It has not been a fun year for new Flyer Vincent Lecavalier. Once a long-standing captain of the Tampa Bay Lightning, his contract became a boat anchor under a new CBA and a constricted salary cap. Thus, his time as a full-time Floridian came to an end.
Suitors abounded for this man's services after news of his release. Lecavalier, a first overall pick back in 1998, and once described as the "Michael Jordan of hockey," had a spot on many rosters across the NHL at a bit of a subdued monetary rate.
Flyers GM Paul Holmgren disregarded this, became the highest bidder, and signed a five-year pact worth $22.5 million. 14 goals, 12 assists and 49 games later, fan impatience hit a crescendo when he went long stretches with nary a point to show for it. In a time where nobody was scoring, Lecavalier scored five of his goals during that span.
The Philadelphia Flyers had a rough night on Thursday.
Following a 7-3 drubbing to the San Jose Sharks, the mood in the locker room was filled with disappointment and confusion. Both Claude Giroux and Scott Hartnell said after the game that they don't know where it went wrong, but they needed to get back to playing their style of hockey.
Or as Hartnell worded it, "Flyers hockey."
(Photo: Vincent Lecavalier (front) and Kimmo Timonen celebrate after Lecavalier's game-winning goal on Sunday. AP Photo/ Evan Vucci)
Over the past several seasons, the Philadelphia Flyers possessed an ability to come back to win games after subpar second period efforts. On Thursday night, after five unaswered goals by the San Jose Sharks, any hope of that happening again was extinguished rather quickly.
A hat trick from American Olympian Joe Pavelski, two goals from Canadian candidate Logan Couture and two goals from Raffi Torres in his season debut crushed the Flyers in a punishing 7-3 rout at the Wells Fargo Center.
There was some concern on whether or not Ray Emery and Andrej Meszaros would be rusty having not played in a while.
They both quieted those concerns on Saturday against Calgary. Emery's 32-save effort held the Flames to a flicker as the Flyers went on to win, 2-1.
Emery made his first start since Jan. 25, a 6-1 drubbing to Boston in which he was pulled. Meszaros found himself in the lineup for the first time in a few games despite the play of Erik Gustafsson, and earned an assist.
The Flyers have the opportunity to head into the Olympic break with a four game winning streak and a spot in the playoffs to lose.
The Flyers won their third straight game on Thursday, beating the Colorado Avalanche 3-1. The rode another stellar performance by Steve Mason, who has allowed three goals in his three starts during the current winning streak.
Mason stopped 38 shots against Colorado to seal the win. His only hiccup came late in the third period when Nathan MacKinnon sneaked a shot between Mason and the left goal post that cut the Flyers lead at the time to 2-1.
It took a "step-in-the-right direction" second period leading to three third period goals, but all ended well in the final leg of a California road trip as the Phialdelphia Flyers defeated the San Jose Sharks 5-2 in comeback fashion.
Four third period goals scored by Matt Read, Michael Raffl, Claude Giroux and Jakub Voracek led yet another third period comeback on the road. That mindset broke through on the Flyers' last extended western road trip, and it continued with this trip as well.
Good breaks favor the victors. The Philadelphia Flyers capitalized twice in the second period leading to a 5-0 shutout win over the Detroit Red Wings on Tuesday night, snapping a four-game losing streak.
Scott Hartnell added two goals while dealing with a sore foot to lead the way. Claude Giroux, Sean Couturier and Adam Hall also scored for the Flyers.
Steve Mason's new goalie mask is a perfect representation of the Flyers.
His new mask has images of some of his teammates in zombie form. And much like his mask depicts, the Flyers resemble the walking dead.
The Flyers turned in another mediocre performance, losing 6-1 in embarrassing fashion to the Bruins at home. The loss expanded the Flyers losing streak to four games as well as losses in seven of their last nine games.
(Photo: Steve Mason leans on his stick in the first period. AP Photo/Chris Szagola)
Another slow start for the Flyers bit them in an unwelcoming place Wednesday night.
A shot from the point landed on the stick of Jiri Tlusty, and he put it past Steve Mason to give the Hurricanes the 3-2 lead and eventual win over the Flyers on Wednesday. It was the third time in as many games the Flyers dropped to the Hurricanes.
The game was a makeup from Tuesday, which was postponed due to the foot of snow Philadelphia got.
(Photo: Jiri Tlusty celebrates his third period goal that put Carolina up, 3-2. Photo by Drew Hallowell/Getty Images)