Saturday night saw the Flyers get off to a three-goal lead against the red-hot New York Islanders . After that, it was all New York. With three third period goals, the Islanders tied it up and forced overtime.
Stop me if you’ve heard this before.
Forcing a shootout, the Islanders went five-hole twice on Brian Elliott, beating him both times for the win. Elliott showed his frustrations before NBCSN cameras could cut away from him, screaming a very audible profanity after allowing the second goal.
Indeed, Elliott’s reaction was similar to fans watching this debacle. Four of the last six games for the Flyers have seen them blow two or more goal leads. The story remains the same over those games. The Flyers gain an early lead, only to fold before the end of regulation. Sure, they won three of the four either in overtime or a shootout. However, this trend cannot continue.
Nov. 7th v. Montreal
The Flyers jumped out to a 2-0 lead early in the second, only to have Montreal tie it up four minutes into the third period. The game went to overtime, but Sean Couturier slid one past Carey Price, earning the Flyers an extra point in the standings.
Nov. 9th v. Toronto
By the end of the first frame, the Flyers had a 2-0 lead against a good Maple Leafs squad. Toronto netted a goal in each of the remaining periods, bringing their second straight meeting to overtime. After five minutes of three-on-three hockey weren’t enough, the game was decided in a shootout.
After a Claude Giroux slapshot and “The Forsberg” move by Couturier in the shootout, the Flyers escaped Toronto with the extra point in hand.
Nov. 10th v. Boston
Another two-goal Flyers lead by the end of the first only to be squandered by Boston’s two goals in the third, forcing overtime for the Flyers’ third straight game.
The five minute overtime period wasn’t enough to settle this contest, so it was decided in a shootout. Joel Farabee scored the lone shootout goal, giving the Flyers their fourth straight win, third straight in overtime, and second straight in a shootout.
Nov. 16 v. New York
Well, we all know how this one went. Three goal lead midway through the second period, Islanders tie and win in a shootout. This was the worst of the squandered leads.
Sure, the Flyers have been able to salvage a few games after blowing leads, but it surely can’t keep happening. There’s got to be something analysts and coaches alike can pinpoint as the problem for these blown leads, right? Bill Meltzer has an idea as to what at least caused the collapse against the Islanders.
On the other hand, the Flyers aren’t the only team that are blowing leads like it’s going out of style.
The problem with that is the consistency in which the Flyers are blowing leads. The Flyers have blown a two-or-more goal lead in four of their last six games recently. Cause for concern? Sure. Cause for panic? Probably not, yet.
Considering the Flyers aren’t getting contributions from their top stars at the moment, it’s a fixable problem. Goaltending has been the constant during this stretch. Whether it’s Carter Hart or Brian Elliott, they have a strong showing in the first half of the game. During the second half, poorly-timed line changes, inconsistent play, and defensive breakdowns play downfall to their efforts.
The ship isn’t steering too far off course, but it needs to be righted before it gets too far away from where it’s supposed to be.
Mandatory Credit – © Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports