The Flyers really need every win they can get if they want to make it to the playoffs this year. Unfortunately, they couldn’t do it tonight against the Caps. And the schedule doesn’t get any easier, with six games over 10 days. Hopefully they can pull off some wins. On top of the pressure of a playoff push, tonight was Carter Hart’s first game back after injury. It obviously wasn’t a success, but he wasn’t all to blame. Facing 31 shots, he was able to stop 27. So what exactly happened?
In the first period, the Flyers looked like they were unaware that they were even on the ice. The Capitals scored two goals in the first 10 minutes of the game, courtesy of Brett Connolly and Lars Eller. Connolly wasn’t done there, as he had the assist on Eller’s goal and scored a second goal himself in the following period. The man deserved the first star of the game, even though it kills me to admit it. Philadelphia had the only power play in the first period but couldn’t make anything happen. The score remained 2-0 going into the second.
Just over a minute into the period, James van Riemsdyk finally got the team on the board. Connolly’s second came after that, and Wilson proceeded to ruin the fun by making it 4-1 and everyone’s hopes for a win died a little bit. Laughton gave us a small amount of hope when he scored shortly after to bring the Flyers within two. He now has a career-high six-game point streak. The period ended with only nine shots on goal for the Flyers. It seems as if they’ve only half woken up by this point.
The third period looked promising when Philly got back-to-back power plays, but unfortunately, they couldn’t capitalize on either of them. Hart was only pulled at the last second, when the Flyers wanted an extra man to try to save the game. This didn’t work. Washington scored an empty-net goal, and the game ended 5-2.
With a game like this, is it that they aren’t playing hard enough? Or is Washington really just that good? Could it be possible that the Caps are just so much more talented than the Flyers that it looks like they aren’t even trying? I think it’s a fact that the Capitals are better than the Flyers. But this team has proven before that isn’t a reason for them to be counted out. The Stadium Series is a perfect example of their ability to overcome hardship.
I think the Flyers have it in them. I think they are capable of winning. Tonight wasn’t a good example, but that doesn’t matter. The game is over. The focus is on the next game. As Doug Pederson would say, “ It’s the biggest game ’cause it’s the next one you got.” Good luck tomorrow, boys.
Photo credit: Heather Barry