In a battle of two struggling teams coming off of extended layoffs, this critical game will decide plenty. Will an offensively challenged Flyers team recover against their huge rivals from New York City?
Patience is something that is not in the Philadelphia Flyers vocabulary.
Flyers Chairman Ed Snider has not been the model of patience for the Flyers. For years now the team has been in “win now” mode at the expense of future development.
But two years ago, the team shuffled their roster and radically changed their direction, acquiring younger players, prospects and picks. With young players comes growing pains and unfortunately for the Flyers, these players such as Sean Couturier and Wayne Simmonds, are struggling.
With the team’s struggles early in this season, there have been calls for a roster shakeup.
The Philadelphia Flyers offered up what has been status quo this season by scoring just one goal in a 4-1 loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins on Thursday evening.
For the Flyers, breakdowns were the name of the game. Three of Pittsburgh's four goals, empty-netter notwithstanding, resulted directly from bad breakdowns.
After a scoreless first period, the Penguins opened the floodgates first.
Michael Raffl and Kimmo Timonen could not clear the zone, leading to a turnover. A quick snap feed from Evgeni Malkin found blazing hot Jussi Jokinen who sniped home his fourth of the season to make it 1-0.
(Photo: Flyers winger Wayne Simmonds attempts to score in close on Penguins goalie Marc-Andre Fleury. Photo by Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images)
Adjustments to the new system need to be made but the Flyers pulled off the win for Craig Berube in his NHL coaching debut.
The Flyers held onto a 2-1 victory over the Panthers thanks to a fantastic effort from netminder Steve Mason. Mason stopped 33 shots in the win, which was Philadelphia's first of the season.
Berube, who also made an impressive debut in his first press conference, was blunt about the impact of the win.
"It’s over, we’re worried about practice and improving," Berube said after the game. "This is just one win and there’s plenty of games left in the season and we need to focus on winning all the games we can the rest of the season."
(Photo: Steve Mason makes a save in the first period. AP Photo/Matt Slocum)