Flyers have to come to grips with their shortcomings
Mark it down, the heads will be down at practice at the Skate Zone Thursday. And if they're still down Friday night at Wells Fargo Center, heads may roll.
The realization has finally set in for the Flyers - they're probably not good enough.
They have lost too many games to their supposed conference peers, and act like they shouldn't even be on the same sheet of ice whenever the opponent happens to be the Devils or Rangers.
These Flyers are a team in transition, a group that for the most part has stopped listening, perhaps because they are all stumped by their own shortcomings.
It's not over yet, but it doesn't take an ESPN degree in Advanced Numerology to figure out the short schedule odds against them are overwhelming. Too many teams are above them, too few games remain in a schedule featuring so many "four-point games" that without a winning streak it's difficult to make any standings headway.
This Flyers team isn't like to kick off on any winning streak. It hasn't won more than two in a row this season. And the personnel shortcomings are really coming to the fore.
The $51 million goalie really came back to work this season, but his shortcomings unavoidably show through when the defense is shaky around him.
Which essentially means almost always.
The defense was too thin to begin with, and the wear and tear is clearly showing. Luke Schenn has been OK, but he's wearing down, Braydon Coburn is having a bad year, Andrej Meszaros has been worse, and Erik Gustafsson hasn't been able to graduate from the minors as expected.
Their forwards, thanks to Jake Voracek and Wayne Simmonds, can still succeed on the first power play unit. But there is nothing of systemic value out on the point behind Kimmo Timonen, and on even strength situations, the Flyers often seem shorthanded.
It's gone bad, and it's likely not to change. It will probably mean significant player moves before the trade deadline, and before that, the coach is going to be perceived to be in trouble, which in the NHL is also a common state of affairs for teams not as good as their respective management teams consider them to be.