Allow me, for a minute, to draw a parallel. Another hockey team in a rut has forced its head coach to change the lines on a nightly basis.
"Truth be told, [coach] is doing what every coach would do. He feels he has to fix the problems, so he starts trying all sorts of new ways to fix the problems. The irony is that last season when the team was playing well, he seemed to leave the lineup alone, creating a calm consistency..."
"Most would feel this lineup, on paper, would be better."
The Flyers are going to rely on a balanced offense this season with the woes coming on the back-end. How fast the offense can start up this season will be key.
The first month of the season won’t be easy either. The Flyers begin their first week with back-to-back games in Boston on Wednesday and home on Thursday against New Jersey. The rest of the month is harder than running the gauntlet with games against Montreal, Anaheim, Dallas, Chicago, Pittsburgh, Detroit, Los Angeles and Tampa Bay. On the Devils didn’t make the playoffs last season, but were in the Stanley Cup Final two years ago.
By virtue of finishing third place in the Metropolitan Division, the Flyers have drawn the Rangers in the first round of the playoffs. The Flyers and Rangers split their season series, with both teams winning twice on home ice.
Tuukka Rask is good at getting in the way of things.
The Flyers were on the verge of another third period comeback, but it was Rask who stood in their way. He also stood in the way of 49 shots, leading the Bruins to a 4-3 shootout win at the Wells Fargo Center on Sunday.
Rask proved why Boston gave him an extension in the offseason. Rask was also the reason Boston skated away with two points.
He fought off an Flyers onslaught in the third period. Philadelphia out-shot Boston 52-30 on the game, including 17-6 in the third period and 8-1 in overtime.
(Photo: Boston goalie Tuukka Rask stops Philadelphia's Jakub Voracek in the shootout. AP Photo/Matt Slocum)
The Flyers are on the right track to make the playoffs, and it's Claude Giroux who is leading them there.
Giroux added another three points to his season total, helping the Flyers to a 4-2 win over the Maple Leafs on Friday. The win snapped a two-game losing streak for the Flyers, putting them back in the playoff hunt.
The Flyers scored first, and came at the Maple Leafs early. It was the exact opposite of their effort against the Rangers on Wednesday.
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.