Pod Street Pop-Off: What is this team?

I could start this Pod Street Pop-Off by telling you that it’s all going to be fine. The Flyers will figure this out and get back to their winning ways. The fact is, I don’t know if they will. I could also tell you that the bottom is falling out and the Flyers need a major overhaul. I don’t know if they do. What I do know is that with every game that passes, I’m getting more and more frustrated. The turnovers, the lack of scoring, and the overall compete level it seems is just not there.

I’m not a doctor that practices in anything. I can’t pinpoint the root of the Flyers problems, but we all know what’s contributing to this team’s lack of success as of late. Nobody knows for certain except the guys suiting up every night to take the ice, and that’s likely how it shall remain. What is concerning is a quote coming from Justin Braun Tuesday afternoon, courtesy of Bill Meltzer.

This is one of the last things you want to hear given the level of play as of late. One, it could mean a plethora of things. Maybe a few players just aren’t “in it” right now. It’s possible that being away from family and friends is taking its toll on some of them. Two, the struggles have been well documented for some time now. The fact that this could be a lingering issue should concern everyone. A prime example would be Carter Hart. You know exactly the moment I’m talking about…

Also, who can forget the press conference after the March ninth game against the Buffalo Sabres where Carter Hart seemed absolutely dejected when talking about his recent performances? You can’t help but feel bad for the kid, but also angry at the fact that he should be better than what his numbers say this season.

So there’s a sense of apathy for this team among the mostly-optimistic crowd. They’ll claim, “You just have to feel for these guys, they’re going through a rough patch.” That, or “They can shake this one off. And the next one. And the next one…” When does it get past the point of brushing off a loss and looking forward to the next game? When is it going to be too much to endure, or has it already been too much to endure as fans?

On the flip side, how many more losses can the less-than-optimistic crowd put up with before going completely berserk? Some claim to have already tuned out and are waiting for next season. Some claim they might not come back until changes are made. How valid are those claims, and what type of moves are we looking at?

Do you see the point I’m trying to make here? There are a ridiculous amount of questions surrounding this team and nobody has any answers currently. Chuck Fletcher is scheduled to talk to the media Wednesday afternoon, but it remains to be seen if anything of substance will be discussed. The team is hemorrhaging and there’s no way to apparently stop the bleeding. The offense can’t rely on the defense. The defense can’t rely on goaltending. The goalies can’t rely on the offense. It’s a never-ending circle of that four letter word that starts with an “s.”

However, just when you think the game is over late in the third, the Flyers do barely enough to make it look respectable late in the game. It’s happened multiple times this season, most recently against the New Jersey Devils Tuesday night. It’s a valiant effort, albeit for a handful of minutes out of 60 total. This team leaves you waiting for a comeback like that child waiting on his dad to come home after “going out” for a pack of smokes. Then, the kid sees his dad’s truck drive by the house without stopping and his hopes are gone.

I’m sick of the blown leads. I’m sick of the comebacks falling just short. I’m tired of watching these guys play a few minutes per night and expecting different results. We’re all tired of the same old song and dance. However, none of us now how to fix it. A team brimming with talent just can’t seem to put it together. It may be as simple as that. Maybe there’s some underlying problems that none of us have any knowledge of. We just don’t know. While we await Fletcher’s press conference Wednesday afternoon, it remains to be seen if any questions of substance will be answered. We may never know what’s ailing the Flyers, but it’s absolutely fair to question why the team is underperforming.

Thanks for coming to my Pod Street Pop-Off, the new TED Talk, if you will. Be sure to check out your typical Pod Street Pop-Off every week on the newest episode of the Pod Street Bullies.

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