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Flyers Limp Into All-Star Break; Lose to Bruins, 6-2

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The Philadelphia Flyers had no answer for David Pastrnak and the Boston Bruins on Saturday. (Photo: AP)

The Philadelphia Flyers had no answer for David Pastrnak, Pavel Zacha, James van Riemsdyk, or the Boston Bruins on Saturday afternoon. The Bruins stormed into Wells Fargo Center and ran off with a 6-2 victory.

Pastrnak Hates the Flyers

Yeah, the Flyers just can’t stop this guy. Philadelphia honestly dominated the run of play for most of the first period, until Pastrnak popped the balloon with his 32nd of the season, giving the Bruins a 1-0 lead thanks in part to a moving screen by Zacha.

Things quickly spiraled out of control for the Flyers from there, as the Bruins quickly ran up another three goals, giving them four in total in just 4:14 as well as a 4-0 lead. It was Pastrnak’s 33rd of the season that capped off the opening frame for Boston, giving him 26 goals in 29 career games against the Flyers.

Just one minute into the third period, the 27-year-old added a primary assist on van Riemsdyk’s tally to give himself three points on the afternoon and his team a 5-0 lead.

The Kids Are Alright

Ok, so the results have not been great for the Flyers lately. I’ve personally been impressed with Olle Lycksell and Tyson Foerster, lately, though. These two kids have been among the Flyers’ most consistent in terms of winning pucks and making smart choices with those pucks.

Foerster’s toe-drag goal to give the Flyers their first goal was aided by a deflection, but a goal nonetheless. The tune didn’t change for his late second goal, either. The willingness to attack the net, make a move, and try to score a goal is enough for a team that hasn’t showed much of that in the last two weeks.

Lycksell has impressed in his limited opportunity at the expense of Bobby Brink, who scored in his Lehigh Valley Phantoms season debut this week. But, Lycksell did score his first point of the season on Foerster’s second goal. Given how little the Flyers have scored at even strength lately, it might not hurt to get Brink back in Philadelphia soon to join them.

The impending return of Owen Tippett will undoubtedly help, but that says nothing about the effort and lack of concentration on the other side of the puck.

Flyers Must Fix Defensive Breakdowns

I’m not on the team and I’m not a coach, so I can’t definitively say what the Flyers’ issues are stemming from on defense. What I can say is what I see and what I observe, and that is a team lacking concentration and a team lacking the requisite aggression to kill plays before they happen.

Carter Hart is a popular guy in the locker room and Cam York’s roommate, so his sudden departure from the Flyers is likely playing a factor, at least a little bit.

Some further evidence that supports the lack of concentration: Scott Laughton’s five penalties in two games, and Cal Petersen, who replaced Sam Ersson for the start of Period 2, forgetting to go to the bench on a delayed penalty at the start of Period 3.

The reason why Ersson got pulled? Multiple defensive coverage breakdowns on Boston’s goals, bar Pastrnak’s first. The Flyers were too easily fooled by slap-passes, one-touch passes, and rotations around the net by Bruins forwards.

The Flyers offering very little in the way of goal support obviously didn’t help, nor did it matter with such a large deficit. Onto the All-Star break.

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