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Capitals 6, Flyers 1: Doomsday

It’s all over but the crying.

Philadelphia Flyers v Washington Capitals Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images

Tonight stunk, so I’ll keep this brief. The Flyers played the Capitals in what was certainly a hockey game. The Orange & Black were absolutely skunked the entire time aside from a brief span in the first period where the score was tied 1-1 (and even then, Philly never looked in control). What exactly happened here? Let’s break it down.

The Caps opened things up with Conor Sheary pantsing Brian Elliott, a play pretty indicative of how the night was going to go. Elliott looked about as speedy as a stop-motion video and had trouble seeing the puck, which didn’t bode well.

The Flyers appeared listless, but a boneheaded pass from Ilya Samsonov and the sharp eyes of James van Riemsdyk (who I have taken to referring to as Jimbo van Rimbo, because I have to entertain myself in these awful games somehow) ended up in the back of the net when Sean Couturier tipped it home.

However, the Flyers had no illusions of being competitive in this game, essentially just floating around and jabbing their sticks towards the puck like a bunch of sleepy toddlers at a morning practice. Brian Elliott let up another backbreaking goal after the Caps got the better end of an iffy penalty on Shayne Gostisbehere, and it was off to the races from there.

Nicolas Aube-Kubel took a completely unnecessary, boneheaded interference penalty (everybody drink!), which Backstrom and Ovechkin promptly turned into the third Washington tally of the period. Getting your stick in a passing lane is hard, folks, or at least the Flyers seemed to think so given their complete lack of interference with the seam in the low slot. Yikes.

The final straw came when Elliott allowed his third awful goal of the game against Carl Hagelin, a squeaker through the five-hole. The coverage here cannot be ignored, either; Sanheim just shoving the dude in front while Hagelin chilled out uncovered wasn’t exactly exemplary defense.

Oh, and because this is a textbook “the Flyers suck and nothing can go right for them” loss, there was a first. Anthony Mantha tickled the twine with a laser to make it 5-1, before the Flyers farted out another few sleepy shifts and took things into the third period. Just over five minutes into the final 20, Ovechkin finally netted the goal that absolutely everybody knew was coming.

Nolan Patrick had a chance but couldn’t find the back of the net, blah blah blah, the Caps controlled play for the entire game and finished this spanking out without allowing another goal. The end result? A 6-1 loss for the Flyers that essentially erased whatever infinitesimal chances at making the postseason they had. Wonderful.

Three Big Things

  1. Tanner Laczynski looked better than over half of the players on the ice tonight, including guys on the Caps. Some of that was an indictment of who he was playing against, sure, but the Ohio State product generated a number of chances and generally looked like a quality NHL player. I’ve long held the opinion that Laczynski reminds me a lot of former Predators winger Craig Smith, albeit a worse version, and tonight’s performance fell in line with that.
  2. Brian Elliott is old as dirt and needs to retire. The sheer lack of lateral mobility on display from the veteran was painful to witness, and it made an already steep climb impossible. The Flyers ought to begin experimenting with in-house options like Alex Lyon to at least see what they have.
  3. The entire team looked checked out tonight aside from the new kid mentioned above. It’s safe to say that this season is over. Time to start looking at the draft, I guess (please drive some nails into my eyes with a hammer).

Post Game Tunes

We started the night with some MF DOOM, and we’ll finish with some, too.

Good night, and as always, go Flyers.