Philadelphia Flyers: Negative takeaways from the postseason

Along with the positives, the Flyers postseason was also filled with more than a few negatives.

The Philadelphia Flyers were eliminated in the second round of the playoffs. They were largely outplayed against the New York Islanders. Their three wins of the series all game in overtime as they were unable to close it out in more than one regulation period.

There were struggles throughout the entire lineup. Only a few players found a way to shine the entire time. Some had their moments here and there. But the offense largely disappointed when it mattered most.

After entering the first round as the top seed in the Eastern Conference, the Flyers were expected to make some noise. While they aren’t considered true Stanley Cup contenders just yet, holding that spot comes with quite a few expectations.

After breezing through the round-robin, the struggles began to show against Montreal. It took six games to eliminate the 24th seeded Canadiens. Yes, the Canadiens surprised a lot by upsetting the highly-ranked Penguins. But a team coming in as the top seed should’ve had an easier time.

Those became even larger against the Islanders. And despite some of their positives, it was two large problems that stood out above the rest.

Top Players Struggled Offensively

It is as simple as this: When your top players are unable to put up points, you will find a hard time winning most games. The Flyers made it a far distance without goals from a lot of their top guns. But that as ultimately one of their biggest downfalls in the end.

Travis Konecny led the team with 24 goals during the regular season. That tied a career-high for him. He did not post a single goal in the playoffs. And the frustration clearly got to him on more than one occasion. He posted a total of seven points in 16 games.

Claude Giroux did not get on the board until Game Five of the Islanders series. While he stepped up after that, it was too little and too late. Giroux finished with eight points. He was unable to create much when the team needed him most.

For James van Riemsdyk, he was a healthy scratch four times during the postseason. He was largely ineffective during the games that he did play. His two goals came during Games Five and Six of the Islanders series. Other than that, it was often a hard task to notice his presence on the ice.

Sean Couturier was another who was unable to find his scoring touch. He often missed the net on golden chances and couldn’t step up as he had done during the 2018 postseason. Both of his goals came during the second round. He was tied for second on the team with nine points, but it’s hard to say he was a factor like he was expected to be.

Jakub Voracek looked like the Flyers’ most dominant player in the first round. And he was effective, at times, in the second round, though he didn’t have a goal to show for it. Seven of his nine postseason points came against Montreal. He had one point in seven games against the Islanders.

Power (less) Play

The power play was one of the least effective parts of the Flyers’ game in the postseason. The numbers say everything. The unit was a measly 7.7%, going 4/52 when all was said in done. That included going 0-13 in the second round.

Three of those goals came during the losing effort of Game Five against the Canadiens. And the other came during the round-robin portion. The power play was streaky during the regular season but finished 14th in the league. That was a jump from 22nd a season ago.

They were second from the bottom during the postseason. Only the Rangers had a worse man-advantage unit, and it was by less than 1%. It was a large reason they weren’t able to make it past the Islanders.

It forced the Flyers to have to win the game at even strength, something that was hard to do when they weren’t getting the scoring they needed. And with a penalty kill that wasn’t always as sharp as it needed to be, those missed opportunities loomed largely.

If the Flyers had cashed in on a few more power-play chances, they could still be standing as we speak. But when you score with the extra man in one game during the actual playoffs, it’s not surprising when that catches up to you.