Flyers After Dark is back, and if you decided to skip out on a game that didn’t start until after 10 p.m. local time, well, you did not miss much.
The Flyers kicked off their road trip last night in Seattle, looking for a quick rematch against the Kraken after they dished out a 4-3 loss to the Flyers last week. They had a nice little break between games, a chance to catch their breath ... and still, they didn’t show up. The Flyers didn’t really have anything going for them last night. They gave up the first five goals of the game unanswered, and at the time that fifth Kraken goal was scored just before the 15 minute mark in the second period, the Flyers had just six (yes, six) shots on goal. They were able to pick up a bit of steam as the game went on—they put up 13 more shots from that point on, plus two goals—but it wasn’t nearly enough to really get them back into the game, and far from a convincing response effort.
And this, it goes without saying, is a troubling trend emerging. The Flyers looked flat and disorganized in their last two games at home against the Predators and Kraken, but they had a chance to take their three day break in between games and regroup, put in some good practice time, and at least take a step towards getting themselves back on track. And instead, they showed up last night and looked worse than ever. We’ve seen them outmatched from a roster strength standpoint many times this season, but they’ve still often found ways to compete well and stick to their system, and look more competitive as a result, but that’s all starting to feel like a distant memory. Things aren’t about to get any easier for the Flyers, and they have a lot of work to do to re-center themselves and keep the wheels from coming off entirely.
Bits and bobs
Travis Konecny is back
If there was one positive that we could pull from this game, it would be the play of Travis Konecny. Konecny’s been great all season, but he hit a bit of a slump recently, and was coming into this one riding a 13-game goal drought. And it may have been garbage time, but he did still sure show up for this one.
Konecny served as the team’s main driver of offense, putting up a team-high eight shot attempts and six scoring chances across all situation. He also picked up his career-high 25th and 26th goals of the season, saving the Flyers from getting shut out and making the final score look a touch less lopsided. We’ll see if he’s able to keep this rolling, how he looks the rest of the trip, but if nothing else, it was nice to see him hit that mark.
A night to forget for all
Last night was, shall we say, not a great night to be a Flyers goalie. Carter Hart got the start in this one and played for the first half of the game, during which time he gave up four goals on the 19 shots he faced (a stat line which sounds pretty brutal, but it’s worth noting that with how listless and disorganized the skaters looked in front of him, he wasn’t getting a whole lot of help). After that, in part as something of a mercy pull and in part as a hope to spark something with the skaters, Hart was pulled and Samuel Ersson came in. This did not stop the bleeding completely, though, as Ersson went on to give up two goals on 11 shots faced.
There’s a lot rolled into how we landed at a performance this rough for the Flyers. They gave up six goals on 2.45 Expected Goals across all situations, and that falls equally on the goalies falling a bit flat in their own individual performances, as well as on the skaters in front failing to break up chances and preventing them from turning into something more difficult for their goalies to handle. It’s not great stuff, across the board.
Looking down the line
We hate to leave things on a big doom and gloom note, but here we are. This is the worst the Flyers have looked all season, we’ve gone over that much already. And while it’s hard to commit to the idea that them looking quite that bad should be the expected norm as the team begins to regress, but maybe we should steel ourselves for seeing these types of games more frequently. We’re just about two weeks out from the trade deadline, and the Flyers are going to be sellers, that much we can already say pretty confidently. And as such, it stands to reason that an already pretty thin lineup is going to be depleted of even more skill down the stretch. It may stay pretty ugly around here, folks. Buckle in.
All stats via Natural Stat Trick.