Ray Emery and the Flyers ended their road trip with a 2-3-1 record after Wednesday's 7-2 loss to Chicago. (AP)
CHICAGO -- They talked about it being a measuring stick on a 12-day, six-game road trip.
Flyers versus the No. 1 team in the NHL -- the Blackhawks.
And the Flyers got buried at United Center, 7-2, on Wednesday night (see Instant Replay). This was a Chicago team playing back-to-back after flying in from Dallas the night before against a rested Flyers group.
“They out-everything us,” Scott Hartnell said. “They had the puck more than us. They made more plays than us. They forechecked harder than us. They took less penalties (eight to 10) than us.
“For us being here waiting for them, we let them off the hook. They have a lot of players who can skate and make plays. At times, it looked like they were playing against kids out there.”
It was the worst the Flyers have looked this season against a quality opponent.
“It was just that second period,” offered Wayne Simmonds, referencing the Blackhawks’ five-goal outburst. “We made a few mistakes and they’re the best team in the league and they capitalized on every mistake. Unfortunately, we made a few too many.”
Nick Grossmann sat at his locker for quite a while staring into an otherwise empty room.
“We started the game well, played disciplined, then we didn’t defend properly and gave up goals,” he said. “We lost the game in the second [period].”
Just like Dallas.
“Yeah, I agree,” Grossmann said. “We started to battle, then took a few shifts off and against a team like this, it’s not going to work. They will score on you and you will chase. It’s something we have to clean up.
“We’ve got a lot of work ahead of us and lot of room to grow as a team. That is the way we have to look at it. Not a good game for us. Learn from it.”
Everything fell apart that second period. Like Dallas.
“Yeah, similar,” coach Craig Berube said. “I didn’t feel like our team was out of it at all. I thought we were still going good.”
The Flyers come home Thursday to face Montreal, a team waiting for them. They have to forget this easily.
Then again, the 2-3-1 road trip wasn’t what this team needed, especially given the Flyers are still chasing a playoff spot.
“It felt like 25 games,” Hartnell said. “Back-to-back games, a bunch of cities all over the map. We did get a couple wins, which was nice. You can’t dwell too much on a 7-2 loss when you got to play the Habs tomorrow night. They’re another quick team that makes plays.
“We have to hit them and forecheck harder. And have a big effort.”