The Philadelphia Flyers have collected points in seven of their eight games so far in November, and while that should be satisfying, it also raises some concerns. The Flyers have a nasty habit of playing down to their opponents. Looking back at the games against Carolina Hurricanes, Florida Panthers, Phoenix Coyotes and Winnipeg Jets, the inability to close the game out early has to raise some flags. A goal in the final minute against the Panthers made for a hectic finish where Florida came just within seconds of sending the game into overtime. Carolina is a team that has been downgraded to a tropical depression, and they still managed to put in two short handed goals and keep the game close until the closing minutes of the 3rd. If not for the late game heroics of Matt Read the game against the Coyotes might’ve had a different outcome. The Winnipeg Jets are an anomaly onto themselves, as they have been perpetually trapped in the bottom half of the conference, but manage to give the Flyers fits whenever they meet. In two games so far this season, the Jets put up 15 goals, making Sergei Bobrovsky look like a fool in the process with average save percentage of .768.
The Flyers are capable of much better hockey, and it shows when they play what looks to be tougher competition. With a busy week coming up including games against very beatable opponents in Carolina and the New York Islanders, the Flyers will have to exert their will early and often. Both the ‘Canes and Islanders have young and talented players who can make their opponents pay if they make mistakes. The Flyers will have to play much better hockey in order to come away with points this week. Walking away from this week’s stretch with anything less than six out of the possible eight points will have to be viewed as a disappointment.