The biggest reason why the Philadelphia Flyers lost their game to the Tampa Bay Lightning on Sunday was the amount of penalties they took. Especially Flyers right wing Wayne Simmonds, who continued to take penalties left and right, and was eventually ejected from the game.
Simmonds isn’t the only player to be taking too many penalties. So other than the Flyers having no discipline, what else is causing them to be taking so many bad penalties? AHL call ups.
I know what you’re thinking, but hear me out first.
During the lockout a lot of fans were turning to the minor leagues to get their hockey fix. I have been extensively following the Flyers AHL affiliate, The Adirondack Phantoms. The Phantoms have a huge attitude problem on the ice. They fight in nearly every game and they take far too many penalties, giving their opponents way too many chances to score.
Now, Philadelphia fans like a fight in their games, but the Phantoms were fighting so much to the point that they couldn’t even score. Fighting was costing them games, as everyone on the team was trying to play the role of the enforcer. Which when you look at their record (17-21-2) you can see how negatively it has affected their season. The Phantoms are currently in dead last of the Eastern Conference of the AHL, so clearly taking penalties took its toll on their game.
This gives Flyers fans cause for worry since Brayden Schenn, Sean Couturier, Zac Rinaldo and Tye McGinn had all been playing in the AHL with the Phantoms during the lockout. The Phantoms are 6th in the AHL in penalties with 857 PIMS, which is interesting because right now the Flyers are leading the league in PIMs with a total of 124 minutes. They are currently tied with the Colorado Avalanche.
Is this a coincidence? I think not.
If these young kids are coming up from the minors, they need to stop doing dumb things on the ice that will penalize them, and affect the team as a whole. The Flyers don’t want their shortened season to emulate the Phantoms season, so the coaching staff really needs to grind into the players about penalties.
If the Flyers had a solid penalty kill, maybe taking all these penalties wouldn’t be as big of an issue as it is, but their penalty kill has been just as bad as their power play in the first six games. In order for the Flyers to be successful this season, they need to stop making dumb mistakes that give their opponents the upper hand. Especially with their defensive line and special teams playing so shaky and sluggish.