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5 observations: Flyers shoot blanks in sleepy road finale in Winnipeg

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Joel Farabee, Philadelphia Flyers
The Philadelphia Flyers' Joel Farabee was moved back to left wing in Wednesday's game against the Winnipeg Jets.

In their final road game of a disastrous season, the Philadelphia Flyers suffered a sleepy 4-0 loss Wednesday in Winnipeg.

One down, one to go.

That would be Friday’s season finale against the visiting Ottawa Senators, a game in which the Flyers (25-45-11) and their fans will be put out of their misery.

The Flyers, decimated by injuries most of the season, finished with an 11-25-5 road record. There’s only been one season since 1991-92 in which they had fewer road wins.

One down, one to go.

Winnipeg goalie Eric Comrie, 26, who has been waived three times in his career, made 34 saves and collected the first NHL shutout in his 27-game career.

The Flyers were blanked for the seventh time this season.

Interim coach Mike Yeo said the Flyers “didn’t have all our jump tonight.” He said the early penalties had them “chasing” the game the rest of the way.

“We didn’t seem to have the energy to come back,” Yeo said.

Here are five observations on their latest loss:

1. The Flyers’ position in the draft lottery improved.

The May 10 draft lottery is based on points accumulated in the regular season. The fewer points, the better your chances of winning the lottery.

The Flyers remained with the fourth-lowest point total in the NHL, and didn’t catch the Devils.

Philly has 61 points, two fewer than New Jersey, which has two games left. Seattle has 58 points, the third-worst total. The Kraken blew a 2-0 lead and lost Wednesday to Los Angeles, 5-3.

The Flyers are assured of finishing with the third-, fourth- (likely), or fifth-worst point total.

To see how the lottery race looked entering Wednesday, click here.

 

2. Special teams still a problem.

Pierre-Luc Dubois (28th goal) scored 10 seconds after the Jets’ first power play started, giving Winnipeg a 1-0 lead with 14:37 left in the first. He beat surprised goalie Felix Sandstrom after making a spin move from the side of the net.

With 12:27 left in the second, Nikolaj Ehlers scored his 28th goal while on a five-on-three Winnipeg power play, putting a shot under Sandstrom’s right arm.

Meanwhile, the Flyers had problems getting the puck into the offensive zone, let alone getting quality chances, on their first power play in the opening period. They were outshot, 2-0, on their initial power play. Not good.

They finished the night 0 for 4, making them 2 for 41 (4.9%) over their last 14 games. Winnipeg was 2 for 5.

If you combine the success rate of their power play and penalty kill, the Flyers are last in the NHL this season.

3. Joel Farabee continues to search for goals.

Farabee was moved from center back to his natural position, left wing, but he still struggled. Playing 17:23, he had two shots, both in the waning minutes.

He was on a line with center Kevin Hayes and Bobby Brink.

In his last 11 games, Farabee has just one goal and is minus-12.

4. The Flyers have lacked resiliency all season, so Wednesday wasn’t a surprise.

When the Flyers fall behind, rarely do they recover. So when the Jets scored first, there was a “here we go again” feeling that resonated.

The Flyers are now 5-36-4 when allowing the game’s first goal. That and the fumbling special teams are just two of the many areas that need correcting next season.

5. Felix Sandstrom wasn’t at his best.

The rookie played solidly in his first four starts and had a .914 save percentage, but he wasn’t as sharp Wednesday. He stopped 23 of 26 shots.

“It wasn’t my best game tonight, but I have to keep battling,” he said. “It doesn’t get better if you get down on yourself.”

Sandstrom, 25, is 0-4-1. He can become an unrestricted free agent, and it will be interesting to see if the Philadelphia Flyers resign him this summer.

Breakaways

Kyle Connor (three points) scored an empty-net goal to make it 4-0. It was his 45th goal, tops in a single Winnipeg season since the Jets relocated from Atlanta. … Montreal (10) is the only NHL team with fewer road wins that the Flyers (11). …  Former Flyers great Reggie Leach was at the game and visited the press box. … It was the Flyers’ first game in Winnipeg since Dec. 15, 2019. … Travis Konecny had his six-game point streak snapped. … Snake-bitten Owen Tippett has had about 50 chances since being acquired by the Flyers last month, but has just three goals in 20 games. He had five shots Wednesday. “Poor Tipper played one of the best games you’re going to see without scoring a goal,” Yeo said. … The late Keith Allen and Rod Brind’Amour are among nominees on the ballot for the 2022 Philadelphia Sports Hall of Fame. Allen should be a no-brainer.

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R M

Scoring chances do not matter if you cannot put the puck against the net. Tipper lacks the aim, clever moves, and stick handling finesse to score, which is why the Panthers gave up on him. He is a first round bust, and not getting any younger. If he has not developed scoring “touch” by now, it is not likely coming. He is already 24, been around for 6 years. Another dreadful trade from Fletcher, whom Florida “fleeced” in the G trade. Panthers get the final piece for a Cup, Flyers get zilch. Time for a complete overhaul of this dreadful franchise.

SpectrumSection51

You might be right but I would like to see him for a full season. Potential to be a solid power forward and I liked some of what I saw on that line with Cates. He may yet develop, especially if the team is improved.That being said, you’re right- he does have to score. Flyers always have too many forwards who can’t finish.

JEFFERY SAVAGE

Same song, different verse. Glad Friday it will be over. For those of us that were or still are Giroux fans, we are not kissing his a.. As one commenter said in one of the other posts. We just like him as a player and as a person when he was with the Flyers. He does/did a lot for the city of Philly, in the areas of helping kids and persons with Mental Health issues through his Claude Giroux Foundation. Sam, again great articles. Glad you followed your heart in the voting. I would have voted the same way, if I had the chance since the “snub,” I did vote for Cam A. in your straw pole though. Very excited to see what kind of reception Claude, gets tonight in ottawa. Hope, he and the rest of the Panthers, keep rolling in the playoffs. And no, fellow Flyers fans, I am still a Diehard Flyers Fan, and C. Giroux fan from Denver, CO

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