Flyers bit by own-goals, bad breaks in shootout loss to Avalanche


Now that we’ve all turned back the clock around the house Sunday morning, why not do the same with the Flyers' home portion of their schedule.

Following the Flyers' 5-4 shootout loss Saturday night to the Colorado Avalanche, how far should we go back to find the last time they actually took a lead into the third period?

Try Oct. 17, a 5-1 win over the Florida Panthers. Since that shellacking, the Flyers have played 309 minutes and 45 seconds on home ice and in that span, they've held a lead for 52 minutes and 46 seconds, or approximately 17 percent of the time.

Last Monday, against Arizona, the Flyers dug themselves out of a 3-0 hole before losing in overtime. On Saturday night, against Colorado, they had to battle back from three different one-goal deficits to earn a point.

Sure, no lead is safe when playing the Flyers, but playing without a lead, rarely, if ever, results in a positive outcome.

When Claude Giroux scored a power-play goal at the 6:31 mark of the second period, which gave the Flyers a 2-1 advantage, it appeared the Flyers were on the verge of erasing some past failures. Seven minutes later, the Flyers' power-play unit was given a golden opportunity to extend that lead, and even better, take a lead into the third period, where they’re a perfect 6-0-0 this season.

Only this time, their equipment got in the way. 

Blake Comeau's shorthanded goal went off Ivan Provorov's skate and deflected perfectly into the top-right corner of the net, which tied the game at two. Nothing Michal Neuvirth could have done about that goal.

Moments later, Travis Sanheim was whistled for hooking that gave Colorado a power play. On the ensuing man advantage, the player the Avalanche took advantage of this time was Robert Hagg. From behind the Flyers' goal line, Mikko Rantanen banked a pass off Hagg's stick and into the back of the net. Once again, nothing Neuvirth could do about that, either. 

"I was not happy, I'll tell you," Hagg said. "But it was a bad bounce, there's not much I can do. If I'm not there, it's a tap-in for the guy on the back door, but hopefully, I can keep the puck out of the net next time."

"I don't even know what to say about those," Travis Konecny said. "That's just the way hockey is. You can't do anything about those. That's just the way bounces go sometimes. It's a tough one to lose. We had a lot of good opportunities out there. It's still sinking in right now."

A skate, a stick and eventually, another lost point on home ice, where the Flyers now have dropped four of their past five and have earned just four out of a possible 10 points.

For the most part, the Flyers can look at the overall picture and feel they've outplayed their opponents — they just haven't outscored them.

"It doesn't feel very good, losing a point at home," Flyers coach Dave Hakstol said. "If you're asking what the feeling is, that's what it is — doesn't feel very good."

When asked if the team is better than the record indicates, Jakub Voracek quipped, "I think so. We've played tough teams, tough buildings. We've played a lot of good games, but in the end, it has to show up on the scoresheet."

The Flyers' record stands at 7-6-2 and just 3-2-2 at the Wells Fargo Center. Not only are points hard to come by, but so are days off. They just wrapped up a stretch of six games over a span of 10 days.

"I think it will be good for us to get some rest," Provorov said. "We've played a lot of games in a short amount of time. We'll get some rest and work on a lot of things during practice and then we'll get better."

"Playing back-to-back in Chicago and St. Louis and playing here," Claude Giroux, who scored his eighth goal of the season, said, "a little time off will be good for us. Not just physically but mentally. When we come back to work (Thursday against Chicago), we need to keep doing what we're doing."

Except for that one part where the Flyers can’t seem to play with a lead on home ice.