April 10, 2015 |
THEY COULDN'T win on the road. They couldn't take a punch, at least at the start of the season, and later, when the fight seemed to be turning in their favor. Shootouts were another thing that seemed to have gotten in their collective heads, and when you roll it all together, it's kind of incredible the Flyers stayed as relevant in the local sports conversation as they did, all the way up to that lost weekend in early March. But that's the good news, if there is such a thing to this season, why they did for as long as they did. Over this long, arduous haul a few people have stepped up as leader types, in the room and on the ice, guys who had been riders in years past.
April 3, 2015 |
PITTSBURGH - The man in charge of putting together the NHL's scheduling matrix must have been cheered last June, when this year's slate was finally released. Finding a way then to get the Flyers and Penguins to collide twice on national broadcasts in the penultimate week of the regular season? Brilliant. Today? Not so much, with the Flyers set to miss the Stanley Cup playoffs for the third time in the last two decades. Turns out, bad blood alone isn't enough to keep the hatred circulating in what was the NHL's best rivalry.
March 31, 2015 |
With the Flyers staying home for the second postseason in the last three years, one interesting aspect of their final six regular-season games is whether they can crown the first scoring champion in franchise history. The Flyers were eliminated from the playoff race Sunday when the Boston Bruins beat the Carolina Hurricanes, 2-1, in overtime. Winger Jake Voracek trails Pittsburgh's Sidney Crosby by three points in the scoring race. Voracek has 21 goals and 55 assists for 76 points.
March 30, 2015 |
When the epitaph on the Flyers' frustrating season is written, it will read: Fell out of contention because they could not beat non-playoff teams late in the season . It happened again Saturday afternoon as San Jose, which will miss the playoffs for the first time since 2003, scored a 3-2 shootout win at the Wells Fargo Center. Brent Burns won it on a backhander in the fifth shootout round. The Flyers have lost 10 straight (0-6-4) against teams not in a playoff spot when they met. "I don't think we put enough pucks on the net today," said Jake Voracek, who had two assists but fell two points behind Sidney Crosby (78 points)
March 22, 2015 |
EDMONTON, Alberta - Flyers captain Claude Giroux said Thursday's players-only meeting was to "get everybody on the same page. " The meeting was held after the Flyers dropped a 4-1 decision in Calgary, their eighth straight road loss. "Sometimes it's good for the players to speak up and say what they think. Everyone is frustrated. Everyone is not happy with the situation," said Giroux, whose team plays in Edmonton on Saturday night. "Nine games left and we have to get our things together.
March 20, 2015 |
CALGARY, Alberta - For most, the biggest item on the Flyers' wish list this summer is a stud left winger to skate alongside Claude Giroux and Jake Voracek. Ron Hextall joked last week no one was going to wave a magic wand and say, "OK, here's a 25-year-old Brett Hull, thank you very much. " No, that will not happen. But what if the Flyers already have a suitable first-line left winger who can bury goals from the feathery passes off the sticks of the team's two stars? His name is Michael Raffl.
March 19, 2015 |
VANCOUVER, British Columbia — The Flyers' road woes continued Tuesday night in Vancouver, and once again they failed to give goalie Steve Mason much offensive support. Right winger Alex Burrows scored two third-period goals 17 seconds apart, snapping a 1-1 tie and sparking the Canucks to a hard-earned 4-1 win at Rogers Arena. It was the Flyers' seventh straight road loss (0-5-2); they slipped to 9-19-9 on the road, where they haven't won since a 2-1 victory in Buffalo on Feb. 15. Mason (31 saves)
March 17, 2015 |
OTTAWA - There are a multitude of reasons the Flyers will miss the playoffs for just the third time in the last 20 seasons. At the top of the list: the team's road miseries, which continued Sunday night with a 2-1 shootout loss to the Ottawa Senators at the Canadian Tire Centre. Bobby Ryan, the pride of Cherry Hill, was the only player to score in the shootout as Ottawa continued its impressive run toward a possible playoff berth. The Senators, 11-1-1 in their last 13 games, moved to within five points of Boston for the Eastern Conference's final playoff spot.
March 15, 2015 |
When the Flyers have played on the road this season, things have gone so badly for Steve Mason that even when he registers a shutout he is the losing goalie. It happened Thursday in St. Louis, where Mason put together another sensational performance but once again was the victim of the Flyers' offensive ineptitude in a 1-0 shootout loss. Mason, who is among the NHL leaders in save percentage (.925, tied for fifth) and goals-against average (2.26, 10th), has more road shutouts (two)
March 14, 2015 |
ST. LOUIS - Speaking to a group of reporters Wednesday, general manager Ron Hextall said he would have to evaluate the Flyers' leadership group in the offseason because of the team's "inconsistencies. " On Thursday, coach Craig Berube conceded that the Flyers have missed Kimmo Timonen's calming influence on the ice and in the locker room, but he said he was satisfied with the leadership group, which includes captain Claude Giroux and alternates Mark Streit and Wayne Simmonds. "I think G and the leaders have done a good job, to be honest with you," Berube said before the Flyers faced St. Louis.