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Flyers Takeaways: Embarrassing Loss Causes Search for ‘Dignity’

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Juraj Slafkovsky's first NHL hat trick has ended the Philadelphia Flyers' season. (Photo: AP)

With that embarrassing 9-3 loss to the Montreal Canadiens at the Bell Centre on Tuesday out of the way, the 2023-24 Philadelphia Flyers season is officially unofficially over.

After Juraj Slafkovsky scored the first goal of his hat trick in the first period, the vibes were low, but the Flyers still had a chance.

And then they didn’t.

Flyers continue to lack focus

Your season is on the line; you’re down 1-0 and have 40 minutes to score at least one goal to tie the game. The Flyers instead self-immolated, just as they did against Columbus on Saturday.

“After they scored their second, the wheels came off,” head coach John Tortorella bluntly assessed.

Slafkovsky completed his hat trick in the second period, his first in the NHL. Brendan Gallagher, Josh Anderson, and Christian Dvorak each chipped in to give the Habs a 6-0 lead, and Sam Ersson was replaced by Ivan Fedotov after allowing five goals on 17 shots.

Unfortunately, Fedotov allowed four goals on 13 shots, so the switch did nothing.

While Ryan Poehling and Erik Johnson added goals, and Joel Farabee finally got one, they were virtually meaningless, undone by the abhorrent defensive work in the first two periods.

Drysdale, Seeler struggle for Flyers

After playing pretty well together in their first few matches together, Jamie Drysdale and Nick Seeler came apart at the seams at the wrong time for the Flyers.

Drysdale was out-shot 27-15 at 5-on-5 and was out-scored 6-0. The Flyers were out-chanced 14-7 with him on the ice, though high-danger chances were surprisingly in their favor at 5-4.

As for Seeler, he was out-shot 25-18 and out-chanced 10-9, though he was on the ice for five goals against. High-danger chances were in the Flyers’ favor at 5-3, but at the end of the day, the only thing that matters is that 9-3 final score.

One bad game won’t change my mind about this pairing; they will grow together and improve in the future. It’s also worth noting that Sean Walker was still with the Flyers when Drysdale was first injured.

If they fail to build chemistry or continue to get worse, then the Flyers can be concerned.

Flyers’ season can’t end soon enough

The usually defensively stout Flyers should have been able to win with three goals scored on Tuesday night. The Flyers lost their identity, which didn’t just start or end with the Canadiens.

“Even though we’ve been going through the losing here, the last couple of games, Columbus and here, we’ve done some things we haven’t done for a lot of the year,” Tortorella said. “So, you’ve got to eat it. We’ve got to stay together and try to solve things.

“Whether it’s enough time to do what we want to do to try to get in, I’m not concerned about that. I’m concerned about just being pros, trying to get some of our dignity back, and just playing the right way.”

Now that the Flyers have had a taste of a playoff push, the season’s last three games should be for self-preservation. It’s time to turn one eyeball toward next season and continue to rebuild, improve, and grow.

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