Who are the Philadelphia Flyers?
At the start of the season, I found myself asking this question. They could score, but they couldn’t defend, so their record was about what you’d expect. Then, they blasted through 10 straight games with a W, following it up with a 1-2-1 record, capped off with a piss-poor performance in New Jersey, losing 4-0 to the lowly Devils.
Basically, the Flyers team song this year has been “Hot N Cold” by Katy Perry. They’re up and they’re down, yes and no, basically two sides of the same coin.
I don’t know if it’s a problem with players or coaching, but something’s gotta give. Jakub Voracek has seemingly found his scoring touch again following a down year last season and Claude Giroux, well he’s fucking Claude Giroux aka Ginger Jesus. Steve Mason has rebounded after an awful start and is slowly lowering his goals-against average while rising his save percentage. There’s a lot of positives to take from the team, yet day-in and day-out, you never know which team will hit the ice.
You can maybe give the Fly-guys a pass on the Devils loss because it came after a hard-fought game the night before against the Caps, but the Flyers for much of the season have been outstanding in the second game of back-to-backs. Why should it have been different? The biggest issue that haunts the team is their overall team defense. It doesn’t help that Hakstol continually trots Andrew MacDonald out onto the ice, but overall, the team’s ability to defend is like watching a low-budget horror film. It’s trying to be something but failing entirely, sometimes makes you laugh and makes you wonder why you wanted to watch in the first place.
Before the season, I thought they Flyers would have a similar experience as in 2015-16—be an average team, flit with the idea of playoffs, but not a serious contender in May and June. Their 10 game win-streak showed me they have a lot of potential, but their inability to play strong each and every game has me believing I’m right.
The team needs to figure it out. I’m fully behind Hextall with patience and growing from within, but the team now has enough talent to step it up and play with every team in the league. They just need to be consistent.