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 0-2 in shootouts this season, but at least now they're finally getting points.
The Flyers squandered a late game-tying goal by Jakub Voracek with their second straight shootout loss, this time to the Anaheim Ducks 4-3 at home on Tuesday. It's their fourth straight loss, bringing their record to 0-2-2.
On Saturday, there were two versions of the Philadelphia Flyers to be observed.
Through the first two periods, the Flyers looked like a team that was on its way to win the first game of the season. But in the third, they were a team that barely came away with a point.
The Flyers blew a 3-0 lead in the third period, ultimately losing 4-3 in the shootout to the Montreal Canadiens on Thursday. The Flyers (0-2-1) lost their third straight game, starting the season with three losses for the third straight year.
"It sucks," winger Wayne Simmonds said. "We were up 3-0. Obviously you don't get the two points, you’re disappointed."
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.
The Flyers are on their way to a Game 7 with the Rangers in New York.
Wayne Simmonds, who led the Flyers with 29 goals during the regular season, lit the Rangers up for a hat trick in Tuesday's 5-2 win in Game 6. It was his first career playoff hat trick and the first Flyers playoff hat trick since Claude Giroux and Sean Couturier did it against the Penguins in 2012.
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.
With Claude Giroux’s MVP like performance, Steve Mason’s impressive play in net, the domination of Wayne Simmonds and Sean Couturier’s consistent maturity, it has been hard to think of anything negative about this Flyers team.
And why would you want to?
But unfortunately Jakub Voracek had a rather rough performance immediately after the Olympics which seemed to be a carryover of his inconsistent play through January. With just six goals in January and the very beginning of February and three goals after the Olympic break up until last Saturday, it is clear that Voracek has had his struggles.
The Flyers continue their hot streak against some of the NHL's top contenders, a run that has come to a surprise.
Despite facing a barrage of shots, the Flyers penalty kill and Steve Mason hold off the St. Louis Blues, 4-1, in Philadelphia Saturday afternoon. It was the fifth straight win for the Flyers, who are 12-2-1 since Feb. 1.
“We’ve proven that we’re a good hockey team," Mason told reporters. "We’re beating teams that come playoff time you’re going to have to go through to the ultimate goal, the Stanley Cup. Guys are gaining confidence from this so it’s a good sign.”