Connect with us

Philadelphia Flyers

Flyers Takeaways: Playoffs All But Out of Reach After Latest Loss



Philadelphia Flyers news
Flyers forward Scott Laughton was clearly frustrated after the loss to Columbus. (Photo: AP)

For the first time since the first week of December, the Philadelphia Flyers are out of a playoff spot. A 6-2 blowout loss to the Columbus Blue Jackets at Nationwide Arena in early April will do that to you.

And before Saturday night, the Flyers still controlled their fate. Not anymore.

The Islanders have comfortably vaulted themselves into third place in the Metropolitan Division, and Semyon Varlamov pitched a shutout against Nashville on Saturday night to give them some breathing room.

Pittsburgh, which currently occupies the last wildcard spot in the Eastern Conference, holds the tie-breaker over the Flyers and still has a game in hand to add more cushion. Oh, and they’re on a four-game winning streak, having gone 6-2-2 in their last 10 games.

Flyers, Tortorella out of answers

The Flyers have no excuse for coming out flat in a must-win game, and nobody offered any. Head coach John Tortorella, who wasn’t visibly frustrated after the game, kept his press conference frank.

“I thought we were a little bit sloppy, a little bit loose tonight in front of our goalie,” Tortorella assessed. “But, we just got to get ready to play our next game.”

The Flyers were out-attempted 30-10 by Columbus at 5-on-5 in the first period, per Natural Stat Trick, with high-danger chances stacked 8-1 in favor of the hosts. After 20 minutes, the Flyers were down 2-0 on goals from Erik Gudbranson and Damon Severson, and you could just feel that the goals weren’t coming.

Sam Ersson, starting the second half of the back-to-back slate, stopped 27 of the 33 shots fired his way, but it’s hard to truly blame him for many of the six goals – all of which were scored by defensemen. The lack of urgency at both ends of the ice was appalling.

Flyers celebrate a couple of firsts

Congratulations are in order for Olle Lycksell and Adam Ginning, as the two young Swedes scored their first NHL goals against Columbus on Saturday night.

Lycksell converted a cross-ice pass from Garnet Hathaway to give the Flyers at 3-1, while Ginning whipped a shot through traffic to make the game a (very slightly) more respectable 6-2.

“That was a big goal for us. That’s his game. That’s a hard-nosed kid that’s fast and he gets to the net. And, he has that scoring touch,” Hathaway said of Lycksell and his goal. “That’s a big goal for him. It’s nice to see him score that, and he’ll grow and keep getting better, and there’s going to be a lot more.”

It was almost fitting that Lycksell and Ginning had scored the Flyers‘ only two goals, as each player has served as a healthy scratch for extended periods of time in recent weeks.

Laughton takes responsibility

Scott Laughton is one of the Flyers’ more tenured players who has been through this before. He knows that he and others need to be better to have any chance of turning this around.

“Just not good enough in the first period to come out flat,” a dejected Laughton said after the game. “Falls on some of our older guys, and especially me. Got to get this group ready and ready to go. It’s not good enough.”

Laughton had a solid end to February, but things tailed off a bit to start March. Now, Laughton is goalless in his last five games and has just one assist in that same period of time.

When Columbus picks up six goals through Gudbranson (6), Severson (8, 9), Nick Blankenburg (1), Zach Werenski (8, 9), you’ve got more problems than one. Hey, at least Ivan Provorov was the only Columbus defenseman to not pick up a point, right?

For more Flyers news and up-to-date coverage, visit Philly Hockey Now and like our Facebook page.
Follow us on 𝕏:

Get PHHN+ today!

Get PhHN in Your Inbox

Enter your email address to get all of our posts sent directly to your inbox.

Copyright © 2023 National Hockey Now and Philadelphia Hockey Now. In no way affiliated with the Philadelphia Flyers or the National Hockey League.