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Flyers, John Tortorella Admit Defeat: ‘This was rock bottom’



John Tortorella

The Philadelphia Flyers were already doing pretty badly and then impressively managed to one-up themselves on Tuesday night.

Saturday’s must-win game against Columbus resulted in a 6-2 defeat, and Tuesday’s must-win game against Montreal resulted in a 9-3 pasting.

Don’t worry; I’ve done the math for you. That’s 15 goals against in two games against two of the NHL’s six worst teams.

How does this happen? Flyers head coach John Tortorella had the opportunity to explain in his press conference on Tuesday night, but the cameras only showed a defeated coach, exhausted and out of explanations.

“It’s a good group of players, and I’m frustrated for them that we’re kind of ending it this way,” Tortorella said, essentially admitting defeat on the season, just as the team did on the ice. “I’m frustrated for them because this was rock bottom, tonight, for us.”

Goalie Sam Ersson, who started against Montreal, allowed five or more goals for the third time in his last five appearances. Ersson has now gone six games with a save percentage of .867 or lower, and he’s one of a few players out of gas.

But how you play when you’re out of gas separates the good from the great. Tortorella, an NHL head coach for over two decades, knows this to be true.

“This time of year, all teams are tired. We’re not as gifted as some teams. We have a process we’re going through – we can’t forget that,” Tortorella added. “I appreciate all the work they’ve put in, to put us in this spot to play these type of games. But, we just have not been able to elevate our game.

“It’s my responsibility to put them in that spot and try to get them their game. Have not done it.”

After picking up memorable wins over Florida, Toronto, and Boston, the Flyers are now losers of eight straight. And, many of the losses have come against teams they are more gifted than.

Now, even a sullen Tortorella is out of answers.

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