Flyers-Penguins preview: Seeking a friend for the end of the season

The Philadelphia Flyers have lost seven straight. The Pittsburgh Penguins may very well make it eight.

Look, there’s no real way to sugarcoat this: the Philadelphia Flyers’ season is going off the rails, and not much can really be done about it. Are they as bad as their seven-game losing streak would indicate? Not really, but the Flyers’ have shown an impressive ability to overcome the considerable talent on their roster and find a way to lose.

It’s getting ugly, folks. Hakstol is benching Jordan Weal and Taylor Leier to dress Jori Lehtera (!?) and Dale Weise (!?!?!?!) for tonight’s game against the Pittsburgh Penguins, which is frightening on multiple levels. Leier has been everything the Flyers could ask for in a bottom-line winger, and Jordan Weal, despite his struggles, has shown he can be a dangerous scorer in this league and could factor into the Flyers future plans.

Weise and Lehtera make the Flyers a worse team on the ice, plain and simple. You don’t need to be Fred Shero to watch Weise and Lehtera screw up every odd-man rush and decide they aren’t very good hockey players. Yet, incredibly, those are the players Hakstol trust more to end the Flyers’ slump. It seems to be part of a trend that Hakstol has established- when things go sideways, blame the young players.

Look, it’s not all doom and gloom. The Flyers continue to play well at even strength, and the top line remains one of the best in the NHL. But obviously, many things need to be corrected. The Flyers’ penalty kill has been eye-gougingly bad, surrendering nine goals in the past five games, and the team still cannot find any consistent scoring outside of Sean Couturier, Claude Giroux, and Jakub Voracek.

We may have a mediocre hockey team and a controversial head coach, but at least have each other. There’s still a whole lot of games left in the 2017-18 season: let’s get through this together.

Catch the game on NBC Sports Philadelphia. Puck drops at 7 pm.

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