The Flyers are now owners of three separate 6 game losing streaks. I haven’t even begun to dig into how many times in hockey that may have happened in the past. What I do know is this season is a wash. Let me rewind a bit. February 15th I was walking into my men’s draft league game to play a little hockey. It’s my Tuesday night. As I was checking in at the front, the tv was on. Flyers vs Penguins and the Flyers had just scored to take a 4-2 lead. I looked at the guy coming in behind me and I said…” Maybe this time we get one?” He laughed and said they would blow it, to which I agreed sadly. We played the game (and lost, see the theme here?) When I got off the rink and looked at the TV. The Flyers had lost. They lost the next night. They lost the other night. The worst part? They were winning or had been able to come back in the last few games and make a game of it. They just can’t close out games now. It’s almost like they get a lead then the spirit of Hector Neris shows up and they blow it. Doing game recaps right now is a little pointless. Let’s take a deep dive into something else.
Claude Giroux leads the team in scoring with 38 points. Cam Atkinson is a point behind him. 51 games into the 82-game season and the Flyers have five players over the 10-goal mark. Giroux (16), Atkinson (17), Laughton (10), JVR (11) and Farabee (11). Farabee has been out since around January 21st. So almost a month later and he’s still in the top four on the team in goals. Where is Travis Konecky? Sure, he leads the team in assists, but his 8 goals don’t warrant a 5.5 million hit. Is he worthy of being trade bait? Let me back up and start with Giroux. 991 games played as a Flyer. The NHL trade deadline is March 21. Claude would hit 1000 games played on March 17th just four days before the deadline. It’s almost a certain fact he’s going to get traded somewhere. I really hope he hits that mark with the Flyers but if not, I hope Fletcher gets a good haul. I’ll look at some other Flyers that may or may or may not get traded next week. The Flyers have a brutal next few game coming up to cap off this homestand. Washington, Edmonton, Minnesota, Chicago, and Las Vegas. If I’m going to be honest, we are looking at our third 10 game losing streak of the season which is just mind-blowing to think of at this point. The lottery draft is looming for the Flyers. This isn’t the year to be in the lottery. The 2023 draft is going to be one of the best of all time according to all the experts. It’s going to be on a level with the 2003 and 2015 drafts. Then again, the Flyers don’t have great luck the past few times they’ve been in the top five. If you look on social media and listen to the handful of calls that make it on air on any of the sports talk in Philly, the general theme from the fans goes like this.
1. Blow it up, trade everyone. That’s not exactly how it works but I understand the sentiment. This once proud franchise has taken a nosedive. It’s unrealistic to trade everyone and start over.
2. Fire Fletcher and bring in someone that can do the job. This isn’t on Fletcher. Yet. The players out there right now, minus the free agents and trades this season are mostly Hextall draft picks and signings. What Fletcher has done in the draft won’t pan out right away. The team he built this season hasn’t played one single game together. Remember that. The roster on paper never played a game as a unit.
3. Fire the coach. Well, it’s a given that Yeo is not sticking around as the coach. He’s been a good loyal man and he’s doing what he can. Maybe the blind people will wake up and see it’s NOT the coach. Alain Vigneault was not the problem. Mike Yeo is not the problem (or the answer sadly). This next coaching hire by GM Chuck Fletcher may be his last.
Until next time. We’ll do a little deeper dive on the roster. Who should stay, who should go? Who’s going to be the next Captain? Lots of stuff to discuss.