What The Heck is Wrong with the Flyers?
by Patrick Hoffman
Going into this season, there were lots of reasons for the Philadelphia Flyers and their fans to be excited.
They had the second overall pick in last year's draft, Nolan Patrick, all set to go. They had a solid offense returning and a young defensive core that was going to be exciting.
The team also had a new starting goaltender in Brian Elliott primed to lead this team back into the postseason. He may not have been the big name masked man they were looking for, but he is someone that has always been solid in both the regular season and postseason.
Fast forward to now (December 1, 2017) and it appears that all has gone wrong for the Broad Street Bullies. The team currently finds itself in the midst of a 9-game losing streak and showing no signs of getting out of it, despite what Ron Hextall, the team's general manager, is saying.
As of this writing, the Flyers are last place in the Metropolitan Division and are the sixth worst team in the entire league. This is certainly not what Hextall and team head coach Dave Hakstol envisioned coming into this season.
The problems are everywhere when it comes to this team. Besides the likes of Jakub Voracek (7 goals and 25 assists for 32 points), Claude Giroux (11 goals and 17 assists for 28 points), Sean Couturier (14 goals and 12 assists for 26 points), and defenseman Shayne Gostisbehere (3 goals and 16 assists for 19 points), no one else is really producing. This is a really big problem because for many years, the Flyers never really had trouble putting the puck in net.
In fact, the team's scoring is so bad that they are currently 22nd in the league in goals for, 22nd in the league in goals for per game, and 17th in the league in power play. For a team that relies heavily on offensive production and their power play to win games, these statistics are worrisome.
The team's goaltending has also been suspect this season. Elliott is currently 6-5-0-6 with a 2.96 goals against average and a .905 save percentage. Michal Neuvirth, the team's back-up goaltender, has been a bit better than Elliot in terms of goals against (2.65), save percentage (.915), and shutouts (1).
When you put all of these things together, this team is in a world of hurt. It will be interesting to see if they can get themselves out of this hole, but from the way things look now, I would say that there is a very low probability.
Previously, Patrick has covered the NHL for Sportsnet.ca, Kukla’s Korner, Spector’s Hockey, About.com, NHL Network Radio blog, TheHockeyNews.com, The Fourth Period, Stan Fischler’s “The Fischler Report”, as well as a slew of others.