Bad to worse.
That’s what has happened to the Flyers over the last three weeks.
After getting shutout against the Atlanta Thrashers, the Flyers began the month of December with another shutout loss against the Vancouver Canucks. The following day, Dec. 4, the team decided to relieve Johns Stevens of his coaching duties. He was replaced with former Carolina Hurricanes coach Peter Laviolette. He lead the team to the Stanley Cup in 2006.
Laviolette’s tenure began on a bad note when the team lost the first two games under his tutelage. The Flyers were destroyed by the Capitals at home by a score of 8-2. That Monday, they dropped a 3-1 decision to the Montreal Canadians.
Laviolette’s first win came the next day at home against the New York Islanders. In a 6-2 win, the goals were scored by three players; Mike Richards, Jeff Carter and Claude Giroux each had two goals.
The Flyers were shutout again that Thursday by the Ottawa Senators at home, 2-0. Nothing got better that Saturday against the New Jersey Devils. The Flyers quickly found themselves down and eventually out as they could not dig themselves out of a hole and lost 4-1. Claude Giroux was the only goal scorer.
The team snapped a short two-game losing streak with a 3-1 win against the Boston Bruins this past Monday. They came back from 1-0 down to win a preview of the Winter Classic. Kimmo Timonen starred with two goals in the win.
A home-and-home with the Pittsburgh Penguins proved deadly for the Flyers as they tried to get out of their funk. Tuesday in Pittsburgh, after tying the game at one, the Pens took over and completely manhandled the Flyers in a 6-1 drubbing. Thursday, the Flyers gave a better effort but coughed up two one-goal leads and dropped the game in a shootout.
With a little under 9,000 fans at the game on Saturday because of snow, the Flyers couldn’t give the fans something good as they lost their first match-up of the season with the New York Rangers. Chris Pronger scored the only goal on the power-play.
Besides losing, the Flyers continue to be hit by injuries. In the beginning of the month, the team lost Ray Emery for over a month because of abdominal surgery. This could be a reason for these latest struggles.
The team recently claimed former Flyer goaltender Michael Leighton off waivers from the Carolina Hurricanes. He is serving as Brian Boucher’s back-up right now. The Flyers have gotten a little bit healthier as Blair Betts has returned from injury. Hopefully some much needed scoring will return as well since Simon Gagne returned on Saturday after missing 24 games.
The Flyers finish up a homestand tonight against the Florida Panthers. Wednesday, they will be in Tampa Bay, Saturday in Carolina and in New York on Sunday.
You can contact Colin Fry at firstname.lastname@example.org