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Flyers at Hurricanes recap: Worst performance of the season gives Flyers a loss out of the break

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Absolutely nothing good happened in this hockey game.

NHL: Philadelphia Flyers at Carolina Hurricanes
There was a lot of this.
James Guillory-USA TODAY Sports

A few quick facts about tonight’s Flyers game, a 5-1 loss to the Carolina Hurricanes that is by almost any measure the worst game they have played this year:

  • The Flyers, despite trailing for all but 7:11 of the game, were outshot 28-16 on the night. 16 shots is tied for the fewest shots on goal the Flyers have had in a game this year.
  • For Carolina, a guy named Sebastian Aho had a hat trick. I’m not sure that’s a real person, but apparently he scored three goals on the Flyers tonight.
  • At 5-on-5 in particular, Carolina more than doubled up the Flyers in shot attempts, by a count of 48-23. This, again, despite the fact that they trailed for the entire game, against a team with a bad goaltender (Cam Ward). These are situations in which you would expect a team to outshoot its opponent, not get doubled up by them.
  • Also, the Flyers didn’t have a high-danger scoring chance at 5-on-5 (via) in the second or third period.
  • Those numbers might sound bad, but wait! It gets worse! The Flyers had four shots on goal in the first period and two in the second. That second period in particular was a struggle, as the Flyers didn’t tally a shot on goal until the 12:44 mark of the frame.
  • You may see that number above and the team’s final shot count of 16 and be thinking “well, at least they put together a solid effort to rally in the third period,” but that didn’t really happen either! In fact, the Flyers played 11:16 of the third period before they finally got a shot on goal in that period, and it was at that point where they would finally get a few power plays and manage to avoid totally embarrassing themselves, sort of, I guess.
  • To that end, there was a point in the third period at which the Flyers had one more shot on goal than the Hurricanes had goals. Is that bad? Like, I’m not an expert here, but I think it’s bad.
  • Of course, no one needs any numbers to know that the Flyers were bad tonight. But here’s the thing: everyone was bad! Your favorite player? He stunk tonight! Yes, yours. Claude Giroux? Totally whiffed on a clear that led to Carolina’s second goal, and lost his temper in the second period. Travis Konecny? Awful turnover that led to Carolina’s first goal. Shayne Gostisbehere? Blew his coverage on that same goal. Brayden Schenn? Also blew that coverage. The VandeVelde-Bellemare-Lyubimov fourth line, which the broadcast went out of its way to praise for being in the offensive zone a lot tonight? They were on the ice for three 5-on-5 shot attempts, total. Steve Mason? Tough to blame him on most of those, but five goals on 28 shots isn’t a good look for any goalie no matter how tough the saves are. Andrew MacDonald? I don’t know why Andrew MacDonald is your favorite player, but he was bad too. Ivan Provorov? I get why he’s your favorite player, but he, too, is not writing home about this evening. And All-Star MVP Wayne Simmonds? I mean, he didn’t single-handedly cure world hunger tonight, so while sure, I guess we’re holding him to high standards here, it was an off-night for him as well. Seriously, pick your player wearing orange. He is not going to want to remember this game.
  • (Except Schenn, I guess. Schenn scored a power play goal, because that is a thing Brayden Schenn does. It was his league-leading 12th power play goal of the season and the 100th goal of his career. It is the only remotely good thing that happened to a player wearing orange and black tonight.)
  • And while I’m at it, screw you, the officials. This hit by Lee Stempniak — a hit on which no one could rationally believe Stempniak had any aim but to drive Andrew MacDonald’s head into the glass — received only a two-minute minor.

Awful. Let’s hope Stempniak gets a call from the Department of Player Safety tomorrow.

  • AND THEN! Jeff Skinner plainly checks Brandon Manning in the face, uncalled, approximately three seconds before Jeff Skinner (yes, the same one) got open in front of the net to score and put Carolina up 3-0, all while Manning was in a heap over by the boards. It’s not like I wanted to watch the Flyers’ power play very much tonight (oh yeah, that sucked too), but this team very much played poorly enough to lose by four goals without any help from the guys in stripes, so this seemed like overkill.
  • Did I mention that this game was about as important in the standings for the Flyers as a game in January can possibly be for a team? Seems like a good time to have a game like this.
  • Also, while I’m yelling, you know what? Fuck hurricanes. They’re bad. Like, have you ever seen one? They suck a lot. Who was like “oh, yeah, massive storms that kill people and destroy entire communities, those are cool, we should name a team after those”? Good idea, jerks.

... whew. OK. Needed to get that off my chest. Feeling a little better now, folks.

(In seriousness, the Flyers had been playing solid hockey leading up to the All-Star Break. This is one game and it shouldn’t change how you feel about this team that much. But no, this was not an ideal way to come out of the break.)

Montreal on Thursday. Watch the tape, learn something from it, then burn it and move on. Go Flyers.