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)
Back when Flyers centers Mike Richards and Jeff Carter were dealt to Los Angeles, it was to clear an overabundance at the center position to bring in true, talented wingers.
Those trades hauled in two very important wingers in Jakub Voracek and Wayne Simmonds, setting the stage towards finding legitimate, true wingers.
While there may not be a significant amount of transition from last year to this year in terms of wingers, losing veteran returners Simon Gagne and Mike Knuble to free agency opened two spots for the Flyers' youth to earn.
Many of the incumbent wingers will be wearing orange and black for the next several seasons.
(Photo: Flyers RW Jakub Voracek has a lot to smile about heading into this season, including being a top-line winger on a high-scoring team. Photo by John Russo/The Checking Line)
The Flyers came to a crossroads two offseasons ago.
They could have gone in one or two directions. One side of the path had them rebuilding the team, pushing a youth movement that would make them a dangerous contender in a couple years. The other path was the same win-now mentality the Flyers have had for the last two decades, resulting in a couple Stanley Cup berths and a handful of Conference Finals appearances.
Unfortunately, general manager Paul Holmgren tried to travel down both paths at once and wound up falling flat on his face this season.
(Photo: Wayne Simmonds (front) and Sean Couturier (back) were both a part of the youth movement. Photo by John Russo/The Checking Line)
For most of the 2013 season it seemed the bounces just weren't go the Flyers' way.
Bad bounces led to opponents' goals while they stayed out of the nets when the Flyers were on the offensive. Along with a complicated mixture of other factors, it kept the Flyers out of the post season for just the second time in the last 18 years.
That luck would finally change for the Flyers when it didn't really matter, but it felt good anyway.
In a 60-minute game for the Flyers, a minuscule seven-second window produced two goals which lead to the Flyers' eventual 5-2 win over the Bruins.
(Pictured: Matt Read during warm-ups before his game against the Bruins. Photo by John Russo/The Checking Line)
The Flyers found themselves in a tough position this past offseason, and that was whether to re-sign Jaromir Jagr or not.
The cons of bringing back the 41-year-old right winger out-weighed the pros for the Flyers front office at the time and the decided to part ways with the future Hall of Famer. They were concerned about his age and health during another long season, two factors the Flyers saw first-hand during the 2011-12 season.
Unfortunately for them, they made their decision before it was known there would be a 48-game season as opposed to the normal 82-game schedule due to a lockout and it may have cost the Flyers big time.
Jagr made his decision where to go in the off season, signing with the Dallas Stars for a one-year, $4.55 million back in July, well before it was even known what fate the 2012-2013 season would have.
(Pictured: Jaromir Jagr during warm-ups before a game against the Devils on April 10. Photo by Mike Ashmore)
Teams destined to miss the playoffs put on 60 minutes of hockey devoid of defense and chock full of a dominant performance by winger Wayne Simmonds in a 5-3 victory over the Carolina Hurricanes on Saturday night.
18 shots in the first period for the Flyers proved the insignificant defensive pressure by the Hurricanes. In fact, Jakub Voracek almost scored within the first 10 seconds of the game forcing starter Justin Peters had to make a desperate save to keep the puck from crossing the goal line.