Thursday night, the Philadelphia Flyers lost 4-1 at home against the New York Islanders for the first time in seven seasons.
Tuesday, the team defeated Minnesota at home, 5-1. Saturday, they travel New Jersey to face the Devils. Sunday, they host the defending Stanley Cup champion Boston Bruins.
Sounds like the Islanders game was what some refer to as a 'trap game', right?
In the first period last night, the Flyers played like garbage and luckily, goalie Sergei Bobrovsky kept them in the game. It could have been a trap game then, as they were sleep-skating on the ice, with no purpose.
When the Flyers decided the direction of the franchise was one that wasn’t going to be influenced by Jeff Carter and Mike Richards, outcry and uproar ensued.
The core of the team that made it within two games of hoisting the Stanley Cup and a second-place finish in the Eastern Conference the next year was sent packing.
Obviously, Carter and Richards were the biggest shoes to drop. The captain and his close friend were supposed to be the faces of the team for years to come. Not so much.
Ville Leino wasn’t re-signed and few had issue with it. Most could see that his deal in Buffalo was baseless and far too big.
Blair Betts and Darroll Powe were waived and traded respectively, and that was a sticking point with some. The two soldier-like penalty killers were given away and some feared the franchise couldn’t find anyone to replace their strong play.
Kris Versteeg? Traded. Dan Carcillo? See ya. Nikolay Zherdev? Of course he was free to go.
With so much emphasis placed on the production of the first line, it often gets lost at how talented the Flyers subsequent lines are. Although the first line will most likely continue to be the team’s most productive line, it doesn’t mean that the other lines won’t sprinkle in production when need to be.