It looked like the Flyers had turned the corner with two consecutive wins coming against the Rangers and Islanders. It turns out this may not be the case. The Flyers hosted the Duck’s Wednesday night and the hope was that they would continue to push towards the .500 mark this season. That ended up being a bust. What makes this loss sting so badly is the 2 goal lead that was given up by the Flyers, something that should never happen.
The Flyers came out of the gate and played a great first period of hockey. They were getting pucks to the net, the passes were on the tape, and as a result good things happened. The Ducks began to push back in the second, but the Flyers were able to maintain their lead into the 3rd period.
For most of the 3rd the Flyers were back on their heels in their defensive zone. They were unable to clear the puck and when they did they were unable to move it through the neutral zone. They were drastically out shot and there were long periods of time where they generated zero offensive pressure. On top of all this, defensive zone breakdowns resulted in too many scoring changes. It was actually very painful to watch them come undone so violently.
What was the reason for this? Well, the effort just wasn’t there. It is hard for me as a fan to believe in this team when they look like they don’t even believe in themselves. It seems to be the same thing over and over again. Even looking back over the past few season, the Flyers have lost too many games because of a lack of effort in any one period. It just blows my mind that this team can’t seem to play a complete game of hockey. So for this season, it is really costing them wins because yet again this game was decided by a single goal. The lack of effort was most evident during the last minutes of the game when the Flyers were on a powerplay. The games on the line and they end up getting pinned in their own zone by ONE GUY thereby wasting valuable time and off the clock.
So really, what else is there to say? The effort and the willingness to play and compete just doesn’t seem to be there. Above all else this is very concerning because it’s not one guy out there who isn’t skating hard or battling for the puck, it’s a majority of the team. How do you fix something like that? How do you inspire a team full of professionals, who get to play the sport they love for a living, to go out there and play their hardest every game for a full 60 minutes? To me this seems like it should be a non-issue.