Ten games without a win is a lot. It’s easy to chalk it up to the team being bad. The Flyers have had a lot of bad luck that has contributed to this mess. Now they will face off again with the New York Islanders, the team that sent them to their 10th straight loss. Can the Flyers get some sweet revenge here, or will the Isles win their fourth in a row?
Record: 7-10-5 (19 points, 7th in Metro)
We know about the injuries and the multitude of AHL call-ups. We know about the number of players playing in new positions that they are not used to playing. Let’s look at something else.
After Saturday’s loss to the Islanders, Coach John Tortorella said “I’m proud of how the guys played. Other than a few minutes here and there where we had some breakdowns, I am thrilled with some of the things that went on with our club.” What would he have to be proud of with a team that has lost 10 games in a row?
In many of these losses, the Flyers are losing to teams that are playing very well and hanging with the best of them considering all the injuries they have. Of the ten losses, two have been overtime losses. Only one more game was a one-goal loss. Others look lopsided on the scoresheet, but some of the scores are inflated because of the third-period empty net goals.
Against the Islanders, you saw Nicolas Deslauriers and Tony DeAngelo throw down after Kevin Hayes was hit hard. Teams that don’t care don’t stand up for each other. We saw that last year when the Flyers just plain gave up during their extended losing streaks. Hayes got hurt and Deslauriers came to his defense. That’s the reason they signed him. He was brought to this team as protection to our vets, but also our young guys. It’s a signal that we won’t be pushed around.
It’s not that the team is bad. They aren’t awful. They just can’t catch a break. They have been playing some strong teams lately. Those teams are capitalizing on bad passes and other errors that teams filled with young players and players playing out of position will make. The more this team plays together and the more that they gel, the better they will get. This losing streak will not last forever.
Carter Hart will get the start after being pulled in his last game as a resurgent Penguins team lit the lamp more than we wanted to see. Look for him to get his groove back against the Isles.
Joel Farabee – Scott Laughton – Kevin Hayes
Owen Tippett – Morgan Frost – Kieffer Bellows
Nicolas Deslauriers – Noah Cates – Zack MacEwen
Tanner Laczynski – Lukas Sedlak – Patrick Brown
Ivan Provorov – Rasmus Ristolainen
Travis Sanheim – Justin Braun
Egor Zamula – Nick Seeler
New York Islanders
Record: 15-8-0 (30 points, 2nd in Metro)
There is a reason that the Islanders are in second place. There is a reason that they are on a four-game winning streak. A big part of their team’s success is their goaltending and we saw that on display on Saturday night. Semyon Varlamov, one of the better backups in the league, stopped 26 of the 28 shots he faced. The Islanders will start Ilya Sorokin, who is playing even better hockey than Varlamov. Sorokin is 10-5 this season with a 2.19 GAA (third overall) and a save percentage of .933 (second overall). He has two shutouts this season. Against Philly, Sorokin has been virtually unbeatable in his career. He is 7-1-1 in nine games with a goals-against average of 1.72 and a save percentage of .938 versus the Flyers. For a Flyers team that has struggles scoring, this is not what they need.
New York’s top line of Matthew Barzal, Simon Holmstrom, and Oliver Wahlstrom were quiet in Saturday’s game. Instead, the damage came from Zach Parise’s two goals and Ryan Pulock’s four assists. Anthony Beauvillier and Brock Nelson also contributed goals.
The Islanders will bring their intensity with them down I-95. This is a team that any line can hurt you if you allow them to. They will capitalize on any mistakes that you give them. If the Flyers want to end this streak, they have to play smart, play hard, and get the crowd behind them to energize them. Playing in front of a hyped-up Philly crowd will get any team going. If we can bring it, so can our team.
Simon Holmstrom – Mathew Barzal – Oliver Wahlstrom
Anders Lee – Brock Nelson – Anthony Beauvillier
Zach Parise – Jean-Gabriel Pageau – Josh Bailey
Matt Martin – Casey Cizikas – Cal Clutterbuck
Adam Pelech – Ryan Pulock
Sebastian Aho – Noah Dobson
Alexander Romanov – Scott Mayfield
Where, When, and How to Watch/Listen
Time: 7:30 PM
Where: Wells Fargo Center
Watch: ESPN+ / Hulu
Radio: 97.5 FM
Live Stream: Fubo Tv
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