The Philadelphia Flyers rank in the lower third in the National Hockey League in goals scored and in goals allowed. That’s obviously not good and won’t lead to a playoff appearance if those trends continue.
Claude Giroux was rightfully named the team’s new captain prior to the start of the season. It appears as though that moniker has been pressing on his psyche, because “G” only has two goals and two assists in the season’s first eight games. Last season he average 1.21 points per game.
Mike Knuble was recently added to the squad due to his career resume, veteran presence and potential offensive contributions. He was a solid goal scorer for the Flyers the first time around. As the 40-year-old is working himself back into game shape, he doesn’t initially appear to be this season’s version of Jaromir Jagr.
Sometimes a team begins to feel like it just can’t win. After losing a scoring threat like Scott Hartnell for approximately two months due to injury, no other unusual events needed to take place.
The elbow that Capitals’ John Erskine intentionally applied to Wayne Simmonds‘ face during Friday’s road game against the Washington Capitals was brutal. It also became one of those moments that felt like buzzard’s luck had fully set in.
Peter Laviolette’s team is 2-6-0 and has only scored more than one goal in a game three times this season. There were two games (a 5-2 loss to the Buffalo Sabres and a 2-1 victory over the New York Rangers) where they scored two goals, but only one game (a 7-1 victory over the Tampa Bay Lightning) where they scorched the ice.
The Flyers rank last in the Eastern Conference, yet they’ve been competitive during most of their games. They could begin to turn things around by just scratching at least two consecutive Ws aside of upcoming contests on their 48-game schedule.
That final point, about the mini-schedule, is the most ominous. If the Flyers skate too far into February and aren’t able to move somewhere within range of the .500 mark, concerns will begin moving toward unwanted seasonal realizations.