John Tortorella nailed it in a few choice words following the loss to the Washington Capitals:
“As far as the energy level and competing, I think we’ve been pretty steady there. [If] we start losing that, we’re in deep sh*t. That’s something we can control, and hopefully, we do.”John Tortorella; 11/23/2022
The Philadelphia Flyers were competitive in the opening minutes of the first period. Zack MacEwen popped all evening. He and Noah Cates had multiple scoring chances. Unfortunately, the Pittsburgh Penguins largely possessed the puck in the offensive zone, thanks to their faceoff dominance.
Teddy Blueger had himself an evening, tallying three assists. First, he stripped Justin Braun of the puck on a faceoff, getting the primary on a rebound goal scored by Josh Archibald. Later, in the second period, Blueger notched his next helper, shooting from the blue line before the puck was deflected past Carter Hart by Ryan Poehling. Lastly, Blueger won a puck battle behind Hart, allowing Poehling to sneak an unsuspecting goal that summoned Felix Sandstrom. In between all of that, Sidney Crosby got between the hash marks, scoring a deflecting goal off a shot by Marcus Pettersson, totaling a 4-0 lead.
Eventually, the Flyers scored in the third period. Tortorella acknowledged their sole marker on the scoreboard as a garbage time goal. Kevin Hayes did score on a wrist shot to escape the shutout. All in all, it was a flat performance.
Philadelphia enters the second half of a back-to-back tomorrow. They’ll hope to avoid a double-digit losing streak on the road against the New York Islanders.
Stuck in a Rut (-)
Kevin Hayes, MacEwen, and Tortorella all fielded questions around the idea that the losing streak is taking a toll on the team, reflecting their performance.
Tortorella said the Flyers would be in deep trouble if they couldn’t maintain their energy to remain competitive. That reflected tenfold.
“I don’t think the guys are spending too much time on what the record is, or how many we’ve lost. They’re trying to be better each and every night. I just thought we were flat.”John Tortorella; 11/25/2022
MacEwen echoed those sentiments. He also was one of the few skaters to back it up on the ice. He drew a penalty shot, which ultimately was stopped by Jarry. MacEwen played like he wanted the losing streak to end.
Philadelphia trailed by two goals in over half of their contests this season. In the NHL, that isn’t a sustainable recipe for winning. It didn’t contribute to a winning game plan.
“When you lose eight or nine in a row, I don’t think motivation needs to be found. It needs to be there every night. Hopefully, come tomorrow, we have that energy from the start and play a full sixty.”Kevin Hayes; 11/25/2022
Inherently, the Flyers should be motivated to avoid a double-digit losing streak. Last season was one of the worst in franchise history. At some point, a win becomes more about pride than how the team reflects that night in the NHL standings. A lack of energy this evening might not be attributed by the coach and players to the losing streak, but it’s impossible to ignore. Due to the injuries, the margin for error is incredibly slim as they sink to the bottom of the league.
“The only way we’re going to get out of this is together. Focus on doing things right day in and day out.”Zack MacEwen; 11/25/2022
Next, the Philadelphia Flyers complete this back-to-back, traveling to battle the New York Islanders. The puck drops at 7:30pm.
(Photo by Gregory Fisher/Icon Sportswire)