As the trade deadline passes and the Flyers open up a few roster spots, it presents more of an opportunity for younger players to get more of a look at increased roles in the NHL. GM Chuck Fletcher used Sunday's game as an example of what he hopes to see for the rest of the season, "energy, hard work, young players playing a bigger role and getting an opportunity to show what they can do for next year."
The law of averages essentially caught up to the Flyers. Out of the break, they were lucky to get a win in Seattle and stole a point in San Jose. Deservedly, they have nothing to show for a defeat that featured more sloppy play, more poor puck management, and continued lapses in defensive coverage.
The decision has been made to suspend the NHL season and advance the holiday break by two days. A game on Monday night between the Dallas Stars and Minnesota Wild took place, and the Tuesday games – Flyers vs. Capitals and Vegas vs. Tampa Bay – will also take place pending test results.
The NHL will continue to play the 2021-22 season schedule, citing a low number of positive cases resulting in concerning symptoms or serious illness. The league will continue to monitor positive cases on a club-by-club basis and determine the need to shut down individual teams based on that. The Flyers are still operating, with only two players in COVID protocol as of Sunday morning.
It wasn’t pretty, and against another of the NHL’s bottom-feeder teams, the mistakes being made and the habits continuing to take center-stage are still troubling. But the Flyers also have strung together wins and points, and that’s what was needed against these teams. Now they need to continue to form better habits and apply it, perhaps as soon as next week against some tough Metro Division competition, if the schedule allows.
The Flyers 3-2 shootout loss to the Canadiens makes the performance from Tuesday more of an anomaly. It kills the momentum that this streak was building. It doesn’t help create more of an identity for a team that desperately needs one. So you can throw the positives and good vibes out the window.
Another offensive surge for the Flyers, hats on the ice for Cam Atkinson, and lots of smiles in a dominant win for the Flyers over the Devils to bring their winning streak to three games. But there was also a dose of reality that hit the Flyers in regards to what is plaguing the sports world across the nation.