COVID is still running wild in the NHL and the rest of the world, but the Flyers make their return with five new additions to the COVID protocol list over the last several days, but also three players back from protocols. They will face the Seattle Kraken in their return, opening up a four-game road trip on Wednesday night.
In a 7-1 rout by the Tampa Bay Lightning, the Flyers losing streak reached eight games, with now three of those losses coming at the hands of the back-to-back champs. And the takeaways from this one are pretty simple. It can’t be much longer before more changes start coming. There isn’t much more to say about the play on the ice that hasn’t already been said during this streak. A season that was all about making the playoffs and getting back to winning has become the opposite in a hurry.
On the Flyers end, the selection by the Seattle Kraken was rather surprising. While many focused on names like Jake Voracek, James van Riemsdyk, Shayne Gostisbehere, Justin Braun and Robert Hagg, who were left unprotected, the Kraken selected forward Carsen Twarynski as their pick from Philadelphia.
The Tampa Bay Lightning built the foundation of their championship team through the draft and had to experience a lot of failure before reaching the top. The Flyers may be in the early stages of following the same blueprint.
Both teams received power plays in overtime, but it was a call made at the end of regulation and another on Stars captain Jamie Benn in overtime that caused the most talk, leading to the game-winning goal from Kevin Shattenkirk that gave the Lightning a 5-4 win and a 3-1 series lead on Friday night.
The Dallas Stars struck first, but the Tampa Bay Lightning were able to push back to tie the game after one, but a pair of goals late in the second set the tone for the Stars, as they were able to take Game 1 by a score of 4-1 thanks to some unlikely heroes and outstanding goaltending from Anton Khudobin.
Allowing three power-play goals, six goals to even the most potent offense in the Tampa Bay Lightning and making enough fundamental mistakes to create a deficit in the first place don't look good. But the rally showed some character. It may not be a win but the Flyers need to channel this effort late in the game into better results from here.