3 takeaways from Philadelphia Flyers’ series loss to New Jersey Devils
It’s no secret that the Philadelphia Flyers have had their fair share of problems throughout the season. While many teams faced their own share of problems, the Flyers seemed to take the cake.
The Flyers looked to end the series against the New Jersey Devils with a victory in front of the home crowd after being formally eliminated from the The 2021 Stanley Cup Playoffs. The Devils led the series heading into the game 2-1, a series that could have kept the Flyers’ playoff hopes alive. Just like the rest of their season, constant turnovers and missed offensive opportunities got the better of them, costing them a postseason race. The last game of the series marked 3 straight losses for the Flyers against the Devils.
Down and Out
The Flyers have never held the lead throughout the four-game series, even in their 4-3 shootout victory in Game 1. In fact, Orange and Black have dropped two goals in every game of the series. Throughout the season, the Flyers have followed suit, falling behind at the start of the game, which only makes it harder for a comeback. The team has been known to “chase the game” for continuous seasons over the past few years. They start slowly and make simple mistakes, trying to come back at the end of the third period.
For example, Joel Farabee scored at the end of the third period, going 4-1 with the Devils in the lead. The only benefit of Farabee’s late efforts was preventing Devil goalkeeper MacKenzie Blackwood from getting a shutout. This trend has not played much in the Flyers’ favor as it is usually too little too late.
As the Flyers entered the series fighting for a playoff berth regardless of their odds, little has changed in their game between Game 1 and Game 4. As the series began, the team needed to turn things around to catch up with the Boston Bruins in an effort to take their place in the playoffs. Even though the Flyers took Game 1 of the series, their game remained the same throughout. Although they have yet to be mathematically eliminated from the playoff picture, the club looked deflated from the start.
Pull the puck
If you live in the city of Philadelphia and have attended Flyers games, you know too well that the fans speak out when it comes to their team. Well, if there was a moment to encourage fans to do so, now would be the perfect time for the infamous “shoot!”. It’s been obvious for some time that the Flyers aren’t shooting enough and the numbers prove it.
In Game 4 of the series against the Devils, the Flyers didn’t have a single shot on goal until the middle of the first period. They would finish first with just nine shots on goal (SOG). The team struggled to shoot the puck at the net and instead spent too much time on the passing game. As a result, the Flyers were sorely missed on the scoreboard as their production was lacking.
As if things weren’t bad enough for the Broad Street Bullies, their goaltending situation recently made things even more complicated.
Injury Update: Goalkeeper Carter Hart will miss the remainder of the regular season with an MCL sprained left knee. pic.twitter.com/cfsEyfIePg
– Philadelphia Flyers (@NHLFlyers) April 29, 2021
The Flyers’ “sure thing” Carter Hart has been sidelined for the remainder of the season with an MCL sprain midway through the series. Even though Hart hasn’t performed as expected this season, with a save percentage (SV%) of just 0.877, Flyers fans surely would have liked to see the 22-year-old end the season on a high note. The young goalie stallion took the NHL by surprise when he made his debut in December 2018 against the Detroit Red Wings. He would end his rookie year with an SV% of .917.
With Hart out, the Flyers have now been able to count on veteran goaltender Brian Elliott and backup goaltender Alex Lyon, who has had his fair share of time between the Flyers and Lehigh Valley Phantoms. The goalie duo did not do well with a total of 12 goals against (GA).
Moving forward, one can hope that Hart will return with a vengeance to redeem his poor efforts during this season. If not, the Flyers will face some serious hurdles to find a solid goalkeeper.
Nonetheless, the Flyers need help in all departments.
A 24 year old Drexel University graduate with a deep love and passion for hockey. Bri grew up around the game, watching the Philadelphia Flyers as a little girl and playing street hockey. It was very early on that she knew she was destined to work in sport, more specifically in hockey. Bri spent two seasons working for the Flyers as a PR Day Intern. To learn more about me, check out my website and be sure to follow my work here at THW!