They made another late comeback push but fell short just as they did on Thursday night. To drop both games to Washington while not getting a single point hurts when looking at the standings. The Flyers currently sit in fifth place with 29 points, three points behind the Boston Bruins.
A developing story right now is the goaltender situation. Earlier this season we were singing the praises of Brian Elliot, and confident young Carter Hart would find his groove eventually. We’re now looking at a situation where Hart seems to have some real technical problems he needs to correct fast, while Elliot showed signs of fatigue last night. I’m not in full panic mode, but with Hart’s inconsistency right now, I’m not sure how long Elliot lasts/stays sharp in a starter role with his injury history.
I am not gonna bash Elliot here, but last night was bad. The first goal from the Caps was directly caused by a brutal mishandle of a rebound that was cashed in by Daniel Sprong.
The second goal started with a carless turnover in the neutral zone by Claude Giroux from a back pass. Elliot then couldn’t cover up another rebound after a shot from the point, and the puck was stuffed under his pads by Carl Hagelin.
Philly made it a one goal game early into the second period courtesy of a James van Riemsdyk wrist shot, but then conceded a brutal goal about 30 seconds later. Classic. Elliot was then pulled for Hart, who was being benched on purpose in order to try and come back fresh next game.
Circling back to the goaltender situation, it is important to understand how much more support Hart had from the defense last year and how inconsistent the team’s defense has been this season. These past two games have made it pretty evident that this team needs defensive reinforcements. Mattias Ekholm has been mentioned lately, but a name starting to be rumored is David Savard of the Columbus Blue Jackets.
Savard would cause less of a cap issue with the expansion draft approaching, while also being a top 4 caliber right-handed defenseman. Ekholm would be great believe me, but with his contract you would assume the Flyers would protect his rights. Would you then be comfortable exposing a Phil Myers or Travis Sanheim? It gets tricky.
The Flyers find themselves playing both New York clubs over the next five games, which includes a three-game set against the first place Islanders starting Thursday. This group does not have time to continue playing this kind of hockey, I know I have said it multiple times, but every game is important.
Their next matchup is against the Rangers tomorrow night at 7:00 PM. Let’s hope we see a focused Hart (assuming he starts) and a much needed win.