Dave Hakstol's admission symbolic of Flyers' state

Dave Hakstol's admission symbolic of Flyers' state

There was nothing Dave Hakstol did — or didn't do — Sunday that held a drastic impact on the outcome of Game 3, a 5-1 loss for the Flyers at the Wells Fargo Center.

The players committed infraction after infraction while Hakstol served simply as a bystander to the carelessness, which now has the Flyers pinned in a 2-1 series deficit (see story).

But, in a way, Hakstol's own admission postgame encapsulated the entire makeup of this best-of-seven first-round playoff matchup with the Penguins.

On one side, there's a team rich with experience, built to win these series-shifting games, no matter the environment or circumstances.

On the other side, there's a team still sprouting, still learning in these moments, even with a blend of veterans.

And even for the head coach.

Not hiding from accountability, Hakstol wished he had done something differently Sunday as the Flyers were in the midst of uncoiling. Evgeni Malkin had just sent a power-play missile into the back of the Flyers' net, ballooning Pittsburgh's lead to 3-0 just 6:48 into the second period, while sounding the alarms for the Flyers.

No one reacted and things never settled.

"I should have taken a timeout after the third, after the third goal," Hakstol said. "Hindsight is 20/20, you don't get it back. You always want to save that timeout because I felt like we were playing well. We had a bad stretch, we dug a little bit of a hole, but I had no doubt that we could come back and dig our way out of that hole."

Five seconds later, directly off the faceoff and at 4-on-4, Sidney Crosby made a play not many else can to set up the Penguins' insurmountable 4-0 advantage. Within a flash, the air was sucked out of the Flyers and their fans.

"You want to save that timeout for the critical time at the end of the game," Hakstol said. "Well, go home with it in your back pocket and what good does it do you? That would have been one thing to stop that momentum because that 4-on-4 goal … now you're in a real deep hole, that's tough to come back from."

After the Flyers committed eight penalties, seven of which were stick violations, Hakstol didn't have to take any blame but did anyway. He was also forced to discuss, at length, his team's discipline. When asked to expand some more on the topic, Hakstol nearly grew frustrated.

"Well, I think the penalty problems were particular to tonight and I already talked to that," Hakstol said. "You've got to take care of your stick. We took a too-many-men-on-the-ice penalty and we took how many stick penalties? There, it's been addressed. Now we have to go out and execute. Sorry, I don't mean to … that is what it is."

And the Flyers, through no real fault of their own, are what they are right now — a group, from the coaches down to the players, still growing through some on-the-job training.

It just so happens to be on the playoff stage against a team that's been there, done that.

Former Flyers goalie Ray Emery dies at 35

Former Flyers goalie Ray Emery dies at 35

Former Flyers goaltender Ray Emery died Sunday morning. First responders pulled his body out of Hamilton Harbour, where he had been swimming with friends. An investigation into the cause of death is still ongoing. 

Emery was 35.

According to local authorities, Emery was checking out a friend’s boat docked at Royal Hamilton Yacht Club when the group he was with decided to jump in the water around 6:30 a.m. Emery’s body never surfaced and was eventually recovered around 2:50 p.m. Sunday afternoon. Hamilton police say Emery’s body was recovered in close proximity to where he was last seen.

Emery was last seen publicly with a handful of his former teammates Saturday night as the goaltender participated in Zac Rinaldo’s charity hockey game in Hamilton. Emery can be seen standing during the playing of “O Canada.”

"The Philadelphia Flyers are stunned and extremely saddened to hear of the tragic passing of former Flyers goaltender Ray Emery," president Paul Holmgren said in a statement from the team. "Ray was an outstanding teammate and an extremely gifted goaltender. He had exceptional athleticism, was a fierce competitor and battled in every game he played with the Flyers.

"His performances through the 2009-10 season were a very big part of the team's success in making the playoffs and reaching the Stanley Cup Final. Ray's talent, work ethic and determination helped him enjoy a successful 11-year NHL career. Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family and friends during this difficult time."

Several of Emery’s former teammates over the years offered their condolences via Twitter after learning of the tragedy.

Former Flyer Daniel Carcillo shared the he was crushed by the news (NSFW).

Jakub Voracek also shared his condolences (NSFW).

Emery joined the Flyers in June 2009 on a one-year contract, shutting out the Carolina Hurricanes 2-0 in his Flyers debut. The goaltender’s first stint in Philadelphia was cut short when he suffered a muscle tear in his abdomen in December missing the remainder of the season. Emery was later diagnosed with avascular necrosis — a degenerative condition to the bone tissue in his hip.

After undergoing successful surgery, Emery eventually joined the Ducks before winning a Stanley Cup with the Blackhawks in 2013. Impressively, Emery finished the regular season with a 17-1-0 record. He re-signed with the Flyers that summer as a backup to Steve Mason.

Emery’s most infamous moment in Philadelphia came during an ugly 7-0 loss to the Washington Capitals on November 1, 2013, as the Flyers netminder pummeled Caps goalie Braden Holtby during a line brawl in the early stages of the third period.

Emery faced criminal charges over a handful of off-the-ice incidents and altercations. Most recently, he was arrested for assault with a weapon in 2017 against former fiancé Keshia Chanté. 

Emery played a total of 287 NHL games, 88 with the Flyers. 

Flyers' Danick Martel accepts qualifying offer; team re-signs Taylor Leier and Tyrell Goulbourne

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Flyers' Danick Martel accepts qualifying offer; team re-signs Taylor Leier and Tyrell Goulbourne

Updated: 9:44 p.m.

Three young forwards will all be staying in the Flyers organization, at least for one more year.

Sunday, the team announced that Danick Martel accepted his qualifying offer on a one-year contract, and that restricted free agents Taylor Leier and Tyrell Goulbourne signed one-year deals.

Restricted free agent goalie Anthony Stolarz has also accepted his qualifying offer of $761,250, according to a report from John Hoven. Stolarz, 24, played in just one game for the Phantoms in the 2017-18 season after undergoing surgery on a meniscus tear last summer. A second-round pick by the Flyers in the 2012 draft, Stolarz went 18-9 and posted a 2.92 goals against average with Lehigh Valley in 2016-17.

Though the team didn't include any salary details, Martel's deal is reportedly a two-way contract worth $715,000.

The 23-year-old Martel made his NHL debut last season, finishing with no points and six shots over four games. He scored a career-best 25 goals for Lehigh Valley.

With Leier, the Flyers avoided a possible arbitration hearing. According to CapFriendly, Leier's contract is a one-way deal for $720,000. Leier's hearing was scheduled for Aug. 3. The team also earlier avoided a hearing with Alex Lyon, their other player who filed for arbitration, signing the goalie to a two-year deal.

A fourth-round selection in 2012, Leier had one goal and four assists in 39 regular-season games with the Flyers as a rookie.

Goulbourne, who made his NHL debut on Jan. 6, appeared in nine regular-season contests, with 15 hits.

If Stolarz is indeed back in the fold, Robert Hagg would be the team's only remaining restricted free agent. 

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