The Flyers had the momentum going into the third period of Tuesday night’s back-to-back against the Bruins. Then a microcosm of the season took hold.
Lack of urgency, questionable special teams, and another failed comeback.
The result – rapidly dwindling playoff hopes.
The Bruins are now five points up on the Flyers, and the Rangers have leaped them in the standings thanks to a tiebreaker.
Well, not yet. The Flyers could go on a run, and since all games are in the division, one big week could get them back into the mix.
A lot of could’s in there...
The Flyers have not shown any indication they are THAT team that can make a run as we all hope.
If it is going to happen, the Flyers have to start tonight against the second place Islanders.
Flyers vs. Islanders: Three Storylines
Sticking to the game for the entire game
The Flyers have played their best three-game stretch of the season this week, which has only yielded a 1-1-1 record. The time for “the process is right; the result isn’t” has passed.
The Flyers need points and fast.
Safe to say, they cannot learn a new style of hockey to end the season. They have to stick with their game plan, which has been effective lately. They need to sustain it.
The second period was arguably the best period the Flyers have played all year as they pelted rookie goaltender Jeremey Swayland with 25 shots plus two posts. How did they go from that to four shots and letting up a short-handed goal in the third?
The Flyers have played the Islanders well this season, but can they capture that style they demonstrated in the 2nd against the Bruins and maintain?
Man Ups & Downs
The Flyers’ special teams have largely failed them this year. Yes, there have been moments that it has pulled through, such as Coots’ PP goal on Monday against the Bruins. However, the negative has far outplayed the positive moments.
Never has it been more evident than the roid-rat turned hockey player, Brad Marchand, scored the game-winner while man-down on Tuesday.
For the Flyers to make any push in these final 18 games of the season, the special teams need to shape the hell up.
Can they get that going against the Islanders on both sides of the special teams?
Deal with the Devil
We finally saw a deadline-week trade last night between the Islanders and the Devils.
Kyle Palmieri and Travis Zajac hop through the tunnels to Long Island.
The Devils get a first-round pick, conditional 2022, and two forwards AJ Greer and Mason from the Island.
Palmieri and Zajac have been staples in the Devils lineup for the past decade-plus and still have something left in the tank.
This will make the Islanders a stronger team. But less than 24-hours after a trade, new team, new system, new uniforms; how will they mesh into the Islanders system game one?
Deadline acquisitions can often work but may take a few games, can the Flyers take advantage of some unfamiliarity in the Islanders lineup tonight?