The Philadelphia Flyers concluded their week with an absolute heartbreaking loss on Saturday in Boston. Drew Stafford’s goal with 5.6 seconds remaining in the third gave the Bruins a crucial 2-1 victory over what should have been a desperate Flyers team. The 1-2-0 week began well winning in Buffalo on Tuesday night, but ended in rough fashion losing in Toronto and Boston.
The Flyers offense exploded for six goals on Tuesday in Buffalo against the Sabres. All six goals came five on five. It was the first time they have scored six in a game since December 8 against Edmonton. Claude Giroux scored for the first time in 12 games, with his second period goal that turned out to be the game winner in the 6-3 win.
Coach Dave Hakstol’s decision to start Michal Neuvirth in Thursday’s game against the Maple Leafs has to be questioned. It was Neurvirth’s first start since the Flyers Stadium Series game against Pittsburgh. He had only won one game since February 11. Given the way that Steve Mason has been playing, it surely has to make people wonder why the coach did not run with the hot goalie considering how important this game was. Mason was 3-0-1 in his last four before sitting against the Maple Leafs.
The Flyers offense is running on fumes again. Averaging 1.5 goals in the two losses is not going to get it done. That means the goaltending has to be perfect each night. What is more concerning. is the Flyers absolute lack of urgency in the third period against the Maple Leafs and the Bruins. The Flyers were playing not to lose instead of playing to win. And these were games the Flyers absolutely had to have. The matchups wren’t just lost, but lost in regulation.
The Flyers return home where they have played better, but the problem is they play Columbus on Monday and Pittsburgh on Wednesday night. Two teams that are not only faster than the Flyers, but simply better at this point. They need more out of their best players and a big shovel to get out of the hole, or their season will be buried sooner, rather than later.
Mandatory Credit: Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports