Being an out-of-market fan these days, I was forced to watch tonight's 5-2 loss to the Rangers on NBC Sports Network. Maybe the narrative was the same on CSN Philly, but on NBCSN, they (mostly Pierre McGuire) talked all game long about the Flyers' effort -- how they lacked confidence, weren't assertive on the puck, etc.
Postgame, the Flyers said the same things:
"For me it seems like one team really was to play and wants to win the game and the other team not so much. It was obvious since the puck was dropped. I think that was the main difference in the game."
"I think it always comes down to individual preparation. You're either ready or play or you're not. A lot of people blame coaches, but if we're out there making plays, like I said you have to be ready to play or not. When you're not ready to play you'll lose one-on-one battles a lot. "
"I'll second that what Kimmo said. The losses are just a result of us not coming to battle shift after shift. To win games in this league that's what you have to do and it just didn't happen tonight."
"It's a disappointing night. We needed to compete better than we did and we didn't."
Maybe that's all true, but let's not kid ourselves here. No extra level of "effort" tonight would have made a difference. The Flyers don't let Rick Nash have all the space in the world because they're "not trying." They don't fail to stop a wrap-around goal because they lack effort. They do these things because they are a bad hockey team, and they lose 5-2 to one of their biggest rivals in a "must-win" game because they are a bad hockey team. Any lack of effort is secondary to the fact that they are an bad hockey team, especially defensively. If you don't buy that, go watch the last 31 games over again, because the evidence is pretty friggin' obvious.
With tonight's loss, they sit seven points out of the final playoff spot. They are not making it to that final playoff spot in the next 16 games. Oh, and with Tampa Bay's win this evening, the Flyers now sit with the third-worst points percentage in the NHL. The trade deadline is a week away, and the draft lottery is April 29.
Questions with Answers
1. How does McGinn look now that he's back? McGinn was good. Had jump, created chances. Positive things.
2. Ilya Bryzgalov has been lights out; the Flyers best player in the past few games. Can he outduel Lundqvist? lol no
3. Rick Nash burned the Flyers last time these teams met. Can they stop him tonight? How's two goals against sound?
4. Back on March 5, the Rangers exploited every single problem the Flyers have this season. We can do better than that, right gentlemen? just a really dumb question
Comment of the Night
you know what would fix that? bobby fucking ryan
>> reaper1221, in response to a comment about the defense