than 70 games left to save the sinking ship.