The Flyers knew exactly what they needed to do if they wanted to keep their playoff hopes at a manageable level.
They didn't execute though, and it was seen clearly in their 5-2 loss to New Jersey. They were docked with seven giveaways in the loss, leading to some quick first period goals that put them in an early, insurmountable hole.
An Andrej Meszaros give away behind the net gave the Devils their first goal of the game.
Meszaros coughed up the puck to the slot and Adam Henrique put a shot on net. Patrik Elias intercepted the shot in front of Ilya Bryzgalov and beat the netminder backhanded to put New Jersey up, 1-0.
(Pictured: Devils goalie Johan Hedberg makes a save. Photo by Andy Marlin/NHLI via Getty Images)
In a huge surprise this afternoon, the Flyers have upgraded the status of three of their injured players.
Both Matt Read and Andrej Meszaros have been listed as day-to-day after having another successful practice this morning. Nicklas Grossmann, who left yesterday's game early and didn't return, was also listed as day-to-day.
The Flyers aren't very deep defensively right now and they can't afford to see another go down.
Late in the first period, Nicklas Grossmann appeared to have a lower body injury and did not return for the remaining two periods. It was a huge blow for the Flyers, who were out-scored 3-0 in the final 41 minutes of their 4-2 loss to the Rangers.
(Pictured: Nick Grossmann playing in front of Ilya Brygalov in the first period. Photo by Scott Levy/NHLI via Getty Images)
Many people have expressed concern with the defense of the Flyers this season.
It’s one of many concerns fans have when it comes to this team. Unfortunately, controversial offseason acquisitions and an injury to Andrej Meszaros have complicated things.
The third pairing for the Flyers is currently Bruno Gervais and Erik Gustafsson.
If it were up to the fans, Gervais would have never come to Philadelphia and Gustafsson would have been in the lineup all season. But agree or disagree with the signing, it happened, and Peter Laviolette can only play the guys that he has.
But when you actually think about it, things are not as bad as they seem. Let’s take a look at the two main concerns of fans right now.
(Pictured: Erik Gustafsson takes down NJ's Adam Henrique in last year's playoffs. Photo by Len Redkoles/NHLI via Getty Images)
Former Flyers winger James van Riemsdyk returns to Philadelphia for the first time since being traded this off season for Luke Schenn. He already has a goal against his former team back in Toronto and he is looking for more.
After what was looking to be a year without hockey, we found ourselves at the quarter-mark of the 2013 NHL season.
It's already been a fun-filled first three weeks of hockey. Perennial giants are struggling, some super stars are still in search of their scoring touch and even the Chicago Blackhawks have managed to play their first 11 games without a regulation loss.
12 games into the 48-game shortened season, the Flyers find themselves with a 5-6-1 record and 11 points, good for third place in the Atlantic Division.
At that point, they sit behind the first place Devils (7-1-3; 17 points) and second place Penguins (8-4-0; 16 points). It could be much worse, especially since the Flyers were at one point 2-6-0 to start the season.
(Pictured: Ilya Bryzgalov and Zac Rinaldo after the Flyers won, 4-3, in overtime on Saturday. Photo by Drew Hallowell/Getty Images)