The 3-0-1 road trip for Dave Hakstol's team definitely has merit to it.
The Flyers grabbed seven of eight points, went to overtime against a Stanley Cup contender (Sharks), convincingly beat the team allowing the NHL's fewest goals per game (Coyotes) and took down a squad that went 26-10-5 at home last season (Ducks).
There was a lot to like and you would think the Flyers are coming home much more comfortable with rebuilt confidence and some swagger.
Five straight games at the Wells Fargo Center are now in store for the Flyers.
Home sweet home, right?
Not necessarily — or least not yet.
NBC Sports Philadelphia's Flyers analyst Chris Therien provided excellent insight on the differences between playing at home and on the road.
The assumption is away games present a greater difficulty considering the travel and atmosphere, compared to having luxuries and the crowd on your side at home.
Therien, a former Flyer and 11-year NHLer, said that's not always the case. Here's his breakdown from Monday night's Flyers Postgame Live on NBCSP:
I think playing at home in the NHL is completely overrated. I think it's easy to win on the road, I don't think there's a problem playing on the road, in fact, for most teams, they'll probably tell you they're comfortable.
That being said, I think if the Flyers play exactly like they did on the road, you won't have to worry about some of the stuff that you deal with at home. The problem when you're at home, sometimes you think it's going to be easier, you think the crowd is going to get behind you. And then if you don't perform, the crowd turns on you and you can hear the boos sometimes.
But they're big boys, they're professionals, they're going to have to get over whatever funk they think they're having at home. Even last year was not a good record for this team at home prior to other seasons. It's huge, it's major-league important that they find a groove and find a groove in Philadelphia.
The last time the Flyers took the Wells Fargo Center ice, they lost to the Islanders, 6-1, dropping to 4-7-0 before their four-game road trip. The Flyers certainly looked like pressure got the best of them on Oct. 27. Head coach Dave Hakstol said his team "tightened up in this building" and Claude Giroux echoed that sentiment.
"I think when you want too much sometimes, you press a little harder, get away from what you're supposed to be doing, you're just pressing," Giroux said then. "I really feel like we're pressing right now, we're just tired of losing, so we're trying to do everything we can to make something happen, but sometimes it's not always the right thing."
Through the early going, the Flyers are 2-4-0 at home with a minus-12 goal differential. Among NHL teams, they've scored the second-fewest goals at home with 2.33 per game, while allowing the third most with 4.33.
All it takes, though, is one strong period to shake the nerves and feel at home again. Put the fans back on your side. The Flyers have five cracks at it — they're big boys and should get it done.
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