A downward spiral is never good. Especially for a team who was on a hot streak. The team that I'm talking about; the Philadelphia Flyers. If you remember, the Flyers were winning crucial games and moving up in the standings. This was after the team only, closed door meeting that occurred earlier in the season. Then, something happened; they got back in the losing rut they had just gotten out of. Might it also be noted that the Flyers have been getting the lead on their opponents then blowing it. The Flyers are now sitting at a three game losing streak, ninth in the Eastern Conference.
Most all Flyers fans can agree when I say something needs to happen and it needs to happen quick if the boys want any chance of seeing the post season. It became especially clear that something needed to happen after this past weekend when the Flyers hosted the Boston Bruins. I got a chance to witness the game first handed and let me tell you, the Flyers are looking like the team at the beginning of the season; drawing too many penalties and not converting on scoring chances. The defense was also no help for the goaltenders. Yes, goaltenders.
Steve Mason was pulled halfway through the game after letting in a Patrice Bergeron slap-shot, making the game 4-0 in favor of the Bruins. Who does this leave? Backup, Ray Emery, who in hind-sight did an acceptable job. Letting in two power-play goal though is not acceptable for the Flyers.
Now the question is; "What needs to happen to get the Flyers out of the rut?" It boils down to four things:
The defense on Saturday Night was terrible. They were not backing the goaltenders up and they let the Bruins offense walk all over them. This should be one of the main focus' for the Flyers, working on stopping scoring drives. The power play was not the Flyers strong suit this past weekend. Their first power play, they passed the puck and probably only took two or three shots. A wasted power play. Three and four go hand-in-hand, the Flyers are getting into too much penalty trouble. You can't win games when you're mostly playing a man down. And if you do get into penalty trouble you need to be able to keep the opponent from scoring. This did not seem like a big issue to the Flyers, they only let in four power play goals out of six total goals. Not too bad right?
Needless to say, if the Flyers want any chance of seeing the post season light, they are going to have to play high caliber hockey every game, in order to get points to move up in the standings.