Clement: Flyers' confidence 'incredibly fragile'
Third period deflation, meltdowns -- whatever you choose to call them -- have plagued the Flyers for the past two seasons, regardless of who is coaching behind the bench.
Through seven games, the Flyers have trailed by a single goal going into the third period five times and have lost all five games.
Twice they led by a goal –- against Florida and Vancouver –- and won just once against the Panthers.
None of this is particularly encouraging when you consider that Thursday’s guest at Wells Fargo Center is the Pittsburgh Penguins, who shut down the Edmonton Oilers this week in the third period and came away with a 3-2 victory.
Pittsburgh is white hot, off to a 5-1 start, eight points ahead of the Flyers, who are dead last in the Eastern Conference.
Clearly, if the Flyers are to recover here they need stronger third periods.
“Nobody is content with the outcomes of our games,” offered goalie Steve Mason, who has played well this season and deserves better. “Going into the third period ... when we have a one-goal lead we have to find a way to either get the next goal or find a way to shut it down. It's disappointing to have that outcome in a game we probably could've won.”
Especially considering the Flyers played a clean game Tuesday, incurring just two penalties, neither of which hurt them.
“It's just another thing you have to overcome,” Mason said. “The puck is a funny thing sometimes and it's all about how you rebound.”
That the Flyers have been so close going into the final period and unable to win offers the positive that they are least very much in the games.
“Obviously third period is a big period, especially during tight games,” Adam Hall said. “That is something we need to work on.
“I think you can break it down to D-zone coverage and stuff like that. There are a lot of good players in this league so we just need to stick with it, obviously tighten up a few things, and go from there.”
Flyers captain Claude Giroux is off to his worst start ever with no goals, two assists and a minus-3 rating through seven games.
It’s a far cry from Giroux's best career start in 2011-12 when he had five goals and three assists for eight points in his first seven games.
“You want to be able to help the team, help them win,” Giroux said. “[Tuesday] I hit a couple posts. The frustration is there, but at the same time I’m going to look at the videos. We played a good game.
“When it comes to the end of the game like that, you have to find a way to get the job done. We had our chances, the guys played well. We are going to start winning games here soon and when we will, we will be back in the playoff race here.”
Who is your favorite NHL team right now? And this is her reply: “The Flyers are in last place. I guess that makes them my favorite NHL team right now.”