The Flyers host a hot Washington team looking to rebound from their slow start. Both teams are in need of points as they near the half way mark of the season while resting in the middle of the division.
Six times the Flyers attempted to get their record back to .500 and six times they have failed so far this season.
At 9-11-1, you have to start to wonder why that has been the case. It happened again last night when the Flyers dropped a home game 4-2 to the Maple Leafs, playing flat for the first 50 minutes of the game.
Is it mental? Are they snake-bitten? Or is this all just one big coincidence? Regardless, the Flyers need to earn every point they can get their hands on because this is a shortened season and every point matters just a little bit more if a team wants to make the playoffs.
(Pictured: Ilya Bryzgalov cannot stop a rebound shot by Mikhail Grabovski in the third period. Photo by Paul Bereswill/Getty Images)
Getting to .500 has been an uphill battle for the Flyers and it continued on Monday against the Toronto Maple Leafs.
An absolute sluggish outing until the final half of the third period cost the Flyers a chance to even up in the standings and get some much-needed points. And though the Leafs were almost equally as sluggish, they came out with the 4-2 win in Philadelphia.
Perhaps the Flyers are pressing to get to .500, but whatever it is, the effort was poor once again. Head coach Peter Laviolette didn't think they were pressing though.
(Pictured: Jakub Voracek battles with Toronto's Cody Franson in front of goalie Ben Scrivens. Photo by Len Redkoles/NHLI via Getty Images)
Matt Read will be out for the next six weeks due to torn chest muscles. This latest development proved to be the exclamation point to an already disappointing start for the Philadelphia Flyers, especially how Read had shaken the sophomore slump and scored seven goals and six assists in 18 games.
The Flyers already have to deal with Scott Hartnell out of the lineup for the next 7-10 days, and Andrej Meszaros out for about that length of time as well. Each of these losses seem akin to a blow-by-blow beatdown. When will the bleeding stop?
Round two of the Stanley Cup Quarterfinals from last year will occur in Pittsburgh tonight. One of the most potent offenses in the entire league will test the Flyers' defense. It's Rivalry Night in Western Pennsylvania.
It has been very apparent that the Flyers have struggled to get a consistent effort from any of their forwards this season.
Top players like Danny Briere and Claude Giroux have struggled, young players like Tye McGinn have been taken in and out of the lineup, and enforcers like Tom Sestito have made lineup changes even more interesting. It’s tough to think of a player that has provided a consistent effort while performing his specific role.
When you get down to it, Zac Rinaldo may very well be your guy.
(Pictured: Zac Rinaldo reacts after scoring in the third period on Monday. AP Photo/Seth Wenig)