Flyers Fan Reaction (FFR1) Gm 43: PHI 3, WSH 5 - The Gr8 Depression
2019 is officially the same to Flyers hockey as the 1930s were to the U.S. economy.
But thankfully, finally, we can say it. We've waited so long to say it. Everyone, say it with me - Philadelphia WINS, beating Washington, 132 to 115-oh wait never mind that's the Sixers score.
Honestly, it wouldn't have been that much of a shock if the Capitals had broken triple digits. They are, after all, the Washington Capitals, the defending Stanley Cup champions, and they are quite good. The Flyers, on the other hand, are quite bad, on the second half of a back-to-back, and starting 35-year old journeyman Mike McKenna in goal (which was the right decision, by the way). But they only won 5-3, over the lowly Philadelphia Flyers, handing Philly their 8th straight loss.
Had Nicklas Backstrom not been out I honestly might've taken the Caps for over 100.
One of the more frusturating things about this Flyers season is that by advanced metrics, they haven't actually looked that bad. Their shot quality prevention and creation numbers have been solid - as we all know, it's been the special teams and goaltending that have bogged them down. But as someone who supports analytics and looking at numbers, there are definitely times when the numbers don't truly tell the story of what happens on the ice.
For example, shots. The Flyers outshot the Capitals 11-4 in the first period, which seems really good. And in a vacuum, it is. The problem is, watching the entire 1st period, I realized this was still the same team that just got shelled by St. Louis the night before. They just looked sloppy, passes not connecting, flow lacking, energy non-existent.
Granted, when you only give up 4 shots, you're probably not going to look bad on the scoreboard. Tom Wilson got the scoring going early on a perfect feed from Jakub Vrana, burying the first shot Mike McKenna saw in a Flyers uniform. Welcome to Philly, Mike! Plenty more where that came from.
The Flyers felt bad enough for McKenna to actually give him some goal support however. Oskar Lindblom proved what he could do with more ice-time and competent linemates, picking off a pass in the neutral zone and immediately transitioning it to offense. Oskie made a perfect pass to Jake the Snake for a one-timer past Phoenix Copley for his 11th goal of the season, tying the game 1-1 halfway through the frame.
Anyway, remember that whole "the Flyers are playing like crap" thing I mentioned happened in the 1st period? Yeah, it finally showed in the second. Once again coming out flat, the Flyers were somehow able to hold Washington off the scoreboard until almost the halfway mark. That's when T.J. Oshie tipped a Lars Eller wrister in past Mike McKenna to give Washington the lead.
And that's where the flood gates break. The Flyers current mental state is about as sturdy as a piece of paper. You literally just have to breathe on them, and bam, 3 unanswered goals!
I can't explain why this is happening. The losing streak (now at 8 games) is taking its toll on the team for sure, but it's been happening all season. Literally, I counted it up - the Flyers have given up 3 unanswered goals in 25 games so far this year. That's 58% of the season! How is that even possible?
That's how you know things are cataclysmic - when your incompetence reaches levels you cannot even fathom. There are always going to be bad teams, but at least with most bad teams you can understand where they went wrong. For the Flyers, it's just, why? How? How does a team go from making the playoffs, and by cutting dead weight and adding a 30-goal scorer, become the worst team in the league? Worse than LA, worse than Chicago, worse than Ottawa? I don't care they're one point above Ottawa - the Sens knew they were gonna be here. Flyers fans couldn't have imagined it in their wildest nightmares.
And they try to pull off another BS 3rd period comeback like that's gonna solve things.
The bottom line is it was 4-1 Caps, then 4-3 with 6.7 seconds left, and then 5-3 when the Caps scored an ENG a few seconds later. This team sucks. That's all I can say. And I've gotta find 39 different ways to say it before this catastrophe of a season comes to its merciful end.
CONGRATULATIONS, FLYERS! With Mike McKenna's Flyers debut, the 2018-19 Flyers have officially reached hockey immortality. They have tied the 02-03 Blues, 07-08 Kings, and 89-90 Nordiques for the most goalies used in a single season with SEVEN! And just to make it full circle, Scott Gordon was one of the goalies the Nordiques used to reach this mark. Now the only question is who becomes #8.
At least Wayne Simmonds and Jake Voracek scored in this one - the two guys Flyers fans want gone the most giving a nice little bump to their trade value.
Simmer's goal was the 200th of his Flyers career. He celebrated by taking a 10-minute misconduct and was seen shouting a profanity (at himself? the refs?) going to the room. Yep, everything's fine here.
One nice thing to see was Radko Gudas laying a huge body check on Nic Dowd and then immediately dropping the gloves. Every fan loves to see big hits and fights, and at least it shows the entire team hasn't fallen into a coma.
Oskar Lindblom's assist on Jake's goal was his 1st point in TWENTY-THREE GAMES. I feel so bad for the kid. He's been trying his hardest, but for the longest time he'd been getting 4th line minutes with guys like Phil Varone and Dale Weise. Now back in the top-6, his chances can actually start getting finished.
Speaking of Phil Varone, he was back in the lineup tonight, replacing Jordan Weal. Varone's been a non-factor for most of his call-up, and tonight was no different. I'd just wish Weal would've stayed in for Dale Weise. Apparently Scott Gordon doesn't get his lineup advice from Keith Jones.
Honestly, Mike McKenna didn't look nearly as bad as I thought he would. Until the 4th goal, which was literally a pass from Jakub Vrana that went through McKenna's 5-hole. He probably played better than his .833 SV% suggests, but not much.
1st - J. Vrana (WSH) - 2 G, 1 A
2nd - T. Oshie (WSH) - 2 G
3rd - J. Carlson (WSH) - 2 A
PHI - 1/10 vs. DAL (23-17-4)
WSH - 1/10 @ BOS (25-14-4)