The Flyers disappointing season continued tonight with a heart-breaking loss against the Carolina Hurricanes. With the game scoreless going into the third period, both teams scored in the last five minutes of the game, with the Canes ultimately winning in overtime.
First let’s talk about some positive moments for Philadelphia. Mason was on his A-game with 36 saves, a season high. And even though he let one go with under a minute left in the third period, you could argue that was not entirely his fault. In fact, both goals he let by were debatably due to lack of defensive presence. It was also good to see Hartnell get his first point of the season with a goal at 16:02 in the third period. (Hopefully Giroux will be next to end his drought.) This game also marks the first time the Flyers have made it to overtime this season which is a good sign for the team’s stamina, even though they should have won this game in regulation.
Now for the weak parts of tonight’s game. Giroux, and most of the top line for that matter, were pretty ineffective. Giroux still has no goals this season and really needs to step up as a leader of the team. He also was unsuccessful defensively as he let the game-tying goal slide right past him as Jordan Staal hit the back of the net with under a minute left in regulation. Defensive leader, Mark Streit, also had a blunder when he failed to get the puck deep leading Manny Malhotra (who remarkably just returned to the NHL from a serious eye injury) to get the game-winning goal in OT. The leaders on the team need to not let the pressure affect them, and make an impact each game with the ultimate goal of winning hockey games. Overall, I was disappointed in the lack of aggression (and goals) offensively as well as a weak defensive unit.
It seems like the Flyers are struggling in every aspect of the game right now, except maybe for goaltending. Although having a reliable goalie is a solid improvement for the Flyers, many more developments need to be made in order for them to salvage their season. It was great the Flyers made it to overtime rather than taking another loss, but in reality, they should have won with Hartnell’s goal at the end of the third period. The struggles continue this season as the Flyers continue to search for a winning recipe.