The Flyers' 2018-19 season can't end soon enough.
A year that consisted of front office members and coaches being let go is concluding with a thud.
In the season's penultimate game, the Flyers lost to the Blues, 7-3, Thursday night at Enterprise Center.
The Flyers (37-36-8) are 3-9-0 over their last 12 games, a stretch in which they've been outscored 49-27.
If the Flyers (82 points) fail to win Saturday's finale, they will finish with their fewest points in a full season since 2006-07, when they went 22-48-12 for 56 points.
Before the Blues (44-28-9) beat the Flyers, 3-0, on Jan. 7, St. Louis was 16-19-4 with 36 points, the same total as the orange and black. Since then, the Blues have gone 28-9-5 and Craig Berube has them in the playoffs.
• That is not the way Brian Elliott wanted to go out.
Starting against one of his former teams, Elliott was yanked 6:58 into Thursday's start, which very well could be his final outing in a Flyers sweater. Elliott, a pending unrestricted free agent, turns 34 years old next week and has battled core injuries throughout his two seasons with the Flyers.
The Flyers will move forward with Carter Hart as their franchise goalie but will have to make a decision on the youngster's backup for 2019-20.
• Once again, the Flyers were a step behind. They were chasing and watching the play. They're probably running on fumes but they've been carved up too easily down the stretch, a concern that needs to be addressed in the offseason.
It's not like the Flyers are severely lacking quickness or good skaters. Then again, their bottom six is far from ideal right now and depth continues to be an issue.
• A wild first period quickly unfolded and ended Elliott's night.
The Blues scored four goals (one shorthanded) on five shots against Elliott and then added one against Hart, who converted 27 saves in relief.
The Flyers scored three of their own (Oskar Lindblom, James van Riemsdyk, Claude Giroux), but the problem was they allowed the first three in the game's opening 5:33 before finally answering.
Over the past six games, the Flyers have been outscored 14-4 in the first period. On the season, they have a minus-29 goal differential in the opening stanza.
At this point, there's no excuse for it.
• None of the Flyers' defensemen had a good game. Ivan Provorov was actually even in the plus-minus department unlike many of his teammates but he wasn't great.
He couldn't break up a 2-on-1 for the Blues during the first period and then had a puck deflect off him and right to Brayden Schenn in the second period as St. Louis grabbed a 6-3 lead.
Steen's shorthanded goal kept the Blues rolling. #stlblues pic.twitter.com/TmUzIFU8UE— St. Louis Blues (@StLouisBlues) April 5, 2019
Brayden Schenn gets a good bounce. #stlblues pic.twitter.com/FCTRFchnep— St. Louis Blues (@StLouisBlues) April 5, 2019
• Rookie defenseman Philippe Myers was a minus-3 in 9:44 ice time and has had a tough go over his last seven games. However, this is good exposure for Myers as the 22-year-old prepares for a full-time role in 2019-20.
One of the key storylines to next season will be the need for the team's young defensemen to play comfortably and consistently.
• The Flyers didn't have Nolan Patrick, who was out with an upper-body injury. He didn't look like himself as Tuesday's game went on in Dallas and reacted pretty slowly on a goal against that he and interim head coach Scott Gordon had words about on the bench (see story).
• The Flyers wrap up the 2018-19 season Saturday when they host the Hurricanes (7 p.m./NBCSP). Before puck drop, they'll hand out their annual team awards (see story).
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