Monday was a long and daunting day for the lost Flyers.
It started with the club firing head coach Alain Vigneault and assistant coach Michel Therrien in the morning.
It ended with a 7-5 loss to the Avalanche at the Wells Fargo Center and plenty of questions directly ahead.
The Flyers (8-11-4) have lost nine straight games, a stretch in which they've gone 0-7-2 and have been outscored 43-18.
"Right now, we've lost our way," general manager Chuck Fletcher said. "We have to find out how good our group is, but we have to get guys playing better, playing a little bit differently. Right now, I think a new voice is needed."
Mike Yeo, who saw his first game as the Flyers' interim head coach, has his work cut out for him.
"It’s never easy to see a coach fired," Sean Couturier said. "When there’s changes, it’s a weird environment at the rink, but we’re going through a tough stretch. Felt like something was going to happen — you never know what it is. It’s part of the business I guess."
The Avalanche (13-7-2) can really light up the scoreboard and showed why. The Flyers allowed seven goals in back-to-back games at home. The first game — a 7-1 loss to the Lightning — ended Vigneault's tenure in Philadelphia.
"It was definitely a weird day," Kevin Hayes said. "Show up to the rink and two of the coaches are gone. This is a league of results and I don’t think our team has performed the way we want to and changes were made. It's tough to see those two guys go. They're great guys."
• The Flyers fell down 4-1 in the first period. But, in desperate need for positives, the Flyers can take away the fact that they didn't quit.
That definitely means something right now.
They clawed back and drew within a goal twice. Colorado was just too much on a crazy day for the Flyers.
Yeo's club scored more than three goals for the first time since Oct. 27. Tough to win a track meet with the Avalanche but the Flyers' effort and sincerity were there.
Claude Giroux (two), Oskar Lindblom, Cam Atkinson and Scott Laughton scored for the Flyers.
"The big thing for me is obviously I really wanted to win the game but I also didn’t think that we were just going to come here, snap our fingers and everything was going to be right and great for us," Yeo said. "After the game, my message to the players is this is a period where we have to go to work and go to school."
• Giroux, the longest-tenured active athlete in Philadelphia, had to address another firing on Monday. He has played for seven head coaches during his Flyers career, which goes back to February 2008.
"Two of our coaches got let go, but at the end of the day, it’s not on them," Giroux said before the game. "It’s on our group — players, coaches, everybody that’s involved with us playing hockey. It's the business side of it, it’s not fun, but right now it's got to be a wake-up call for us."
Giroux had a ticked-off energy to him on the ice Monday night. He ripped a pair of goals in the first period — one at even strength to open the scoring and the second on the power play to bring the Flyers within 4-3 at first intermission.
The captain turns 34 years old next month. He is tied for the team lead in goals (nine) and is first in points (21).
Nobody can say Giroux isn't doing his part.
"Right now, you look at our group, we don’t have an identity," Giroux said. "We get a goal scored on [us] and we kind of stop playing. We need to find our confidence in our group, we need to believe that even if a team scores the first goal, that we just keep playing our game, believe in our game knowing that our style and how we play as a team is going to get us the win. I think when we get that mindset, we don't start panicking and trying to do our own thing out there and just play as a team, it's going to give us the confidence to play our game."
• A significant reason why the Flyers had two coaches fired was their 30th-ranked power play.
Therrien oversaw the man advantage but Vigneault directed blame at himself last month in defense of his assistant coach.
Darryl Williams, in his first season with the Flyers, will now head up the power play, which went 1 for 3 Monday night.
With AHL affiliate Lehigh Valley idle until Friday, Phantoms head coach Ian Laperriere was back behind the Flyers' bench to help out Yeo and Williams.
Colorado caught the Flyers' penalty kill with three power play goals.
• Martin Jones had the unenviable task of facing the Avalanche, who came to Philadelphia scoring a blistering four goals per game, most in the NHL.
The 31-year-old goalie faced 50 shots and stopped 43 of them.
Colorado netminder Justus Annunen made his first career NHL start. The 21-year-old converted 27 saves on 32 shots for the victory.
• Nicolas Aube-Kubel was back at the Wells Fargo Center for the first time since being claimed off of waivers by the Avalanche over three weeks ago.
In his return, the 25-year-old winger went scoreless with three shots and a penalty through 10:32 minutes.
Aube-Kubel has two goals and two assists in 10 games with Colorado.
• Nothing settles down for the Flyers as they hit the road for three games in four days, a stretch that starts Wednesday when they visit the Devils (7 p.m. ET/NBCSP).
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