Philadelphia Flyers: Total disaster in loss to Devils

(Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)
(Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images) /

The Philadelphia Flyers were stopped dead in their tracks on Thursday night in a lousy 5-0 home loss to the New Jersey Devils.

Hey, you can’t win ’em all. But it’s reasonable to expect way better than this from the Philadelphia Flyers.

Solid all year at home in the friendly confines of the Wells Fargo Center, the Orange and Black came out and laid a total egg against the New Jersey Devils, who had lost six of their previous seven games.

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The Flyers, meanwhile, had earned five of a possible six points since the all-star break. But a huge misstep like this could end up have dire consequences down the line. Teetering right on the edge of the playoff race, you have to scoop up easy points against bad teams. The Flyers did it in their last game on Monday against Detroit, the worst club in the league. But it sure appears that they took New Jersey lightly in this one, and they paid the price.

It only took 13 seconds for the Flyers to fall behind, and they were chasing the game for a while after that. They eventually got their sea legs and put a few decent shots on Devils goaltender MacKenzie Blackwood. But Blackwood was channeling another “M.B.”, Martin Brodeur, on this night. And I’m referring to completely shutting down the Flyers, not making awful commercials.

The score sheet says that the Flyers peppered him with 46 shots, but that doesn’t indicate that they played well. The Devils, meanwhile, scored on 5 of their 19 measly shots, with Brian Elliott having a poor night, albeit one where he didn’t have much help. New Jersey even managed three goals on four shots in the third period to put the game out of reach, with Alex Lyon surrendering the last New Jersey goal.

Following the lackluster effort, the Flyers have made things tough on themselves as they head to Washington to take on the division-leading Capitals on Saturday. It will be a daunting task, which underscores how they simply can’t afford to leave points on the table against lesser opponents.

The ledger will show that any long season produces a number of bad losses. And this one certainly qualifies, as the Flyers were completely undeserving of any reward or luck on this night. The power play was particularly atrocious, going 0 for 4 in the game and allowing a shorthanded goal.

The man advantage that the Flyers had at the end of the first period may have been their worst one of the year. They couldn’t even possess the puck in the offensive zone, and they allowed the Devils to have multiple chances at the other end of the ice, although they escaped that one unscathed.

But it didn’t last for long, as the Flyers delivered what was just their fourth loss at home by more than a goal this season. And this one was unquestionably the worst of the group.

It’s not exactly time to panic, but it won’t take too many games like this before the Flyers are back outside looking into the playoffs and start to enter scramble mode as time slips away.

Next. Flyers: Trading for Chris Kreider makes sense. dark

We’re down to just 28 games left in this regular season. Tick tock.