Despite the fact that the Philadelphia Flyers don’t want to keep losing all season long, they definitely do not want to drop games to their cross state rivals the Pittsburgh Penguins. There is no mystery or new game analysis as to why the Flyers fell to the Penguins last night. All the same explanations, suspects and problems that started brewing with this team long before the season started is what keeps Giroux and company from winning.
Last night’s loss against the Penguins was not entirely due to a lack of effort. The Flyers have put a lot of effort into their game. In the first period the Flyers demonstrated a strong power kill and helped Steve Mason clear rebounds, which kept the game at an even 0-0 through the first period of play. Then, with a slow start to the second period, the Flyers suffered a series of turnovers that ultimately turn into a goal for the Penguins. The Penguins dominated the first half of the game but at the end of the second period the Penguins start taking penalties and giving the Flyers an opportunity to tilt the ice through the third period. The Flyers applied the pressure but only were able to tally one goal and eventually allowing the Penguins to rack up several more points before the final buzzer and a 4-1 loss.
The Flyers have been struggling to play a 60 minute game and in a case such as last night, when they can’t compete during the entire 20 minutes of each period, they will not be able to capitalize on opportunities. Going into the third period the score was 2-1, and the Flyers were on the power play and dominated the first half of the third period but they could never get the equalizer.
Turnovers and lack of shots on goal have been consistently killing the Flyers opportunities to win in the NHL. If this team cannot figure out how to score more than 2 goals per game, they will never be a competitive NHL hockey team. After eight games Giroux, Read, Couturer and Voracek still remain scoreless. Steve Mason has been excellent in goal and remains the MVP of the team keeping the Flyers competitive. Now that the Flyers have seemingly solved the goaltending issue that plagued them, they have a new scoring issue.
The Flyers have a week off before they face the New York Rangers on Thursday. It is still likely they will be playing without: Hartnell and Timonen but maybe Lecavalier, a critical play maker will be back to help the Flyers score.
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