Folks, the season is almost done. After tonight, there is only one more game for the Flyers to play. Soon, we can put all of this behind us as we hope the Sixers can seal the deal against the Raptors and get into the second round of the playoffs and that the Phillies’ offense can get truly clicking. The Flyers won’t need to matter again for a long while.
But before the season could end, the Flyers needed to make a trip north of the border and get shut out by the Winnipeg Jets. They couldn’t even muster the energy to make these final games entertaining.
Truly, the one actual highlight of this game didn’t even happen during the game. It was during the pregame show when NBC Sports Philadelphia had Steve Kornacki on to break down the Flyers’ draft lottery odds. It’s been a hot minute since the 2020 election broadcasts that made Kornacki a viral sensation, but it’s still mesmerizing to watch him go to work. Also, it’s proof that the broadcast team knows what we’re all here for now anyways. Winning hockey games? No, we want a better draft position!
What are the Flyers' odds of getting one of the top picks in this year's draft? The one and only @SteveKornacki breaks it all down. | @massmutual pic.twitter.com/cIrLDpY90h— NBC Sports Philadelphia (@NBCSPhilly) April 27, 2022
However, after this, there was an actual hockey game to still be played. Spoiler alert: not much happened in it beyond the Jets scoring, really.
The Flyers took a too many men penalty, because even in game 81 of the season, this team makes the simplest of mistakes. It only took 10 seconds into the Jets’ power play for Pierre-Luc Dubois to score. Once again I found myself asking what it’s like to have a power play unit that’s actually capable and competent. Must be nice.
Pierre-Luc Dubois sneaks one through to open the scoring. pic.twitter.com/rkC95kypsH— Ryan Gilbert (@RGilbertSOP) April 27, 2022
Beyond that, there really wasn’t much going on in this period.
If anyone thought that the Jets weren’t going to score on a two-man advantage, well, I’d like to steal a little bit of your optimism. This Flyers team just isn’t built to withstand extended 5-on-3 play, and so it was only a matter of time before Nikolaj Ehlers would score.
Nikolaj Ehlers cashes in on the power play, firing a wrister on net that finds twine to double WInnipeg's lead!#GoJetsGo pic.twitter.com/V9NmNobDrh— Hockey Daily 365 (@HockeyDaily365) April 28, 2022
Then Blake Wheeler scored to put the game further out of the Flyers’ reach. Honestly, it was truly nice of the Jets to at least do some scoring to both help the Flyers’ draft odds but also to at least give me some highlights to put into this recap.
Blake Wheeler knows the drill, drive hard to the net with your stick on the ice.— NHL (@NHL) April 28, 2022
: @Sportsnet ➡️ https://t.co/4KjbdjVctF #NHLonSN pic.twitter.com/N4IeOWcgRS
This was another one of those periods where nothing was happening. Why would things be happening? The Flyers have had no energy lately. Even playing the Penguins on Sunday, it took until the third period for the crowd starting to get into the game on a regular enough basis, because even when winning, their play was just that uninspiring. The energy was even worse for this game, though, because the Flyers have spent the whole thing losing.
Honestly, I couldn’t tell if it would have been better for me to spend this night going back to the grind of packing for a move or if I should have at least been grateful for an excuse to sit and veg for about two and a half hours.
The end of the game was made a little interesting as the Flyers went on the power play and pulled Felix Sandström to make it a 6-on-4 situation. However, it’s the Philadelphia Flyers. They didn’t break the shutout bid, but Kyle Connor did score on the empty net. Eric Comrie got his first ever NHL shutout, and Connor
In short, the game was a slog and being shutout is never fun. However, it’s good for the Flyers’ draft position. And if you’re willing to stay up late here on the east coast to watch the games, you can always follow Jim Jackson’s suggestion to become a Seattle Kraken fan. As someone who also blogs for the league’s newest team, I can at least say their losses are weird, whacky events where nothing normal ever happens. It’s a far more entertaining time there.
If you’re still hanging on with us, there’s one more home game left as the Flyers take on the Ottawa Senators at 7:00 p.m. ET on Friday, April 29.