Late-period goals: For all of Philadelphia’s success this season, they seem to be in the habit of giving up goals at the worst possible time: at the end of a period.
They gave up two late first-period goals to the Capitals to allow Washington to win the teams’ first meeting of the season. They gave up a ninth and game-winning goal to Winnipeg in the final few minutes of the third a few games later.
In late November, Carolina’s Jeff Skinner scored a goal with fifteen seconds left in the first to give the Canes a 2-0 lead. These deflating goals threaten to derail the team’s season if they continue to occur as the games get more and more important.
Coaching stubbornly on nationally-televised games: The Flyers drew some negative media attention during a game against the Tampa Bay Lightning that aired on the VS. Network.
Fed up with Lightning coach Guy Boucher’s 1-3-1 trap scheme, Peter Laviolette had his defensemen gain control of the puck in the defensive zone and hold it. And hold it. And hold it.
Much to the dismay of an overzealous media, the Flyers were willing to let time simply run off the clock rather than play into Tampa’s hand. Analysts, anchors and fans alike made the apparent chess match on ice the topic of discussion the next day, debating whether or not the NHL needs to add an NBA-style shot clock.
Seriously. The reaction was ridiculous, no doubt, but the whole incident was a bit of a black eye for a very proud hockey organization.
Brayden Schenn: Schenn’s talents remain to be seen, and while his time will certainly come, it is becoming more and more clear that that time isn’t as soon as many fans hoped.
With the emergence of Sean Couturier and Matt Read and the abundance of centers on the Flyers’ roster, Schenn has had trouble finding his place in Philly. He has played in only six games, is yet to score a point, and is a minus-six for the season.
He missed time with a broken foot earlier in the season and is now out indefinitely with concussion-like symptoms. So far, the supposed best part of the Mike Richards trade has been a non-factor.
Durability: Every team deals with injuries, but the Flyers have some major concerns.
As mentioned, Brayden Schenn’s highly-anticipated rookie season has been derailed by injuries. More importantly, the Flyers have seen their captain, Chris Pronger, go down on more than one occasion, already dealing with an eye injury, knee surgery and concussion-like symptoms.
Most recently, superstar center Claude Giroux took a teammate’s knee to the back of his head, causing him to leave the game against Tampa Bay. Goaltender Ilya Bryzgalov also left the game with a lower body injury.
James van Riemsdyk, Andreas Lilja and Jaromir Jagr have spent time dealing with injuries as well. The team has been resilient through it all, but the team has missed quite a bit of manpower this early in the year.