With 0:58 left in the 2nd, the Flyers thought they broke the ice finally against Bruins Tuukka Rask. Well, if you have watched the Flyers this season, you’d know that nothing is as easy as that and indeed it wasn’t.
Immediately following the goal, Bruins Head Coach Bruce Cassidy looked down at his little bench side monitor and called over referee Tom Chmielewski. He asked the referee to challenge the play for goalie interference.
When it was announced, many Flyers fans were confused and booed. Well, those boos would get even louder.
After about a 5 minute review, referee Tom Chmielewski made his announcement. After review, the play on the ice has been determined to be goalie interference, NO GOAL.
Thats when the crowd at the Wells Fargo Center lost it and let him hear it.
Everybody on the Flyers bench went up in arms and yelled at the referees. None more vocal then captain Claude Giroux who immediately skated to referee Dave Jackson and demanded and answer.
“He said I clipped him in his head.” Simmonds said. “I honestly didn’t feel it if I did. I’m not going to complain about the reffing. It’s not what decided the game so it is what it is.”
From this point on, the Flyers couldn’t get anything else going. What should have been a powerplay goal with under a minute left in the second, to set up an interesting 3rd. It led to just another horrible 20 minutes by the Flyers.
“Yeah, I saw the one angle and I didn’t see anything.” Flyers Goalie Brian Elliott said. “He was well outside the crease and I think he just had a good screen on him, but I didn’t see any other angles or anything, so it’s not my call, but we definitely could have used that one.”
This goalie interference rule has caused the Flyers some extreme problems this season. The rule is very inconsistent and needs some twerking in the offseason to what is goalie interference and what is not.
WOW, they call that goalie interference. I have no idea what constitutes goalie interference anymore. That’s awful.
— Dave Isaac (@davegisaac) December 2, 2017
The NHL is turning into a garage league with its inconsistent calls.
— Sam Carchidi (@BroadStBull) December 2, 2017
You be the judge, Interference or No Interference.
Here are 4 more observations from the Flyers 3-0 loss to the Bruins…
Something that the Flyers never seem to have a problem with is the powerplay. It is causing them all sorts of issues this season. Coming into today, the Flyers had just two powerplay goals in their last 11 chances. Today, that number kept going in the wrong direction.
“It’s not the power play, I mean I think its collective, it’s a 5 on 5 game,” Gostisbehere said, “I mean obviously power play can help, but it’s not like we’re not getting our chances but, again I think it’s more collectively a team 5 on 5 play and we’ve got to clean it up in all areas.”
To Gostisbehere’s point, the Flyers went 0 for 6 against the Bruins today. A stat line that has been oh so similar to many Flyers games this year. But, it hasn’t been all this bad for the Flyers this season. In October, the Flyers ranked in the top 10 in powerplay scoring. Now, after a horrendous November and bad start to December, the Flyers sit in 20th.
“Obviously you don’t want to take penalties when you are on the power play.” Voracek said. “Sometimes it is bad luck sometimes it is a bad play. I think that play was a frustration today but I think overall we are taking to many penalties. Not only on our power play I think overall in every game. We had three games in a row when we took five six penalties it’s hard to contain.”
However, to make matters worse, the Flyers second unit hasn’t scored in over a month. When you look for reasons why, this is one of them. The main reason is the juggling of the Flyers lines. When you cannot keep the same lineup in every night, other units pay for it. The second powerplay is one of them. They have a new combination of players on a near nightly basis.
Icing the Puck
The Bruins scored twice today against tired Flyers lines. The reasoning? The reason was icings. On two separate occasions, Flyers defenseman iced the puck with tired players on the ice. The result, two Bruins goals by a rested top line.
“We feel pretty confident in our system and in our structure and the way we play,” Giroux said, “It’s just like I said, we get the puck now and mentally we’re not making the right decisions, we’re just trying to force it, or make the extra play instead of just keeping it simple.”
First, it was Robert Hagg, who could have easily hit Nolan Patrick for a breakout but chose to ice the puck. A decision he clearly wants back now. Second, it was Andrew MacDonald, who missed a wide open Dale Weise who would have entered the zone easily for a quality chance. But again it was icing.
Both of these plays cost the Flyers dearly today. If neither happened we are talking about a 1-0 game. A 1-0 game, which saw the Flyers have a powerplay with under 3 minutes left in the 3rd. If it was that storyline, maybe they would have showed a little more urgency on that powerplay.
About 3 minutes into the 3rd, Travis Konecny jumped onto the ice with his normal line-mates for his first shift of the 3rd. However, it was the first and only shift Konecny played in the 3rd. A move that many Flyers fans find extremely confusing.
“Well he wasn’t benched, he did get on the ice. But that ice time is a little bit earned as well,” Hakstol said, “In terms of, we put together a unit that could allow us to switch up the matchup against Bergeron, obviously to free up Coots’s line a little bit more on that. The mix was put together after that with kind of a top nine in mind and a bottom three and TK was in the bottom three at that point in time.
Dave Hakstol essentially benched Travis Konecny for the 3rd period. Konecny had the Flyers best chance of the game, except for the Giroux no goal, with a break-away in on Rask. But he only played 1 shift lasting 36 seconds in the 3rd. He was replaced by Dale Weise, who Coach Dave Hakstol was doubling shifting over Konecny. Something very similar to the other night with Danick Martel.
“No. That’s their decision to try and change some things up.” Konecny said. “You gotta find some answers and I guess that was part of the plan tonight. Just the way it is.”
Frustration Setting In
Now, after today’s loss to the Bruins 3-0, the Flyers have lost 10 straight. A streak that is setting up the Flyers for a potential blowup and reconstruction. If you can remember back a couple years, the Flyers had a very similar stretch, not a long losing streak but some really bad play. It was capped by a 7-0 loss to the Capitals. That game included a flurry of fights, none bigger than Ray Emery skating down the ice to manhandle Braden Holtby.
That frustration from a few years ago, is starting to settle in again with this group of Flyers.
“Yeah, I mean, it sucks.” Gostisbehere said. “There is not much to say. It’s f***ing brutal. Sorry for cursing, but its tough right now, I don’t know.”
“One hundred percent. It’s tough. It’s tough. Ten games you never thought you would be part of anything like that but nobody feels sorry for us.” Voracek said. “So we go on a tough west road trip. You just gotta make sure we grind out some points there. Obviously everything we touch right now turns to ****.”
“No, you just gotta be real. We’re all professionals in this room.” Simmonds said. “We gotta realize that what we’re doing is not good enough. Whatever anyone says, you can’t take it personal. You just gotta try and get better.”
This frustration will only make the Flyers better in the long haul because they will know how to stop it in the future. What the Flyers need to learn is that everything isn’t always bright. A life lesson that is good to learn for a young inexperienced team with a great future ahead of them.
Result – Flyers 0 – Bruins 3, Loss
Record – 8 – 11 – 7
Next Game – 12 / 2 Calgary Flames, Calgary Alberta Canada
Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports