Penguins 5, Flyers 4: Losing is contagious

The Philadelphia Flyers continue to amaze with their ineptitude, blowing yet another two-goal lead to lose in overtime to the Pittsburgh Penguins.

We’ve made fun of the Philadelphia Flyers plenty for finding new ways to lose, but last night’s 5-4 overtime loss to the arch-rival Pittsburgh Penguins felt strikingly familiar.

With a 3-1 lead heading into the final frame, the Flyers promptly surrendered two goals to tie the game. Then, after Michael Raffl scored his second goal of the season to put the Flyers up 4-3 with under four minutes to play, the puck bounced off some guy named Jake Guentzel and past Brian Elliott, sending the game into overtime. The result from there was inevitable, with Sidney Crosby (ugh) getting the winner on a deflection.

For whatever reason, the Flyers have lost the ability to close out a game. You can’t give lose the scoring chance battle 14-4 in the third period and expect to hold on to  a victory. Regardless, the Flyers will be hosting the San Jose Sharks tonight, hopefully putting our misery to an end.

Game observations

  • Dave Hakstol made the controversial decision to bench Jordan Weal and Taylor Leier, two young players with loads of potential, and replace them with Dale Weise and Jori Lehtera. If there are any positives that can be taken away from tonight, it’s that Hakstol won’t have the opportunity to inaccurately credit this change for turning around the Flyers’ misfortunes.
  • This game also marked the return of Andrew MacDonald, who looked like he was playing in his first game after an injury. See above.
  • Actually, there were a few positives. Two names: Brian Elliott and Michael Raffl. Elliott may have surrender five goals, but he truly played a phenomenal game, bailing out a careless Flyers defense on numerous occasions. Meanwhile, Raffl scored his second goal of the year on a beautiful power move to the net. He also finished with a 5v5 Corsi For % of 45.2; not great, but highest  of any non-top line Flyers forward.
  • The Flyers rang quite a few shots off the crossbar last night. It’s the sort of thing that happens when things just aren’t going your way, but maybe those misses will start turning into makes in the near future.

Most Fly

Brian Elliott, take another bow.

Least Fly

So, about those coaching decisions…

One Sentence Takeaway

I’m starting to get numb to the losing, which is definitely not a good sign.

(Stats via Natural Stat Trick)

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