They’ve played more games than any team in the NHL, and they’re still only 11th place in the Eastern Conference.
We’re talking, of course, about the 12-14-1 Philadelphia Flyers. After 27 games, they sit three points back of the eighth-place Rangers, who have three games in hand.
With 21 games left in the shortened schedule, Philadelphia is estimating it has to win 15 games to get into the playoffs. A tall order for any team, let alone one that has yet to win three in a row this season.
“For some reason, whether we are fragile or what, we don’t seem comfortable playing at 0-0 or even 1-0,” Flyers general manager Paul Holmgren said Monday, per Philly.com. “You look at that game against Boston Saturday. As soon as they scored that power-play goal, we became unraveled. We don’t seem to be able to gather ourselves up.”
Holmgren also spoke about the goaltending the Flyers have received from Ilya Bryzgalov, whose save percentage has fallen to .899 after a strong start.
“Some nights we need to play better,” said Holmgren. “Some nights he needs to play better.”
Philadelphia is in New Jersey Wednesday and hosts the seventh-place Devils (12-9-5) Friday in a rematch.
“Big two games,” said recent acquisition Simon Gagne, “maybe the two biggest games of the season for us. After that it could be a big difference where we want to be in the standings.”
You probably know the drill: injury updates are murky in the NHL basically from the moment a puck drops.
We’ll learn more once the 2015-16 season begins, but at the moment, Saturday might have served as a costly night for the Tampa Bay Lightning. Both Tyler Johnson and Alex Killorn went down with injuries stemming from a 3-2 pre-season win against the Florida Panthers.
“Guys were dropping like flies,” Steven Stamkos told the Tamba Bay Times.
These could be minor situations – just about any ailment will sideline a key asset this time of year – yet one cannot help but wonder if the Lightning might limp into this campaign.
Nikita Kucherov is dealing with his own issues, so that means at least minor issues for one half of the Bolts’ top six forwards.
It’s believed that more will be known about these banged-up Bolts sometime on Sunday.
With knee issues still limiting him, Raffi Torres isn’t as mobile as he once was. Apparently he still moves well enough to leave the usual path of destruction.
It’s the pre-season, so it’s unclear if we’ll get a good look at the check, but Torres received a match penalty for his hit on Anaheim Ducks forward Jakob Silfverberg.
Most accounts were pretty critical of the San Jose Sharks’ chief troublemaker:
It’s too early to tell if Silfverberg is injured. If he is, that’s a significant loss for the Ducks, as he really showed signs of fulfilling his promise (especially during the 2015 playoffs).
As far as Torres goes, he’s hoping to play in the Sharks’ season-opener. Wherever he ends up, he’ll certainly make plenty of enemies on the ice.
Whether it was because of that hit or just the general distaste shared by those sides, it sounds like tonight’s Sharks – Ducks exhibition is getting ugly, in general:
This post will be updated if video of the hit becomes available, and also if we get a better idea of Silfverberg’s condition.
Update: All that’s been announced about Silfverberg is that he’s under evaluation and will not return.