Following the Eagles’ clunker of a loss in Minnesota this past Sunday, a good portion of you may have flipped over to the Flyers game – which started at 3 PM -- to try and get some of those positive Philly sports vibes back into your system.
If you did flip over to the Flyers game, you saw them blow a three-goal lead with just 8 minutes, 40 seconds left in regulation and eventually lose to the Washington Capitals, 5-4, in a shootout to cap off a titanic dud of a local sports day.
As Liz Lemon would say, blerg.
But the Orange and Black have a chance to rebound tonight when they welcome -you guessed it - the Capitals to Wells Fargo Center for the second game of a home-and-home and a shot at redemption.
This sounds very cliché and generic, but what happened to the Flyers on Sunday evening in our nation’s capital was the result of an issue that has plagued them this entire season: the failure to play a full, complete 60 minutes.
It sounds incredibly simple and obvious but that’s what it came down to.
They had a 4-1 lead with less than 10 minutes left, took their foot of the gas and let the Capitals string together shreds of momentum. With as dangerous a team the Capitals are with the offensive firepower they possess, it was only a matter of time before disaster struck.
The Flyers played with fire and ultimately got burnt.
I’m not one to take solace in moral victories, but let’s crumple all that into a giant paper ball, throw it in the trash and look at some positives that have been around the team lately.
Before the game against Montreal last Thursday, head coach Craig Berube pushed Scott Hartnell down the second line with Brayden Schenn and Wayne Simmonds and bumped rookie Michael Raffl up to the top line with Claude Giroux and Jake Voracek.
It’s a move that has paid major dividends so far.
In the two games the trio has played together, they’ve accounted for four goals and seven assists. Giroux has two of those goals and Voracek and Raffl each have one. Raffl has three of those assists and Giroux and Voracek each have a pair.
I’ve read your comments. I know just how much you all love – I use that term loosely - Raffl and the way he plays. Say what you want about him but you can’t deny he’s producing on the top line. I know it’s only been two games, but for a team like the Flyers that averages just 2.27 goals a game, that type of production is huge.
It’s going to be interesting to see if the line can continue to produce like that in the coming weeks.
Despite giving up 14 goals in regulation in his last four starts and facing his first real piece of adversity as a Flyer, Steve Mason gets the call between the pipes for the Flyers tonight. He’s played well in South Philly, winning his last five starts at home.
Overall, the Flyers are on a six-game home winning streak. Too bad that’s been almost cancelled out with a four-game road losing streak.
Braden Holtby goes in net for the Capitals. Anything interesting happen the last time he played in Philadelphia? I don’t remember seeing anything in the national sports media or any game show hosts commenting on anything that happened.
I’ll leave you with your almost-daily reminder of how this is a kind of important game because of how much the Eastern Conference sucks as a whole and how the Flyers are just three points out of the final Metropolitan Division playoff spot and just five points out of the last Wild Card playoff spot.