A tremendous 6-0-1 stretch seems so far behind in the rear view mirror after a substandard sojourn in the Sunshine State. The Tampa Bay Lightning defeated the Philadelphia Flyers 4-2 on Wednesday night.
In the process, former Lightning captain Vincent Lecavalier's homecoming was ruined with the loss, along with former Lightning wingers Steve Downie and Adam Hall.
A seven-game point streak offers plenty for a hockey team.
It provides hope for the fans, confidence for the players and in Craig Berube’s case, a pat on the back.
The stretch also makes things shinier than they were before. Bright lipstick is applied. When removed like it was in the Philadelphia Flyers’ 3-1 loss at Florida on Monday, it’s clear to see the pig that still remains.
(Photo: Tim Thomas made 38 saves for the Panthers in their 3-1 win over the Flyers. Photo by Joel Auerbach/Getty Images)
The New York Islanders return home to host the Philadelphia Flyers after playing the Pittsburgh Penguins on the road last night, which resulted in a 4-3 win.
The Flyers arrival on Coliseum ice tonight also means the return of former Islanders captain Mark Streit. The puck-moving defenseman was let go over the summer and signed with the Flyers as an unrestricted free agent. He currently has two assists and is a -4 on a struggling Flyers team that is 2-7-0, sitting in last place for the entire league.
On the other hand, the Islanders have continued to find ways to earn points and win hockey games, currently holding a 4-3-3 record on the year. They sit 7th in the Eastern Conference and are in second place in the Metropolitan Division.
The Islanders began the first 39 minutes of the game against their divison foe Carolina Hurricanes, by playing weak, uninspired and just plain bad hockey. They ended up finishing the contest with some fight, but it ended up being too little too late as they fell to the 'Canes by a final of 4-3 in front of 13,008 fans at the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Uniondale, New York.
When it was determined that Max Talbot would be a top-nine forward heading into the season-opening 3-1 loss to Toronto on October 2 there was an immediate problem with the Flyers.
No disrespect to Talbot, who is one of the hardest working penalty killers in the NHL, but he is not a third line left winger on a team that is desperately searching for a goal-scorer. And with no wiggle room under the salary cap the Flyers are finding out the hard way that no depth at forward is going to hurt them this season.
The Flyers kick their season off at home against the Maple Leafs. Toronto played last night, winning 4-3 in Montreal. Will the Flyers take advantage of Toronto playing yesterday or will Steve Mason falter in his first start as the Flyers No. 1 goalie?
The start of a new season brings with it countless questions for all 30 teams.
Some questions will be answered right away while others may take all season or even longer. In Philadelphia, the Flyers are no different.
Without further ado, here are five questions facing the Flyers this 2013-14 season.
(There will be pressure on the Flyers forwards to score this season, including a repeat performance from Jakub Voracek [front] and a break out season from Matt Read [back]. Photo by John Russo/The Checking Line.)
Mark Streit was a very serviceable captain of this New York Islanders squad for the past two years, but his defensive prowess was fading just like his time spent with the team. His -27 and -14 rating over the past two respective seasons might not be missed on the Isles blue line, but his ability to power play the quarterback has certainly left a void (Photo Credit: Dan4th/Flickr).
Of his 27 points last season, 11 of them were scored with the man advantage. The previous season, Streit scored 47 points as the Isles top defenseman with 23 of them coming on the power play.
The Philadelphia Flyers will have quite the balance of experience and youth on their blue line this season.
With players ranging from 23 years-old all the way to 38, the mix of veteran prowess and future promise hopes to be the perfect combination for a turnaround season.
One of the more controversial contracts this year is that of 38-year-old Kimmo Timonen.
Timonen’s one-year, $6 million deal can easily be considered a mistake when given to someone his age, but what Timonen brings to the table every season is irreplaceable. While his game may not be the same as it was three years ago, he can still be argued as the best defenseman in Philadelphia.
(Photo: Kimmo Timonen (front) is the unquestioned leader of the unit whereas Luke Schenn (back) is the future. Photo by John Russo/The Checking Line)