Following ten straight losses, John Tortorella didn’t care to analyze another performance with the media.
Before the loss on Long Island, Tortorella said he would not answer questions about individuals. He would address the team. The answers he provided following the loss weren’t full of insight pertaining to the questions. However, if you’re reading the room, they correlate to previous postgame press conferences during the ten-game losing streak.
Tortorella isn’t criticizing the team. He is aware of the lack of skill and talent in the lineup. Usually satisfied with the effort emitted from his makeshift lineup, he constantly tries to extract the good from performances while acknowledging struggles. Moving veteran players around in the lineup to develop younger talent in future roles became vital. This season, it’s critical to find out which players will help the Philadelphia Flyers in the coming years and which ones will not be a part of the future plans.
The Flyers are constantly under pressure. To have a chance at competing against the opposition, they have to play a nearly perfect game. When you’re missing as many players, it’s an impossible ask.
“Our goaltender is going to have to be the best player every night, and we got to try to keep the game close to make it into a one-bounce game, a lucky goal; whatever it may be. That’s the way we’re going to have to find our way until we get some of our lineup solidified.”John Tortorella; 11/21/2022
He won’t criticize his team. However, when Tortorella says the lineup lacks skill and talent with players out of the lineup, he is twisting the proverbial knife back at Chuck Fletcher.
“We have the puck a lot. We just have not been able to create. There’s not a lot of guys that are built that way, as far as creating. A lot of those guys are out of our lineup.”John Tortorella; 11/28/2022
Tortorella is telling Fletcher that he doesn’t have enough. Can Philadelphia get healthy? Nothing is guaranteed. Scott Laughton returns today, and Cam Atkinson is close, but in the same breath, Tony DeAngelo is out with a lower-body injury. Also, Sean Couturier is a massive worry.
“We don’t have enough players, that we feel that is our team, with us.”John Tortorella; 11/21/2022
In the offseason, Fletcher and Dave Scott sold ‘aggressive retool.’ Despite how much he would’ve helped the team, aggressive would be trading for Johnny Gaudreau. Then, after announcing Justin Braun and Nicolas Deslauriers, there was a pivot to stabilizing the roster. Fletcher was more concerned about depth signings to make the team hard to play against:
“We’re out on all the remaining free agents. [The] reality of our cap situation right now probably precluded us from looking at some of the more expensive options in the market today. To us, it’s more about depth signings, getting guys that’ll make us a little harder to play against, and making sure we have some players on two-way contracts that can move between Lehigh Valley and Philadelphia.”Chuck Fletcher; 7/13/2022
On another ten-game losing streak, the third of the 2022 calendar year, the Flyers aren’t any harder to play. That isn’t due to a lack of care or effort. Tortorella does have his lineup playing hard for him.
It’s on the person making hockey decisions and the unaware ownership. Tortorella recognizes an injury-prone roster without an identity.
Until Scott recognizes Fletcher isn’t patching holes on a sinking ship, Philadelphia remains as far from the playoffs as they are from high-end draft picks; essentially the no man’s land of hockey.
(Photo by Andy Lewis/Icon Sportswire)