To put things mildly, things haven’t been going well for the Philadelphia Flyers. At least they shouldn’t feel lonely, as they hosted – and defeated – an equally grim* New York Rangers team 2-1 on Thursday.
This marks the Flyers’ second win of the season, as both teams have nearly identical records (Philly’s 2-7-0 while New York is 2-6-0).
For the Rangers, it’s pretty obvious: they just have one more road game in their staggering nine-game opening trip before they can get their feet under them a bit at Madison Square Garden. The Flyers have had it easier, as six of their first nine have been in Philadelphia. (At least Cam Talbot looked competent, stopping 25 out of 27 shots.)
Also: Brad Richards is playing well.
The bad news for the Flyers is that they aren’t even scoring in bunches when they win, as their two victories came at 2-1.
Oddly enough, Steve Mason’s strong play has been obscured by Philly’s awful scoring. Despite that 2-5-0 record, Mason’s .930 save percentage is sterling.
So, sure, you have to squint to find positives … although beating the Rangers is an obvious plus for Flyers fans.
* – The bleak outlooks are comparable unless you really want to split hairs of sadness.
If you think the Dallas Stars are struggling because of defense more than anything else, then you’ll make sure to keep the video above “on file.”
There Kari Lehtonen was, helpless on a 2-on-0 rush for the Calgary Flames, which Johnny Gaudreau finished with calm and ease. For some, that goal is the symbol of the Stars’ season.
Either way, it was a painful goal in the Flames’ 2-1 win against the Stars. Calgary won despite Dallas firing 30 shots on goal versus the Flames’ 20.
One team climbing, the other stumbling
With that, the Flames are now on a four-game winning streak. Since falling to 5-10-1 on Nov. 12, the Flames have gone 9-3-1 in their last 13 games, pushing them to 14-13-2 overall. Gaudreau coming back is the icing on the cake after Chad Johnson really took charge of the Flames’ top job.
During a similar span, the Stars can’t seem to get it together. Dallas stood at 6-6-3 after beating the Oilers 3-2 on Nov. 11. They’re now 10-11-6, essentially standing in place as a .500 team.
Dallas can’t seem to get momentum going, a thought that might have left them envious of the team on the other end of the ice on Tuesday.
On Tuesday, it wasn’t just about Jack Eichel vs. Connor McDavid. Instead, it was a clash between a fleet of young scorers who were in their prime, with the Buffalo Sabres coming up on top against the Edmonton Oilers.