After a successful weekend included defeating two of the NHL’s top teams, the Flyers suffered a disappoiting loss to the Hurricanes on Tuesday Night. A Boston loss in regulation and a Florida shootout loss created an opportunity to draw the closest that the Flyers have been to a Wild Card this season.
They were unable to capitalize.
“When you don’t have energy and emotion, you lack execution with the puck,” Coach Craig Berube said. That, along with some ill-timed trips to the box, allowed Carolina to cash in twice on the Power Play. The Flyers were outshot 35-24, with the lone goal scored by Nicklas Grossman towards the end of the first.
The best news after the game was that Steve Mason could dress for Thursdays game in Toronto, and possibly return Saturday night at home against the Rangers.
Some fans are still calling for Berube’s head, but I feel that he has done a pretty good job with what he has on his plate. A few weeks ago, they found themselves 13 points out of the playoff picture.
A lot of people were writing off the season, and that’s when the team got going. His rough mentality is also good for the locker room, and almost making Dustin Byfuglien cry earned my complete respect for Chief. Considering the rough salary cap situation that GM Ron Hextall was left with when he took over for Paul Holmgren this summer, the team is still alive in the playoff hunt with 21 games left in the regular season. Hextall understands the situation and supports Berube through thick and thin, and it seems that he is not on the GM’s list for upcoming changes, at least anytime soon.
The question now: does getting Mason back for the final stretch allow them to put one more run together? It’s desperation time, and with the trade deadline of March 2 quickly approaching, it seems that they will be forced to do so with the roster they currently have. Kimmo Timonen has been skating with the team, and rumors have arised that he and Brayden Coburn could be on the trade block. Even though the Flyers would likely obtain draft picks for either player, it would be a plus for them to clear some salary cap space.
Tomorrow is a must-win in Toronto. Philly has won both meetings this year, including a 7-4 victory in Toronto and a 1-0 win at the Wells Fargo Center. Hopefully Boston and Florida stay around the .500 mark to finish the season and the Flyers can win 15 of their final 21 contests. For that to happen, we need our team that we’ve seen recently (previous to last nights game), back on the ice tomorrow night to start that run.