Chris Szagola/Associated Press
The Flyers need to upgrade their team defense.
The biggest issue for the Flyers remains their defense. Simply put, it isn't good enough or consistent enough for the team to make a long playoff run this season.
After a recent loss to the Columbus Blue Jackets, coach Craig Berube told CSN Philly's Michael Arace, "We’re not very good in our own end. Breaking the puck out, turning the puck over, penalties...I believe we’re not doing a very good job of it and we end up spending too much time in our end."
While Berube added that, "I don’t think it’s a work-ethic thing. I think it’s just execution, for the most part," the bottom line is that the present lineup has had 57 games to get it right and they just haven't done the job well enough.
Dave Isaac of The Courier Post recently added that, "All in all, the Flyers have been a mess in their own zone."
Flyers fans have seen it almost all season long. Poor positional defense, players slow to react, poor backchecking by forwards and defensemen that cough up the puck too often in their own zone.
As of February 6, the Flyers are 19th in the NHL in goals allowed per game. Sixteen teams make the playoffs, so you do the math. When you add the fact that the Flyers have mostly gotten good goaltending throughout the season, you can see team defense is an issue.
The Flyers need to add a top-four defenseman, preferably somebody with speed to keep up with the league's swifter forwards.
This is an essential area the team must address if they hope to make the postseason this year.