Philadelphia Flyers Reset : Shake It Off Mindset

In an absolutely disgusting 9-0 loss to the New York Rangers, the Flyers had to prepare for the second half of a back-to-back against the New York Islanders. Obviously this is the best case scenario for Philadelphia due to the quick turnaround allowing the players to clear, regroup, and focus their mindset on the Islanders. 

The shellacking by the Rangers surprised, confused and if you were a Flyers fan, angered you with what the Flyers brought to the table during Wednesday Night Hockey. Rumblings throughout the fan base consisted of “blow the core up”,  “begin the tank”, “start Alex Lyon over Carter Hart and Brian Elliott”, and “someone needs to be fired”. You know, the typical toxicity you would get from Flyers fans. 

Would it be the Philadelphia sports fan base without a little bit of an overreaction? Yeah, Wednesday night’s loss really hurt and left a bitter taste in my own mouth as well, but guess who didn’t overreact over that game? New York Islanders head coach Barry Trotz. Here’s what he had to say in preparation for the Flyers game:

Guess who lived up to those words? Your very own Philadelphia Flyers. After a scoreless first period, the Flyers discovered their scoring ways once again as Oskar Lindblom, Claude Giroux and Jakub Voracek each potted a goal in the second frame to take a 3-0 lead.

Maybe getting their butts handed to them by the New York Rangers is exactly the reset that this team needed. At the beginning of the season, the Flyers were supposed to be one of the Beasts from the Easts to beat, but there have been times this season where they have been tested. The Flyers aren’t the only ones that have been tested as they continue to test their fan’s patience this season. 

Even with their bounce back effort against the New York Islanders, there are still some glaring flaws to the Philadelphia Flyers lineup. The revolving door defense hasn’t been able to figure out their inconsistency and the goaltending duo of Elliott and Hart has been nonexistent. Is it worth making moves this season to improve this team and make a playoff run or does it make sense to become sellers? 

Defensive Dissonance 

With the trade deadline less than a month away, Chuck Fletcher must be evaluating this team night-in and night-out and figuring out how to improve it. Obviously the biggest hole left by Niskanen is an old topic but still very much so apparent. The constant rumor mill of acquiring Ekholm from the Predators is becoming exhausting and at this point, the more it’s talked about, the lesser the probability of it actually happening.

Travis Sanheim and Phil Myers both recorded a minus-six in the Rangers game and took the brunt of the beating. Are these two youngsters ready for the NHL or are they beginning to show their weaknesses? Last year they showed some faults but the coaches and fans wrote it off as “growing pains.” At this point, the growing pains are no longer an excuse for these two. At what point does the coaching staff separate this pair?

The defensive struggles have become way too normal this season. There has been no consistency this year and opposing teams are beginning to notice that. With the revolving door of the defense, they are starting to begin to look like the 2021 Philadelphia Eagles starting offensive line, and that’s not a good thing. 

Goaltending Grapples

With the re-signing of Brian Elliott, it gave Carter Hart another year to settle down and learn some more from an established veteran goaltender. With that said, both goalies have not been on their “A” game this season. Last season, Hart had the best home game win percentage and this season, the Flyers may have been better off putting a shooter tutor on the net. 

This isn’t a section that completely bashes on the goaltending but more of a plea of please play better. As fans, we are beginning to get that gut feeling when the opposing team is in the zone as if every shot might just go in. I for one, hate that feeling. It reminds me of watching the Dave Hakstol era Flyers with the terrible goaltending that we had to endure. 

Obviously, playing better isn’t much to ask since, ya know, it’s their job. Could there be a goaltending coaching change or do we see Brian Elliott get shipped out for a goaltender that would be a 1B upgrade? One thing that is certain, Alex Lyon is definitely not the answer. We just need Carter Hart to find his swagger and get back to being the stellar goaltender that we all know and love. 

Scoring

Barry Trotz said it well in preparation for Thursday night’s game. This team has the capability of scoring up and down the lineup. This season, we have seen plenty of goals from the third and fourth lines. Heck, on Thursday the third line combined for three goals and four assists. 

That third line also consisted of Oskar Lindblom, Travis Konecny and Claude Giroux. You kind of expect that line to produce when they’re playing third-line minutes. It took awhile for Giroux to find the back of the net, but when he’s on his game, look out because he’s going to be buzzing all over the ice. 

The most consistent scoring player for this team is 21 year-old Joel Farabee. It’s exciting to see such a young kid producing at the rate he is. Imagine what he is going to bring to this team in a couple of years when he is in his prime. The thought is super exciting and hopefully Chuck can build a team around him. 

That’s All For Now, Folks!

What this article was supposed to bring to you, the reader, is a serious calmness. This team is better than that 9-0 spanking by the New York Rangers. You know it, I know it, we all know it. So chill the hell out. I’m getting tired of the toxicity of you so-called fans.

Every once in a while, a team needs a good wake up call and that game was it. There are other topics that we could touch on, but I don’t want to bash on our beloved Flyers too much. In the words of my beloved Taylor Swift, the Flyers need to “Shake It Off” and get back to their game. 

Photo Credit – Kyle Ross/Icon Sportswire

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