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Flyers Fans Chant for GM’s Firing; Will Dave Scott React?

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Chuck Fletcher and Dave Scott, Philadelphia Flyers
Dave Scott (left) and Flyers GM Chuck Fletcher in a file photo. Fans chanted their displeasure with Fletcher on Friday.

Philadelphia Flyers general manager Chuck Fletcher has been on thin ice with the fans for a while. It came to the surface with “Fire Fletcher” chants during the team’s ninth straight loss on Black Friday, a 4-1 blitzing by the Pittsburgh Penguins at the Wells Fargo Center.

Was it the beginning of the end for Fletcher, whose last two teams have struggled mightily? Barring a miracle, the Flyers will miss the playoffs for the third straight season.

That hasn’t happened since 1989-90 to 1993-94, when they did not qualify in five straight seasons.

An unusually high number of injuries has plagued the Flyers the last two years. That said, Fletcher hasn’t built a strong enough farm system — and hasn’t made enough good trades or free-agent signings — to give the team the depth to withstand all the players that have been sidelined.

Dave Scott, chairman of the Flyers’ parent company, Comcast Spectacor, is close with Fletcher, however, and I believe the injuries will give him a reason/excuse to keep him around.

We shall see.

If Scott did make a move, Danny Briere would be the likely successor. Last February, Briere was named a special assistant to Fletcher, who has compiled a 124-130-37 record in parts of five seasons with the Flyers. He replaced Ron Hextall in December of 2018.

Up next: Isles

If the Flyers fall on Long Island Saturday night against the Islanders (NBCSP), it will be their third losing streak of 10 or more games since last year. With a defeat, they will have been in a double-digit losing streaks in 33 of their last 90 games.

Think about that.

The Islanders have won three straight and are  expected to use Semyon Varlamov in the nets. It’ll be interesting to see if coach John Tortotella goes back to Carter Hart — he was pulled in the second period Friday — or gives Felix Sandstrom the start.

Matthew Barzal has a seven-game point streak for the Islanders. Kevin Hayes, whose defense has him in Tortorella’s doghouse — he was demoted to the fourth line for parts of Friday’s loss — has six points in the last six games for the offensive-challenged Philadelphia Flyers.

The Flyers, who haven’t won since a 5-1 victory over St. Louis on Nov. 8, are the NHL’s lowest-scoring team. They are without six injured forwards, and that has played a major role.

Philly is averaging 2.43 goals per game, and its power play is 31st in the 32-team league, clicking at 14.7 percent.

Prediction: Islanders, 3-1.

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