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Flyers at Bruins recap: Ghost-less Flyers play very poor defensive hockey in tough road loss

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A very poor defensive effort from the Flyers, who scratched the best defenseman on the team, saw them lose in Boston in Saturday’s matinee contest.

NHL: Philadelphia Flyers at Boston Bruins
PICTURED: Members of the Bruins and Flyers, who benched the best defenseman on the team.
Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports

The Flyers, who scratched the best defenseman on the team, lost what feels like their 56th consecutive weekend matinee against Boston on Saturday, suffering a 6-3 defeat to the Bruins. They are now 3-7-3 since the end of their 10-game win streak, still sitting in the final wild card position for the time being (though every team just behind them now has games in hand on the Flyers, who scratched the best defenseman on the team.

The game actually started out well for the Flyers, who scratched the best defenseman on the team. A nice netfront deflection of an Ivan Provorov shot by Pierre-Edouard Bellemare (!) led to his second goal in as many games (!!), allowing the Flyers, who scratched the best defenseman on the team, to draw first blood just over two minutes in.

Unfortunately, it was mostly downhill from there. Despite the Flyers, who scratched the best defenseman on the team, getting the better of the overall shot clock in the first period, leading in shot attempts 21-15 overall and 20-8 at 5-on-5, the Flyers, who scratched the best defenseman on the team, were just porous in the defensive zone for most of the period, getting bailed out by their own goalpost a couple of times and by Michal Neuvirth a couple others.

Yet it was a shorthanded breakaway by Brad Marchand — one that started with an ill-advised pass by Sean Couturier and ended with a brutal whiff of a poke-check attempt by Neuvirth, all on a shot that Marchand himself barely got anything on — that would give the home team a tie that the Bruins and the Flyers, who scratched the best defenseman on the team, would eventually take into the locker room.

But after holding on in the first period despite that questionable defensive zone play, the dam finally broke for the Flyers, who scratched the best defenseman on the team, in the second period. Boston pulled in a failed Wayne Simmonds clear on the penalty kill, and a David Krejci snapper would give Boston the lead just seconds later. An odd-man rush against the Flyers, who scratched the best defenseman on the team, allowed Boston to double that lead six minutes into the second period.

After Brayden Schenn scored his NHL-leading 11th power play goal of the season to pull the Flyers, who scratched the best defenseman on the team, back within a goal, Boston would shortly after get a five-minute power play after Jakub Voracek was deemed to have boarded Boston’s Kevan Miller, despite Voracek actually turning away from Miller in an obvious attempt to avoid boarding him as the two headed towards the boards. It was a ridiculous call at a time when the Flyers, who scratched the best defenseman on the team, really could not afford to be on the bad end of a ridiculous call.

The Flyers, who scratched the best defenseman on the team, did a great job for most of that five-minute penalty kill, until Patrice Bergeron fired a shot that deflected right off of Andrew MacDonald’s stick and past Neuvirth for a goal, allowing Boston to double their lead yet again. Truly a deflection that would’ve made Wayne Simmonds proud.

A beauty of a cross-ice pass by David Pastrnak to Zdeno Chara saw that lead grow futher, and Simmonds would shortly thereafter get the Flyers, who scratched the best defenseman on the team, back within two on the power play thanks to a very pretty pass along the goal line by Jakub Voracek. But the remainder of the second period, and all of the third, would largely go without incident (or scoring) until an empty-net goal by Brad Marchand in the game’s final minute. With that, the Flyers, who scratched the best defenseman on the team, would take their 10th loss in 13 games.

For the game, the Flyers, who scratched the best defenseman on the team, were outshot 39-24. This seems like an area in which having the best defenseman on the team available may help matters, but I digress. The orange and black were also tallied with 11 giveaways, which strikes me as exceedingly generous scorekeeping by the fine folks in the TD Garden.

Quick notes:

  • The Flyers, who scratched the best defenseman on the team, scratched Shayne Gostisbehere for ... some reason. (Did I mention that yet?) We do not know what this reason is. If the argument has to do with Gostisbehere’s play in the defensive zone, today’s horrendous defensive play by the Flyers, who scratched the best defenseman on the team, was not exactly a performance you would like him to be taking notes from. We’ll see what the coach’s justification is here, or if this continues to be the case tomorrow in Washington or beyond. (It should not.)
  • I will say one positive thing here, I suppose. I know that they gave up two power play goals, so the raw numbers won’t show it, but I did actually think that the penalty kill was a bright spot for the Flyers, who scratched the best defenseman on the team. They were tasked with killing five-minute majors and 5-on-3s during the game, and for the most part put up a pretty admirable effort in doing so. Big test for them tomorrow against Washington, though.
  • There are no other notes on this game. For f*ck’s sake, the Flyers, who scratched the best defenseman on the team. Take something from this.

Washington tomorrow afternoon. Five days off after that. Go Flyers, who scratched the best defenseman on the team. Here are your highlights.