The Flyers face the Washington Capitals one day after the two teams were trade partners on deadline day. Michael Raffl will not play Tuesday, but newcomer Anthony Mantha will be in the lineup for Washington.
Both Alain Vigneault and Claude Giroux said the Flyers are trending in the right direction. James van Riemsdyk agreed and said they did a lot of good things. But the results don’t lie. The Flyers are not a playoff team at the moment in the standings for a reason. And they need a quick fix or this will be yet another season of disappointment, yet another season of mediocrity.
On Saturday night, things may just have come to a head. For the third time this week, the Flyers were no match for the Capitals for most of the night, having another furious rally fall short and losing for the fourth time in the last five games, 5-4.
Last week, the Flyers had to completed a massive comeback to secure a win and two points against the Penguins, and it was their only win of the three-game series. They wrap up a three-game week with the Capitals on Saturday night, desperately in need of a win to get back on track in the division race.
Thursday’s game was just another example of how ugly it’s been lately. Washington didn’t have to look their best to put a stranglehold on this game. And on a night when Washington, Boston, and the Islanders all picked up two more points in the standings with wins, the Flyers fell just a little farther behind in the race. Those points are costly no matter when they are lost.
After a 3-1 loss to Washington on Sunday night, the Capitals are back at Wells Fargo Center to face the Flyers for the next two games, starting with the third meeting of the season between the two teams on Thursday night.
The 3-1 loss to Washington marked the end of a 1-3-0 week for the Flyers, that produced just two points in the standings and pushed them below the playoff line. At 22 games into the season, there is still time left in the season and the panic button shouldn’t be pushed just yet. But there are ongoing trends that don’t bode well for the Flyers if this continues in the weeks ahead.