After the clock struck zero with barely any fans in attendance last night, after an embarrassing home opener for the Flyers. It definitely wasn’t the game that the players thought they could give the fans.
The proud orange clad fans left the stadium early…defeated, out of breath, and disappointed after an 8-2 blowout to a West Coast powerhouse in the San Jose Sharks. They beat the orange and black in every facet of the game, as the Sharks appeared to have more energy than most of the Flyers players. The Flyers had to match the intensity of a Sharks team that was pummeled the night before 4-0 to the New York Islanders. Unfortunately, the orange and black didn’t do it.
Does Head Coach Dave Hakstol deserve some blame? Yea, with his goalie usage of Brian Elliott by saving backup netminder Calvin Pickard for tonight’s matchup against the Ottawa Senators, and not calling a timeout to stop the bleeding. Does Hakstol deserve the all the blame? Absolutely not. The players share fifty percent of the blame. Professional players should not need motivation to play in a home opener. Playing in front of their proud orange clad fans should be enough, especially in a home opener. It should be an honor to do such. This should have given the players momentum, to seize the moment and soak it all in. Yes, the Nolan Patrick line had Grade “A” chances early, and as a matter of fact were very good throughout. But, asides from the Patrick line, the fourth line (Laughton, Lehtera, Raffl), and Claude Giroux the energy wasn’t present.
Defense right? The Defense was horrible last night, and as a matter of fact they were bad on Saturday, as well. There’s no easy way to put it. Shayne Gostisbehere had no clue Joe Pavelski was next to him on third goal of the night by the Sharks. Moreover, Andrew MacDonald was sprawling all over the ice in a bad way last night. Robert Hagg, Radko Gudas, and Travis Sanheim took bad penalties. Ticky tack or not they were penalties. Ivan Provorov looks decent, but hasn’t been the Defenseman we have come to know him in the early going. Is that fair to Provorov? No, but we know he can be better.
Our Goaltenders need to see the puck. It’s frustrating to see multiple Sharks players camping out in front of Elliott. Elliott did not play well either last night, but the orange and black have to do a better job at clearing the porch. Watching last night’s game made me miss Samuel Morin so much, just for the simple fact of clearing the porch.
It takes five players to play Defense. At times the Forwards didn’t back check, thus leaving the Defenseman stranded. “Yeah, we sucked,” Ghost said. “It is what it is. I mean I feel so f******g bad for Moose right now. We left him out to dry, he was our best player tonight. It could’ve been eight nothing after the first, I mean it’s a little ridiculous.”
Giroux had some choice words following the game, as well, “I just think we played like sh*t tonight. The score shows it. We just left our goalie to dry and Moose played a good game, he didn’t deserve that and it’s on us.”
Tonight the Flyers can write a new script against the Ottawa Senators. The Senators cannot be taken lightly, as they knocked off a very good Toronto Maple Leafs team last week. It’s time for the orange and black to put up or shut up. Talking about the game to the media following the game last night, while using choice words is one thing. Now is the time to back those words up. One can expect a good effort from the Flyers tonight, trust me. One thing is certain Flyers fans, the future is bright in Flyer land.
Expect Calvin Pickard to make his Flyers debut tonight against the Ottawa Senators.
Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY SportsRead more "It’s time for the Flyers to ‘put up or shut up’ after last night’s loss"