The NHL lockout ended with a tentative agreement being reached on January 6, 2013, but the Philadelphia Flyers must have missed the memo. The team is off to a horrible start thus far, having lost all three games dropping two to division foes Pittsburgh and New Jersey.
At this point many Flyers fans would expect the sporadic goaltending of Ilya Bryzgalov would be the cause for the 0-3 start which is not unreasonable to think. However, Bryzgalov is not the problem at all right now. The defense on the other hand has seemed lost at times on the ice, often finding themselves out of position to defend anyone. This lackluster defensive play has given opponents too many quality scoring chances leaving Bryzgalov little hope of a save.
Not all the blame should be focused on the defense. Sure, the team has been outscored 11-3 which includes five power play goals, but seriously just three goals from the Flyers is difficult to comprehend. Scoring goals was expected to be a strength this season and in time (but not too long) hopefully we will get there. Claude Giroux has been the lone bright spot on offense with two of the teams three goals.
Is it time to hit the panic button? Clearly, the answer is NO. If you rewind back to 1994-95 season, the other shortened season due to a lockout, the Flyers also started the season with three straight losses and the team responded by winning the division. Does that ease the painful start? Of course not. This team will clean up its sloppy defensive play, score more than one goal a game and be just fine.
Thursday night the Flyers host the New York Rangers in another divisional matchup. Like the Flyers, New York is winless thus far with an 0-2 start. The Flyers have their work cut out for them having lost eight consecutive games to the Rangers. Win or Lose at least one of these teams will leave the ice with their first victory of the season.