Coaches do their best to convince players not to get too high or too low due to nights – and really weeks – like these.
To varying degrees, the New York Islanders and Philadelphia Flyers came into Thursday with momentum. Their respective opponents flipped the script, however, leaving each Eastern Conference playoff hopeful with zero standings points.
You could probably argue that the Flyers’ loss was especially egregious. A night after blanking the potent Pittsburgh Penguins, Philly suffered a numbing 6-2 defeat to a New Jersey Devils team with little to fight for. Such a poor performance drew at least some derision for the Flyers’ head coach Dave Hakstol, with the Philadelphia Inquirer’s Sam Carchidi wondering if the team “quit” on him.
Steve Mason‘s body language captured the mood:
While the Islanders’ opponent had more on the line – the Winnipeg Jets are technically still in the West hunt, though their odds aren’t that different from the Flyers’ out East – but the result was just as problematic. Winnipeg beat the Islanders 4-2 on Thursday.
It was another rough night for Thomas Greiss & Co.
At the moment, the Tampa Bay Lightning look like they’ll be able to empathize with the Islanders and Flyers, as the Maple Leafs hold a big lead in that significant game.
Overall, it’s a pretty significant swing in mood on a night that both the Islanders and Flyers may regret.
(The Florida Panthers also put themselves in an increasingly dire situation with a regulation loss to the Columbus Blue Jackets.)