Despite goaltender Michal Neuvirth’s great effort, the Flyers cannot seem to find their scoring touch as they fall to the Kings in overtime over the weekend. With recent developments in lineup selection, as well as a poor run of results since the ten-game win streak, Flyers fans are starting to have their doubts about head coach Dave Hakstol.
How exactly are the young players supposed to learn from their mistakes if they are not playing? The only thing Hakstol is doing is killing their confidence. Yes, Shayne Gostisbehere is having a sophomore slump season; however, there is no logical explanation to sit him and Konecny in favor of low-upside veterans like Dale Weise and Nick Schultz or Andrew MacDonald. Hakstol has also been running with the exact same lineup after a win. Clearly, it does not seem to be working: it makes the team predictable, and the concept of “going with the hot hand” does not work anymore because the team is so inconsistent.
In addition to the coaching issues, scoring goals seems to be an issue for Philadelphia. The Flyers need more production from the guys they already have, but they could also use a top-tier scorer for their lineup, whether it is via trade or free agency in the offseason. Matt Duchene would be a good fit for the team, but unfortunately, the asking price will way too high at this season’s trade deadline. Hextall will not part with his young developing prospects for an immediate upgrade like Duchene, and rightfully so.
For now, it seems Hakstol will have to play the cards currently in his hand. He announced Monday that Gostisbehere will be a healthy scratch for the third straight game. Travis Konecny will return to the lineup in favor of Matt Read, who scored the Flyers only even strength goal vs. the Canadiens.
Photo: Matt Boulton (via: Wikimedia Commons)