"So, this game could go one of two ways. The Bolts could come in and just whoop the Flyers this way and that way and just get all of their frustrations out. It would be an embarrassing game for Philly against a top-tier team. Or, the Lightning come in, try to shake off these losses and try to do too much. That style of play leaves them open to create a lot of turnovers. And if the Flyers can capitalize on them, they could start this four game road trip with a steal of a win."
However, I forgot the nature of this team. I didn’t think of the potential for option #3: Play as poorly as you can. As a result, the Flyers flopped in a 5-2 loss to the Tampa Bay Lightning, who ended a rough five game skid. To be fair, the Lightning have been one of the NHL’s best teams over the last five years, with four trips to the Eastern Conference Finals, three trips to the Stanley Cup Finals, and two Cup Championships.
At first the game seemed pretty close. Morgan Frost opened the scoring at 5:52 in the first period with assists from Joel Farabee and Owen Tippett. Two minutes later, the Bolts tied it up following a goal by Alex Killorn.
In the second period, things started to go wrong for the Flyers. First, Tampa scored three unanswered goals in the first 11 minutes of the period. Nikita Kucherov kicked it off just 34 seconds in. He was followed by goals by Ross Colton and another Killorn. Philly would finally get a tally of their own at the 12:40 mark. Newcomer Brendan Lemieux scored his first goal of the season in just his second game.
However, that wasn’t just the only issue. During the second, Travis Sanheim and Farabee were both benched for the period. John Tortorella, as always, didn’t elaborate on the benchings. Sanheim was a healthy scratch a few weeks ago. Farabee has recently been in a cold stretch, but bounced back against Detroit. He even assisted on Frost’s opening goal.
In the third period, things really fell apart. After a scuffle in front of Tampa’s net, Tony DeAngelo took his stick and hit Corey Perry in….well….let’s just say a very sensitive region. You can see it below.
Yup. That’s not good. DeAngelo was sent out of the game with a game. There is a very good chance that he will be suspended as he has been scheduled for a hearing. And Kucherov would score on the ensuing power play.
After having one of their best games of the season against Detroit, the Flyers struggled a lot against Tampa. They were undisciplined, came out flat, and got rolled over by a stronger team. Two core players were benched and another ejected.
They better clean up their act. The next stop on their four game road trip is Raleigh. The Carolina Hurricanes have won three straight by a combined score of 12-4. Yikes. (Their last game was a shootout victory in Montreal.)