Philadelphia Flyers: Observations on a terrible loss

(Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)
(Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images) /

The Philadelphia Flyers returned from their holiday break last night and laid a complete egg in their 6-1 loss to the San Jose Sharks to open their six-game road trip.

I live-tweeted Saturday night’s Philadelphia Flyers game from @Sec215, a decision that the team made me regret in light of the fact that they decided not to show up in a lackluster 6-1 setback at the hands of the San Jose Sharks.

Still, at least I was able to focus my attention on the game by virtue of the Twitter commitment, and so I feel that I have a good grip on what went so horribly wrong.

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I do put some stock in the idea that the Flyers would naturally be rusty after having four days off. In addition, these are very real people who had a chance to relax and celebrate with their families over the holiday. Even just the slightest “let up” can lead to lethargy on the ice, or at least the appearance of it.

And that’s exactly what the Flyers were dealing with last night, facing a Sharks club that had played the night before, albeit blowing a lead and losing in the process. But that loss on Friday, which extended the Sharks’ skid to four games, clearly was a driving force as they came out with jump on Saturday while the visiting Flyers struggled to get their “skating legs”.

The first period was dull as dishwater, with the Flyers just managing five shots and looking excessively sloppy at times. Turnovers and missed passes were a theme of the evening. They trailed 1-0 after that frame thanks to a goal by Sharks defenseman Mario Ferraro, the first of his NHL career in his 34th game.

You just knew it wasn’t going to be the Flyers’ night already, but they reinforced the idea by surrendering another player’s first NHL goal in the second period. And I won’t even bother to look that guy’s name up.

The Flyers would go on to trail 3-0 after two periods, generating just 13 shots to that point. Ivan Provorov‘s power play goal in the first minute of the third period gave the team some momentary life, but it took just 45 seconds for the Flyers to give it all back as San Jose’s Timo Meier scored his second goal of the game to restore the three-goal lead.

The Flyers were completely cooked by then, and they couldn’t establish any kind of dangerous chances in front of the net all night. Later on, they would gift another goal to Meier as he capped off his first career hat trick, and Patrick Marleau finished the scoring with a late marker to make it 6-1.

The Sharks simply outmuscled the Flyers all game, and they took advantage of everything the Flyers gave them to pump six goals past Carter Hart. Hart also wasn’t very good, but he had zero chance on at least three of the goals.

It was an incredibly disappointing showing for a team that had looked so good just a few days ago. Maybe the break came at the exact wrong time. The Flyers’ best players sure didn’t do anything last night, and that can’t happen.

This outcome, however, needs to be swiftly brushed aside. The Flyers have five more road games in the next ten days, and a ton of travel to go along with it.

I ended my live-tweet session by saying that we should never mention this “San Jose steamer” again. Yet I did. I guess I’m just a glutton for punishment.

Next. Flyers: Keys to the road trip. dark

I hope the team has a short memory and gets past this performance quickly.