It’s getting ugly in Philadelphia as Flyers lose 10th straight
Exactly one year ago to the day the Philadelphia Flyers were in the middle of what would end up becoming a 10-game winning streak.
It propelled them -- for the time being -- into a playoff spot and on the heels of a surprising late-season surge at the end of the 2015-16 season made it look like they were a team on the rise.
As it turns out, they were not a team on the rise. Not anything close to that, actually.
On Saturday the Flyers were 3-0 losers on home ice to the Boston Bruins to extend their current losing streak to 10 games.
It has been an extremely frustrating streak.
They have lost five games in overtime or a shootout. They have allowed third period leads (sometimes multiple goal leads) to slip away. They have, at times, played well enough to win only to find new ways to fall short.
Six of the losses have been by a single goal.
If you are an optimist you could look at this as a run of incredible bad luck, and that maybe they are not that far away from having three, four or perhaps even five wins during this streak.
That maybe if they keep doing some of the things they are doing (trust the process?!) they will start to win again. Maybe even on a regular basis.
If you are an optimist. That might be a little too optimistic given the actual circumstances.
The reality, though, is that since that 10-game winning streak ended on December 17 the Flyers have played nearly a full season’s worth of games.
To be exact, they have played 76 games between the end of that streak and the start of this season.
They have won only 28 of them.
Their 28-34-14 record during that stretch is only good enough for a 75-point pace over an 82-game schedule. That is not exactly a terribly small sample size of games. That would be bottom-five in the league standings in just about any season.
If he wasn’t already before you have to assume that coach Dave Hakstol is now sitting on the hottest seat in the NHL.
This is his third season behind the team’s bench. He needed a miracle late-season run in his first season just to get into the playoffs, then managed to fall short last season despite coaching a team that won 10 games in a row (missing the playoffs in a season where you win 10 games in a row is almost unheard of). Now the team is in the middle of a 10-game losing streak, looked completely flat in a game where it had three days off, is quickly falling out of playoff contention (seven points out of a wild card spot with six teams ahead of them), and is set to head out on a three-game western road trip.
Their underlying numbers are not terrible. The roster has talent (veteran and youth). But at some point you can no longer keep looking past the fact they have been one of the five worst teams in the league over nearly a full season’s worth of games.