The Philadelphia Flyers are off to one of their worst starts in recent memory.
As of this writing (October 30), the Flyers are the fourth worst team in the entire National Hockey League with 8 points. At 4-7, it is clear that several things are not working for this hockey club.
As always when it comes to the Flyers, their goaltending is a major problem. This franchise’s goaltending has been inconsistent/bad for what seems like forever and yet, any changes they try and make to it go south.
The team currently (As of October 30) last in the league in goals allowed. They’ve allowed 46 goals in 11 games, which means that they re giving up just over four goals per game.
The club’s supposed starting netminder, Brian Elliott has been dreadful. That’s actually putting it lightly as he is currently (As of October 30) 2-5 with a 3.39 goals against average and a .886 save percentage.
When the team signed him as a UFA back in 2017, he was supposed to stabilize the position. However, he’s done the exact opposite and has not solved any of the goaltending problems that seem to plague this franchise.
Even Elliott’s partners have been awful. Calvin Pickard is 2-1 with a 4.75 goals against average and a .833 save percentage while Michal Neuvirth is 0-1 with a 6.00 goals against average and a .727 save percentage.
Based on the numbers above, it is clear that the team’s number one problem is their netminding. If you’re not going to get consistent goaltending, then you are going to lose a lot of hockey games.
Another problem this team is having is on special teams. For a team that has a lot of talent up front, they certainly cannot seem to put the puck in the net when they have the man advantage.
As of this writing (October 30), the Flyers are 24th in the league on the power play as they have converted just 15 percent of their power plays. For a team that has not been too bad when it comes to putting the puck in the net this year, that number is unacceptable.
Remember, this team has the likes of Claude Giroux, Sean Couturier, Wayne Simmonds, James Van Riemsdyk, Jakub Voracek, Shayne Gostisbehere, and Ivan Provorov. With that amount of offensive talent, they should be able to score some power-play goals.
Speaking of special teams, they are also struggling to kill penalties. As of this writing (October 30), they are the worst in the league in that category as they have only killed 67 percent of the penalties that they have taken this season.
When you don’t have good goaltending, this means that the team needs to be at its very best in protecting them when the other team is on the power play. Clearly, the club is not doing that.
Lastly, this team just doesn’t look good. They look out of sync, disinterested, and a team that has yet to establish an identity this season. Definitely not good for a team that should be a playoff contender in the Eastern Conference.
Something needs to change in Philly. It will be interesting to see if general manager Ron Hextall takes the necessary steps to make this team good enough to get into the playoffs this season.
Photo: NBC Sports Philadelphia