The Flyers went 0-1-1 over the weekend in games against the Tampa Bay Lightning and Florida Panthers, respectively. The Flyers salvaged a point on Saturday in a high-scoring shootout loss with the best team in the NHL. Unfortunately, that didn’t translate to Sunday’s game where they lost 4-1 to the Panthers.
Over the weekend, the Orange and Black allowed ten goals in regulation (twelve including a shootout) while scoring seven goals. Even though they earned one point, they could have used more points for their playoff push.
With all of that in mind here is the good, the bad, and the ugly from the Flyers weekend trip to Florida.
The good: The Flyers took the Lightning’s best punch and walked away with a point.
This was a good performance from the Flyers offense. Ten Flyers registered points, five of them had two or more points.
This also showed that the Orange and Black have heart. They never gave up in Saturday’s game. The Lightning were relentless but the Flyers still found a way to take the best team in the NHL to a shootout.
If they tighten up a few things on defense and get a better performance from their goaltender they could have walked away with a huge two points. Despite the loss, it gave me a lot of confidence that they can compete with any team in the postseason.
The bad: Petr Mrazek was less than good over the weekend.
Six goals (eight including the two shootout goals) against the Lightning then four goals against the Panthers doesn’t really bode well for Petr Mrazek.
Mrazek’s last good performance came against the Montreal Canadiens on February 26 where he shut out the Habs en route to a 1-0 shootout win. Since then he has looked incredibly human. He still looks superhuman at times but his last three starts have been mediocre at best. If the last three games are any indication, it is still Brian Elliott’s job to lose.
The ugly: Dave Hakstol’s coaching remains questionable.
I don’t want to beat a dead horse, but it is pretty clear that Mrazek hasn’t been hot in three games. I understand wanting him to work through his issues, but this puts him in a rough predicament with Wednesday’s pivotal game against the Penguins.
On Wednesday Hakstol will have to pick between a struggling Mrazek and a goaltender who he has no confidence in, Alex Lyon. Neither option seems particularly appealing right now. If I were a betting man I would say Mrazek will get the start.
If I were Dave Hakstol, I would have started Lyon on Sunday against the Panthers to spell Mrazek and ensure he is prepared for the Wednesday night rivalry game.
The second aspect of Hakstol’s questionable coaching decisions dates back a few months actually: Travis Sanheim deserves to be playing at the NHL level. This is plain and simple. Sanheim provides more upside than Brandon Manning and Johnny Oduya. He can generate offense and looked good in his limited time. What’s worth noting is that Sanheim was scratched and sent down for mistakes that Manning makes with no repercussion.
Andrew MacDonald was out on Sunday with an upper body injury which is listed as “day to day”. Johnny Oduya only had one shift in the third period on Sunday, he appeared to be injured too. If this is the case, maybe Sanheim will get a second shot this season. Here’s hoping.
The Flyers return to action on Wednesday night at the Wells Fargo Center to take on the Pittsburgh Penguins.