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Canes’ first win shines spotlight on Flyers’ woes

Oct 6, 2013, 7:56 PM EDT

murphycoutsgetty Getty Images

The score was just 2-1, but the Carolina Hurricanes’ first win of 2013-14 really digs the knife into the Philadelphia Flyers, who are still searching for their first win of the season after three frustrating games.

Carolina dominated much of the play, out-shooting Philly 34-18 (including 17-5 in the first period and 7-3 in the final frame despite Carolina holding that 2-1 lead).

Different goaltending pictures

It marks Anton Khudobin‘s debut as Carolina’s sneaky-good backup after serving that part for the Boston Bruins.

In times like these, it’s basically a reflex to blame the goalie in Philly; can they really do that after Steve Mason stopped 32 out of 34 shots, though?

One might have seen some symbolism in Nicklas Grossmann‘s third-period cross-checking penalty, as the blueliner sent Patrick Dwyer sprawling dangerously into his own goalie.

Few bright spots for Philly

Brayden Schenn, Sean Couturier and Zac Rinaldo collected matching -2 ratings on Sunday, so if you want a quick group to blame, that might be a start.

Unfortunately, it appears that the Flyers’ problems are broad enough that the more useful activity might be finding the strong points.

  • Star center Claude Giroux hasn’t scored a point yet. The same can be said of Scott Hartnell, Jakub Voracek, Wayne Simmonds and others.
  • To hammer the point home, the Flyers have only scored three goals in three games.
  • Philly scored its first even-strength goal of 2013-14 today. Other than that, they’ve only scored on the man advantage, going 2-for-14 so far. Special teams isn’t that much of strength, however, as they’ve allowed more power-play goals (three on 17 penalty kills) than they’ve scored.
  • Their shot totals have dropped from 32 to 23 to 18.

So … yeah, basically everything is going poorly.

Axe to fall?

The inevitable question, then, is how long is the leash for head coach Peter Laviolette and GM Paul Holmgren?

Both front office members have received multiple votes of confidence, yet there’s no denying that the Flyers organization has a tendency to make bold, reactive moves instead of staying the course. (“Hey, we gave Ilya Bryzgalov two whole seasons!”)

Fair or not, it wouldn’t be surprising if there’s a knee-jerk reaction coming soon. While we wait, feel free to play “When will the Flyers win their first game?” game by looking at the next 10 contests in their schedule:

Tuesday: vs. Florida
Friday: vs. Phoenix
Saturday: at Detroit
Oct. 15: vs. Vancouver
Oct. 17: vs. Pittsburgh
Oct. 24: vs. NY Rangers
Oct. 26: at NY Islanders
Oct. 29: vs. Anaheim
Nov. 1: vs. Washington
Nov. 2: at New Jersey

As you can see, the Flyers have a week between home games against the Penguins and Rangers, so … they might want to start winning by then. Just throwing it out there.

  1. malkinrulez - Oct 6, 2013 at 8:10 PM

    That panthers game looks like a must win. I just don’t understand how this team doesn’t score goals, way too much talent . Flyers look like the same team from early in the season last year

    • drone501 - Oct 6, 2013 at 10:02 PM

      they got the same bunch of blockheads taking the same old penalties, playing the broad st thing that has been irrellevant for years. in other word, they still suck.

      • cg28rulz - Oct 7, 2013 at 7:07 AM

        drone501 you sound like a typical sabres fan

    • valoisvipers - Oct 7, 2013 at 12:41 AM

      You wouldn’t think the Flyers could start worse than last year but they are worse with the realignment they are now in 16th instead of 15th place. The team has never recovered from Pronger’s absence.

    • cg28rulz - Oct 7, 2013 at 7:13 AM

      maybe they should invite 75 guys to camp instead of 60 and see how much less cohesive the team can be!!! say what you want but it isnt Lavi or Homer that isnt scoring or turning over those pucks!!

  2. wisdomnfl - Oct 6, 2013 at 8:24 PM

    Flyers need a stud player they have no one now. Terrible shame.

    • drone501 - Oct 6, 2013 at 10:03 PM

      thought they had vinnie

    • captngeetch - Oct 7, 2013 at 7:47 AM

      Claude Giroux IS a stud player as you put it, so that’s not it. And I am sure he will catch fire at some point soon. One of their problems is those knee jerk reactions, give players a chance to develop and gel…and as always, the scrimp in the goaltending aquisition..always a hasbeen or an alsoran. And I agree with the other posters, they sorely miss Pronger on defense. They tried to fill that spot when they offersheeted Weber and ended up pissing off GM’s everywhere…so willing trade partners are few and far between and those who are willing want the world…can’t say I blame them..it was another boneheaded move by Holmgren..ie Bryz’s insane contract, trading Bob, Carter, Richards etc. etc. But, as a Rangers fan..I love it…keep it Philly !

      • ibieiniid - Oct 7, 2013 at 8:17 AM

        lol offersheeted

      • ibieiniid - Oct 7, 2013 at 8:17 AM

        it’s “offershat.”

  3. jpelle82 - Oct 6, 2013 at 8:30 PM

    3 games in and we’re already talking about axes and leashes? this game was really an aberration, i dont expect them to continue to turn the puck over as much as they did from behind their own net but the lack of goal scoring is confusing. giroux w/ 3 games and 0 pts, -1 and only averaging 3 shots per game…that cant continue. oh and hartnell sucks, they need to put him on the 4th line, i dont see why he is getting more minutes than voracek.

    • ibieiniid - Oct 7, 2013 at 8:40 AM

      how many times can Hartnell think he’s gonna get a slapshot through on the break before he realizes it’s an amazingly easy shot to block/save. I’ve seen him hit that shot twice in all the years he’s been there.

  4. philly4lyfe - Oct 6, 2013 at 8:34 PM

    voracek got hurt during the preseason and still isn’t 100%, so he’s been skating w/ the 3rd line mostly.

  5. withseidelinn - Oct 6, 2013 at 8:49 PM

    If they can’t get a W against FLA then they might be in for a pretty rough 2 and a half weeks

  6. sjsharks66 - Oct 6, 2013 at 8:56 PM

    After the embarrassing loss FLA had, i would not be surprised if Thomas plays a great game against the Flyers.
    They need to win against FLA or their coaching staff may get the axe.

  7. girouxed - Oct 6, 2013 at 9:45 PM

    There seems to be internal conflict in the team to me. post game interview G talked about sticking to the plan. What that plan is I dont know but he really emphasized sticking to their plan…. thing is there doesn’t seem to be a plan during the game lol

    what a mess

  8. ericcoyle15 - Oct 6, 2013 at 10:05 PM

    point is it is wayyyy to soon to judge have they looked bad? yes but the goaltending has actually looked decent compared to how many shots the opposing team has taken, they added essentially 2 new goaltenders (with the exception that mason only played 7 games last year) a new forward and a new defensemen its going to take more than a few pre season games and the first few games of a season for the team to click, they will start to score they just need that one game to put the wheel in motion

    • jl9830 - Oct 7, 2013 at 8:55 AM

      It’s not too soon, since the Flyers were this disappointingly bad last season, and the Flyers fanbase was promised something different. It might be early, but this is the same garbage Flyers fans put up with last season. It’s not too early to complain about it.

  9. President Charles Logan - Oct 6, 2013 at 10:43 PM

    not sure why Laviolette was even brought back , he should have been canned last year

  10. mcphillthy - Oct 6, 2013 at 11:05 PM

    Lavy doesn’t know how to adjust his system. Every single GM out there knows how to work the system lavy is using. It also seems like the players aren’t happy with it either. I don’t see a lot of energy or fun on the ice. There is something wrong in the locker room

  11. mcphillthy - Oct 6, 2013 at 11:36 PM

    Lavy doesn’t know how to adjust his system. Every single GM out there knows how to work the system lavy is using. It also seems like the players aren’t happy with it either. I don’t see a lot of energy or fun on the ice.

  12. icelovinbrotha215 - Oct 7, 2013 at 12:07 AM

    With Murray coaching the Phantoms, it’s not far-fetched.

  13. jl9830 - Oct 7, 2013 at 8:52 AM

    And to think Flyers fans on here laughed at me when I said the Flyers wouldn’t be that good.

  14. prosportswashington - Oct 7, 2013 at 11:34 AM

    It doesn’t matter how good your forwards are if you can’t clear the puck from your own zone, which they can’t because all Holmgren wants to do is sign a big name D man every year

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