Flyers Fan Reaction (FFR1) Gm 76: PHI 1, WSH 3 - Washed Up
For the fifth time in the last seven games, the Philadelphia Flyers lose, 3-1, to the Washington Capitals. The NHL's once-hottest team has officially regressed to the mean.
To their credit, the Flyers looked like the better team through the first 40 minutes. That certainly wasn't a given, considering that they were on the second half of a back-to-back, facing the Metro leading Washington Capitals, and oh yeah, had just seen their playoff hopes brutually shattered at the hands of the New York Islanders less than 24 hours ago.
But the Flyers got off to a decent start. Of course, this didn't show on the scoreboard - Tom Wilson deflected in a Nick Jensen point shot less than 4 minutes in. Yet after a solid road first period, the Flyers dominated play in the 2nd, outshooting Washington 20-7. After mentioning how the Flyers were always getting outshot under Gordon, it seemed like the Flyers were turning a corner.
The only problem was that the Flyers came out of the 2nd period still down one. Another deflection in front beat Brian Elliott, this time from Travis Boyd's stick, to make the score 2-0. Philadelphia stayed in the game with a power play marker late in the frame when Jake Voracek blasted an angle drive past a sprawling Holtby.
But then came the 3rd. And it was clear the Flyers were out of gas. Despite being down a goal, the Flyers managed only 5 shots on goal, as fatigue from the season, the schedule, and sickness all came to the forefront of their play. Jakub Vrana put the game on ice with a breakaway tally eight minutes into the period. That was it for scoring - Philadelphia's comeback attempt was futile as the Caps shut them down, sending the Flyers to another frusturating loss.
The end of this game was a metaphor for the Flyers season. Philadelphia made a valiant effort in the 2nd period to get back in the game, just like they put together a miraculous playoff push, going on an incredible 18-4-2 run, rivaling the Lightning in points percentage over a 2-month span.
However, just when it appeared they were at the point where they could take control of their season and go all the way (to either tie the game today or make the playoffs in two weeks), the Flyers sputtered. A 2-5-0 drop back to reality turned the playoffs from a realistic dream into a total fantasy. It's been easy to be frusturated with the Flyers inconsistencies all season long - but now, after a last-minute failure, there's no other word to describe the Flyers than sad.
Noted piece of trash Tom Wilson is apparently not trash when he plays the Flyers. His 1st period tip-in was his first goal in as many games against Philly this year.
After going 3-1-0 against the Capitals last year, outscoring Washington 18-11, the Flyers were swept this year, failing to gain a point against the Caps.
One Flyer who has gone especially cold during this losing streak is Travis Konecny. He does not have a goal in his last 7 games after scoring 4 in as many contests before this skid.
With the playoffs no longer a possiblity, it wouldn't be surprising to see Sam Morin and Cam Talbot get more playing time down the stretch. Morin is a former first round pick who the Flyers need to figure out if he has an NHL future, and Talbot has only played one game since coming over from Edmonton. The Flyers management could use a better look at Talbot before deciding whether to commit to him as Carter Hart's 1B.
As of Sunday afternoon, the Flyers "tragic number" sits at 5. This means that any combination of Flyers points lost and Canadiens points gained (Montreal is currently 8th in the East) officially eliminates the Flyers from the 2019 Stanley Cup Playoffs.
1st - B. Holtby (WSH) - .972 SV% (35 Saves/36 Shots)
2nd - T. Boyd (WSH) - 1 G
3rd - J. Vrana (WSH) - 1 G
PHI - 3/27 vs. TOR (44-25-6)
WSH - 3/26 vs. CAR (41-26-7)