With Monday’s 5-3 loss to visiting Columbus, the Flyers were six points out of the second wild card playoff spot behind Toronto.
The Flyers only have 14 games left and also are behind the New York Islanders and Tampa Bay Lightning in the wild card race.
Against Columbus, the Flyers were just 1 of 8 on the power play. They have also had trouble killing penalities and other than last week’s 6-3 win at Buffalo when all six goals were scored at even strength, the Flyers have had trouble in 5-on-5 situations.
Oh, and the goaltending has been inconsistent.
After last Tuesday’s win in Buffalo, the Flyers appeared to be generating momentum. They earned a 2-1 shootout win over visiting Florida and then a point in a 2-1 overtime loss at Washington before beating Buffalo.
The Michal Neuvirth was inconsistent in goal during a 4-2 loss at Toronto. The Flyers then suffered arguably their most crushing defeat when they lost Saturday at Boston, 2-1. The Bruins scored the game-winner when Drew Stafford’s long lob to the net deflected off the stick of Flyers defenseman Brandon Manning and into the goal with 5.6 seconds remaining.
Then goalie Steve Mason, who will be a free agent after the season, didn’t have a stellar game in Monday’s loss to Columbus. Now the Flyers have six points and three teams to hop over in only 14 remaining games.
The fact that the Flyers haven’t been able to put together any semblance of consistency following their early season 10-game win streak, has been the major reason the team faces an uphill battle.
The remaining schedule isn’t easy either. It includes two games with Pittsburgh, which is fighting for the top seed in the Eastern Conference.
Second-year coach Dave Hakstol continues to talk about how the effort of his team has been good.
That’s fine, we get the fact that the Flyers try awfully hard, but every team is trying this late in the season.
The big problem is having breakdowns in all areas of the game this late in the season. That is the reason the Flyers are a desperate team. And one that needs plenty of help from those playing any of the teams that are ahead of the Flyers in the wild card standings.
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