After a hot start to the 2023-24 regular season, the Philadelphia Flyers have fallen back to Earth.
And Vegas agrees that they will stay on that trajectory.
A 4-2-1 start gave way to 1-4-1 stretch which has the Flyers back in seventh place in the Metropolitan Division.
All three of Philadelphia’s goaltenders have a save percentage below .900 and a goals-against average above 3.00 since that stretch started on Oct. 28.
That includes starter Carter Hart, who is 0-1-0 with an .865 save percentage and a 4.30 goals-against average in two starts since.
He started the season with a 3-2-0 record with an impressive .923 save percentage and a 2.21 goals-against average.
To add injury to insult, Hart left Wednesday’s loss to the Buffalo Sabres with an injury.
Samuel Ersson, who is 1-2-1 with a .815 save percentage and a 3.90 goals-against average, has assumed starting duties in Hart’s absence.
He’s just going to have to get sharp,” Flyers coach John Tortorella said of Ersson last week. “I’m not sure what Carter’s situation is; we’ll find out more (Thursday). Sam has shown us many times he can bounce back. I’ve listened to him talk to you guys. I think he self-evaluates really well. That’s a really important part of a player, their self-evaluation. I think he’s very, very strict with that as far as how he feels about himself. I think that will get him through.”
According to real money gambling in Canada, things are going to get worse for the Flyers before they get better.
With the San Jose Sharks going into an 0-10-1 tailspin to start the season, Vegas has decided to post odds on when their first win of the season will be.
The Flyers are the next team to go against them with a matchup on Nov. 7.
Philadelphia has +114 to become the first team to lose to the Sharks this season.
For context, the odds shoot up to +490 for San Jose’s clash with the floundering Edmonton Oilers on Nov. 9th before skyrocketing to near +1000 levels for all but one game.
Their Nov. 12 game against the Anaheim Ducks drops to +640 after their Nov. 10 game against the NHL-leading Vegas Golden Knights clocks in at +980.
All other games against the likes of the Florida Panthers, St. Louis Blues, Vancouver Canucks, Seattle Kraken and Montreal Canucks have odds longer than +1000.
The Sharks are +2400 to be without a win after Nov. 24.
Philadelphia being a near-coin flip against a team that has these odds made about them in the first place is telling.
And Vegas has reflected such in their playoff odds.
The Flyers have the second-worst odds in the Metropolitan Division to make the postseason at +750.
Only the Columbus Blue Jackets, who have +1100 odds, have longer odds to crack their way into the postseason bubble.
The Pittsburgh Penguins, who currently sit in dead last in the Metropolitan Division at 4-6-0, have -120 odds to make the Stanley Cup Playoffs.
Vegas still has faith in their star core of Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin, Kris Letang and Erik Karlsson despite goaltender deficiencies and problems deeper in their lineup.
The Washington Capitals are +280 to make the playoffs despite starting the season with the same amount of points as the Flyers.
With Nicklas Backstrom away from the team, it will be an uphill battle for them, but Vegas is not so quick to count Alex Ovechkin and Co. out.
The New York Islanders are the strongest of the division’s bubble teams according to Vegas at -108 while the Carolina Hurricanes, New York Rangers and New Jersey Devils occupy the top three spots, each with odds shorter than -500.
With a dominant top three set, it will be even harder for the Flyers to crack the postseason party.