Call a doctor, the Philadelphia Flyers Are On Life Support: Part Three

The Philadelphia Flyers bye week concludes today as they head back to practice this afternoon before a critical stretch to end the month of January. Four of the next five are against divisional opponents and three of those five are on the road where the Flyers are 8-12-3. That record is simply not good enough for a team fighting for their playoff lives. Winnable games this weekend at home against New Jersey and on the road on Sunday against the Islanders would be a good statement that the team is not as bad as their 3-8-3 record indicates since their 10 game win streak.  
This one is a little bit harder to see because there is no statistic for heart or effort.  It’s one thing to lose a game because the other team simply played better. It’s another thing to lose a game because a team simply gives up.  The team simply does not have the talent to win if they do not play a full game. They are not good enough to take even a shift off. The conference and the league is way too good. Sunday afternoon’s game against Washington was the perfect example. The team played a respectable first 40 minutes, then came out in the third and the Caps scored four in a five minute span to absolutely embarrass the Flyers 5-0.
A Mirror:
Each player on the roster and each member of the coaching staff needs one to take a long hard look at themselves as they come back from their bye week. The coaches need to coach with some urgency and the team need to play with it.  They look absolutely defeated right now and are just going through the motions. Do you really think the Flyers of the 70’s, 80’s or 90’s would let this happen? Losing is one thing, losing with no heart is another.  
Unfortunately for the Flyers, there are no easy fixes. The team’s leadership core led by Coach Dave Hakstol and Captain Claude Giroux need to lead by example and get this team to play with the heart, the passion and the sense of urgency that has obviously been lacking over the past month. The physical mistakes are going to happen, but it’s the mental errors and the lack of effort that has caused this team to fall so far, so fast. Effort and smart play are controllable.  If they do not show the effort, passion and willingness to pay the price, the season will flat line sooner, rather than later.
Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports