Last season, the Flyers lost six of their first eight games. This season, Paul Holmgren's team has lost four of its first five and already has a new coach. (AP)
Paul Holmgren was grim.
His hockey team, which lost six of its first eight games last season, has lost four of its first five games this season and already fired one coach.
That same Flyers squad has six goals through five games in what may be a franchise low -- still checking on that.
So what does the Flyers’ general manager see?
“I thought we had enough opportunities to score,” Holmgren said after the Flyers' 2-1 loss to the Coyotes on Friday night (see story). “We’re just fighting it right now.
“We are obviously having a difficult time and you know we had some good opportunities as Wayne Simmonds had that open net on the power play -- I think it was a power play.”
They have had good scoring chances every game. They've fired high and wide on open nets and fired right into goalies when other parts of the net are open.
“Obviously, we need to do a better job in front of the net,” Holmgren said. “And we are in one of those situations where I thought the difference in the game earlier was they scored a goal because they were in front of the net, hit somebody and ran.
“Then we shot at their goalie, we didn’t have anybody in front of the net, had lots of guys off to the side but unfortunately we need to score goals and to get into those areas.
“It’s hard to score and the fact that we are [pressing forward], I thought there were more good things again tonight -- still going to take a while to catch on with what Craig [Berube] wants them to do. Overall, it’s a loss and we need to turn around quickly.
Compensating for injury
Berube compensated for Scott Hartnell’s early absence (upper-body injury) by moving one player up from each of the team's remaining three lines.
That meant Brayden Schenn replaced Hartnell on the first line with Claude Giroux and Simmonds. Matt Read moved up to Schenn’s spot on the second line and Adam Hall took Read’s spot on the third line.
However, when Vinny Lecavalier got hurt in the second period, it was a mad scramble with the lines.
Rinaldo vs. Bissonette
Zac Rinaldo drew a deserved charging call in the opening period on Tim Kennedy, and linemate Paul Bissonette immediately went after Rinaldo.
It was pretty good fight, too, with each player taking the other down and the decision going to Bissonette.
The Flyers had a season-high 37 shots. Another 11 attempts were blocked and 22 shots missed. ... Andrej Meszaros and Braydon Coburn each were credited with four blocked shots. ... The Flyers had three forwards play 6:11 or less -- Rinaldo (6:11), Jay Rosehill (3:18) and Hartnell (3:28). ... Sean Couturier was 10 for 17 (59 percent) on faceoffs and now sits at 57.5 percent on the season.